By Colleen Kearney Rich, MFA ’95
One of Mason’s most Patriotic groups began in 1999—in Harrisonburg, Virginia, of all places. After meeting on a message board on MasonHoops.com, a group of Mason basketball fans agreed to meet at a restaurant before the game against James Madison.
“After a couple of hours of enjoying buffalo wings and cheese sticks while sipping on some Batmans and Baltimore Zoos, the group became good friends,” says Josh Holman, BA Communication ’01. “The rest is history.”
Thus, began what has come to be known as the Fairfax Social Club, or FSC for short. The group’s core is composed of former Mason roommates and friends of friends, but it has grown into so much more.
“It is one of those six degrees of separation,” says Michael McNutt, BA Communication ’95 and MAIS ’05. “If you knew one of us, chances are you would know others in the group. So we all decided, let’s all be friends.”
“The name FSC came about after some of the members went to a Patriot Club event,” says Holman. “The event was a beer tasting cohosted by the Clifton’s Gentleman’s Club. After a couple beverages, the guys started talking about starting our own gentleman’s club. While throwing out some names, someone suggested Fairfax Social Club. The name stuck.”
The gentlemanly nature of the club didn’t. As members begin to marry and start families, the FSC has become more inclusive though the heart of the club is still the men who started it. Last year, during the men’s basketball team Final Four run, FSC also enjoyed the media spotlight when it was featured in a Washington Times article.
“Our pregame and postgame parties in D.C. were jam packed,” says McNutt. A contingent of the group also traveled to Indianapolis. “We were beside ourselves. The events during those two weeks were a dream come true for all of us. It was great to bring the group back together for such a crazy and special situation.”
The group has begun many of their own traditions. The FSC doesn’t just tailgate—they have unique, large-scale events, complete with sponsors. Some of their more popular offerings in recent years have included mini-NASCAR racing and giant tricycle races on an inflatable track.
They also regularly sponsor a Homecoming after-party at PJ Skidoo’s in Fairfax and make it clear that everyone is welcome. “It is all about camaraderie and friendships that go beyond group affiliations, race, even age,” says McNutt. “We want to be an example of how those friendships you make while a student at Mason can endure.”
In addition to Holman and McNutt, the core of FSC includes Greg Brown, BA Communication ’97; Christopher Preston, BS Management ’96; Yamah Tabibi, BA Communication ’97; Danny Schourek, BSEd Physical Education ’00; Scott Davis, BA History ’98; Brandan Nass, BA Communication ’96; Mike Sylvester, BS Management ’96; Jerod Parker, BS Electrical Engineering ’97; David Pierpont, BA Government and International Politics ’95; and Chris Metsala, BA Government and International Politics ’95.