Georgetown University Moves McCourt School Celebration to Campus

Paul Tagliabue, chairman of Georgetown University's board of directors, and Frank McCourt.
Robert Devaney
Paul Tagliabue, chairman of Georgetown University's board of directors, and Frank McCourt.

Officials, alumni and friends of Georgetown University gathered Oct. 9 to celebrate the creation of the McCourt School of Public Policy, endowed through a gift of $100 million -- the largest gift in the university’s history -- from alumnus Frank H. McCourt, Jr.

Emceeing the dinner, PBS News anchor Judy Woodruff greeted the large group in a tent on Copley Lawn next to Healy Circle. She said that "the shutdown could not shut down" the party for the McCourt School -- the event had to be moved from the Library of Congress because of the partial government shutdown. Several noted the irony that a new school for public policy was founded during a government shutdown.

Among the notables at the dinner were Cardinal Theodore McCarrack, who blessed the crowd and "especially members of Congress." Speaking of the new school, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said, "Let us pray some members of Congress will come here and study."

Georgetown alumnus Rep. Charles Dingell, D-Mich., spoke of the "low charade" in the House of Representatives, where evidently "the values of Georgetown are needed." He is the longest-serving member of the House.

"Dad would love it," McCourt said of the new school, "founded in his loving memory," as he saluted university officials for their collaboration.

According to the university, "the McCourt School of Public Policy will leverage Georgetown’s location in Washington, D.C., its relationships with global leaders and its legacy of public service to launch a new approach to public policy. The McCourt School will contribute policy-based, data-driven research and solutions to the urgent policy issues of our time."

"A new school for the common good is born," continued McCourt, who pointed out the inscription front and center in Healy Hall's Gaston Hall: "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Inque Hominum Salutem." Its meaning -- "For the greater glory of God and the salvation of humanity" -- is a key principle of the school, McCourt said.

Likewise, university president John DeGioia thanked the McCourt family for its gift, saying, "We begin in gratitude," and also repeated the Jesuits' motto of "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam."

Rev. Kevin O'Brien, S.J., closed the celebration dinner with an old Irish blessing: "May the road rise up to meet you./May the road rise to meet you./May the wind be always at your back./May the sun shine warm upon your face./The rains fall soft upon your fields./And until we meet again,/May God hold you in the palm of his hand."

And with that, McCourt invited his Class of '75 friends to an after party at the Tombs.

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Thu, 2 Oct 2014 08:27:59 -0400

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