Georgetown University, formerly known as Georgetown College (1789–1814) is the oldest Catholic educational institution in the United States. The college was founded in 1789 by John Carroll, America's first Catholic Bishop. Former President Bill Clinton, US Chief Justice Edward Douglass White, among many other prominent figures are Georgetown alumni. The university campus spans about 104 acres and includes numerous historic buildings.
The Civil War nearly resulted in the closure of Georgetown, as the student body dropped from 313 to 17 between 1859 and 1861. A total of 1,141 students and alumni enlisted in the war, serving in both the Union and Confederate forces. After the Second Battle of Bull Run in 1862, several campus buildings were turned into a temporary hospital. To celebrate the end of the Civil War, Georgetown students selected the colors blue (Union) and gray (Confederate) as the school’s official colors in 1876.
Georgetown's athletic teams, nicknamed the Hoyas, include a men's basketball team that has won seven Big East championships, appeared in five Final Fours, and won a national championship in 1984. Campus organizations include the country's largest student-run business and largest student-run financial institution.