The Mason Spirit

Mason Memories

Some of my fondest memories of Mason are those of parties. I graduated in 1990 with a bachelor of arts in Communication, which some at the time fondly called the “Frisbee” major because they thought it was easy.

I lived on the fourth floor of Commonwealth Hall, and from the first weekend of my freshman year, my floormates and I were determined to redefine Mason as a party school. We broke a lot of rules doing so, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. During the late 1980s, you truly had to create your own fun—and we became masters of it. If we weren’t smuggling a keg up the stairs, we were playing practical jokes on each other (like propping trash cans of water against each other’s doors and knocking before we ran down the hall).

Don’t get me wrong—I worked as hard as I played. I was an advertising account executive at the Broadside and would routinely work until 2 or 3 a.m. on a Thursday night to lay out ads by hand (yes, the old fashioned way) because we had such antiquated computers. I even turned down free front row tickets to a Steve Winwood concert to study for a COMM 400 exam. To add insult to injury, the guy who went in my place ended up in the video on MTV. I can’t even listen to “Back in the High Life Again” without getting a little miffed. I did get over it, however, and he was the best man at my wedding.

I made a lot of friends during my college days and, unfortunately, have lost track of most of them during the course of two moves—first to Kansas City and then to Florida, where I now live. I do keep in touch with a few very special friends. The most special one is my husband. I met him the second semester of my freshman year. He was the new guy who transferred from Colorado State University. I still remember meeting him for the first time. He was wearing a red ski jacket, and that image of him is burned into my memory for all time. We have been married more than 10 years and have two children, Samantha and Spencer. I know our lives would be very different if it weren’t for that coed dorm at George Mason.

Tracy Short (Howard) graduated with a B.A. in Communication in 1990. She lives in Oldsmar, Fla., near Tampa Bay.


Do you fondly remember certain places within the George Mason community that exemplified the “college experience”? Were you befriended by a mentor or professor at George Mason who influenced your life? If so, tell us about it. Send your submission to Alumni Affairs, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 3B3, Fairfax, Virginia 22030. Please keep submissions to a maximum of 500 words.