From the opening procession, with George Mason University faculty and visiting university presidents and delegates dressed in their academic regalia, to the upbeat musical finale led by Doc Nix and the Green Machine, the inauguration of George Mason’s sixth president, Ángel Cabrera, was something to talk about.
The program began with Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash offering her congratulations to the president and the university. Board of Visitors Rector C. Daniel Clemente spoke and formally invested the president. John T. “Til” Hazel, representing Mason’s “founding fathers,” remembered the university’s beginnings and noted the changes in the university and education today. He was followed by Internet pioneer and CEO of Revolution Steve Case, who commented how impressed he was with the university and its new president.
The Mason idea was introduced in a series of videos followed by remarks from June Tangney, former chair of the Faculty Senate; Joey Carls, chair of the Staff Senate; Rodney Turner, president of the Alumni Association; and students Alex Williams, Student Government president, and Steven Harris-Scott, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Association.
On video, Sha’air Hawkins, BA ’13, performed a spoken-word piece about the Mason idea, which was written by Doc Nix, then appeared in person to deliver the ending. Cabrera, having shed his regalia, joined her onstage for a hug and a handshake before delivering his own speech.
Other music was provided by Mason’s student choruses and bands, conducted by Dennis Layendecker, director of the School of Music. Rick Davis, executive director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center, was the announcer for the program.
See below and click here for more photos of the inauguration.