Alumni Recognized at Annual Celebration

Posted: April 18, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

On Wednesday, April 12, the George Mason University Alumni Association hosted its annual Celebration of Distinction awards dinner to recognize and honor alumni for their outstanding achievements. This year the top alumni awards, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumni Service Award, went to Teresa M. Klaassen, a trustee of the George Mason University Foundation Board, and Joseph Heastie, former rector of the George Mason Board of Visitors.

As Alumnus of the Year, Klaassen, B.S. Business Administration ’77, was recognized for exceptional success that brings honor to George Mason University. As executive vice president and a director of Sunrise Assisted Living Communities, a company she founded with her husband in 1981, Klaassen has dedicated her career to reforming the institution of assisted living. Sunrise has received several awards, including the National Association of Counties’ National Excellence Award, and Klaassen herself won the Greater Washington, D.C., Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1993. A founding member and director of the Assisted Living Facilities Association of America, Klaassen also serves as a trustee on the George Mason University Foundation Board.

Heastie, M.P.A. ’84, received the Alumni Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the university. Heastie has served as rector of the Board of Visitors (1993-94), founding chairman of the Minority Advisory Board (1994-97), and president of the Alumni Association (1997-98). His membership on the Board of Visitors spanned eight years. He has served 13 years as a board member of the Alumni Association, and he is completing his sixth year as a member of the Minority Advisory Board. Retired from a distinguished career in the federal government, Heastie’s dedicated record of service has set a standard of particular distinction and brought honor to the Alumni Association.

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