Mason Remembers Deceased Alumnus Picone

Posted: November 3, 2009 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: November 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Mason alumnus Brian Picone, BAIS ’09, died suddenly on Monday, Oct. 26, while serving as guest teacher in Leah Perry’s Queer Theory class. The following announcement was prepared by Ric Chollar, associate director for LGBTQ Resources in the Office of Diversity Programs and Services.

Mason will hold a “Celebration of Brian Picone” on Thursday, Nov. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. at the George Mason statue. A candlelit walk will be followed by a multifaceted celebratory gathering at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Union Building I Patriots Lounge. All are welcome; we hope that many who knew and were touched by Brian will participate – it is our hope the event will include as many voices as possible.

The event will be in open mic style – and we imagine it will include a mix of media, voices, storytelling, music, performances, testimonials and creative responses of any kind that reflect or give expression to Brian’s presence in our lives, at Mason and beyond. Brian was active in so many, many organizations, programs, projects, as well as classes, and we want to invite colleagues, friends, professors, family, and everyone from all aspects of Brian’s life, to come forward and participate.

Ways you can share in the celebration: first, come as you are, come with all of your textures, flair, emotions, memories and aspirations! Come to listen, come to watch, come to lend your greatness to this community celebration in honoring and celebrating Brian and his life with all of his passion, compassion, truth-telling, brilliance, humor and joy.

We are also looking for several (three or four) emcees to serve as hosts for the evening. We’re excited that Ryan Allen/Reann Ballslee has agreed to be one of the co-hosts, and we invite several students to join Ryan/Reann as emcees. If you are interested in being an emcee, contact us at and we will contact you in return.

We invite you to plan to share at the mic – and this includes all spoken word forms and multimedia forms – tell us if you have any special tech needs at and we will contact you.

There will also be ample opportunity to participate at the mic spontaneously – no need to let us know – just come!

This Celebration of Brian Picone is being planned by a group of individuals and offices from around the Mason community. Please direct any questions or additional suggestions to Ric Chollar at or Lisa Snyder at

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