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Cornerstone Initiative

General Info

The goal of the Cornerstone Initiative is to provide an opportunity for first year freshmen and transfer students to create a foundation for a positive and fulfilling undergraduate experience. Through weekly dinners and meetings with upperclassmen mentors first year students will have a chance to explore the various aspects and challenges of the Georgetown undergraduate experience and the transition to college life. Participants will have an opportunity to connect with other students going through a similar experience, receive advice and guidance from upperclassmen, and think critically about what they value in an undergraduate education.

Cornerstone is open to everyone - we don’t accept applications or only admit certain people. We think this initiative is for all Hoyas and we don’t want anyone to be prevented from participating. This a great opportunity for any student to reflect on their first year on the Hilltop and plan for the future. Cornerstone can be a fresh start for students who are unhappy with their time at Georgetown so far. It can also be a stepping stone for students searching for a way to build on what they have already accomplished. The bottom line is this: Cornerstone is a chance to take your college experience in your own hands and choose how you want to spend your precious time on the Hilltop.

Statement of Purpose

The Cornerstone Initiative is a series of weekly discussion groups that provide a space for first year students to develop the tools to effectively transition to college life. Led by an upperclassman mentor, each group will work together to build a community, make meaning out of their experiences and, through reflection and discussion, lay a foundation for their future on the Hilltop.


The structure of the initiative is simple. Interested students may sign up in early October 2017. Participants will then be grouped into cohorts of eight. They will also be paired with a senior or junior student with similar academic, extracurricular, and social interests. That student will serve as a mentor to the participant throughout the program and for the rest of his or her undergraduate career. Starting in late November and lasting for six weeks, cohorts will meet once a week over dinner to discuss various topics. Students will also meet with their mentors on a regular basis for one on one discussions. A preliminary schedule and list of topics is provided below.


Date Event
9/17/17 Participant Registration Form Opens
11/20/17 - 11/29/17 Meeting 1: Introductions and Reflection (How We Got to Now)
11/2/17 - 12/6/17 Meeting 2: Identity and Purpose
1/15/18 - 1/17/18 Meeting 3: Success & Failure at Georgetown
1/22/18 - 1/24/18 Meeting 4: Georgetown's Culture/The College Student's Work-Life Balance
1/29/18 - 2/1/18 Meeting 5: Relationships
2/5/18 - 2/7/18 Meeting 6: Creating a Meaningful College Experience & Looking Ahead

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can join?

Any transfer student or member of the Class of 2021 can be a part of the Cornerstone Initiative. We don't require an application, and we don't select participants based on any particular qualifications. We’re looking for the best and brightest students on campus, but we don’t define that standard in any one way. We believe that every Hoya brings incredible value to everything they do, and that anyone who has a desire to make a difference should have the opportunity to.

That being said, we do have a limited number of spots available. Students who sign up early will have a better chance of receiving one of those spots.


What is the time commitment like?

Cornerstone is a six week program running from late November until early February. We will meet as a large group every week. Participants will meet with their mentors at least once every other week. The average weekly time commitment is about an hour and a half. Mentor meetings will be scheduled by participants and their mentors, large group meetings will be scheduled based on participant availability.


Who should Join Cornerstone?

If you want to figure out how to make the most out of your Georgetown experience, find a mentor, meet new people, give back to others, or even if you’re still trying to figure out where you fit on the Hilltop Cornerstone is for you!


I'm still confused, what is Cornerstone actually?

The details are pretty simple. Cornerstone is an opportunity to reflect on your first semester at Georgetown, think about what you still want to accomplish, learn from classmates and mentors about how to accomplish those goals, and then act on your plan. You’ll also meet a bunch of great people and eat a ton of free food along the way!