When you start a new position, it can be a little disconcerting to have key leaders tell you, “You’ve got a really tough job ahead of you.” In my first weeks at Mason last fall, I heard that phrase three times from three different people.
But it doesn’t really faze me. I know I won’t be alone in making the case for this great university. There are more than 150,000 of you reading this magazine right now—alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends—and each of you has had a life-changing Mason experience in one form or another. When you have 150,000 people advocating for your cause, how can you not succeed?
And why wouldn’t you want to advocate? As Dr. Cabrera noted in a November 2013 blog post, our alumni earn higher average salaries than those of any other public institution in the commonwealth while also having a lower “cost to degree” than most.
In the past few months, I’ve had people point to large gifts to other universities and ask why we don’t just get similar gifts for our needs. The truth is that each of those gifts began with a small act. Something boosted that institution’s reputation and made it a good philanthropic investment. This is where you come in. Your participation as a member of this community sets a critical example for others, whether you give your time, talent, or money to Mason’s cause. Nothing is too small.
As the university implements its new 10-year strategic plan, I look forward to working alongside you for Mason’s future. Visit giving.gmu.edu or alumni.gmu.edu to learn more about ways to get involved. And thank you for being Mason’s voice in the world and for your support.
Janet Bingham, PhD
Vice President, University Advancement and Alumni Relations
President, George Mason University Foundation