Once upon a time Ben Franklin convinced Pope Pius VI to appoint John Carroll, a Jesuit, as the head of the Catholic Church in the brand new United States of America. Jesuits like to build schools. In 1789 John Carroll founded Georgetown.
A few years later Georgetown found itself sitting on the border of north and south with half its student body joining one army, and half the other. Once the guns stopped firing the school adopted both blue and grey as their official colors.
How bipartisan of them.
This post civil war period became known as Georgetown’s second founding as the new president, Patrick Healy, expanded the school and more or less made it the elite institution it is today.
Interesting guy this Healy.
Healy’s dad was an Irish guy who owned a plantation in Macon Georgia, including a biracial slave named Mary Eliza. These two lived as common law husband and wife and had three kids. Legally, those kids were slaves, including Patrick.
Mr. Healy Sr. not considering his kids slaves, or even black for that matter, sent the kids up north for good catholic schooling free from the legal issues in the South. Patrick eventually became a Jesuit and earned a PhD in Belgium. He was in Belgium because being mixed race right before the civil war was not exactly fun or conducive to continued education in America.
Upon his return to the States Healy led Georgetown into the 20th century and was hailed as a fine Catholic son of Ireland. Sort of.
History is never a straight line.
Never a straight line as demonstrated by Georgetown alumni Bill Clinton’s wandering path to influence and power, and Alan Iverson’s drive to the basket and later a drive to multiple court rooms.
But we shouldn’t only look at Clinton and Iverson, we could also look at Justice Scalia, Bradley Cooper, or any of the other 17,000 who attend the school yearly.
Speaking of those 17,ooo students, they are called “Hoyas”. What exactly that is, is debatable. These (below) are Hoyas:
Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, and Dikembe Mutombo were also Hoyas.