Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
I am writing to share important news about Georgetown College.
Chet Gillis, Ph.D., Dean of Georgetown College, will conclude his service as Dean in June 2017. Chet has served the College in this role since 2009 and he will return to our faculty as a member of our Department of Theology after a sabbatical. I wish to express my deepest gratitude to him for his leadership and ongoing commitment to our University community.
As Dean of the College, Chet has overseen the implementation of many new academic programs, including new majors in African-American Studies; Justice and Peace; Biological Physics; and Environmental Biology; and new minors in Business; Film and Media Studies; Journalism; Education, Inquiry, and Justice; Philosophy and Bioethics; Cognitive Science; and Korean. Through his leadership, we have increased the number of Ignatius seminars offered to first-year students and doubled the size of our Computer Science Department.
Chet has also led a number of efforts to engage more deeply with members of our alumni community. Under his guidance, the College exceeded its goal in the For Generations to Come campaign by over $10 million dollars and strategically reimagined the work of the College Board of Advisors, significantly increasing its membership. Chet also played an important role in creating a space in the Walsh Building for the new de la Cruz Gallery of Art, which will open in 2017 thanks to the generosity of Alberto de la Cruz (B’89, P’17) and his wife, Maria (C’87, P’17).
Prior to his service as Dean, Chet served our University as Interim Dean and as the Amaturo Chair in Catholic Studies in the Department of Theology. He is the founding director of the “Program on the Church and Interreligious Dialogue” within our Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, and served as Chair of the Department of Theology from 2001 to 2006 and Director of the Doctor of Liberal Studies program from 2006 to 2008.
In the time ahead, I will appoint a committee to begin a search for Chet’s successor. During our upcoming academic year we will have opportunities to gather as a community and celebrate the many ways Chet has enriched and strengthened our University.
Please join me in expressing our sincerest gratitude to Chet for his deep care and dedication to the members of our Georgetown community and wishing him all the best as he prepares to conclude his service as dean.
John J. DeGioia