It is hard to believe that we transitioned to a virtual learning environment just over two months ago. At the time, none of us could have anticipated where we would be today, particularly our graduating class. As many of you may know, this past weekend would have been our commencement ceremony. We are so proud of the Georgetown Law Class of 2020. Their resilience, compassion, and commitment throughout this unprecedented time has been unmatched.
While we are still planning for a time when we will gather safely to celebrate the Class of 2020, we could not let this moment pass without honoring our graduating students. I invite you to watch the video below, which pays tribute to this extraordinary cohort of new Georgetown Lawyers. Knowing what a joyous occasion our commencement always is, I truly missed seeing our graduates and their proud families, friends, and professors all together this past weekend. At the same time, I know that you will join me in congratulating our students on this remarkable achievement and welcoming them to the Georgetown Alumni family.
Community in Action
Our students also continue to inspire me with their determination to help others struggling in this pandemic. In this story, we highlight a few, notably Mark Vatch (L’20), who has been volunteering on the front lines as a New York emergency medical technician. He expressed his gratitude to the school for having his back as he juggled completing his coursework with going out on ambulance runs, saying, “One of the reasons I chose Georgetown is because they’re very big into commitment to service of others.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Others featured in the story are Brianna Arscott Grant (L’22), who is delivering food to sick and elderly people in New York; and Tamar Hoffman (L’22) and Jack Hsia (L’22), who are using their legal skills to help tenants here in DC fight for stronger renter protections during the crisis. I know that you’ll agree that the students highlighted in this story, along with the many others who are doing this type of work, embody the true spirit of Georgetown.
Another extraordinary example of our community rising to the challenge during this crisis is the response we have seen to helping our most at-risk students. To date, we have raised nearly $100,000 for the Student Emergency Fund set up to help our students who are facing unexpected expenses caused by the pandemic. We have received donations from alumni, faculty, staff, and even current students, whose gifts are going to meet the urgent needs of many students. Requests for help have included food support, help with rent, and unexpected medical expenses. We continue to see an increase in requests and I thank all members of the Georgetown Law community who have helped our students through this difficult time. If you would like to make a contribution to the Emergency Fund, please follow this link.
Everyone is feeling the economic repercussions of this pandemic, and Georgetown University is no exception. We are undertaking major efforts to reduce expenses University wide, as outlined by this last week’s message from President DeGioia. Please know that we are doing our best to minimize the impact of these measures on our colleagues and to safeguard the services, resources, and commitment to our community that underpin our educational mission.
I am sure many of you are facing similar pressures in your workplaces and lives, and I encourage you to stay connected to your Georgetown network through this challenging time. Please visit the alumni resource pages prepared by Georgetown Law and Georgetown University. You’ll find a great range of materials, from career services to online events showcasing Georgetown’s academic and cultural richness. I’ll mention especially the new Law Center hub at Hoya Gateway, a valuable networking site exclusive to the Georgetown community.
If you haven’t yet, please take a moment to fill out this Georgetown Law Career Survey, where you can indicate any career-related support you may be able to provide to our new graduates and current students, from job listings to summer internships to willingness to offer information and advice. As you can imagine, the employment landscape for our newest alumni has changed dramatically in the last couple of months, so we appreciate all the help that you have already given, and all that is yet to come.
Thank you for reading, and I send my very best wishes to you and your family and friends.
William M. Treanor
Dean and Executive Vice President
Paul Regis Dean Leadership Chair