More Than 5,700 Students Graduate Tomorrow

Posted: May 16, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

A total of 5,720 students will graduate at George Mason’s 36th annual Commencement tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the Patriot Center. Virginia Gov. Mark Warner will deliver the commencement address.

Of the graduating class of 2003—the largest in George Mason history—3,494 students are receiving undergraduate degrees and 2,012 will be awarded master’s or doctoral degrees. The School of Law will graduate 214 students.

Valerie Johnson of Dale City is the student speaker. She will receive a bachelor’s degree in communication.

Honorary doctoral degrees in humane letters will be presented to Warner and Michael Anzilotti, president and chief executive officer of First Virginia Bank. Dwight Schar, chair and CEO of NVR Inc., will receive the George Mason Medal.

Warner was sworn in as the 69th governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in January 2002. He earned his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in 1977 and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1980. Instead of practicing law, however, he pursued a career in business. In the early 1980s, Warner started his first successful company, and he went on to become a founding partner of Columbia Capital Corporation, a technology venture capital fund in Alexandria. Before becoming governor, Warner started the Virginia Health Care Foundation, which has provided health care to more than 400,000 underserved Virginians in rural and urban areas. He also founded four regional investment funds that have raised tens of millions of dollars to help the southwest, Southside, Richmond, and Tidewater areas of Virginia attract businesses.

Anzilotti joined First Virginia Bank in 1971 as a management trainee in the accounting department. He was promoted to senior vice president and chief financial officer in 1982, president of the Northern Operations Center Inc. in 1983, and executive vice president and chief administrative officer in 1986. He was promoted to his current position in 1995. Anzilotti received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1971 and his M.B.A. from George Mason in 1983. He also is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Anzilotti has been a member of the George Mason University Foundation Inc. Board of Trustees since 1999.

Schar earned his bachelor’s degree from Ashland University in Ohio. In 1980, he founded NVHomes and was chair of its board of directors and chief executive officer until 1986 when the company acquired Ryan Homes. At that time, he was named to his present position. Within George Mason, Schar is a member of the Campaign Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of the Mercatus Center, a former member of the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees and a parent of a George Mason alumna. He was named Washingtonian magazine’s Business Leader of the Year in 2001 for his charitable work and his leadership at NVR, one of the largest residential home builders in the United States and the most dominant builder in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The George Mason Medal is the university’s highest honorary award and is given by the Board of Visitors. This medal is designed to honor George Mason, the man, and those receiving the award have a record of service to their community, state, or nation consistent with the level and quality of George Mason’s public service in his own time.

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