Chris Wadibia

Meet Chris Wadibia, one of Georgetown’s most prominent seniors.

The Basics

Name: Chris Wadibia

School & Year: Georgetown College Class of 2016

Major: I study government and theology, with an emphasis on the intersection of interreligious diplomacy and international affairs.

Activities on campus: Political Chair and Events Committee Member for the African Society of Georgetown (ASG), a member of Corpus Collective Spoken Word Poetry Group, a Leader in Education About Diversity (LEAD), and a member of Georgetown Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, Former Jesuit Residence (FJR) Design Committee.

*Believe it or not, this is not all that Chris is involved with. An extended list of his activities can be found at the end of this article!

Graduation Plans:  I plan to pursue a Master’s and PhD in a theologically related field, and, in so doing, become a professor of Comparative Theology and Muslim-Christian Relations.

A Few Specifics

What is the best class you’ve taken at Georgetown?

I’d like to offer four classes here:

1) Comparative Political Systems (CPS) with Father Matthew Carnes S.J.

2) Writing To Be Heard with Dr. Maureen Corrigan

3) Italy and the Human Imagination with Dr. John Pfordresher

4) Music in Western European Culture with Dr. A.R. Del Donna

What are you most proud of from your four years here at Georgetown? Looking back on my time at Georgetown, I can, with honest gratitude, say that I’ve done all I wished to do the way I desired to do it. From speeches and campaigns to high academic achievement, I’ve sought to be deeply intentional about my actions and commitments. This being said, I’m most proud of the friendships and relationships I have built, time spent engaging with Georgetown’s MSA, and the TEDx Talk on Christian philosophy and interfaith ideology I had the chance to deliver at TEDxGeorgetown 2014.

As we can see, you are incredibly active in various extra-curricular involvements, making you an integral part of the Georgetown Community and a Man for Others. What has been the best part of your many involvements on the Hilltop?

The best part of my Hilltop commitments has been the chance to build authentic, other-oriented relationships. Those who know me understand that people are my heart. I have always sought to prioritize people above all else, and this worldview permeates all facets of my moral constitution. Enjoying fruitful relationships with folks from around this beautiful world—this has unmistakably been the best aspect of my campus involvements.

What have been the more difficult aspects of your time as a Georgetown student?

No institution is perfect. As a friend once taught me, there is a difference between the Spirit of Georgetown—the ideals imbued in Georgetown’s mission statement—and the bricks of Georgetown—the taciturn bureaucracy that enables Georgetown to function efficiently. Sometimes this bureaucracy interrupts one’s idealism, and this can be disheartening. But this stands a reality extant throughout institutions worldwide. Even in this regard, Georgetown has prepared me to sagaciously negotiate often vexing bureaucracies in the professional realm.

How has your vision of Georgetown changed over the years?

At Georgetown, I’ve always seen myself as a Cinderella Man of sorts. I was told I didn’t belong here—that I had neither the financial background to fit in, nor the intellect needed to excel—that it was not God’s will for me to study here. Yet here I reside. Frankly, if I can make it here, and, humbly, to the extent that I have, succeed here, what does this mean for the countless young minority males from backgrounds similar to mine around this great nation? I believe they can make it, too. My vision of Georgetown, over the years, has become more pragmatic, while no less idealistic. Georgetown taught me that pluralism is best leveraged through empathetic, other-oriented communication. When you fail forward—and with dignity—you do not fail at all.

What have been the greatest lessons you have learned on the Hilltop?

Life is beautiful because of the people we encounter—friendships germinated and the holding of life-changing tête-à-têtes. The greatest lesson I’ve learned at Georgetown is to, always and unwaveringly, put people first. Put people before material objects, ahead of one’s own interests—and when waiting for cinnamon rolls at Leo’s on Sunday mornings! It is always a wise investment to put people ahead of one’s self.

Along this same vein of thought, Georgetown has taught me the importance of making time for people. Georgetown is the kind of place where a conversation had on the way to class will turn out to be more important than the class itself. Graduating with a strong network, I posture, is more important than a high GPA. But of course, if one can attain both, that’s even better!

*Chris’ further involvement on campus includes: Georgetown University College Republicans (GUCR), Georgetown University Lecture Fund, ESCAPE, Resident Advisor for Upper-class Students, Member of The Hoya’s Editorial Board, Sports Writer for The Georgetown Voice, Academic Resource Center, Center for Student Engagement, Healey Family Student Center, Office of Residential Living Summer Programs, Coordinated campaign for Class President that emphasized dignity and celebrating pluralism, Delivered TEDx Talk entitled Being Fully Human at TEDxGeorgetown 2014, Session Two Curator for TEDxGeorgetown 2015, Interfaith Liaison for Georgetown’s Campus Ministry Student Forum (CMSF), avid supporter of Georgetown’s Muslim Student Association (MSA), Guest Speaker at Winter Confluence 2015, Planning Committee for Winter Confluences 2014, 2015, and 2016, Spring 2016 Alternative Break Program: Deconstructing Islamophobia and Religious Discrimination