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

Getting in the Spirit: Partners in Success

By Denise St.Ours

A loyal and spirited alumni base—a source of vital private support from Mason's largest group of constituents—is critical to the success of The Campaign for George Mason University. Increased alumni donor participation is not only fundamental to the university's mission, it also affects national rankings and the value of a Mason degree.

Today, 30 percent more alumni support the university as compared with the first year of the campaign in 1998. During the campaign's remaining six months, the university seeks to engage an even greater number of its 96,000 alumni to "get in the spirit" and be partners in Mason's success.

"This is a significant time for alumni to step forward and demonstrate the strength of their commitment," says Annual Giving Committee Chair Tammy P. McBride, BSN '99. "Between now and June 30, let's help bring Mason's first major fund-raising campaign to a resounding conclusion by investing in our alma mater's future."

$1 Million Gift Benefits Students

Support from alumni is sought for a number of focused initiatives, including The Campaign for Mason Students. The initiative's goal is to increase scholarship support, enhance faculty–student collaboration, and further improve the campus experience. Helping to advance the targeted campaign was a recent $1 million leadership gift from Barbara and Mark Fried to create a scholarship endowment for graduates of high schools in the counties and cities of Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria, and Falls Church.

"It has been a pleasure to work with the Frieds to create this opportunity, which will remove financial barriers for a countless number of deserving students," says Daniele C. Struppa, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The college will make available a faculty mentor to help advise and monitor recipients' progress.

Barbara Fried is a former chair of the George Mason University Foundation, and Mark Fried has served on the university's Board of Visitors. Their donation brings the total raised in support of The Campaign for George Mason University to more than $124 million, and the number of scholarship endowments created since the campaign began to 81. Twenty of those endowments, which are listed on the following page, are funded through alumni support. 

Alumni Fund Scholarship Endowments

Since the beginning of The Campaign for George Mason University in 1998, alumni have demonstrated a strong interest in enabling the students who follow them to pursue a Mason degree. Scholarship support, whether through gifts for immediate use or long-term investment as an endowment, helps future alumni fulfill their academic potential.

Of the 81 scholarship endowments established during the campaign, 20 have been created or primarily funded by alumni and/or their spouses. Others are under discussion. The following is a list of those endowments and their alumni benefactors as of December 15, 2004:

  • Helen J. and William J. Ackerman Scholarship Endowment
    Helen Ackerman, MA English '86
  • Anzilotti Scholarship Endowment
    Michael Anzilotti, MBA '83, LHD '03
  • The Cube Corporation Scholarship Endowment
    Juan Mencia, BS Finance '84
  • Marylyn Thompson Graves Scholarship Endowment
  • Thomas William Graves Memorial Scholarship Endowment
    Marylyn Graves, BA Mathematics '69
  • Harbitter Family Scholarship Endowment
    Alan Harbitter, PhD Computer Science '02
  • Robert K. Hedrick Jr. Scholarship Endowment
    Robert Hedrick Jr., BA History '71
  • Indus Corporation Scholarship Endowment
    Meena Krishnan, MS Systems Engineering '88
  • Joseph M. Kanyan Scholarship Endowment
  • King Wholesale Inc. Scholarship Endowment
    Connie Kyle, BS Social Work '99
  • Patricia Halloran Laychak Memorial Scholarship Endowment
    James Laychak, BS Accounting '83, BS Decision Science '83
  • Boydie Logan Memorial Scholarship Endowment
    Gayle Green, BIS '00
  • Edward J. and Molly S. Newberry Scholarship Endowment
    Edward Newberry, BA Communication '84, BS Business Administration '84
  • Olza M. and Sally A. Nicely Scholarship Endowment
    Olza Nicely
  • Michael L. Pearce Memorial Scholarship Endowment
    Susan Tomasovic, MAIS '90
  • Claudia F. Pleasants Scholarship Endowment
    Claudia Pleasants, BA Psychology '74
  • Roe Scholarship Endowment
    David Roe, BS Accounting '89, MBA '96
  • Smolen Plevy Scholarship Endowment
    Jason Smolen, JD '77, and Alan Plevy, JD '77
  • John Souza III Memorial Scholarship Endowment
    Michele Souza, BIS '02
  • Wu–Shane Scholarship Endowment
    Jean Wu, MS Information Technology '87

Scholarship endowments begin at $25,000 and can be funded over five years. The list above includes future gifts by bequest and gifts equivalent to a new endowment added to an endowment predating the campaign. For more information, call 703-993-8850. To make a gift or pledge online, visit


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Honoring Alumni and Friends

The recent President's Circle reception at the home of George Mason University Foundation trustee Will Soza and his wife, Susan, honored the university's most generous donors during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004.

Since The Campaign for George Mason University began, a growing number of alumni have contributed at the President's Circle level with gifts of $1,000 or more. Last year, one-quarter of the recognition society's 900 members were alumni.

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Lucy Church, BIS '81, MPA '86, and husband, Randolph, with Sue Collins, center, and Will and Susan Soza

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Brian Drummond, JD '88; David Reed, JD '89; and Rodney Turner, JD '93

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Jeff Gravatte, BS Computer and Electrical Engineering '88, and wife, Sherene

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Cathy Lemmon, BA Communication '86, MA English '93

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Ed Newberry, BA Communication '84, BS Business Administration '84, with President Alan Merten