U.S. Senator Dick Durbin Receives GUAA Timothy Healy Award for Exemplary Public Service

At a February 28 ceremony on campus, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia presented U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) with one of GUAA's highest honors: the Timothy S. Healy, S.J., Award for exemplary public service. Sen. Durbin, who holds two degrees from Georgetown (F'66 and L'69), is among the university's most notable alumni, having served for more than three decades in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Senator Durbin has devoted his life and career to the core Jesuit value of service to others.  A recognized leader on issues from medical research to HIV/AIDS prevention to environmental protections to prison reform, he  authored landmark legislation to ban smoking on commercial airline flights. and He also served as lead sponsor of the Dream Act to provide a path for citizenship for children brought to the United States without proper documentation.

Following the award presentation, "Dreamer" and Georgetown alumnae Cristina Velasquez (F'17) shared her story of immigrating from Venezuela and introduced a conversation between the senator and Joel Hellman, dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS).

"I am humbled to be in the company of so many who have spent their lives in the service of others," said Sen. Durbin. "Father Pedro Arrupe challenged all alumni of Jesuit schools to engage in the struggle for justice on behalf of the most vulnerable in our society. I have tried to meet that challenge during my time in office and am honored to be recognized by my fellow Georgetown alumni." 

'A True Humanitarian'

Established in 1996 and named for Georgetown University's 46th president, the Timothy S. Healy, S.J., Award is conferred upon Georgetown alumni who have rendered outstanding and exemplary service to his or her profession or community in support of humanitarian causes.

Past Timothy S. Healy, S.J., Award recipients include Former U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton (F'68, H'80); former U.S. Senator George Mitchell (D-ME) (L'61, H'89); legendary basketball player and humanitarian, Dr. Dikembe Mutombo (I'91, H'10); The Hon. Mark R. Dybul, M.D. (C'85, M'92, H'08), who served as the U.S. Global AIDS coordinator and led the implementation of President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and Sadako Ogata (MA'53, H'13), formerly United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and chairman of the UNICEF Executive Board.

"We are deeply honored and proud to recognize Sen. Dick Durbin, a fighter for the rights of citizens in his home state of Illinois, across America and around the world," said Bill Reynolds (C'79, Parent'10, '13), executive director of GUAA. "A true humanitarian, Senator Durbin has lived the Georgetown mission to educate women and men who will serve others."

Richard Durbin, Timothy S. Healy S.J. award
Sen. Richard Durbin (center) stands with (l-r) Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, Dreamer Cristina Velasquez, GUAA President Jeff Chapski, Georgetown Law Vice Dean Jane Aiken, and SFS Dean Joel S. Hellman