Members of the President’s Circle were honored at a recent reception at Mathy House hosted by President and Mrs. Merten. The President’s Circle recognizes donors who have given $1,000 or more during the fiscal year, July 1 to June 30.

From left, President Merten with Craig Gautschi; Alumni Association President Brian Drummond, J.D. ’88; and Peter Farrell. Gautschi and Farrell are members of the Alumni Campaign Steering Committee.

From left, Alumni Campaign Steering Committee member Stephen Gladis and his wife, Donna; committee member Caroline Owens and her husband, Joseph; ICAR Advisory Board member Mariann Laue Baker and her husband, Frank.

  The Mason Spirit

Launching the Alumni Initiative

By Denise St. Ours

Nearly $88 million has been raised to date in support of The Campaign for George Mason University. With such a strong base of support, the university is now launching an initiative to further involve alumni in this historic fund-raising endeavor—the Alumni Campaign.

“The involvement of our 85,000 alumni in the campaign is crucial as the university competes on the national stage to attract the brightest students, recruit the best faculty, and participate in exciting new research and education initiatives,” says George Mason President Alan G. Merten. “A university can have no better advocates than its alumni.”

Because George Mason is a relatively young institution, Northern Virginia’s community and business leaders historically have been the backbone of private support at the university. With the launch of the Alumni Campaign, the university is recognizing that its growing number of alumni—with their unique perspective on the university and its impact on their lives and the region—are now well positioned to play an equally important role in George Mason’s success.

An Alumni Campaign Steering Committee has been formed to engage and inform alumni about the campaign and encourage their participation and support. Chairing the committee is Edward J. Newberry, B.A. Communication ’84 and B.S. Business Administration ’84, a partner with the law firm of Patton Boggs LLP.

“As a graduate of George Mason, I am greatly encouraged by the positive and enthusiastic response we have received thus far to the campaign and to our efforts to talk with fellow alumni about this initiative,” says Newberry. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to advance the quality and reputation of our alma mater. What we do now will make a difference for many years to come.”

Newberry has a long record of volunteer service to the university, including positions as the current chair of the President’s Circle and former co-chair of the Annual Fund Committee.

Joining him on the Steering Committee are the following individuals:

  • Christine T. Blasser, B.S.N. ’93, M.S.N. ’97
  • Gail A. Bohan, B.A. English ’70, M.P.A. ’82
  • Bette Burch, B.S.N. ’80
  • Ray Cardinale, B.S.N. ’78
  • Edward J. Cawley Jr., B.S. Business Administration ’68
  • Peter J. Farrell, B.S. Business Administration ’79, M.B.A. ’85
  • Craig E. Gautschi, B.S. Finance ’94
  • Stephen D. Gladis, M.A. English ’84, Ph.D. Education ’95
  • Jeff F. Gravatte, B.S. Computer and Electrical Engineering ’88
  • Kaylene H. Green, B.S. Accounting ’87
  • Alan H. Harbitter, Ph.D. Computer Science ’02
  • Julie A. Holdren, B.S. Computer Science ’94
  • Jeffrey M. Johnson, B.S. Business Administration ’75
  • Stephen M. Kann, B.A. English ’85
  • James J. Laychak, B.S. Accounting and Decision Sciences ’83
  • Bonnie B. Matheson, B.A. Psychology ’98
  • Tammy P. McBride, B.S.N. ’99
  • Mark D. Monson, B.S. Biology ’74
  • Caroline J. Owens, M.B.A. ’82
  • David A. Roe, B.S. Accounting ’89, M.B.A. ’96
  • Neeran A. Saraf, M.S. Computer Science ’94
  • Carol L. Susko, B.S. Business Administration and Economics ’79
  • Carolyn A. Taylor, B.S.N. ’78, M.S.N. ’86, M.B.A. ’94
  • Penny C. Welke, B.I.S. ’82, J.D. ’85
  • Craig B. Young, J.D. ’82

Initially, the Alumni Campaign’s goal is to significantly increase the number of alumni contributing at the President’s Circle level, with annual gifts of $1,000 and above. If that goal is achieved, the three-story atrium in Mason Hall on the Fairfax Campus will be named Alumni Atrium and a plaque will display the names of top contributors.

Chief among the priorities being discussed during the Alumni Campaign are scholarship assistance and unrestricted support. In addition, alumni fund-raising teams within several schools and colleges are being formed to help support the needs and priorities unique to each of those units.

Unrestricted support and support for scholarships, faculty, facilities, student services, and community outreach programs have been identified by the university as top priorities of The Campaign for George Mason University. The campaign, which is George Mason’s first comprehensive fund-raising initiative, seeks to raise at least $110 million in private support by June 2005.

For more information about the campaign and the alumni initiative, contact Campaign Director David Cooper at (703) 993-8850 or An overview of the campaign can be found at