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

Letter from the President

Dear Fellow Alumni:

Homecoming is near, and this year's celebration will be bigger and better with expanded activities for you and your family. Mark your calendars for a weekend of fun and excitement, February 18 to 19. From wine tasting to receptions to a block party to the big game, there are plenty of festivities to help you get in the Patriot spirit. Homecoming finishes out with a men's basketball game and fireworks. For more information, go to

With basketball season in full swing, I hope you have an opportunity to see the Patriots in action. Whether you're watching the men's team or the women's team (coached by Mason alumna Debbie Taneyhill, BA English '92, MEd '98), you're sure to see an exciting game.

We've gone global! The Alumni Association welcomed its first international chapter this fall when Dr. Merten formally recognized the Taiwan International Alumni Chapter during his visit to Asia. We also welcomed the new College of Visual and Performing Arts Chapter this fall.

You can stay connected with alumni chapters and other association activities by visiting our Alumni Association web site. If you visited it recently, you noticed a new look. Both the web site and MasonWire were redesigned to incorporate the university's new logo. If you don't currently receive MasonWire, our monthly e-newsletter, I encourage you to update your contact information in the online alumni directory at It's a great way to keep informed of university and association news and events.

Exciting news continues to be made at Mason. The university made headlines when officials announced plans to build a biodefense research facility and a performing arts center styled after a famous European opera house on the Prince William Campus. Three computer science inventions and a new method for controlling seizures landed the university its latest patents. In addition, the Arlington Campus was recognized for the second year in a row as one of the greater Washington, D.C., region's best workplaces for commuters.

Other exciting news is the university's announcement of a $1 million donation that will establish a scholarship endowment for graduates of local high schools. This gift brings the total raised to date for The Campaign for George Mason University, the school's first comprehensive fund-raising initiative, to more than $124 million. As we enter the final months of the campaign, alumni still have an opportunity to help in this historic effort to secure private support to advance the university.

I look forward to bringing you more great news in the next Spirit.

Catherine A. Lemmon, BA '86, MA '93