Georgetown's founding by John Carroll, America's first Catholic bishop, realized earlier efforts to establish a Roman Catholic college in the province of Maryland that had been thwarted by religious persecution. The university expanded after the American Civil War under the leadership of Patrick Francis Healy, who came to be known as Georgetown's "second founder" despite having been born a slave by law. Jesuits have participated in the university's administration since 1805, a heritage Georgetown celebrates, but the university has always been governed independently of the Society of Jesus and of church authorities.
The university has about 7,000 undergraduate and over 10,000 post-graduate students from a wide variety of religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds, including 130 foreign countries. The university's mostnotable alumni are prominent in public life in the United States and abroad. Among them are former U.S. President Bill Clinton, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, dozens of U.S. governors andmembers of Congress, heads of state or government of more than a dozen countries, royalty and diplomats.
Campus organizations include the country's largest student-run business and largest student-run financial institution. Georgetown's athletic teams, nicknamed the Hoyas, include a men's basketball team that has won a record-tying seven Big East championships, appeared in five Final Fours, and won a national championship in 1984.
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