The springtime heat was sweltering on May 20, 2022, but nothing could wilt the enthusiasm of the crowds gathered at EagleBank Arena for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences degree celebration ceremonies.
For the first time since 2019, the college held full degree celebrations for its students: a 2:00 pm event to celebrate the accomplishments of its students in the humanities and interdisciplinary programs, and a 6:00 pm event to honor the graduates of the social science disciplines.
Following George Mason University’s Commencement, which took place that morning, the degree celebrations offered a more personal celebration where families and friends of the graduates could cheer as they each crossed the stage with their classmates.
The 674 graduates attending the ceremony for the humanities and interdisciplinary programs were congratulated by Kathy Hollinger, MAIS ‘96, the president and CEO of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. Hollinger, whose experience also includes extensive service to the District of Columbia’s government, asked the graduates to consider the source of their Patriot pride, and related accounts of the contributions of many fellow alumni.
“The bonds of friendship you’ve made with your classmates will endure after graduation,” she said. “Values, passion, and creativity instilled in the classroom will guide you. Resilience and agility, traits evident as you’ve navigated during a time of upheaval, will propel you towards success.”
At the ceremony for the 742 graduates of CHSS social science programs, Daniel Lash, BS Economics ‘97, spoke to the crowd about the graduates’ shared experiences as Patriots. Lash, a partner with VLP Financial Advisors and the president of the CHSS Alumni Chapter, reminded them that “It is now time for you to share the knowledge and experiences you have gained while at Mason, to show the world that Mason graduates are remarkable people who will make great impacts in your professions and communities.”
Dean Ann Ardis also addressed the students, remarking on their experience at Mason during a pivotal time in the university’s history, and inviting them to consider how their education has prepared them for the challenges that life will bring them. “The kind of education you have received as a student in this college prepares you not only for a career but also for a lifetime of civic engagement in a democracy,” she said. “There’s a fire in your belly for making the world a better place that I admire and appreciate –and that makes me look forward to seeing who you will be and what you will have done--10, 20, or 30 years from now!”
After the recipients of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees crossed the stage, Ardis concluded the ceremonies with a two-fold wish: “First, that this university’s educational vision and values guide you as you carry its name into the world; and second, that you stay in touch with us, and consider coming back to campus in the years ahead to lend a hand or a word of encouragement to the next generation of learners in our college. You are a George Mason Patriot forever, and this is always your home.”
June 02, 2022