In Memoriam: Simone Woung, L’97

March 18, 2023

Simone Woung, L’97, Georgetown Law Assistant Dean and Registrar, passed away on March 17 after a brief illness.

“Simone was a beloved colleague and mentor, and her contributions to our campus were many. She was a law student, a student worker, and ultimately she rose to head an office that is central to everything we do, and she did so with remarkable skill, dedication, and leadership.” said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor. “We send our heartfelt condolences to her family during this difficult time.”

Woung earned a J.D. at Georgetown Law in 1997 and worked in Residence Life and Financial Affairs before joining the Office of the Registrar in 2000. After leaving in 2015 to become the University Registrar at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, she returned to Georgetown Law in 2018 as Assistant Dean and Registrar. She served on various University and Law Center committees, and was on the Board of Directors for the National Network of Law School Officers.

Woung was committed to providing quality and professional customer service for all constituents. She worked collaboratively with colleagues to support students throughout their educational journey, while creating rewarding personal and professional relationships along the way.

Through her committee work and advocacy for staff and students, Woung exemplified the Jesuit ideal and Georgetown mission of cura personalis (“care of the whole person”) and the other values that inspired and motivated her to serve the Law Center community for over two decades.

Woung was part of a true Hoya family. Woung’s husband is a graduate of the Georgetown Law LL.M. program and they were married in Dahlgren Chapel on the main campus. Their 9-year-old daughter was born at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and baptized in Dahlgren Chapel.

You may add your personal reflections of Woung that will be included in the In Remembrance section below.

There will be a Memorial Service to celebrate Simone’s life on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. The service will take place at the First Christian Church of Alexandria on 2723 King Street, Alexandria, VA.

In Remembrance

This is devastatingly sad news. Simone was a wonderful and extraordinary person. I served with her on committees where her deep knowledge and love of the school and our students were apparent. She was infinitely patient with my questions and never failed to help me. Honestly, I can’t imagine Georgetown without her. My condolences to her family and to all of us. Her loss is unfathomable.

— Hope Babcock, Professor, Georgetown Law

Dean Simone Woung will be so very missed. Her warmth, professionalism, and commitment to excellence shone in every interaction.

— Jordan Michael Terry , Student, Georgetown Law

Simone was the embodiment of Georgetown Law's best characteristics.

She was supremely capable, determined, compassionate and helpful. Always ready to assist a colleague in need, she was a calming presence in the midst of stormy seas who could be counted upon to make things better. Countless faculty, staff, and especially students benefited from her tireless efforts in advancing Georgetown Law's mission.

I will miss her sense of humor and the laughter we shared. In addition to her administrative excellence, Simone's ever-present support of our Law Center community was another of her admirable strengths.

It is said that the brightest stars burn the fastest. We were fortunate enough to bask in Simone's light for the time we had been given. To her family - thank you for sharing her brilliance with us. You are, and will remain, in our thoughts and prayers.

— Charles Pruett, Assistant Dean, Financial Aid, Georgetown Law

Dean Simone helped me navigate my first semester as a transfer student to Georgetown last fall. My father was struggling with his health and she had enormous compassion for me as I sat in her office, cried, and spoke about my family situation with weekly drives back and forth to NY. She helped me to defer my in-person final exam so I could spend more time with him and my family during his last weeks. My father passed on February 4th (last month). I will forever be grateful to Simone for giving me those weeks with my dad. I will keep her and her family in my prayers. She was an angel for me and I know she will continue to be an angel for all those she loved.

— Anne Marie Miller, Student, Georgetown Law

I cannot imagine Georgetown without Simone. From meeting her during my FERPA training when I joined Georgetown in 2005, to running on neighboring treadmills in the gym, to solving many problems together over the years, to just commiserating together during the busiest times of year - Simone is one of the first people who comes to mind when I think of my colleagues who make Georgetown the place I keep working. It will be impossible to fill her shoes. She was extremely smart, energetic, focused, a problem-solver. Words cannot express what a shock her loss is to all of us, and how deeply we feel for her family at this extremely difficult time.

— Caryn Voland, Assistant Dean, Graduate Admissions, Georgetown Law

We talked about our professional lives and stories as well as are family friends with our daughters being the same grade. We will cherish Simone forever in our hearts.

