Hats Off to a Georgetown Gentleman

November 28, 2007

Sometime in the early 1980's, I had the pleasure of meeting a senior Georgetown alum from the state of California. It had to have been either at the Big East tournament or at an NCAA basketball tournament game. He was to become a regular at both. This genial Hoya fan must have been about 60 years old at the time, and while his hair had turned entirely white, he was as spirited a Hoya fan as I would ever meet. His name was Robert E. McDonough, son of Georgetown.

Following a long and productive life, Bob passed away one week ago.

Bob, a proud member of the Foreign Service class of 1949, was a self-made man. He was good to Georgetown, giving generously of his time and resources. I worked closely with Bob when he served as a member of both the Alumni Board of Governors and the Alumni Senate. I cheered at the gala dinner in Los Angeles when the Alumni Association recognized him in 1992 with the John Carroll award. Some years later, I had many conversations with Bob and his representatives about his wish to do something special for Georgetown. He ultimately chose to endow the business school.

Barbara Crocker '73 with Bob and Simone at the 2000 John Carroll weekend in Boca Raton

I got to attend several of the August send-off gatherings that Bob and his wife Simone hosted each year at their home in Capistrano Beach for first-year students. Of course, the setting was simply spectacular. But there was a special quality to these Hoya send-offs. Bob wanted every student on their way to the Hilltop to know that they had an obligation after graduation to become engaged and to give back to Georgetown throughout their lives. He was not shy about sharing this message with his young guests. And it was well received. By the way, those students usually came back for this event each year thereafter.

Bob visited with Athletic Director Bernard Muir during Homecoming 2005


During the past decade, Bob and Simone welcomed both the men's basketball team and lacrosse team to his home on the beach. I was fortunate to accompany both teams on their visit. And for many years, I also usually took the telephone calls from Bob come tournament time when he would unfailingly ask about securing Hoya basketball tickets.

Bob welcomed Brodie Merrill '05 and the Hoya lacrosse team to his abode

Just as Bob followed in the footsteps of the prototype California Hoya, Tom Leavey '23 (as in Leavey Center), so will hundreds of Hoyas in the future follow in Bob's footsteps.

But what I will remember most about Bob was his bulldog persistence. He was passionate about Georgetown and wanted to engender more graduates who shared his passion. He spoke of trying to infuse such sentiments into all Hoyas from the time they were admitted, through their years on campus, and throughout their alumni life. Bob consistently advocated this notion for as long as I knew him - over 25 years - and probably longer. As noted above with his beach blanket send-offs, he frequently put his words into action.

At the risk of oversimplification, the quintessence of Bob McDonough, for me, can be reduced completely -- to one Georgetown baseball cap. At one of the NCAA tourney weekends in the mid-1980's that Bob attended, he happened to stop by the Hoya headquarters room where Hoya gear was displayed and sold by staff from Yates field house. There, he found and purchased a Georgetown baseball cap that thereafter became part of his official Hoya uniform. He wore it with pride at each game he attended. It was the ultimate Georgetown hat he would tell me repeatedly. Within a few years, as the hat began to show its wear, Bob began asking me if he could get another one just like the original. I checked with Yates and found out they were not carrying the hat any longer. Bob continued to press for a new cap in his own inimitable style -- gently but resolutely. I subsequently contacted the manufacturer to see if they still made this particular cap. They did not. Would they consider reissuing it? No, they would not. More years went by. Bob never stopped asking about the hat. Finally, I asked Bob to bring his hat to campus so I could photograph it. Now armed with a 360-degree view of the headwear, I went to a local supplier and asked him to recreate the masterpiece. When it was done, I felt good - finally, I thought to myself. I sent the cap to Bob. Well, it's good, it's close, but keep working on it, came the reply.


The perfect Hoya hat according to Bob

Bob at 2007 Final Four in Atlanta with Ted Leonsis and GU president Jack DeGioia

The McDonough original


I guess I'll keep on trying to achieve hat perfection. Of course, now I'll never know if I end up reproducing it exactly as Bob wanted. Just like with the hat, Bob's expectations and standards for Georgetown were the highest of anyone I have known. However, after all these years, what I learned from Bob is that it is really not about actually reaching that ideal. It's all about the trying.


Hoya, hoya saxa.

Hoya, hoya Georgetown.

Hoya McDonough, McDonough, McDonough.


Requiescat in pace.


