The charter gave Georgetown the power to grant degrees. The first to complete the course were brothers Charles and George Dinnies of New York.
After George Washington University, then called Columbian College, received a grant of land from Congress, friends of Georgetown successfully petitioned for a similar grant; however, the Commissioner of Public Land delayed the transfer for some years and then assigned scattered and virtually worthless lots to Georgetown. President Van Buren ignored this letter from friends of the college.
"I was in the "Ky Yi Yi" Rebellion, Father Ward was vice President, in the absence of Ryder the rebellion broke out, on account of the grub mostly as I recollect, after the matter went on for some days, we all in a body waited on Father Ward for the purpose of making known our grievances, and he as 'quict as tow and fire' wanted to know who was at the head of all this. Dominick O'Burnes of Ga spoke up and said we are all acting in concert, where upon a brake was made for the dormitory where we procured what clothes was on hand, and after smashing up things in general, about sixty of us left the College and went over to Washington, and took charge of the Globe Hotel, a third class house, & called to our aid several Senators, and Representatives from the states the boys were from, and asked them after laying our case before them, to open communication with the faculty...That was the first rebellion I was ever in, the second was the one between the North and the South, and I must say that I came out worse for the wear in both of them."---Robert Ray to Rev. Francis Barnum, S.J.