— Iddil Bekirov, PhD, Health Program Specialist, NIMH

Simone was an incredible colleague and friend from our time together at Marymount University. I respected her great accomplishments while there, and she did it with an awesome sense of humor. You will be missed by many. All my thought and prayers are with your family!

— Jim Padilla, Dean, School of Business & Economics, Carthage College

Simone always brought such a relaxed, cheerful energy to the spaces we shared. She was both thorough and focused during conversations about work, and also someone who could laugh during those same conversations. I will miss her a lot.

— Avery Baker, Program Coordinator for Experiential Education, Georgetown Law

Simone was a lovely human being and a wonderful person to work with. When she was at Marymount, I was very early in my career in education. Simone was always patient with my unending questions and taught me so much that has served me well in my career in higher education. She was also gregarious and warm, and I am so sad to hear of her passing. Praying for her family and loved ones.

— Alexandra Fee, Director, Academic Advising, Marymount University

Simone was a wonderful colleague who never hesitated to share her time or knowledge. She was a committed professional and an amazing resource in our registrar community, but she was also warm and funny and kind. Our "peer hive" is poorer for her loss. I will miss her dearly.

— Becky McAlister, Assistant Dean and Registrar, Northwestern Law

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Simone through the National Network of Law School Officers (a network of law school records professionals).

Simone was always committed to making things better, including our organization, our profession, and her workplace. She played a key role in developing and managing NNLSO's professional mentoring program, and I always appreciated her commitment, ethics, and good nature. She was also committed to the importance of diversity and inclusion both at Georgetown Law and within our professions (law and education).

While we all will struggle with the loss of Simone in our physical realm, I hope that we remain inspired by her memory and her commitment to making things better.

— Jay A. Ruffner, Director of Academic Services, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Growing up with military parents, I learned in early life the practical knowledge that death is a part of the cycle of life. Yet, receiving the news of Simone's passing brought about a profound sadness and frankly, some moments of ugly crying (some will know what this means and share a chuckle about it). Simone filled so many spaces positively and I always, always, looked forward to our engagement, collaboration, and interactions. She was thoughtful, contemplative, patient, thorough, committed, and an ace at process improvement. We served well together on the NNLSO board and have been in so many meetings that she felt like a beloved cousin. My heart goes out to her daughter, husband, work team, and family. Simone lived a life of legacy and indeed, she will be missed.

— Connie S. Newsome, Registrar, Campbell University School of Law

Simone was one of the very first people I met when I joined the Law Center in 2011. My former supervisor told me to contact her if I ever had any questions, because Simone "knew everything there was to know" about Georgetown and navigating my new role at the Law Center. This indeed was true - she was a source of immense knowledge and provided support and guidance to me and thousands of students over the years. But what I will miss most is her smile and sense of humor. All of my e-mails and telephone calls that began with "it's me again" were always answered with "of course I can help." Together, I knew that there was no problem that couldn't be solved, and even on the toughest of days, it was a comfort to know that I had an ally and friend in Simone. I will miss her dearly, and my thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones during this difficult time.

— Ellis Duncan, Director, Graduate Tax Program, Georgetown Law

I am shocked and heartbroken at Simone's passing. She was the embodiment of the consummate Georgetown professional: someone who was supremely competent, calm, creative, and committed to her work, and who at the same time recognized the individual needs of the many people with whom she interacted. She led and cared for her dedicated staff and was firm yet patient with countless anxious students and irascible faculty. It was such a pleasure to have her back at Georgetown. I recall that when she was interviewing to be Registrar, someone asked how she would like to change the way the Office of the Registrar operated. She responded that she felt it was imperative for the office to be better organized and the work flow better managed so that the staff did not have to work around the clock and in crisis mode during every registration and exam period; she wanted the Registrar's staff to have the same amount of time with their families as other Law Center staff members, and she rightly wanted it for herself. Simone was obviously dedicated to her beloved family, and I am unspeakably sorry for their loss. I hope they know that everyone at Georgetown is grieving Simone along with them, honoring her memory, and holding her family in our hearts.

