A Home for Hoops

Opportunities to support Mason student-athletes were the focus of a Faster Farther campaign reception hosted by Jeff Smith BS ’83, a School of Business alumnus and member of the Patriot Club Advisory Board who has been one of the strongest boosters of Mason’s basketball program.

Business and community leaders attending the reception heard athletic director and assistant vice president Brad Edwards and men’s basketball coach Dave Paulsen make the case for supporting Mason athletics. The department is currently raising funds for a dedicated basketball practice facility that would fill the need for “a home for hoops” both the men’s and women’s teams.

Highlights of the 2015 Men's Basketball Season

Mason is on a “meteoric trajectory,” said Edwards, and is the largest producer of skilled graduates who are entering the region’s workforce. More than 500 student-athletes compete in 22 intercollegiate sports at Mason, receiving $5.5 million annually in scholarships and financial assistance.

“There is no better place to develop leaders than through intercollegiate athletics,” added Coach Paulsen, describing the practice court and the arena as “a place for life lessons.”

The need for improved facilities to compete in the challenging Atlantic-10 Conference means that the athletics program offers “lots of naming opportunities” for donors, Edwards noted happily, while also asking attendees to consider how they could help the university expand its constituency.

Smith, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the George Mason University Foundation, is a vice president of Burdette Smith & Bish, LLC, a certified public accounting firm based in Fairfax. He and wife Debora have established two endowed scholarship funds—one for student-athletes, and one for a deserving undergraduate pursuing a degree in accounting.

Held October 21 at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., the reception was the latest in an ongoing series of “Mason Matters” events being hosted by members of the Board of Trustees to promote the university. Women’s basketball coach Nyla Milleson also spoke, as did NFL Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green, who recently joined Mason as associate athletics director.

October 25, 2016 / RR

Give Now to Athletics

You can support Mason’s student-athletes by making an annual gift to join the Patriot Club. In addition, if you would like to consider establishing a named scholarship endowment, whether for athletics in general or for a specific sport, please contact Jennifer Montgomery, Director of Development, at 703-993-3217 or by email at jmontgo2@gmu.edu.