100,000 and Counting
Mason graduates record-breaking class
By Colleen Kearney Rich, MFA ‘95
With the Class of 2005, George Mason University will have graduated its 100,000th alumnus. While the university has awarded many more than 100,000 degrees because a large number of our alumni have earned more than one degree from Mason, this graduating class marks the university’s official move into the six digits.
A total of 6,162 students graduated at Mason’s 38th annual commencement on Saturday, May 21, in the Patriot Center. U.S. Senator John Warner delivered the commencement address. Christyn Wallace of Richmond, Virginia, who received a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies, was the student speaker.
Of the graduating class of 2005—the largest in Mason history—3,494 students received undergraduate degrees and 2,419 were awarded graduate degrees. The School of Law graduated 249 students. The most popular undergraduate majors were Communication, Psychology, Government and International Politics, Nursing, and Accounting. The Class of 2005’s oldest graduate is 77; its youngest is 18.
During the ceremony, Mason’s first lady Sally Merten and Earle C. Williams were recognized for their service to the university with George Mason Medals, the university’s highest honor. Given by the Board of Visitors, the medal is designed to honor George Mason, the man. Those receiving the award have shown service to their community, state, or nation consistent with the level and quality of George Mason’s public service in his own time. In addition, choreographer and long-time friend of Mason Mark Morris, who is artistic director of the Mark Morris Group and honorary chair of Mason’s Friends of Dance advisory board, received an honorary doctor of humane letters.