Students Show Patriot Pride with 572 Celebration

Posted: November 14, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

Fifty years ago, in 1957, 17 students enrolled at George Mason College, a branch of the University of Virginia, and attended class in a renovated elementary school building at Bailey’s Crossroads. Fifteen years later, in 1972, George Mason College officially became George Mason University.

To commemorate Mason’s 35th anniversary as an independent institution and the 50th anniversary of the creation of George Mason College, Student Government and Mason Ambassadors will host the “572” — a combination of the years 1957 and 1972 — celebration on Saturday Nov. 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. on the Student Union Building I Quad. The event is free and open to the community.

The celebration will coincide with the Office of Admissions’ Mason Premiere, which introduces students to campus life at Mason. The event will begin at the Patriot Center and then move to other locations on campus. Additionally, Admissions will provide food for the day.

The idea for the celebration was developed this past summer by Drew Shelnutt, Student Government president, and Chris Hild, president of Mason Ambassadors.

“The 572 celebration is a great way for the Mason community to commemorate the university’s beginnings, its present and its future,” says Ijeoma Nwatu, Student Government vice president. “It will also be a great opportunity for Mason Ambassadors to get exposure.” Mason Ambassadors are students whose primary duty is to give tours of the university to prospective Patriots, their parents and special guests and to serve as hosts for special events.

Various student organizations will be involved in the celebration. Some of the planned events include student performances and games with prizes, such as a pie-eating contest, a Frisbee contest and a human chess board game.

The Life Time Fitness club will be available to give massages. In addition, ROTC will provide a rock climbing wall for the event. University Life will hand out cups and pennants that have the Mason logo.

At 2 p.m., Fairfax Mayor Robert Lederer will proclaim the event and cut a special cake provided by Sodexho.

The men’s basketball team will play against Dayton at the Patriot Center at 7 p.m., and a limited number of free tickets will be distributed. The Program Board will also sponsor a benefit concert at 8 p.m.

Members of Student Government and Mason Ambassadors hope to find maps, yearbooks, pictures and other items that represent the history of Mason.

“By incorporating historical aspects of Mason’s history into the 572 celebration, the Mason community is better able to understand where we came from and how the university has changed,” says Nwatu. “It’s all part of celebrating the college, the university and the legacy.”

For more information about the 572 celebration, contact Nwatu at sbvp@gmu.edu or visit the Student Government web site.

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