In 2019, Georgetown University’s Qatar campus joins the Washington, D.C., campus in celebrating 100 years of service since the establishment of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS). The Qatar campus offers the same Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree as that offered to the students in the United States, and our mission in Qatar is closely aligned with the School of Foreign Service. Thus we are proud to join SFS in celebrating this milestone through engaging with our history and mission, connecting with our community, and planning for the future. Several events are planned to mark these historic achievements, the most prominent of which is the GU-Q 100, a celebration of the first 100 books published by Qatar campus-affiliated faculty and staff since GU-Q opened in 2005.
Celebrations at GU-Q
Re-engaging with our history and mission
This year's events highlight our commitment to the Georgetown University mission of promoting intellectual, ethical, and spiritual understanding through serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures, and beliefs. We seek to build upon the world-class reputation of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, while working with our partner, Qatar Foundation, in its endeavors to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030 and helping to develop Qatar’s knowledge economy. Some key events that highlight this mission and our contribution to Qatar’s knowledge economy include:
Connecting with our community
Creating opportunities for engagement with the local community is a very important part of our mission. To this end we have brought in speakers of interest to the broader public to speak on current events, and share their expertise.
Planning for the future
GU-Q is taking the opportunity of the 100th Anniversary of SFS to take stock of how we are developing the next generation of diplomats, academics, and leaders. The following activities highlight our work in working with youth to become adults who make an impact on their world.
Celebrations at SFS
The School of Foreign Service was founded in 1919 as a direct response to the involvement of the United States in the First World War. “Having entered upon the stage of world politics and world commerce, we assume world-wide obligations. Our viewpoint can never be the same again,” wrote Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., the School’s first regent. SFS predates the U.S. Foreign Service by six years.
The establishment of a program at Georgetown dedicated to educating students on global issues and preparing them for lives of service in the international arena reflected both the University’s Jesuit heritage, with its emphasis on intercultural understanding, and its origins as an institution of the American Enlightenment, dedicated to the rights of man and the education of citizens.
Edmund A. Walsh, S.J.
Born in 1885 in South Boston, Mass., Edmund A. Walsh began his Jesuit novitiate and studied philosophy in Maryland before teaching at the preparatory school run by Georgetown University and studying in Ireland, England and Austria-Hungary. Walsh was ordained in 1916 and became dean of Georgetown College a year later, but his deanship was soon interrupted; the War Department asked Fr. Walsh to serve on a board of five educators designing and overseeing special programs of study tied to America’s entry into the First World War. The experience drew Fr. Walsh’s attention to the condition of American education in diplomacy. He found it lacking and saw Georgetown as an ideal home for a premier institution of training in the field.
Heeding Fr. Walsh’s recommendation, the Board of Regents of Georgetown University authorized the creation of a “School of Foreign Service,” and after a provisional semester, SFS was formally inaugurated during ceremonies on November 25, 1919. In dedicatory remarks, Fr. Walsh, as regent, outlined his vision of a school that would include all major forms of foreign representation — official and unofficial, governmental and private sector, whether commercial, financial, consular or diplomatic.
Fr. Walsh was recognized in his time as a skilled and principled figure and was called away from Georgetown on diplomatic missions to Russia in 1922, Mexico in 1929 and Germany in 1945. But his life’s work was his service as SFS regent, which continued until he fell ill in 1952. Two years after his death in 1956, Georgetown opened the Walsh Building on the east campus — the first permanent home of what was then renamed the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
We join SFS in celebrating this milestone through reengaging with our history and mission, connecting with our community, and planning for an equally influential second century.