Q&A With Theresa DeGioia
She holds a position never held before at Georgetown University: spouse of the university president. She arrived as Theresa Miller from Las Vegas on a Steve Wynn scholarship to major in psychology and minor in government Georgetown. Now, she, her husband Jack and son John Thomas (“J.T,” named for his grandfathers) reside in Hillandale.
What was your best experience as a college student?
Meeting interesting and talented students from across the country and around the world, and participating in student government while studying in the nation’s capital were the best experiences one could imagine. That and an internship in the Senate prepared me to work in the office of National Service at the White House under President George H. W. Bush. And, of course, I loved watching Georgetown basketball games.
Did you find the East Coast very different?
Extremely different! It was a bit of a faster pace, but I loved it. And I must admit I didn’t know Safeways didn’t have slot machines or poker machines until my first visit to the Social Safeway.
Do you still have family in Las Vegas?
My parents are still in Las Vegas. I have three younger brothers, two of whom went to Georgetown. Mark was in the School of Foreign Service; John was in the Business School. The only one who didn’t go to Georgetown is Paul, who went to Carnegie Mellon to study architecture, as we don’t have an architecture program at Georgetown.
Besides being a mother, what is your main job these days?
I earned an MSW from Catholic University, and I concentrated on children and adolescents. So, I’ve tried to stay involved in community service issues by serving on the boards of organizations like Catholic Charities and the Washington Jesuit Academy. And I love to volunteer with the students at Holy Trinity School.
How involved do you get with university projects?
As we’re the first family to serve in this role, we try to participate together in as many events as possible. My favorite ones involve the students, such as welcoming them to campus during freshman move-in day and celebrating Thanksgiving with all the undergrads and graduate students who stay in D.C. for Thanksgiving.
How did you meet Jack? When and where did you get married?
We met during my undergraduate years at Georgetown, and our first date (a couple of years after I graduated) was with his family and mine at a Georgetown basketball game in Las Vegas! We were married in 1994 (20 years in November) at Holy Trinity Church -- that’s our parish.
Will your son be going to Georgetown University?
I would love it. Although with all the Georgetown events he regularly attends, he may want to go elsewhere. I suppose I should understand, as I went across the country myself for college.
After Jack’s presidency, what else would you two like to do?
Are you kidding? The furthest I can think right now is helping J.T. prepare for high school applications!