Students Who Can’t be Home Get Campus Thanksgiving

Posted in: G-Town News- Nov 25, 2010 Comments Off on Students Who Can’t be Home Get Campus Thanksgiving

November 25, 2010 –About 250 Georgetown students who live too far away to be home for Thanksgiving were welcomed with turkey and all the trimmings Nov. 24 at the university president’s annual dinner.

“I’m from Iowa, and although I can’t go home for Thanksgiving this year I’m really happy to be celebrating Thanksgiving with other Hoyas,” said Emily Gaard (C’11). “It’s fun to still have Thanksgiving dinner with my Georgetown family even though I won’t be with my family back at home.”

The dinner, held at the university’s Leo O’Donovan Hall, is particularly popular among the university’s graduate students, whose rigorous schedules often don’t permit them to return home, as well as international students.

Experiencing Community

“I’m staying [on campus] over the holiday break to study,” said Joseph Perez, who will graduate in 2011 from Georgetown’s Experimental Medical Studies (GEMS) program in the School of Medicine. “This is a great opportunity to experience the community that is Georgetown. I am pleased to see the university take a personal interest in its students.”

GEMS is a one-year post-baccalaureate experience for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dier Hu (N’14), originally from China, had her first Thanksgiving three years ago at Georgetown, when a friend invited her to attend the annual dinner.

“At that time, I had just started my life in the U.S. and didn’t have any idea about my future in this foreign country,” she explained. “Today, I’m coming to the dinner again to meet the president, not as a girl who doesn’t know anything, but as a Georgetown student thankful for the opportunity to study and live here.”

Expressing Gratitude

President John J. DeGioia, his wife, Theresa, and their son, J.T., host the dinner every year.

“We find it to be an opportunity to express gratitude for the unique contribution of each member of the university community, for the blessings in life, and for the ability to engage with other Georgetown students in a spirit of dialogue and understanding across diverse personal traditions and values,” DeGioia said.

At the dinner, the president noted that, “Those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving came here not just in search of freedom – but in search of tolerance.

Building Bridges

“This is the heritage of Thanksgiving. And it is up to each of us to advance that heritage by helping to foster understanding … and by helping to build bridges between cultures and communities of faith.”

As the students picked up their forks and knives, he added, “Tonight, what I am most grateful for is simply being able to join with you to celebrate our blessings … this community … and Thanksgiving.”

Comments are closed.