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Friday, January 21st, 2000

The Georgetown Expansion Years

By Emily Nash
Hoya Staff Writer

During the 1960s vast advances were made in the area of expansion. Namely, the buildings we now recognize as Reiss, Harbin, Darnall and Lauinger were all constructed.

Under the direction of former University President Edward B. Bunn, S.J., many of these buildings, in addition to Walsh, New South and Kober were built. In a citation conferred on Bunn during his last days as Georgetown's 43rd president, he was commended for leading faculty, students and alumni "in an increasing quest for spiritual and educational achievement." The Intercultural Center, built after his presidency, now bears his name.

The first major expansion project of the 1960s was the science center named for Raymond Reiss, an alumnus of the College. At a groundbreaking ceremony in October of 1960, comedian Bob Hope, whose son Tony was a junior in the College, turned the first shovel of dirt.

Two years later Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Dr. Glen Seaborg delivered the keynote address at the building's dedication and blessing. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including a greenhouse, animal house and many laboratories, the building was intended to bring about the possibility of a "wider scope of training as compared to the rigid Soviet system" and an awareness of the importance of science in the future.

The next major construction project of the decade was a restaurant "to fulfill the longstanding need for a traditional gathering place of leisure and excellent food" for the students, faculty and alumni of Georgetown. Funded by the university's purchase of two buildings on 36th and Prospect Streets, the 1789 Restaurant opened in 1962.

Especially popular with students was the underground restaurant The Tombs, a less expensive place for students to enjoy food and drink. On Sept. 22, 1962, a table was dedicated to Georgetown's oldest singing group, the Chimes. Over 50 Chimes alumni attended the songfest in the basement of the 1789, in what has now become a Georgetown tradition.

Plans for Georgetown's next major construction project began in the fall of 1962 as a response to a housing shortage that plagued the campus during the previous year. During the 1961-62 school year, 400 out of 1,200 students were forced to live off-campus. Though a roving prefect regulated off-campus housing and curfews were still enforced, administrators quickly planned the construction of two new dormitories, one male and one female.

The project, which cost an estimated $5.6 million and was completed in time for the 1964-65 school year, involved the construction of two dormitories that still stand today, Harbin Hall and Darnall Hall.

Named for Dr. George F. Harbin, a 1902 alumnus and math professor at Georgetown, Harbin Hall was designed to "break down the institutional, factory-like atmosphere" that characterized other dorms. With walls painted in "attractive pastel colors," Harbin was noted for its unique cluster format and spacious closets.

Darnall Hall, which opened the same year, was named for the mother of founder John Carroll and housed only women.

The next major building project of the decade was by far the biggest. Plans for a $6 million library were set during the fall of 1966. Designed to "blend with the spirit of Healy and Copley" and with White Gravenor across the lawn, the building was constructed out of concrete and crushed stone.

But expansion efforts did not come without a cost.

With Georgetown's yearly undergraduate tuition now approaching $30,000, it seems difficult to imagine a time when a $100 per year increase caused much of a disturbance. However, the 1960s was a time marked by numerous tuition increases at Georgetown that were necessary to meet the demands of a fast-growing university.

The first of these increases was effective for the 1961-62 school year. Tuition was raised by $200, despite Bunn's claim that "it has always been a tradition at Jesuit schools to keep the tuition as low as possible." Citing difficulties meeting the cost of higher education, the increase was approved. By 1963, the cost of a Georgetown education was $1,350 per year.

Just two years later, students faced another tuition increase of $200, this time to accommodate a five-percent salary increase for full-time faculty members. The raise was the result of discussion among administrators of Jesuit institutions across the country, who were concerned that educators at Jesuit schools were traditionally paid lower salaries than those at comparable secular institutions.

Despite these increases of around 10 percent each, tuition was raised twice more during the remainder of the decade. In the 1967-68 academic year, it was raised $250 and just one year later it was raised $100.

Georgetown hosted many famous musical artists throughout the '60s, including Ray Charles in 1963, Peter, Paul and Mary in 1964, Johnny Mathis in 1966, The Righteous Brothers in 1966, Dionne Warwick in 1967 and Joan Baez at the end of the decade.

