Photo (caption below)

Dean Emerita Rita Carty, John and Nina Toups, Dean P.J. Maddox, and President Alan Merten at the dedication of the Toups Nursing Laboratories. See story below.




The Mason Spirit: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of George Mason University

Campaign Watch

Alumni Campaign Leadership Initiative Nears June 30 Deadline

By Denise St. Ours

The deadline is fast approaching for alumni to qualify for leadership recognition in the Alumni Campaign, a special one-year donor initiative and an integral component of The Campaign for George Mason University.

All gift commitments made by alumni at the President's Circle level—a gift or pledge of $1,000 or more—between July 1, 2002, and June 30, 2003, will be recognized on a special plaque. The plaque will be displayed in Alumni Atrium, the proposed name of the atrium in Mason Hall on the Fairfax Campus. At the top of the plaque, a simple statement will appear: "At the heart of every great university are its alumni." Below the statement will be a listing of the qualifying donors' names and class years by gift level.

The Alumni Campaign Steering Committee, led by Edward J. Newberry, B.A. Communication '84 and B.S. Business Administration '84, has set an ambitious goal of 250 alumni campaign leadership donors for the plaque. A record 190 alumni have already qualified for membership in the President's Circle during the current fiscal year and listing on the plaque.

At a recent committee meeting, George Mason University Foundation Chair Lovey L. Hammel, B.S. Business Administration '88, commended committee members for their participation in The Campaign for George Mason University, the university's first-ever comprehensive fund-raising initiative. "This is, indeed, the time to reconnect, to be part of a historic and important initiative," she said.

In addition to the leadership initiative, the Alumni Campaign seeks to significantly increase the number of alumni participating at all giving levels in the broader campaign, which concludes June 2005. The objective, according to Hammel, is to establish a tradition of giving among the university's growing number of graduates.

Contributions may be made in various ways, including by check or credit card, the transfer of stock or real estate, or through a planned or deferred giving method. Gifts or pledges may be made online at For more information, contact David R. Cooper, director of The Campaign for George Mason University, or Kira M. Benitz, director of the Annual Fund, at (703) 993-8850 or

Other News

To date, the amount raised for The Campaign for George Mason University has topped $92 million, which is more than 80 percent of the way to the goal of raising a minimum of $110 million in private support.

Recent major gifts include a $1 million commitment to the School of Law from the National Rifle Association Foundation to create the Patrick Henry Professorship of Constitutional Law and the Second Amendment. Nelson R. Lund, professor of law at George Mason and a nationally recognized expert on constitutional law, has been appointed the endowed professorship's inaugural holder.

"The ability to think critically is the traditional goal of a college education and has never been more crucial," says University President Alan G. Merten. "This professorship will stimulate timely debate on important constitutional issues."

In addition, a leadership commitment from Edward Bersoff, foundation trustee, and Marilynn Bersoff, M.B.A. '00, is endowing the Edward H. and Marilynn D. Bersoff Faculty Fellowship in Information Technology and Engineering. The new fellowship will encourage and reward faculty who are establishing themselves within higher education and in association with the professional community.

The School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E) also received major support from Information Management Consultants Inc. and Howrey Simon Arnold & White LLP to help create a $100,000 graduate scholarship endowment in memory of Suneeth S. Nayak, M.S. '94. Nayak, who passed away last year, was named IT&E's Outstanding Alumnus for Technical Management in 2001.

Finally, a number of nursing alumni celebrated the dedication of the recently expanded and renovated labs at the College of Nursing and Health Science. Individual and corporate gifts totaling $1 million funded the initiative. John M. Toups, university foundation trustee emeritus, and his wife, Nina, provided major support and helped the university garner the additional gifts needed to transform the labs into state-of-the-art showplaces. The new labs have been named the Mr. and Mrs. John M. Toups Nursing Clinical Simulation Laboratories, and a plaque recognizing all the donors to the project has been installed outside the dean's office.

Photo (caption below)

Among those attending the dedication of the Toups Nursing Laboratories at the College of Nursing and Health Science (CNHS) in Robinson Hall were, above, from left, Deborah Royalty, M.Ed. '88; Chien-Yun Wu, M.S.N. '82, Ph.D. '92; Louise Turner, B.S.N. '00, B.A. '03; Diane Chase, M.S.N. '88, CNHS Advisory Board member; Marlene Cianci, Ph.D. '98, CNHS Alumni Campaign Committee member; Ellen Dawson, M.S.N. '91, Ph.D. '00; Pamela Meredith, B.S.N. '78; and Christine Blasser, B.S.N. '93, M.S.N. '97, Alumni Campaign Steering Committee member.