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.

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