The Mason Spirit

Support from the Newest Grads Builds New Tradition

The Senior Class Gift Campaign, a young tradition at George Mason, has taken root. The 2001 campaign raised more than $3,000--a 70 percent increase over last year's gift. Donors earmarked their contributions to support a program or activity that had affected them as undergraduates. Some directed their support to student publications, the libraries, or athletics; others honored a favorite professor through departmental gifts or contributions to a particular school or academic unit.

The drive was spearheaded by Daniyal Farraukh, B.S. '01, and Mayealie Kamara, B.A. '01, cochairs of the 2001 Senior Class Gift Committee. To help promote the campaign, they--along with their fellow committee members--helped organize a well-attended party for class gift donors during May's graduation festivities. The effort also included a web page ( seniorgift/pages/progress.html) that recognizes senior gift donors and facilitates giving online.

Other committee members were Joseph W. Boatwright IV, B.A. '01; Samantha Davis, B.A. '01; Julie Engel, B.A. '01; Mayra Feliu, B.A. '01; Lisa Gaskin, B.S.N. '01; Mansur Mendizabal, B.A. '01; and Alvin Spaine, B.S. '01.

The Senior Class Gift Campaign is part of an ongoing effort to further engage George Mason's newest alumni with their alma mater. According to Kira Benitz, director of the university's Annual Fund, alumni support not only strengthens the university and its programs, it also boosts George Mason's national ranking in the U.S. News & World Report annual survey of colleges and universities.

"The survey uses alumni giving as a gauge for alumni satisfaction," explained Benitz. "Therefore, an increase in the number of alumni who support the university adds to our national ranking and reputation."

Going for the GOLD

To provide additional incentive for giving among George Mason's most recent graduates, the Office of University Development recently launched two new recognition societies:

  • GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Circle, which recognizes alumni who make an annual gift of $500 or more during the 10 years following their graduation.

  • Proud Patriot Society, which recognizes alumni who make an annual gift during each of the first five years following their graduation.

Alumni who are members of these societies will be among those recognized in the annual Honor Roll of Donors. The list of donors, which includes contributions received between July 1, 2000, and June 30, 2001, will be mailed to all alumni this fall.