By Ian A.
Hoya Staff Writer
Dream Lives on," Hoya Sports Editor John Regan wrote on April
2, 1982, just after the Hoyas lost the NCAA Basketball Championship
to UNC, 63-62. Just two short years later, that dream came true,
when Patrick Ewing (CAS '85), Michael Williams, Reggie Williams
and the legendary John Thompson brought home the championship. Just
as many of today's basketball fans know of the Hoyas of 1984, most
of what Georgetown is today can find its roots in the 1980s.
At the turn
of the decade the concept of a Village C had not yet come to the
drawing board. Likewise, The Leavey Center was still eight years
away and not yet planned. The Intercultural Center was almost finished,
as was Alumni Square.
The news of
the 1980s was also key in shaping the Georgetown of today.
Rev. Leo O'Donovan,
S.J., ended the 1989 bicentennial celebration with his inauguration
as the 47th president of Georgetown University, replacing Rev. Timothy
Healy, S.J., who resigned to accept the position of President of
the New York Public Library. Healy had become Georgetown's president
13 years earlier in 1976.
freshmen and sophomores were just being born, Georgetown was breaking
into a new decade. A decade The Hoya once entitled "GU's Decade
And the university
surely grew. Over the course of the decade tuition rose from $12,600
to near $20,000. The university raised over $180 million in an eight-year-long
financial campaign in an effort to defray the cost of the massive
building on campus throughout the '80s.
In 1979 Gay
People of Georgetown University filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior
Court against Georgetown for discrimination. The suit lasted until
1988, when GPGU won the discrimination suit and the university was
legally forced to recognize the group. In the same year, The Stewards,
a secretive conservative group, was exposed in student publication
and later in national newspapers. The New Press, Georgetown's first
women's journal went to press for the first time during the decade.
the decade, most Washington residents would recall the "14th
Street Bridge Incident," where an airplane taking off from
National Airport barely avoided crashing into the bridge, crushed
cars with its wheels and then landed in the Potomac River, injuring
only some passengers on the plane. Concern grew among Georgetowners,
as flight paths of many National Airport-bound airplanes pass directly
over the university.
hit campus was hardly positive on May 2, 1980, when The Hoya announced
the arrest of 22 people related to a drug sting on the university
campus. Fourteen of those arrested were student, two were employees
of the university, one was "associated with the university,"
and two others were from George Washington and American Universities,
respectively. Metro Police reported finding cocaine, LSD and marijuana
among the various residences they searched. Estimates put the value
of the cocaine alone at close to $100,000.
was negative as well after a sophomore transfer student fell from
his Healy dorm room, onto the brick walkway in front of the building
in November of 1980. He died just hours later from internal injuries.
The next semester a student suffering from a seizure at Yates Field
House was forced to wait 25 minutes for D.C. Fire and Rescue to
respond to a 911 call. Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Services
at that point didn't exist, however both posed important reasons
and encouraged the university to recognize a then-small student
group known as GERMS. It was 1982 when they won the war for recognition.
It was four
years later when two major news stories hit the front page of The
Hoya in one issue. Georgetown's Board of Directors voted to divest
from all investment in South Africa in response to apartheid, after
much protest from student advocates. In the same issue the D.C.
government raised the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 citing "blackmail"
from the federal government regarding Federal Highway funding. A
"grandfather clause" spared most GU students from losing
their drinking privileges that year. That particular issue has encouraged
much debate over a fitting alcohol policy for the university.
Casaroli, the Vatican's Secretary of State was among some of the
most prominent visitors to Georgetown University during the decade.
Others included ex-CIA Director and former President George Bush,
and Former President Jimmy Carter.
weren't the only guests that visited Georgetown. February 27, 1987
brought record amounts of snowfall to Washington, D.C. closing the
university and killing power in Alumni Square and many other off-campus
residences. More importantly to many who know Georgetown through
the movies, the third installment in the Exorcist trilogy was filmed
here during the spring and summer of 1989, with its release in 1990.
drama and events that made the 1980s at Georgetown what they were,
shaped the future. What we know as the daily grind of Georgetown
was shaped significantly by this recent history.