A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Celebrate George Mason, the Man

By Leah Kerkman Fogarty on December 10, 2009

This year marks the 284th birthday of George Mason, the university's namesake.

The Mason Alumni Association invites you to join us for the annual celebration of George Mason’s birth.  Believe it or not, 2009 marks the 284th year since he was born to George and Ann Thomson Mason at the family plantation in Fairfax County, Virginia, on December 11, 1725.

It being a birthday celebration, there will be cake and champagne to commemorate the occasion. The reception will start at 7:00pm on Saturday, December 12, at the Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus, prior to the 8:00pm performance of the Canadian Brass in the concert hall.

Billed as “A Canadian Brass Christmas,” this performance will provide a festive and versatile holiday program that includes classical music, traditional carols, Hanukkah songs, and popular seasonal songs.

Bring your entire family and save 10 percent off each ticket when you enter a special alumni code provided by the office of Alumni Affairs. RSVP to sign up for the pre-performance reception and to receive the code to purchase your tickets.

Come join us for the festivities. And so you have some gems to drop at the reception, we’ve provided you with some interesting facts about the life of George Mason. Dazzle your friends with your historical knowledge of Mason, the man.

Did you know?

  • Mason had virtually no formal schooling and essentially educated himself from his uncle’s library.
  • Mason suffered from the condition known as gout for a large part of his life and relied upon bloodletting for treatment.
  • Mason completed construction of Gunston Hall, a plantation house on the Potomac River, in 1759.
  • Mason and his first wife, Ann, had 12 children together—nine of whom survived to adulthood.
  • Mason represented the Virginia colony at the Federal Convention, though he refused to sign the Articles of Confederation, on the grounds that they lacked a “declaration of rights.”
  • On December 15, 1791, the U.S. Bill of Rights, based primarily on George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, was ratified in response to the agitation of Mason and others.
  • In addition to the university and high school (in Falls Church) that bear his name, three counties—in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Illinois—are named after George Mason.

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