Warm Weather, Warmer Welcome for Mason Alumni

Posted: October 8, 2013 at 8:58 am

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By Mary Frances Forcier

Green and Gold Bash

The Green and Gold Bash at Alumni Weekend featured music, food and fun activities. Photo by Alexis Glenn

It’s hard to know which was warmer — the welcome or the weather — as alumni celebrated their George Mason University spirit at more than 30 events during Alumni Weekend, Oct. 4-6.

“It feels like home,” said John Caldora, BA Public and International Affairs ’13, who returned for his first Alumni Weekend. “A lot has changed just in the short time since I’ve graduated, and it gives me a good feeling to be back on campus.”

Alumni enjoyed “Lunch and Learn” sessions on college admissions, the importance of positivity in the workplace and the social media footprint of “Mason Nation,” as well as presentations on Mason history and the university’s state government relations strategy.

A conversation with President Ángel Cabrera focused on the Mason IDEA, as well as the role alumni will play in shaping the university’s future. Attendees asked the president to ensure that connections between students and professors — essential to their own Mason experiences — continue to be strong, and that the global nature of a Mason education will thrive through study abroad and other international opportunities.

Tasting honey

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences and New Century College hosted a beer and honey tasting with Port City Brewing Company during Alumni Weekend. Photo by Alexis Glenn

Those who could not attend in person connected from as far away as Uganda; the university’s social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter brought alumni to the campus (and vice versa). Alumni followed the president’s conversation at #AskPresCabrera, and his talk was live streamed as well.

Festivities extended beyond the Fairfax Campus, as events hosted by colleges, schools and alumni chapters took place in downtown Washington, D.C., Tysons Corner and Arlington, Va. Graduates caught up with friends, networked with professionals in their field, learned more about today’s programs and met faculty.

“I was excited to hear about all of the positive transitions at New Century College (NCC) in such a short period of time,” said Rachel Muth, BAIS ’06, MAIS ’08, who attended the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Beer and Honey Tasting. “The people who are coming into NCC now are entering a program that will prepare them for our world’s changing times.”

Saturday evening’s all-alumni celebration, the Green and Gold Bash, brought Doc Nix and the Green Machine pep band to the North Plaza, along with Spanish food by José Andrés Think Food Group, photo booth souvenirs and dancing.

The weekend wrapped up on Sunday with a champagne brunch at the Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel. “I came back because I wanted to see how Mason has grown, and I wanted to reconnect with old friends and just enjoy being back at the place that meant so much to me,” said brunch attendee Sharese Walker, who attended Mason in the 1990s.

Check out the weekend’s Twitter feed at #MasonAW, and the photo gallery here.

Write to Robin Herron at rherron@gmu.edu

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