— Naomi Mezey, Agnes Williams Sesquicentennial Professor of Law and Culture, Georgetown Law

I am so sorry to hear this news. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

— Louis Frisenda, Assistant Vice Provost, Marymount University

Simone in so many ways to me was Registrar’s Office. Her dedication, efficiency, and mostly her kindness and intelligence were a true gift to have in a colleague. I will miss her wisdom and warmth and grieve for her family and all her colleagues at the Law Center, who had the joy of working with her over the years.

— Maike Kotterba-Wilson, Center for Transnational Legal Studies (CTLS), Georgetown Law

Putting into words how much Simone meant to our Law Center Community is almost an impossible task. Through her time as a student, student worker, member of the Registrar's Office, and leader of one of the most crucial teams in our institution, Simone demonstrated her commitment to excellence, teamwork, and problem solving. Even more importantly, she was a devoted colleague and friend to so many of us here. It is hard imagining the Law Center without her. My heart is broken for her family and I am sending my deepest sympathies to them.

— Emily Smith, Director of Faculty Affairs and Academic Events, Georgetown Law

Losing Simone is heartbreaking. She was more than a wonderful colleague - she had vitality and heart. The first time I met her, she was preparing to sky-dive (her first time, I think) in a fundraiser for a worthy cause. I was in her office that day because she was proof-reading my final exam (!) and found a mistake. On the job, she was precise and meticulous - and she had great judgment in a position that demands it. She understood the institution and gave us so much. It's an honor to have worked with Simone.

— David Luban, Professor, Georgetown Law

Our hearts are aching at the unfathomable, untimely loss of our beloved Simone. Simone was a calm, capable, and brilliant leader in the law school, at the center of all that we do and daily reflecting through her humanity all the best values of who we aspire to be. We are deeply grateful for Simone’s decades of dedication and service to Georgetown Law, and remember with deep admiration her kindness, intelligence, pragmatism, and wit. In the stories being shared by students, staff, and faculty we see how thoroughly she embodied the Georgetown commitment to justice and community. We grieve with her family and friends this tremendous and shocking loss of a truly incomparable woman.

— Madhavi Sunder, Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs and Frank Sherry Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Georgetown Law

As a newer employee, I was just getting to know Simone and am deeply saddened to hear of her passing. Simone was very generous with her time and expertise. Her unwavering commitment to her work was clear, as is the lasting impression she will leave for the entire Georgetown Law community.

— Anjali Bindra Patel , Chief Diversity Officer, Georgetown Law,

Simone routinely handled impossible jobs with such skill and grace that she made the work look effortless. She responded to faculty flakiness, staff dilemmas and student anxieties with equal patience, professionalism and kindness. She was a wonderful colleague. It's hard to imagine the law school without her, and I'm heartbroken for her family.

— Rosa Brooks, Professor, Georgetown Law

This is such a devastating loss. Simone was the kind of generous and thoughtful person that made even the most arduous tasks feel manageable. I am grateful to have known and befriended her as a colleague. Her passion and excellence were a vital part of this community.

Simone – thank you for sharing your light with all of us. We were so fortunate to experience your joy, brilliance, and the capacity of your heart.

My deepest sympathy and condolences remain with her loved ones.

— Tiffany Jeffers, Associate Professor of Law, Legal Practice, Georgetown Law

Best friend, wife, and mother ever! Thank you for all the love Georgetown.

— Carl Binns, Contractor, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Division of Enforcement, LL.M. 2001, Georgetown Law

I learnt about the sad demise of Simone through your communications. I was very saddened as it happened at an early age for her when she had a promising future ahead of her. As a college I would like to convey my deepest condolences to her family. May they have the strength to bear the sad loss.

— Anand Grover, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown Law, Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India

Simone was the first person I met when I got to Georgetown University Law Center. We attended classes together, worked in Residence life together, became friends, graduated together, and established a standing annual appointment to attended the MD Renaissance Festival, no matter where I was living at the time. Somewhere along the line, we become family. Throughout it all, she has been synonymous with Georgetown.

I will miss her and Georgetown will struggle to fill the void she leaves.

— Miriam Vincent, Staff Attorney, Office of the Federal Register, NARA

Over more than a decade, Simone and I crossed paths almost on a daily basis either at the parking lot or at the kitchenette and we talked about both work and personal matters. I will miss her smile, and her amazing and kind personality, I know the community has lost an amazing colleague and her legacy will live forever at GULC. I continue to pray for her family and her team. Simone, we love you, we will miss you, and May God bless you!

