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Georgetown University

Located on the banks of the Potomac in Washington D.C., Georgetown University is the country's oldest Jesuit University. Founded in 1789, the university owes its existence to the farsighted vision of Father John Carroll. It was his broad vision and ambitious mission that led to the establishment of a small school with 12 students and a handful of professors in Georgetown, in 1786. The construction of the first university building began in 1788. This building was razed in 1904, and now Ryan Hall occupies the site. The first student admitted was in 1791. Georgetown College was chartered in 1815, and raised to the status of a university. Georgetown College suffered from continual financial difficulties during its early years, and at the time of the Civil War, which had a profound impact upon the university. After the war, students chose to commemorate the actions of their predecessors by adopting blue and gray as the official school colors. By 1871, Georgetown had expanded to include two professional schools. The Medical School was founded in 1850, and the Law Department (now Law Center) in 1870. Georgetown College attained university status in the 19th century during the presidency of Patrick F. Healy, S.J., who was one of the university’s most dynamic presidents, and is often referred to as its second founder. During his tenure, the college transformed from a small liberal arts college into a modern university. The Dental School was established in 1901. To support the University Hospital which had opened in 1898, a nursing school was also started in 1903. The School of Foreign Service, established in 1919, is now known as the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. The University also survived during The Great Depression period by implementing sound financial decisions. After World War II, considerable additions were added to the university. During the post war period, Poulton Hall, McDonough Gym, and St. Mary’s Hall were erected and hired substantial numbers of faculty. In 1957, the School of Business was established to educate undergraduate business students through the integration of liberal arts and professional education. By the end of 1960, Georgetown University became fully coeducational with the admission of women to the College of Arts and Sciences. The year 1980 marked the start of a period of intense growth and prosperity on campus. Under the presidency of its 46th President, Timothy S. Healy, S.J., the University gained a high academic reputation and increased the extent of its physical plant. From these humble beginnings, Georgetown University has grown to an internationally reputed educational institution, drawing around 12,000 students from all 50 states, and more than 100 foreign countries.