Remarks at The Corp 50th Anniversary Gala
February 19, 2022
Smithsonian American Art Museum – Luce Center Gallery
Good evening. It is good to be with all of you this evening. What a celebration!
For five decades, The Corp has been making an impact in our Georgetown community, and I could not be more honored to be with all of you in celebration.
I wish to express my deep gratitude to Matt Davis, Harper Thomas, and the entire Corp Board of Directors for your leadership—and for the invitation to be a part of this special gathering. Thank you for all your efforts to convene this wonderful celebration. To all of the Georgetown alumni and to each current Corp team member here tonight—it’s great to be with you.
Thank you to The Corp’s Alumni Advisory Committee for your engagement and support. I wish to especially recognize Bennie Smith (C’86), for his contributions as Chair of this Committee and for his efforts to collect and share the history of The Corp.
And finally, I’d like to thank my Georgetown colleagues who are here tonight—and a special word of recognition to Julia Farr (C’88), the Executive Director of our Alumni Association, and Marc Fournier, our Vice President of Auxiliary Services and Real Estate.
We celebrate tonight—the past, present and the future of The Corp. Five decades ago, a group of Georgetown students came together with a transformative idea—a business, by students, for students. Over the years, The Corp has sought to embrace that which could best serve their fellow students—from records and VHS tapes…Coca Cola and ice cream…to coffee and avocado toast—as a shuttle service, a grocery store, a catering service…and a philanthropic organization.
In these endeavors, you have been guided, always, by your motto—students serving students. The Corp has provided a context for important lessons in teamwork, business, and leadership. Countless students have gained new memories, friendships, and life-long lessons of service.
The largest entirely student-run corporation, you have shaped the life of our community in ways that only this special organization could. You are integral to who we are, as a Georgetown community. I’ve seen this throughout my time here at Georgetown—over several decades now, since I was first introduced to The Corp as a student.
You have been part of our most special moments on campus.
My personal favorite—in late March 1984, the Georgetown Hoyas Men’s Basketball game had just marched through the first two rounds of the tournament and were heading to Seattle for the Final Four. At the time, I was serving as the assistant to the president, Father Timothy Healy. On the Monday following the final eight, just a few days before we were to fly out to Seattle, Father Healy said to me—we have to find a way to bring students out to Kingdome for the NCAA Championships. He made a call to his colleague—the president of Seattle University—another Jesuit university—and secured the gymnasium as a place for our students to stay.
I made a call to the leadership of The Corp to see if we could charter a plane for 300 students to attend the game. And as always, The Corp leadership rose to the occasion and we had a flight that brought our students out for what was an unforgettable weekend—when we won the National Championship.
With the formation of The Corp fifty years ago, you opened up new possibilities for us, as a University community. You created a new context for students to engage one another—a new way for them to experience what it means to be members of the Georgetown community.
You allowed us—you allowed Georgetown—to become something new. We are not the same place we were fifty years ago, and The Corp has grown alongside the University, as the needs of its students, and our campuses have changed.
This work continues now—in important ways, after some of the most complex years in The Corps’ fifty-year history—through the leadership of the current generation: Matt and Harper, and Liam, and Aaron, the entire Corp Board, and the contributions of every member of the Corp team.
Let me say what a pleasure and a privilege it is to be here with you, on this night of celebration, for The Corp and for our Georgetown community. Thank you again for the opportunity to join you this evening. Congratulations of five decades. We look forward to another fifty years, and beyond. Thank you.