RETURN to VFTH Home


In 2005, Bob & Simone McDonough welcomed the 40+ traveling party of Georgetown's lacrosse team

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October 20
7:00 PM
Navy
Cooper Field
October 20
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 21
L, 17-9
Fordham Family Weekend
Cooper Field
RECAP

Watch: Patriot League Network
October 21
W, 3-0
Seton Hall
Shaw Field
RECAP

BEDN
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October 21
L, 10-0
Uconn
Storrs, Conn.
RECAP

Live Stats
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October 21
L, 3-0
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
RECAP
October 21
All Day
MAISA Womens Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
October 21
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 21
All Day
Kings Point Dinghy Open
Kings Point, N.Y.
October 22
1:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
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October 22
9:30 AM
Richmond
Cooper Field
October 22
11:30 AM
Elon
Cooper Field
October 22
12:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Fairfield, Conn.

Live Stats
October 22
2:30 PM
Virginia Tech
Cooper Field
October 22
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
All Day
MAISA Womens Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
October 22
All Day
Kings Point Dinghy Open
Kings Point, N.Y.
October 22
All Day
Head of the Charles HW/LW
Boston, Mass.

Results
Championship 4+ - 1:16 p.m. Lightweight 4+ - 1:16 p.m. Lightweight 8+ - 1:48 p.m.
October 22
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 22
All Day
Head of the Charles
Boston, Mass.

Results
Lightweight 4+ - 1:30 p.m.
October 23
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 24
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 25
2:00 PM
Providence
Shaw Field

BEDN
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October 26
2:00 PM
Xavier
Shaw Field

BEDN
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October 27
2:00 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
October 27
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
October 28
1:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
October 28
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
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October 28
11:00 AM
James Madison
Cooper Field
October 28
12:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
October 28
1:00 PM
Maryland
Cooper Field
October 28
3:00 PM
Stony Brook
Cooper Field
October 28
All Day
Head of the Schuylkill LW only
Philadelphia, Pa.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
War Memorial Regatta
Geneva, N.Y.
October 29
1:00 PM
La Salle
Cooper Field
October 29
2:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
October 29
All Day
War Memorial Regatta
Geneva, N.Y.
October 29
All Day
Princeton Chase
Princeton, N.J.
October 29
All Day
Princeton Chase HW/LW
Princeton, N.J.
October 30
All Day
USF Intercollegiate
TPC Tampa, Tampa, Fla.
October 31
All Day
USF Intercollegiate
TPC Tampa, Tampa, Fla.
November 1
2:00 PM
Creighton
Shaw Field

BEDN
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November 3
4:00 PM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 3
6:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 3
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 4
2:00 PM
Lafayette Homecoming
Cooper Field
November 4
10:00 AM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 4
6:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 4
All Day
Head of the Occoquan HW/LW
Fairfax Station, Va.
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
All Day
Head of the Occoquan
Fairfax Station, Va.
November 5
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 10
6:00 PM
Marquette
Milwuakee, Wis.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 11
12:00 PM
Bucknell
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 11
All Day
Coed Atlantic Coast Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
November 11
All Day
ICSA Match Racing National Championships
Charleston, S.C.
November 11
All Day
Womens Atlantic Coast Championships
New London, Conn.
November 12
12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
November 12
2:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
November 12
All Day
ICSA Match Racing National Championships
Charleston, S.C.
November 12
All Day
Coed Atlantic Coast Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
November 12
All Day
Womens Atlantic Coast Championships
New London, Conn.
November 14
7:00 PM
Howard
McDonough Arena
November 15
7:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
November 16
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Baltimore, Md.
November 17
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 17
6:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
November 18
1:00 PM
Colgate Senior Day
Cooper Field
November 18
12:00 PM
UMES
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
November 18
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 18
6:00 PM
Creighton
McDonough Arena
November 18
All Day
IC4A Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
ECAC Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 19
2:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
November 19
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 24
8:30 PM
Auburn
Nashville, Tenn.
November 25
6:00 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.

TBD
TBD
November 25
8:30 PM
Chattanooga
Nashville, Tenn.
November 26
3:00 PM
Northwestern
Nashville, Tenn.
November 28
8:30 PM
Maine
Capital One Arena

FS1/FS2
TBD
November 29
7:00 PM
Florida International
McDonough Arena
December 3
6:30 PM
Coppin State
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 7
8:30 PM
Howard
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 7
7:00 PM
Minnesota
McDonough Arena
December 9
2:30 PM
North Carolina A&T
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
December 10
2:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C.
December 16
12:30 PM
Syracuse
Capital One Arena

CBS
TBD
December 20
7:00 PM
North Texas
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
December 21
6:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
December 23
12:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 27
6:30 PM
Butler
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 28
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
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December 30
4:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
TBD
December 30
2:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
January 2
9:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
TBD
January 2
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 5
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 6
12:00 PM
Creighton
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
January 6
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 7
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FS1
TBD
January 10
7:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 12
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
January 13
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
TBD
January 13
1:00 PM
American/George Washington
Washington, D.C. (American University)
January 14
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch