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

CVPA Forms New Alumni Chapter

By Jennifer Mitchell

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) has formed Mason's newest alumni chapter. Efforts to build the chapter began in April 2004 with surveys and e-mails to former students, which was no easy task—even as one of the smallest and most specialized colleges on campus, CVPA has more than 1,800 alumni. With much positive response and a unanimously approved vote at an Alumni Association Board meeting, the chapter officially came into existence last September.

"It's been a priority to get to a place where we could establish an alumni chapter," says Julie Green, CVPA's director of development. The chapter will pull together alumni from all four of the college's departments—Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music, and Theater. "The four disciplines within the college are very different. We are really looking to promote unity, while offering opportunities that would specifically benefit each discipline."

"The alumni are the heart and soul of the college," says William Reeder, CVPA dean. "We are so proud of each individual's accomplishments and the role that studying at Mason played in their professional journeys. Having a chapter will allow us to stay connected and benefit generations of students to come."

Their first official event as a chapter, a family barbecue in October, was a huge success with more than 80 people in attendance. After being treated to food from Red Hot & Blue, attendees were invited to see a performance in the Center for the Arts by Dr. John and His Band, a Grammy Award-winning blues group. Green hopes that events such as this will continue to foster the important relationships that graduates have with the university.

"Everyone had a nice time connecting," says Green. "It's great to see what our former students are doing now." But alumni weren't only there to see each other. "At the end of the day, they all wanted to see their favorite professors."

The chapter plans to continue to build its board, create a newsletter, and hold more events on its own and by plugging into existing events on campus such as Homecoming and the Alumni Association's Celebration of Distinction. For more information on CVPA alumni events, contact Green at

Mason Chosen for ESPN Bracket Buster Event

Mason's men's basketball team was named a participant in the 2005 ESPN Bracket Buster Saturday series on Homecoming, February 19. Game opponents for the one-day, 32-game event will be announced on Sunday, January 30. To join the excitement, call the Athletic Ticket Office at 703-993-3270 to purchase your discounted alumni tickets. Go Patriots!

An Evening with Rappahannock Cellars

A new addition to Homecoming this year is a wine-tasting reception on Friday, February 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. The event is $20 per person, and an RSVP is required. To RSVP, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 703-993-8696 by Thursday, February 17.

Black Alumni Chapter Announces Events Schedule

The Black Alumni Chapter plans some exciting events for the spring semester. Beginning on February 3, the chapter will participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on the Fairfax Campus by presenting a book award to a Mason student who exemplifies the spirit of Dr. King. On February 5, the chapter will attend the men's basketball game at the Patriot Center against James Madison. Other upcoming events include a Founder's Dinner fund-raiser and a workshop on starting your own business. Please check the chapter web site at for details.

Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions Discount Benefit for Alumni

The Alumni Association has partnered with Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions to offer exclusive discounts to Mason alumni on courses purchased through, using promotion code GMU10. Alumni and their immediate family members are eligible for a 10 percent discount on all SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, and DAT private tutoring, classroom, and online courses. For more information, visit


Celebrating Mason's 279th Birthday

Photo (caption below)

Mason alumna, Susan Hardenburgh, BA History '04, spoke about her work with the Gunston Hall Archaeology Department and their dig in the formal garden area of the grounds. 

Photo (caption below)

On Saturday, December 11, at George Mason's historic home, Gunston Hall, the Alumni Association and the History and Art History Alumni Chapter joined to sponsor a celebration to remember the university's namesake on his birthday.

Photo (caption below)

Clockwise, Ken Prowell, MA History '93; Dave Turk, MA History '97; Ryan Turk; Fidel Taparra, MA History '01; Stephen Karbelk, BA History '92