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Hoya Saxa! Back to school, never shared photos and a sense of belonging....

In my last blog post, I promised to explain where the term “Hoya Saxa” originates from, and this I believe, is also a perfect place to talk more about one of my favorite subjects in general....Georgetown University!

So, first off, the cry “Hoya Saxa!” is the official yell of Georgetown University. (as someone schooled at home, this was quite a foreign concept!)

Hoya is an Ancient Greek word usually transliterated from οἵα as “hoia” from the word hoios. Hoios means 'such' or 'what' as in 'what manner of', and is used in certain biblical quotations…basically, it means “WHAT ROCKS!” Okay. So all that is great and good and explains…not much. I will gladly cheer the term at a school game, or in response to a fellow Hoya out-and-about, and yet every time I still giggle at it’s non-meaning.

There are so many unique and quirky aspects of Georgetown University and of being a Hoya…and I love every single one of them!

Georgetown College (now University) was founded by Archbishop John Carroll, S.J., in 1789, the same year of the US Constitution (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!) on the banks of the Potomac River in what was then Maryland. The first classes were held in 1792, and there were only two students at that time. By summer of that same year, attendance had grown to over 40 students, hailing from all around the world. When people think about Georgetown, they typically begin to list extensive facts about its respected standing among academic institutions. They talk about how it is the most recruited school on Wall Street. How it is the most prominent school in the Foreign Service and the 2nd most represented school in the U.S Congress (after Harvard). The University offers unparalleled access to internships and networking opportunities within our nation’s capital, and there really is NO telling who you will meet at a mixer, BBQ or coffee hour. Georgetown boasts a strong academic reputation (seriously, my classmates are so terribly bright it's scary!) and prides itself on world renowned programs in international relations, business, and law. Although the atmosphere can be competitive, it is also welcoming, diverse and encourages collaboration and unique perspectives.

In short, Georgetown is a place for those who dream of more.

In one year of grad school, this experience has enriched my life beyond anything I ever imagined, and pushed me to become a better person, more open minded in some things—and definitely solid in many of my beliefs and convictions.

However, the best part about being at Georgetown is not something that can be itemized on a list of top private universities.

It is a feeling, a spark and an energy that is unique to the campus and community. As a Jesuit institution, Georgetown is grounded in a nearly 500-year old educational tradition inspired by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. The school’s concept of “Faith that does justice” is founded in the Gospel and Catholic social teaching, the Society of Jesus, which placed at the center of its mission a commitment to “the service of faith and the promotion of justice.” Since the 1970’s, Georgetown has named this priority as a faith that does justice, linking the authentic following of the Gospel of Jesus with an obligation to address the social realities of poverty, oppression and injustice in today’s world.

Personally, I feel this commitment by Georgetown to faith formation in all aspects of academic and community life. The people at our school work towards that promotion of justice to advance the common good around the globe every day. They are committed to service to others, and this is what sets Georgetown apart. That atmosphere and attitude is where I found my academic “home.”

Georgetown has inspired and motivated me to do something greater and more ambitious with the #dearcowgirl community and to search for more ways to help and serve others. For that, I will be eternally grateful!

Okay, enough of the GT history lesson…it’s back to school in the coming week for this cowgirl and I am THRILLED and excited to head back to the Hilltop!

To celebrate, here are some memories below from my first week (orientation etc) last year in August.

At the time, I was admittedly equal parts terrified, thrilled and almost in a haze of disbelief that my dream had come true. Last year, I timidly ventured into new spaces. I was unsure about belonging, fitting in and worried about being “too much.

This year, I enter into the semester with a renewed sense of excitement and joy, gratitude and confidence. It’s been a heck of a ride already….HOYA SAXA!



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