7,700 Will Receive Degrees at Mason’s 45th Annual Commencement
By Daniel Walsch
George Mason University just keeps growing, and this time of year what we are growing is the number of alumni. A total of 7,700 students will graduate from Mason this May. With the 2012 graduating class, nearly 150,000 students will have graduated from Mason.
Of the 2012 graduates, 4,427 are receiving bachelor’s degrees, 2,785 are receiving master’s degrees, 220 are receiving law degrees, and 268 are receiving doctoral degrees. The top five undergraduate majors at graduation this year are psychology (303), accounting (297), communication (284), information technology (271), and biology (255).
Mason’s outgoing president, Alan G. Merten, is the speaker for the 2012 Commencement ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, May 19, at 10 a.m. in the Patriot Center.
This year’s student speaker is Nicholas Cox, 22, who is graduating with a BS in Global Community Health.
Mason alumna Lovey L. Hammel, a member of Mason’s Board of Visitors (BOV) and co-founder and president of Employment Enterprises Inc., will receive the Mason Medal at Commencement, as will President Merten.
Merten joined Mason in 1996 after serving as the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University (1989–1996).
During Merten’s tenure at Mason, the university has enjoyed unprecedented growth in size, academic reputation, and visibility. Mason’s enrollment grew from 24,300 to its current total of more than 33,320; the number of academic programs increased from 110 to more than 200; the number of buildings grew from 125 to more than 170; and the amount of sponsored research dollars has more than tripled, from $28 million to more than $100 million.
Over the past few years, Mason has been recognized nationally as being among the top up-and-coming colleges to watch and among the most diverse universities in the world. In 2002, Mason became the only institution of higher learning in the history of Virginia to have two Nobel Prize winners on its faculty.
Hammel has served on Mason’s BOV since 2008. A 1988 Mason graduate with a BS in Business Administration, Hammel was honored as Alumna of the Year in 1997. She served on the George Mason University Foundation from 1996 to 2005 and was the first alumni chair of the foundation from 2001 to 2003.
Hammel co-founded her Manassas-based company in 1980. The company specializes in staffing, human resources, outsourcing, and consulting services. Among the multiple honors Hammel and her company have received are Washington Business Journal’s Top 100 Private Companies, Diversity Business’ Top Diversity-Owned Business in Virginia, Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneurial Success of the Year, and Working Woman magazine’s three-time recipient of the Working Woman 500 largest woman-owned companies.
Student speaker Cox is a native of Salem, Va., and is a graduate of Salem High School. His interests are in the fields of education, communication, and health. Cox has also been an active member of Mason’s Forensics Team. Following graduation, Cox will move to Texas, where he will teach high school as a corps member in Teach for America.
This article originally appeared on the university’s News site.
To read more stories about Mason, check out the university’s News site.