Georgetown University birthday: D.C. school established Jan. 23, 1789

Georgetown was formally established on Jan. 23, 1789. Photo: Pmorrisey/Flickr

It would take a pretty big cake to fit 224 candles on top, but for one of the nation's oldest academic institutions, it would likely be worth it.

Wednesday marks the 224th anniversary of the establishment of Georgetown University, the venerable Northwest Washington school.

Georgetown was established on Jan. 23, 1789. Classes then began at the school, which was founded by John Carroll, in 1792, three years after obtaining the land the school currently sits on.

Within one year, the school had 40 students, according to the school's official historical account. According to U.S. News and World Report, the school boasted 7,590 undergraduate students in 2012-13.