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University Scholars: Where Are They Now?

Each year, George Mason University invites 24 accomplished and highly motivated high school seniors to become University Scholars. Students are selected on the basis of superior academic achievement,
President Merten with the graduating class of University Scholars 1997.
leadership potential, and community service. Each University Scholar receives a four-year undergraduate scholarship totaling $20,000, as well as access to a variety of integrated programs, activities, and services designed especially for them to create a stimulating environment and aid in their academic and personal development.

The University Scholars Program began in 1988 and so far has produced 114 graduates who continue to exceed expectations long after leaving Mason. Here's what they've been up to since graduation.

Thirteen students went on to medical, dental, or pharmacology schools, including the University of Virginia (UVA), the Medical College of Virginia, Duke University, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Forty students have either completed or are enrolled in master's or doctoral programs at schools like Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, UVA, Syracuse University, Georgetown University, the University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, George Washington University, and of course, George Mason University.

Ten students chose to enter law schools such as George Mason University School of Law, the College of William and Mary, UVA, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Among those already in the work force, six former University Scholars are accountants employed at "Big Six" firms like Arthur Andersen and Price Waterhouse; five are school psychologists; five are teachers; four are technical writers; five are engineers; two are editors; and five work in computer-related fields. Two graduates are employed abroad, one involved in mission-related work in Korea and the other teaching in Japan.

According to Donna R. Bafundo, director of Undergraduate University Programs, the goal of the University Scholars Program is threefold. "Our desire is to (1) create a stimulating college experience that encourages excellence in academics, leadership, and community service; (2) build a community that strengthens friendship and builds group identity and cohesion; and (3) develop an enthusiasm for learning and a desire to share knowledge and special abilities for the benefit of society.

"The motto for the University Scholars Program is 'the best that we can give for the best that you can do,'" says Bafundo. "We put a lot into the program, but the return is well worth the investment. The program is creating a cadre of leaders that are leaving here and making people take a serious look at George Mason University."

For more information about the University Scholars Program, contact Bafundo at (703) 993-2302.

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