In 2005, attendance at Philodemic debates was unfortunately dwindling and we faced a serious recruitment challenge. The Society desperately needed a talented, optimistic, and friendly person to revitalize the organization on campus. The Society put its faith in Jessica Caroe (COL ’06) and elected her as Membership Secretary. Ms. Caroe’s tireless hard work paid off. It did not take long until large groups of thoughtful Georgetown students found their way to the Philodemic Room. Thanks to the new members recruited by Ms. Caroe, Philodemic reclaimed its reputation as a lively and diverse community of thinkers.
Jessica Caroe was an eloquent Philodemician and a friend to everyone she met. Tragically, she died just a few short years after her graduation from Georgetown. Every Spring, Philodemic holds the Annual Jessica Caroe Debate in her memory. To honor her legacy as someone who secured the future of the Society, the Debate seeks to recognize and celebrate the Society’s new members. Seniority is reversed in the debate, granting the highest seniority to the Society’s newest member. At the end of the debate, The Jessica Caroe Award for Progress in Eloquence is given to a Philodemician inducted within the last year who demonstrates the greatest improvement in their rhetorical skills.