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To the Class of 2001

In the proud history of George Mason University, our institution has experienced tremendous growth. Since 1972, our student population has increased from 4,166 to nearly 25,000; we have spread to three campuses; we currently offer more than 100 degree programs; and we now boast more than 60 academic and administrative buildings. This unprecedented growth, certainly when compared with other institutions of higher learning in the history of Virginia, has been a major factor that has contributed to the national reputation George Mason has earned these past 29 years.

Make no mistake. These statistics are impressive. Collectively, they tell an important part of the George Mason story: how far we have traveled from our beginning days as a small, satellite campus of the University of Virginia to our evolution into an institution that, in many ways, is the heart of perhaps the most dynamic region in the United States. But there is another significant element of our evolution: alumni support.

One of my biggest sources of pleasure since assuming the presidency of George Mason is witnessing the ever-increasing support of our alumni. More and more, I see our graduates returning to campus to attend events, visit former professors, and take advantage of our outstanding facilities. Coupled with the fact that our annual fund is experiencing growth that is unprecedented in the university's history, I am convinced that pride in our institution has never been higher.

On behalf of the George Mason family and community, I extend my great appreciation. If George Mason University is going to continue to improve and achieve the greatness to which it strives, then the reality of our time calls upon youour alumnito continue to be active and enthusiastic boosters.

Alan G. Merten
President, George Mason University


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