— Jose Luis Davila Gonzalez , Assistant Director, Office of Career Strategy, Georgetown Law

I'm so sad to hear about Simone. I worked with her when I started in my role as Director of Residence Life at Georgetown Law. She was a very new professional then. I had the privilege of watching her develop into a consumate and capable professional. I am truly sorry for her family and for her colleagues. What a loss!

— Katherine Hall-Hertel, Associate Dean, UNC Charlotte Graduate School

Simone was an incredible colleague and set a remarkable example of leadership. Working with her was always a privilege and an opportunity to learn from one of the most compassionate, insightful, and courageous colleagues I have ever had. My heart breaks for her family and friends and the many members of the Law Center Community struggling to imagine a future without her inspiring and supportive presence.

— Karly Mitchell, Director of Administrative Services, Georgetown Law

Simone was a great colleague at Marymount University and a joy to work with. Her sense of humor was refreshing. My heartfelt prayers go to her husband and family during this difficult time.

— Karen Laughlin, Former Marymount Colleague

Simone was such a breathe of fresh air. She was so funny, but knew exactly when to get down to business and finish tasks. I loved that she was not only collaborative, but solution-oriented. And best of all, she made me feel normal about the struggles of being a new parent. My heart goes out to the entire family, you all will remain in my prayers.

— Vernon Williams, Assistant Dean, Marymount University

It’s hard to accept that Simone is not with us anymore. I am heartbroken to think we won’t have one more laugh, one more satisfying conversation solving a tricky problem, or just one more chance to appreciate her rare magic. She was both deeply professional and deeply human. I always trusted that we’d do the right thing when tackling an academic or student issue when Simone was part of the team. We all were the lucky beneficiaries of her wisdom, understanding, kindness and patience. She also was plucky! I still remember her telling me about her skydiving adventures. She made it seem like no big deal – so Simone! I am so sorry for her family’s loss and hope that these message of admiration and love are soothing as we grieve with them.

— Sally McCarthy, Assistant Dean, Georgetown Law

Simone's passing, at such a young age, is gut-wrenching beyond words. I knew her only through her role as Registrar, but the humanity she brought to this role allowed a glimpse at her deeply-caring soul.

A Registrar's office is a bit like Air Traffic Control -- nearly invisible when all's going right, but suddenly noticeable when something goes awry. It's a tribute to Simone that she ran the office so well, managing so much complexity and effectively handing the high stakes for thousands of students. But it's even more impressive -- indeed inspiring -- that Simone cared so deeply about the lives her management decisions affected.

When faculty made errors, Simone led with a gentle nudge and the benefit of the doubt. When students sought dispensation, Simone led with empathy, while insisting on equity. And when Registrar staff or software got it wrong, by treating unlike situations alike (or by just plain screwing up), she didn't insist on her office's infallibility; rather, she listened, explored, acknowledged glitches, and made repairs -- all-the-while displaying her remarkable blend of effectiveness, compassion, and humility. May the terrible blow of this loss be slightly softened, for Simone's loved ones, by knowledge of the difference she made, through her humanity and simple decency, in so many people's lives.

— Gregg Bloche, Professor, Georgetown Law

I want to extend and express my deepest condolences to the
Woung family and to remember Simone in this manner: Specific, I - nvigorating, M - arketable, O - mnicompetent, N - avigator, E - ffervescent, W - isdom, O - bjective, U - nique, N - oble, G - reatness.

— Albert J. Henderson, Special Campus Police Officer, Georgetown Law

I am so stunned and saddened that I can hardly find words to express it. Simone was the salt of the earth. She was a woman of grace, fantastic ability, and good nature. She was the embodiment of all we hold dear in the Georgetown community. Her job was one of the hardest we have here and yet she succeeded in performing it exquisitely with superb dignity and humanity. Georgetown Law will not be the same without her and we achingly miss her.

