Georgetown University began with the vision of John Carroll, an American-born, European-educated Jesuit priest who returned to the United States in 1773 with the goal of securing the future of American Catholicism through education — in particular, through the establishment of a preeminent Catholic place of higher learning.
As America’s first Catholic bishop and a strong supporter of the American Revolution, Carroll firmly believed that a Catholic institution could make a major contribution to the political, cultural, and educational life of the fledgling nation. In 1789, he acquired the deed to a plot of land overlooking the Potomac River outside the village of George-Town for the “Academy at George-Town.” The school was, in the emerging tradition of American religious tolerance, to be open to “every class of citizens” and students of “every religious profession.”
Carroll saw Georgetown as an academically rigorous Catholic academy with a diverse student body. The vision of John Carroll continues to be realized today in a distinctive educational institution — a national University rooted in the Catholic faith and Jesuit tradition, committed to spiritual inquiry, engaged in the public sphere, and invigorated by religious and cultural pluralism.
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Text courtesy of www.Georgetown.edu
Photos courtesy of Melissa Conners