Grads Relive the College Experience at Alumni Weekend

Posted: August 16, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: August 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm

By Catherine Ferraro

Alumni Weekend

Alumni Weekend is all about connecting and reconnecting with the people and places of the university. Photo by Evan Cantwell

Mason’s Fairfax Campus will be jumping with great vibes again this year when alumni reconnect with former classmates and their alma mater during Alumni Weekend, Sept. 30 – Oct. 3.

Packed with exciting and memorable events, Alumni Weekend is well on its way to becoming an established annual tradition at Mason.

“Last year’s inaugural Alumni Weekend was a big success, and we received great feedback from our alumni,” says Chris Clark-Talley, associate vice president for alumni affairs. “We wanted to establish a new tradition in the fall so alumni have an opportunity to return to their alma mater, connect with friends — both new and old — and see how Mason has grown over the years.”

As a bonus this year, alumni can be among the first guests to stay in the new Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel. Here, alumni can experience the feel of campus living, hang out with friends and enjoy the hotel’s amenities, all while having easy access to all of the weekend’s activities. (Note that reservations must be made by Aug. 31 to secure the special rate of $89 per night.)

Vintage Vegas and PatriotFest

The Patriot is sure to make an appearance during Alumni Weekend. Photo by Evan Cantwell

The Alumni Association will kick off the weekend with a reception at the Mason Inn on Friday, Oct. 1, to give alumni the opportunity to network with friends, both old and new. The reception is presented by Weekends at Mason.

“Vintage Vegas: Glitz, Glamour and Games” is a new event this year and will follow the reception. No matter if you’re a high roller or wild card, you can spend the night placing bets in Mason’s very own Vintage Vegas Casino (actually the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall all decked out for the occasion). In addition to the games, food, fun and great prizes are in store for guests.

To remember the days when they were school leaders, alumni are invited to attend the Student-Leader Alumni Reception on Saturday, Oct. 2. Student leaders, both former and current, will have the opportunity to network and learn more about the Mason experience from different perspectives.

Alumni who want to reunite with friends and favorite professors shouldn’t miss the PatriotFest BBQ. They’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, great food and family fun.

Old Places, New Places

Alumni reception

Alumni Weekend provides numerous opportunities for socializing with old friends and new ones. Photo by Evan Cantwell

During the weekend, alumni will be able to take in Mason’s growth firsthand, but they can relive some of the good ol’ days, as well.

University Libraries Special Collections and Archives has pulled out old photos, yearbooks and other items that are sure to bring back fond memories.

Alumni are also invited on a tour of campus on Saturday, Oct. 2, either on foot or by trolley, to visit some of the newest additions to Mason’s Fairfax Campus, including the Donald and Nancy de Laski Performing Arts Building, the Long and Kimmy Nguyen Engineering Building and the Art and Design Building.

Not to be forgotten, the four original buildings, North (Finley), South (Krug), East and West Buildings, will be on the tour. DUCC (Dominion Hall, University Commons and Commonwealth Hall) and Fenwick Library will also be highlighted.

In a new program called Innovation 101, several Mason experts will give presentations during the day about the university and its future. For example, Tom Calhoun, vice president of Facilities, will present “Building Patriot Pride — The Overview of Mason’s Construction,” and James Trefil, Robinson Professor of Physics, will present “Cultural Liberty and Liberal Education.”

Proud to be a Patriot

Affinity events are hosted by many of the schools and colleges during Alumni Weekend. Photo by Evan Cantwell

Throughout the weekend, Mason’s schools and colleges will host special programs for their alumni. A complete list of events can be found at the Alumni Weekend Affinity Receptions web page.

The Office of University Development and Alumni Affairs will host a beer garden on Thursday, Sept. 30, for Mason’s faculty and staff alumni to show their appreciation for everything they do for the university. Later that day, New Century College (NCC) invites current and former NCC students, faculty and staff to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the college.

Alumni who are looking to put a spring in their step can attend the “Alumni Weekend Step Off” show on Saturday, Oct. 2, presented by the Black Alumni Chapter. A portion of the proceeds from the event will support the Black Scholars Endowment.

Honoring the champions of the 1985 women’s soccer team, the Patriot Club will hold a special dinner and awards ceremony later that night for the 25th anniversary of that team’s National Championship.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit the Alumni Weekend website.

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