Georgetown University

Washington, DC: What is a Hoya? Dating back to a time in the late 1800s, Georgetown University’s athletic teams and students have been called Hoyas, and it all goes back to an old college football chant. Watching football games from atop a stone wall next to the school’s field, students would chant out the Latin phrase “Hoya Saxa” meaning “What Rocks!” with reference to their team’s rock-hard defense. Over time, the chant stuck and students at Georgetown started calling each other Hoyas.

With a long history of not just quirky football chants but academic excellence, cultural prominence, and extremely high student success rates, Georgetown University still stands today as a beautiful and outstanding college. Having toured the university, I was able to experience campus life and hear first-hand from students about the great advantages and pleasant subtleties of Georgetown.

I arrived at a sprawling university that’s only a stone’s throw from one of the most culturally and politically important cities in the world. A relatively large campus with lots of hills, Georgetown’s beauty is reflected by numerous grand and rustic buildings as well as many cool, modern ones.

With green grass and trees everywhere, the campus has a classic college feel that lends itself to recreation, relaxation, and all sorts of events. Also, there is no lack of shopping or dining. Because of the tremendous campus and close proximity to D.C. and public transportation, the location and living conditions at Georgetown are top notch.

On the tour, I was able to get inside the framework of the school and learn about its real make-up from my tour guide, a sophomore named David. I learned that Georgetown was the first Jesuit university in the United States, but it was also the first to hire a full-time rabbi in addition to other religious clergy. This gives the school a religiously tolerant and welcoming feel. Also, Georgetown was an assembly ground for Union troops during the Civil War, and various presidents including Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama have spoken here.

I observed that classes seem generally very personal, with an average of 20 to 25 students; the professors are welcoming and friendly; and the library has endless resources and large study spaces. My guide explained that on-campus housing is terrific, with a family feeling on every floor of every building. Another important detail, the food, he said, was actually very good, and the school’s dining hall is a great meeting spot to make plans for Saturday night.

I was really wowed by the great features that make Georgetown unique. Obviously with D.C. close by, there’s always something to do, but the school’s great athletics program guarantees there’s plenty of on-campus entertainment too (especially the highly ranked men’s basketball team). Furthermore, the shops and businesses on campus all impressed me, as a large percentage of them are student-run. I was astonished by the nonprofit full-service bank. In addition, I was impressed by the school’s daily newspaper (The Hoya), and the list of extraordinary speakers who visit the school regularly, ranging from foreign leaders to celebrities like Bradley Cooper and David Beckham.

For me, college is all about growing and coming into your own as a person, as well as getting started on the path to success. That’s why I was impressed to learn that 93 percent of Georgetown students participate in internships with top institutions and companies in the area, and more than half of students study abroad. Thus, with so many opportunities to grow and succeed, an exceptional campus that offers a second-to-none college experience, and a fantastic city in your backyard, you can’t ask for more from a university.

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