Building Mason Nation

From Students to Alumni, Leaders Reflect on Contributions that Spell Success

Mason students are awesome: that was a key theme of remarks by university leaders at the Senior Leadership Panel, attended by more than 100 members of the Mason community on October 15 as part of Alumni Weekend. Titled “Building Mason Nation,” the discussion was moderated by Brian Jones MA ’06, president of the Alumni Association.

“We have an incredible number of students here who want to be changemakers,” said Rose Pascarell, vice president for university life. “In the last few years we have seen a big increase in students who are much more engaged in the life of their community outside of Mason and inside of Mason. … They really want to see change in their communities and they see the university as the place to have those conversations.”

“Mason is the most diverse institution in the commonwealth of Virginia,” said Julian R. Williams, vice president for compliance, diversity and ethics. “What’s on the horizon? We are on the horizon. I think higher education is going to be the space where society looks to see how we can learn from each other.”

Each panelist was asked what they have learned from the students. “I learn from them how much I don’t know!” said Brad Edwards, assistant vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics. “It’s amazing to see all the things that our faculty and students are doing on a daily basis.”

“The students make me much more hopeful about the future,” said Pascarell. “They come here from all parts of the world, and they bring with them that life experience and share that with us. I have extremely high hopes for the future when I think that these are our future leaders.”

“Here you get to see what’s possible,” added Williams. “We are providing that possibility, that opportunity to a lot of different types of students.”

Janet Bingham, vice president for university advancement and alumni relations, talked about the importance of engaging students, alumni, and the entire university community in supporting Mason. Referencing the Peterson Family Health and Human Services Hall, which is under construction on the Fairfax Campus, Bingham said “It is a beacon at the entryway to the university. It conveys progress. … Putting your name on something is important because it is a public sign to others that you support this place and feel it is worth others supporting it as well.”

President Ángel Cabrera closed the session by describing where he saw Mason being in ten years. “I see an awesome university,” said President Cabrera, “with leaders who try to put students first, to lead with values, and to be courageous. We will work as hard as we can to make you proud of your university.”

10/17/2016 - RR