Photo by The Georgetown Dish
Rokas Beresniovas, our favorite photo subject, at the party in Riggs Library
Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia, also a resident of Hillandale, welcomed the community and the beautiful voices of the Holy Trinity School Choir as the university welcomed guests to an Open House at Riggs Library Thursday. Linda Greenan and Charles
DeSantis of the Office of External Relations entertained hundreds of community leaders who gathered to toast the season and see friends.
Current Newspapers publisher Davis Kennedy and D.C. Inspector General Charles Willoughby were among the high-profile guests.
“Is this a set for Harry Potter, or what?” opined Georgetown Business Association vice president Rokas Beresniovas. The Riggs Library, renovated under the direction of former President Timothy Healy and his deputy at the time, DeGioia, is now a magnificent treasure, complete with a dark stairway to real church bells that ring.
“This renovation was Tim’s idea,” said DeGioia, a protege of Healy’s starting when he was a student in the late 1970s. “It was a mess.” It’s beautiful now.
Rev. Timothy S. Healy, S.J. was a Jesuit priest who straddled religious and secular life in a career that included the presidency of Georgetown and leadership of the New York Public Library. Healy was born in New York City in 1923. During his 13-year tenure at Georgetown, the university emerged into the national spotlight as a top institution. Admissions doubled, the endowment increased from $38 million to nearly $228 million, and campus facilities expanded.
Healy’s tenure was not without controversy. Healy sold the WGTB broadcasting license to the University of the District of Columbia for $1 in 1979 in order to silence its generally liberal voice. UDC would resell the license to C-SPAN for $25 million two decades later.
In 1989, Healy accepted the position of President of the New York Public Library where he served until 1992.
Click below to hear the Holy Trinity School Choir sing: