Making His Grandfather Proud

Posted: May 12, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Editor’s note: The Daily Gazette will spotlight one outstanding George Mason graduate each day this week leading up to Commencement on May 17.

Haile Negash overloaded his course schedule so he could graduate this year and return to his birthplace in Ethiopia to visit his dying grandfather. The communication major took 23 credits in his final semester to make his grandfather proud.

Negash moved to the United States in 1989 and became a U.S. citizen. “When I left Ethiopia in1989, my grandfather told me not to return until I had finished school,” he said. “I want to finish now because I miss him and I want to see him.” Mason granted special permission for the additional course load.

An average undergraduate course load is 15 credits per semester, so the driven and determined Negash packed his schedule. With an internship, classes, and part-time work at the Aquatic and Fitness Center on the Fairfax Campus, Negash sometimes puts in 12- to 15-hour days.

“I’m burning myself out, but I’m doing it for him,” Negash said. With a concentration in political and persuasive communication, Negash hopes to make his grandfather even prouder by going to law school. His grandfather is a retired lawyer and judge in Africa.

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