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Appreciative Alumna Gives George Mason Credit for Valuable Skills

(Lisa Mayne's Speech at the annual Celebration of Distiction on April 7 1998, upon receiving the Alumni Service Award)

Over the years, I have probably attended seven or eight of these awards ceremonies. I always enjoyed them because it was inspiring to hear the accomplishments of the people who were recognized. Tonight was no exception. After hearing the backgrounds and achievements of the awardees tonight, you would be hard pressed not to recognize that George Mason is a special place. That's why I said yes when David Hirsch first recruited me for the Law Alumni Chapter a little over 10 years ago, although at the time, I didn't realize alumni work would turn into a career position.

My law partner is fond of quoting the first rule of poker, which, for the uninitiated, is: "If you look around the table and you don't see a sucker, then you're it." I have to tell you that there were times, when I got tapped to hold yet another office, that I felt a little like that sucker. But I also have to tell you that the amazing thing about serving something higher than yourself is that you get back much more than you put in.

About four years ago, Olympic decathlete Rob Muzzio was our Alumnus of the Year. In acknowledging his award, he did something I'll never forget. To give us some idea of the affection he felt for Mason, he read a list of some of the things the university had given him over the years: almost 50 items, ranging from shoe laces to other sports-related equipment. I can't throw a discus, so my list is a bit more abstract. What the law school and my work with the Alumni Association have given me are skills. So, à la Rob Muzzio, these are some of the skills that I am grateful for:

  • budgeting
  • communicating
  • coordinating
  • evaluating
  • experimenting
  • heading
  • improvising
  • influencing
  • mentoring
  • motivating
  • problem-solving
  • public speaking
  • recruiting
  • team-building

The recognition you have given me tonight is icing on the cake. Thank you.

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