President's Blog

A weekend to remember


This past weekend we saluted future Mason students, current Mason students, and past Mason students. In the span of a few days, the university hosted Alumni Weekend, Family Weekend, and Admissions’ Fall Premiere Open House, and kicked off the start of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons with Mason Madness. All in all, it was a terrific display of who we are, and what we are about.

I had the opportunity to share with students, families, alumni, and community members the latest accomplishments and goals of the university, including the meaningful role that each of us can play in the ongoing capital campaign that will help continue Mason’s trajectory.

You may have read this story about Dr. John Schreifels in the Washington Post. Dr. Schreifels, who’s chair of the Chemistry Department, started raising funds for a chemistry scholarship by using a cash prize as seed money. He adds to the total each month and also has found sponsors who donate a monetary amount for each mile that he runs (happily, he runs a lot!).

The point that I made to the weekend visitors is that while Dr. Schreifels has deservedly received recognition for his commitment and generosity, he is in good company at Mason. In fiscal year 2014, 700 faculty and staff donors contributed $634,000 to the university. Last fiscal year, faculty and staff gifts totaled $657,011.

When the people closest to the university are willing to invest in our mission, that says a lot about what we do – and about our faculty and staff. It also hints at what all of us can accomplish together as passionate stewards of Mason’s future.

Thank you to all students and alums, staff and faculty, who made this incredible weekend possible. It was a blast! I leave you with a fun sample. Enjoy!