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

Mason Graduates Largest Class Ever

By Jeremy Lasich, B.A. Communication '98

On Saturday, May 17, George Mason University's 36th annual commencement conferred degrees upon 5,720 students. Of the graduating class of 2003—the largest in George Mason history—3,494 students received undergraduate degrees and 2,012 were awarded master's or doctoral degrees. The School of Law graduated 214 students. The university's oldest graduate is 81; the youngest is 19.

Virginia Gov. Mark Warner delivered the commencement address to graduates, family, and friends in the Patriot Center. During the ceremony, Warner received an honorary doctoral degree in humane letters, as did Michael Anzilotti, M.B.A. '83, who is president and chief executive officer of First Virginia Bank.

Dwight Schar, chair and CEO of NVR Inc., received the George Mason Medal, the university's highest honorary award, from the Board of Visitors. Designed to honor George Mason, the man, the medal is presented to individuals whose record of service to their community, state, or nation is consistent with the level and quality of Mason's public service in his own time.

Valerie Johnson, who will receive a bachelor's degree in communication this year, gave the graduate address.