License Plates Tell (a Piece of) a Story

Posted: September 24, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: March 26, 2012 at 7:59 am

By Ryann Doyle

Have you ever found yourself sounding out the letters and numbers of the personalized license plate on the car in front of you while you were waiting to leave campus?

How about while driving through the parking lots looking for an empty space on your way to class or work? Personalized license plates are abundant on the campuses, and many administrators, faculty and staff use the plates to proclaim their affiliation with Mason, personal interests and hobbies.

License plate 1

Lucy Boland’s license plate is a little more obvious than others. Hers reads, “GMU-NSG.” “I am a faculty member in the School of Nursing and am in my 29th year here at the university,” says Boland.

Adrienne Douglass, a counselor in Counseling and Psychological Services, personalized her license plate to read “GLBTQ.” This stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer.  The plate relates to her position at Mason as the liaison to the GLBTQ community.

Sheryl Friedley, a professor in the Department of Communication, has plates that read “COM PROF.” Friedley has been teaching at Mason since 1977.

License plate 2

Patrick Mazur, an admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions, personalized his plates by getting “GNSTON.” “I was Gunston [Mason’s mascot] for three great years as an undergraduate, finishing with the Final Four my senior year,” explains Mazur.

Jeanne Sorrell, professor in the College of Health and Human Services, uses her license plate, “RN Hope,” as an advocacy call for more nurses. To further the cause, the students in her Nurses as Writers class wrote a fantasy book for children called “The Magic Stethoscope” under the pen name “RN Hope.”  “We are selling the books to raise money for nursing scholarships and hope that some of the young readers will one day be nursing students at George Mason University,” says Sorrell.

License plate 3

Karyn Theis, an adjunct faculty member who teaches Nutrition for Health Professionals, personalized her plates to read “RD4ALL.” Theis is a registered dietitian who, aside from teaching at Mason, works full time at Inova Fairfax Hospital where she teaches medical students and interns and works with patients. “When it came time to renew my plates, I wanted the Mason plates, but wanted to personalize it to what I do for a living.  Hence I came up with RD4ALL — meaning I’m an RD who does just about everything.”

Al Underwood, a classroom support technician for the Arlington Campus, personalized his plates to read “IDOAV.” His current job at Mason is in videoconferencing and classroom support; however, the plates were originally created when Underwood ran a video production company for more than 30 years in Clarendon.

Other faculty and staff use their license plates to share their personal interests and hobbies.

License plate 4

Jim Greif, public relations manager in Media Relations, illustrates his love for music with his personalized license plate, “RAWKOUT.” Greif is a musician who plays the drums and guitar in both a rock band and an Irish band.

Jennifer Halpin, the Prince William Campus public relations manager, uses her license plate to show her love for baseball. Her license plate simply reads “BSBAL.” She is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan, and for the Halpin family, baseball is shared love. They try to go to as many minor and major league games as possible and even made it a Mother’s Day tradition to go to a baseball game.

License plate 5

Anne Marchant, associate professor of Applied Information Technology, advertises her ham radio call sign by putting it on her license plate. Her plates read “KD6DSH” and her husband’s plates read “KC6ROL.”

Denise Napoliello, administrative and program support for the School of Public Policy, signifies her love for a baseball team by personalizing her plates to read, “LUV BRVS.” “I am a very passionate, fanatic Atlanta Braves fan,” says Napoliello.

License plate 6
Photos by Ryann Doyle

Karen Thompson, fiscal service specialist for the College of Health and Human Services, shows her interest in genealogy and her own family history in Virginia by personalizing her plates to read “1617VA.”

Thanks to all the faculty and staff who shared their license plates — and a bit of their personality — for this article.

Write to at