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Georgetown University between 1955 and 1975

This guide highlights online sources useful for research on Georgetown University between 1955 and 1975

Timeline, 1955-1964




Kathleen D. “Skippy” White, a student in the Nursing School and member of the GU sailing team, is the first Georgetown  woman to win a varsity letter. As half of a two-member team sailing in Class A dinghy competition, she successfully competes with – and against – men

Valerie A. Earle is the first woman appointed to the faculty of the Business Division

Position of Academic Vice-President is created. The AVP has authority over all main campus schools. Brian McGrath, S.J. is appointed to the role

Vera Rubin is hired as a research associate. She serves as assistant professor of astronomy between 1962 and 1965. A few years later she makes groundbreaking observations that provide evidence for the existence of a vast amount of dark matter in galaxies, changing the way scientists think of the universe.  In January 2020, the National Science Foundation names a telescope designed to conduct “a vast astronomical survey” for her




St. Mary’s Hall opens, allowing nursing students to move onto campus for the first time

Glee Club sings on the Ed Sullivan Show on CBS, on Easter Sunday, 1956

Machine Translation Research Center is established in the Institute of Languages and Linguistics

Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., organizer of the Foreign Service School, dies




Helen E. Steinbinder is the first woman appointed to the Law School faculty when she is hired to teach Real Property

Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Association enforces an existing rule excluding women and bars Skippy White and Georgetown’s second “letterwoman”, Carole Bloise – like White a member of the sailing team – from competition

Division of Business Administration separates from the Foreign Service School and becomes a school

Foreign Service School is named in Father Edmund A. Walsh's honor




George Washington Crew Coach, Fred Maletz, posts a notice in Georgetown restaurant in spring, looking for recruits to help the GW crew practice. After 45 Hoya undergraduates respond, Maletz finds himself coaching two crews. He coaches the Georgetown crew without pay

Sister Martha Mary Mehrl becomes the first woman to graduate from the Dental School

Walsh Memorial Building is dedicated on October 13. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower is awarded an honorary degree at the event. The buildings costs $1.2 million

Georgetown University Hospital launches a practical nursing program which ends in 1964




Gorman Building is dedicated on March 19 by the President of Ireland, Sean O’Kelly

New South opens in the fall. Construction costs $3 million

Institute of Languages and Linguistics separates from the Foreign Service School and becomes a school




WGTB switches from an AM to a FM station 

Groundbreaking ceremony for Reiss Science takes place, October 9.  Bob Hope emcees the dinner after the ceremony




Varsity crew returns to Georgetown after fifty years and is given an annual budget of $1000

New student orientation is introduced

Dr. Patricia Rueckel is appointed to fill the newly created position of Dean of Women.  

University purchases Halcyon House (3406 Prospect Street) for use as a women’s residence hall because of the increasing number of women students. The completion of Darnall as a women’s dorm makes ownership unnecessary and the house is sold in 1966 

Kober-Cogan serves as the University’s first coed dorm starting in the fall. Women are housed on the top floors, while medical residents who are all men occupy the second floor

Laurian Cardinal Rugambwa of Tanganyika becomes the first African to receive an honorary degree from the University




Norma Holloway Johnson becomes the first African American woman to graduate from the Law Center

Mary Jo Bane, F’1963, becomes the first woman editor of the Foreign Service Courier (a student magazine)

Harry Thomas Campbell becomes the first African American admitted to the College. The College is the last of Georgetown’s schools to integrate

First "Jack" the bulldog arrives on campus in the fall. The students want to name him "Hoya" but he refuses to answer to anything other than "Jack"

University reports that it has 229,000 square feet of fallout shelter space (including 13,000 square feet in Healy Basement) that could accommodate 15,000-20,000 people. This is seen as adequate to take care of all the students and many residents in the Georgetown area




Three Georgetown students, one of whom is African American, are refused service in an Arlington, VA, diner on February 12. They return with 12 other students the next day and are arrested after a sit-in

East Campus Student Council passes a resolution on April 27 in support of integration and in support of the students who participated in the February 13 sit-in

Group of 50-75 Peace Corp trainees, students and Jesuit scholastics leave from campus to join the March on Washington on August 28. The University declines to sponsor an official Georgetown delegation

Georgetown begins a year-long celebration of its 175th anniversary. It adopts Wisdom and Discovery for a Dynamic World as the anniversary theme

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, the de facto First Lady of South Vietnam, visits on October 19, 1963

Ray Charles performs in McDonough Gym, November 2

East Campus Student Council and the Washington Club sponsor an intercollegiate workshop in November in the Hall of Nations in the Walsh Building on the topic of Can Integration Come too Fast?

Students gather in the Quadrangle on November 22, after news reaches campus of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy for a Mass said by John F. Devine, S.J., Director of the Student Personnel Office, from the porch of Old North 




One of The Hoya’s entertainment reporters conducts an interview with The Beatles who are in Washington for their first live concert appearance in the U.S. The interview is printed in the February 20 issue of the newspaper

More than 6000 people participate in a University-hosted a prayer meeting in McDonough Gym for pending civil rights legislation in Congress in April

Gerard J. Campbell, S.J. is appointed President of Georgetown. He serves in this role until 1968

After retiring as President, Edward B. Bunn is appointed as the first (and to this point the only) Chancellor of the University

Georgetown University Community Action Coalition (GUCAC) is established to coordinate various student community service projects. By the fall, it is the largest student group on campus  

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