Of the many important assets gained during a student’s four years in college, community ranks high on the list. For William Hockaday (C’20), one of five newly inducted student leaders in the Patrick Healy Fellowship, having a support system of alumni and current students has made all the difference during his college career.
“Before arriving at Georgetown, a sense of community was very unstable for me, and it was hard to find,” he shares. “As a low-income, nontraditional student who struggled with financial contributions to pay for college, I really felt isolated at first, but I’m grateful that I’ve now been able to ingrain myself in the community of the Patrick Healy Fellowship.”
Hockaday—a junior double majoring in African-American Studies and English with a minor in Korean—is also a writing consultant at the university’s Writing Center and co-founder of MOSAIC, a student organization focused on empowering multiracial and multicultural communities. As he aims to inspire future students and underrepresented communities on campus, Hockaday is reminded of the legacy that Patrick Healy Fellow alumni set in place for him: “Healy Fellows alumni have really inspired me to make changes for the betterment of Georgetown, and I hope to do the same for future students.”
“Our numbers grow, alumni move on to interesting careers, undergraduate fellows enjoy the largesse, and in the end, the program becomes healthier with time.”
During his senior year, Damien Dwin (B’97), along with four other Georgetown students, established the Patrick Healy Fellowship to form and sustain a supportive network for student leaders, like Hockaday, who are impassioned to address issues affecting communities of color. As co-founder and a key donor, Dwin points to the university’s Jesuit ideals and the power of connecting across class years as catalyst for starting the fellowship.
“Georgetown attracts students eager to serve,” Dwin shares. “Feeling a direct connection to alumni and recognizing the arc of their service careers makes for a richer experience while on campus. In this way, Healy Fellows presents a surrogate family to students active in serving others.”
Founded on the principles of service, mentorship and development, racial and social justice, and diversity, the Patrick Healy Fellowship strengthens in number and impact every year thanks to its tremendous alumni support.
“Our numbers grow, alumni move on to interesting careers, undergraduate fellows enjoy the largesse, and in the end, the program becomes healthier with time,” adds Dwin.
Inspired by the dynamic pursuits of current Patrick Healy Fellows, Dwin committed to equally match $50,000 worth of gifts to the fellowship. He extends his gratitude to Georgetown for its lifelong imprint on his life.
“Georgetown gave me friends for life. Along the way, I learned the Georgetown tradition of accepting people for who they are while holding them to the highest standards,” he shares. “The Patrick Healy Fellow alumni have a special culture that begins with a credo of service rooted in acceptance, respect, and high expectations despite one’s background. It is elegant and timeless. It is Georgetown.”