John F. Kennedy, Jr., was born at Georgetown University Hospital at 6 p.m. on the evening of Thanksgiving, 1960. President-elect Kennedy came to the hospital the following morning and announced the baby's name to the nation.

In 1961, Georgetown hosted the Intercollegiate Jazz Festival, judged by Dizzie Gillespie, and the university made its television debut on Nov. 19, 1961, as part of a series of films on local colleges and universities.

Three years later, John Glenn came to campus to film a show entitled The Experts Answer on the anniversary of the first U.S. orbital flight on Jan. 17, 1963. The panel included two Georgetown students who asked questions pertaining to the U.S. space program and the Space Race with the Soviets.

1964 marked the 175th Anniversary of Georgetown University, and the celebration of the event included a broadcast message from Pope Paul VI greeting students and faculty in honor of the anniversary. The Pope's speech was heard by 3,100 students who piled into McDonough. Additionally, Hon. Earl Warren, the chief justice of the Supreme Court at the time, spoke on "Law and Public Service" in the first of five anniversary convocations.

The sister of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem spoke on Oct. 19, 1963.

She explained that her brother would fight for the self-sufficiency of his people "in spite of war, with war and against war." She also responded to burning of Buddhist monks, remarking that they were "victims of their own development."

Over the course of the decade, Georgetown students participated in many Civil Rights Events. In 1963, 80 to 100 students marched to Capitol Hill in support of the Civil Rights Bill. These students joined 300 others from American and Howard Universities. A prayer rally took place on April 28, 1964, in McDonough again in a show of support of the Civil Rights Bill. One hundred students protested at the rally but were dispersed by university authorities. In a Hoya survey from the time, 107 students were advocates of the Civil Rights Act, 50 were against it and 145 wanted an amended version of the Civil Rights Act passed.

Roy Wilkens, secretary of NAACP spoke at Georgetown in Gaston Hall, filled to near capacity. Wilkens called the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 a "kindergarten exercise in basic Americanism."

Twenty-five Hoyas joined Martin Luther King Jr. for a march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. Upon his return, one student led a group to the White House to deliver a letter applauding the president for the new voting rights bill signed in response to events in Alabama.

Two Georgetown students were accused of anti-Semitism after one wore a vintage German helmet from World War II to a New York University basketball game. The story got national attention, but Georgetown and NYU jointly determined that there had been no malicious intent. The offending student said he wanted to promote school spirit, and had been unaware that his actions might anger Jewish NYU students.

In the 1960s, the Medical Center began a rigorous expansion program. On Jan. 11, 1968, the university determined that the Med Center would operate as a separate financial entity from the university, since Georgetown couldn't assume responsibility for the $10.8 million expansion project.

In 1967, Georgetown hired non-Catholic faculty members in the theology department - two Protestants and two Rabbis - for the first time in the university's 178-year history.

One year later, William Jefferson Clinton (SFS '68), then a senior in the School of Foreign Service, became the first SFS student in Georgetown history to be named a Rhodes Scholar. He planned to study philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford.

In 1968, a landmark decision was reached when the Board of Directors granted a proposal to admit women to the College class of 1973. Previously, women were only in the school of Nursing, the School of Foreign Service and the Institute of Languages and Linguistics.


July 23, 1962 - Georgetown alum and former Yard president Richard McCooey (CAS '52) establishes an eating club called The Tombs in the basement of 1789.

January 31, 1963 - Jack the Bulldog, the 65-pound mascot, is kidnapped. He is returned two weeks later.

November 2, 1963 - Ray Charles performs in McDonough Gym.

November 21, 1964 - The football team begins play again after a 14-year absence.

1965 - The Business School opens its doors to women.

1968 - The Board of Directors agrees to admit 50 women to the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Black Student Alliance forms.

1969 - The first issue of The Georgetown Voice, founded by Hoya writer Steve Pisinski (CAS '71), appears on campus as an alternative to the then-conservative Hoya.

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