The Georgetown Academy, (also The Academy or TGA), was founded in 1990 by three students who experienced a campus media scene devoid of libertarian or conservative voices, and lacking in a strong defender of Georgetown's Catholic identity.
Over the years, especially from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, TGA served as a rallying point for libertarian, conservative, and pro-Catholic students at Georgetown. On numerous occasions issues of TGA sparked intense conversations on-campus and garnered national media attention, as well as changes from the administration on matters of importance to the Hilltop.
Our current incarnation finds us online, though we're actively recruiting members and accepting submissions in the hopes of publishing a print edition soon.
For the time being, our publishing schedule is every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We'll post more often if events require comment. Anyone connected to the Georgetown community, whether they be student, alumni, faculty, staff, or just an interested observer, is invited to contribute. To do so, just send us an email.
The Georgetown Academy is an independent journalistic enterprise dedicated to preserving and celebrating the intellectual, cultural, and religious traditions particular to Georgetown University, including those of student and alumni independence, their contribution to the history and culture of the University, and Georgetown’s authentic Catholic identity.
We do not publish for ourselves or without a purpose or editorial position. By philosophical inclination, the journal may be considered conservative, but the publication shall have no partisan political agenda. Its purview will be issues and ideas that shape the lives of students, the curriculum, and the perceptions of Georgetown’s alumni, aiming to foster dialogue on intransient topics neglected by conventional campus publications, however controversial. Among these topics are forgotten ideas, some reflected in seminal and provocative articles that created dialogue, whether two years or two centuries ago.
The journal is also defined by a fellowship that looks at Georgetown with a loving but critical eye and is willing to stand against the winds of popular opinion or the self-serving approval of administrators or others who are easily challenged by the airing of challenging ideas. Popularity and personal self-interest will not bar us from asking our proctors and professors why or why not? As long as we publish, and eventually across generations, we stand by our Dante* motto: “Hell’s hottest place is reserved for those who in times of conflict remain neutral.”
During our heyday TGA published a print edition around 4-6 times a year. Our issues usually focused on a particular theme and were designed with specific audiences in mind, with events on-campus determining both output and content. When published, copies were distributed under the doors of all the dorms on-campus, as well as to faculty offices and the usual places where one finds student media.
The following is, given sufficient resources and interest, what a yearly publishing schedule traditionally looks like . . .
The "Back to School" issue. The first edition of the year, published in late August or early September. Our audience are incoming students and we seek to impart our view of the campus scene along with advice on how new Hoyas may make the most out of their time at Georgetown.
The "Alumni" issue. Comes out just before Homecoming Weekend in October and is dedicated to those who have graduated. Often times this edition addresses some recent controversy on-campus, so both current and former students find it of interest. Copies are distributed at various Homecoming events.
The "Catholic Education" issue. Released in time to be passed out at the annual meeting of National Conference of Catholic Bishops, held in the D.C. area every November. This issue addresses GU's Catholic identity and Jesuit education at Georgetown.
The "Scholars" issue. Consists of articles and essays by professors and intellectuals who we think have something important to say about Georgetown and who we've invited to contribute. We also solicit permission to reprint certain key articles or essays we think every student should read. Appears early in the Spring semester.
The "GUSA Election" edition. Our target audiences are student voters and candidates. We not only seek to influence election results, but provide useful commentary on and for campus politicos. Usually published a few days before voting begins.
Over the years we've printed additional themed-issues on a variety of topics, often in response to a growing campus controversy. We consider ourselves similar to a quarterly or bi-monthly magazine since articles and essays in TGA aren't typical news pieces or op-eds. Our long lead time allows us to develop high-quality content, and we take pride in having one of the most well-written and thought-provoking publications on-campus.
As noted in our mission statement, The Georgetown Academy may be considered conservative, though we hold no partisan political agenda. If you're looking to be a Republican activist or advance your libertarian or conservative ideas for domestic politics, we invite you to check out the GU College Republicans blog and write for them.
At TGA, we focus on the Georgetown campus and related matters. When we do discuss something political in nature, it's usually because it directly impacts the University, which in our view makes it then worth writing about. We encourage contributions from everyone connected to the Hilltop.
Please view our Arguments & Ideas page to get a sense of where we stand on the issues. If you find we're in agreement more often than not, then please consider writing for us. The Submissions page has more information on how you can do so.
The Catholic Question
Though we consider ourselves stalwart defenders of Georgetown's Catholic identity and friendly to those who are religious, it would be wrong to consider TGA either a Catholic or religiously-inspired publication. We hold no affiliation with any religious institution of any kind, save our connection to Georgetown.
Jews, atheists, Protestants, and agnostics have all at one time or another served as TGA's Editor-in-Chief. An individual's religious background is of no importance to us. What matters most to us is a person's character and behavior, and whether or not we share similar views about Georgetown and the world.
At TGA we believe Georgetown's Catholic identity is one of things that makes the University special and worth attending, which is why we believe in defending and promoting it. We also think a truly Catholic university contributes to diversity in higher education and that organizational integrity and truth-in-advertising require Georgetown to be authentically Catholic.
We have no problem saying that if you're hostile to the University's fundamentally religious educational mission and seek to water it down or destroy it, then you should transfer (if you're a student), or quit (if you're an employee). You're at Georgetown because you were invited and then you later chose to come to the Hilltop. That means being respectful of the University's identity in the same way you would expect one to be respectful of a Jewish, Islamic, or historically black college or university. If you can't handle that, then feel free to go elsewhere. Your presence isn't required.
In the early 1990s when The Academy was just getting started the internet wasn't the repository of knowledge it is today. Back then our forebears looked up quotes in books, sent actual letters, and listened to music on tapes. In this pre-information explosion era, a lot of things people thought were true turned out to be, well, not so true.
One of these happen to be our motto: "Hell's hottest place is reserved for those in who in time of conflict, remain neutral." It supposedly comes from Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, one of the great pieces of Italian literature from the late Middle Ages.
We suspect the quote came to the attention of our predecessors due to it being President John F. Kennedy's favorite. Martin Luther King Jr. also famously used it in speech he gave in opposition to the Vietnam war.
It turns out, however, that Dante didn't really write the line. Rather, the quote comes from an interpretation of a scene in the third canto of the Inferno, where outside the gates of Hell a great many souls suffer in torment for remaining neutral during their time on earth and refusing to choose between the Prince of Darkness and the Lord of Light. In other words, Heaven doesn't want them, and Hell won't have them. You can learn more about the history of the quote and read the relevant canto here.
Though our motto wasn't exactly written by Dante, it's been with us for most of our history, and we're quite fond of it and the sentiment expressed.
So we're keeping it.