— Paul Rothstein, Professor, Georgetown Law

We met when our kids started kindergarten together. My son's first play date from his new school was with her daughter. Simone was gracious and warm and I'll always remember one Halloween when she walked down the street in a Wonder Woman shirt and cape. She was Wonder Woman. Beautiful, funny, smart, compassionate, fearless, adventurous, authentic and filled with integrity. I'll miss her wit and watching her care for her daughter. My last conversation with Simone was about how proud she was of her daughter for so many different reasons. Her daughter embodies her character.

To my dear friend, the get togethers and happy hours we enjoyed were too few but I'll cherish those we had. You are missed. Prayers to all that knew her and particularly to her family.

— Teresa Klock-Taube, Director Risk & Compliance, HHMI

I have known Simone since elementary school. Life took us down different paths of success but we always reconnected. Always stayed in each other hearts. Now a piece of my heart is missing and I don't know what to do. I always thought we had time. I miss you my friend. Rest in peace. You live on in your husband, beautiful/smart as heck daughter, friends and family. One day we will meet again. Love you

— Charissa Jarrett, Ret. DoD

Very sorry to hear of Simone's passing and the deepest sympathy to her loved ones. She was always responsive and helpful whenever I reached out to her with questions. She was dedicated to her role and has touched many lives. She will be missed.

— Nirmala Fernandes, Assistant Dean, McCourt School of Public Policy

Words are inadequate to describe what a truly wonderful colleague and person Simone was. She impacted many of us in the most positive way and will always be remembered for her unwavering commitment to her fellow Registrar colleagues. Simone had a way of brightening your day and was always a pleasure to work with. She will be missed.

— Oral Hope, Dean of Students and Registrar, New York Law School

Simone Woung was truly one of a kind. She was a tremendously kind and caring colleague and friend. She was unparalleled in her competence and work ethic. She was a deeply compassionate manager who focused on her team and their well-being. She ably navigated complex, nuanced problems and resolved them with the utmost compassion for the students and faculty that she served. She was always the first to reach out during a difficult time. I will never forget her kindness after my son was born prematurely. She reached out immediately, and then continued to do so in the days and weeks ahead, always making sure that we were okay. I can’t imagine Georgetown without Simone and can’t imagine the world without Simone. My thoughts and prayers are with Taylor, Carl, and all who were lucky enough to be one of Simone’s loved ones.

— Sarah Jean Kelly,L'13, Vice President for Student Success, St. John's University

I've been struggling to find the words to express the magnitude of this loss, to use the past tense to refer to someone so vivid, so reliable, so ever-present. It is difficult to imagine the Law Center without Simone. She has been an anchor in our community, playing a pivotal role in guiding us through changes in technology, policies, educational requirements, the upheaval of the pandemic, challenges big and small. She was adept at managing chaos, bringing steadiness and humor to difficult situations. Not a day has gone by where I haven't thought to myself, "I should run this by Simone" then found myself newly bereft.

— Emily Wack, Executive Director, Office of Academic Affairs, Georgetown Law

Simone was such a wonderful colleague. We partnered together on a number of projects over the years and she was a joy to work with. Recently, we caught up with each other at the Dean's town hall. We shared memories of our recent Disney trips. I am grateful to have known Simone and wish her family comfort during this challenging time.

— Richard Simon , Director of Digital Strategy, Georgetown Law

Simone, you have always been an extraordinary presence at Georgetown Law. And I know that from working with her closely in the Office of the Registrar. From the start, Simone demonstrated her unyielding commitment to providing superior academic and administrative leadership. Her crisp, confident, and cheerful qualities were lit from inside by her strong faith.

Simone, no doubt you will always be one of the most lustrous jewels in the Law Center crown. After some time, shock, and sadness, I am sure that your jubilant spirit and infectious smile will be what I remember most. Thanks for bringing so much soul to life, girlfriend. Much love, Scott xoxo

— R. Scott Foster, formerly, Georgetown Law Assistant Dean and Registrar

After attending the memorial service for Simone, the love and appreciation of those of us who worked with her and experienced her wonderful service to the Law Center community instilled both joy and sadness. Simone was a terrific member of my staff when she worked in the Offices of Residence Life. Her beautiful smile and dedication to helping students will always be with me. Peace and God’s Blessings be with her and her family! 🙏🏾❤️🙏🏾

— Everett Bellamy, Former Assistant Dean, Georgetown Law