Freshmen Welcomed to Georgetown at New Student-Athlete Orientation

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Aug. 28, 2012

WASHINGTON - Georgetown University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed, along with many head coaches and staff members, gathered together in the Leo J. O'Donovan Dining Hall on Saturday afternoon to welcome nearly 200 incoming freshmen student-athletes, and their families, on move-in weekend on the Hilltop.

The annual New Student-Athlete Orientation welcomes incoming freshmen and their parents to hear from Reed as well as University President John J. DeGioia and to meet with other administrators and coaches.

Reed first introduced Fr. Kevin O'Brien, S.J., Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Georgetown, who provided a welcome. "As the nation's oldest Catholic and Jesuit University, Georgetown has a spirit," O'Brien said. "That spirit means that we do things differently. We stand for something greater than ourselves: the greater glory of God and the service of others. We often use the Latin phrase `cura personalis,' which means that we care for the mind, the body and the spirit of each of our students."

Before introducing DeGioia, Reed noted the uniqueness of having two former student-athletes, Paul Tagliabue, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and DeGioia, the University President, in such roles.

Reed then introduced DeGioia, who welcomed all of the freshmen and their families. "This is a weekend of extraordinary excitement," DeGioia said. "I hope you get the feel for some of this as you are settling into residence halls and getting to know roommates and others that are part of the Georgetown Athletics program.

"It's a pleasure to welcome all of you, our new students who are going to be part of the Georgetown Athletics experience and your families for this new beginning. You've been preparing for this moment for much of your lives and we're honored to have such talented and committed young women and men representing Georgetown."

DeGioia noted the journey that Georgetown's incoming freshmen had taken to get where they are and how they stand out among the many athletes competing in college sports.

"When you think about your own journeys, long before you ever entered Healy gates and joined our community, you had already taken the first steps of a unique and truly exceptional journey in athletic participation," DeGioia said. "Of almost 20 million elementary school aged students, only seven, or one out of three, will go on to play sports in high school. Of that seven million, only 380,000, one out of every 18 high school athletes, ever go on to engage in collegiate athletics. Of those, less than half, about 150,000, one out of every 45, have the opportunity to participate at the D1 level.

"Each of you is here because of your talent and your determination, because of your hard work on the field, on tracks and in pools and in the classroom, because of your commitment to become your very best selves."

The final speaker was senior women's lacrosse player Lauren Gray, who recalled being on the Hilltop when she first came to Georgetown as a freshman.

"It's hard for me to believe that three years ago I was sitting where you are today as it feels just like yesterday I was moving into Darnell, setting up my room and preparing for what, I was told, would be the best four years in my life," Gray said. "Now that I only have one year left at Georgetown, looking back at these last three years on the Hilltop, I can't help but think that my last three years was anything but great. Not only have I been fortunate to attend one of the top universities in the country, but I've been fortunate to play the sport I love most."

Gray also spoke of the support that student-athletes receive at Georgetown and that they are now part of a very special family. "Being a student-athlete here at Georgetown has truly made my college experience one of a kind," Gray said. "It is the people that I have met and the community that surrounds me that has allowed me to excel and inspired what I want to be. This is not to say that I haven't faced many challenges over the years. Being a student-athlete requires a lot of time, dedication and heart in order to succeed in the classroom and on the field.

"This school and our athletic program has really helped me not only with these challenges of being a student-athlete, but also has helped me by being my support system throughout these years. What is so unique about not only this school, but our athletic program, is that we are somewhat of a family. For you not only have the support of your teammates and your coaches, but the rest of the University as well. So when you're practicing four hours a day and staying up really late at night just to wake up the next morning and do the same exact same thing all over, you have to remember you're not alone. There will always be someone here to help you and make sure that you have the best possible experience here at Georgetown."

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