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Georgetown's Second Student

The name of Georgetown's first student, William Gaston, is a familiar one on campus and Gaston Hall, an over 700-seat hall where convocations, lectures and honorary degree ceremonies are held, carries his name.  Philemon Charles Wederstrandt is less well known to Hoyas but he has the distinction of being the second student to enroll at Georgetown College. Born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and a distant cousin of our founder John Carroll, he arrived on December 20, 1791, at the age of 16.  He left in August 1793 and later joined the U.S. Navy.  After resigning for health reasons in 1810, he retired to Baltimore where he was one of two Georgetown students known to have helped defend the city against the British during the War of 1812, the other being Joseph Judik.  Wederstrandt moved to Louisiana and died in 1857, having outlived William Gaston by thirteen years.