Ingram Awards Recognize Commitment to Promoting Diversity

Posted: June 4, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryan Effgen

The first annual Ingram Awards ceremony will be held tomorrow in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall. The awards honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to promoting diversity both locally and abroad.

George Mason’s Diversity Advisory Board established the awards as a lasting tribute to Earl G. Ingram, who retired last year after serving as vice president and equity officer at George Mason for 15 years. Ingram’s devotion to the recruitment of minority faculty and staff and the retention of minority students helped transform George Mason into one of the most diverse institutions of higher learning in the United States.

Winners will receive “Ingrams,” award statues that resemble the Academy Awards’ Oscar figurines.

The Community Service Award goes to Ken and Kavelle Bajaj, who have done extensive community service work in the United States and abroad. Ken Bajaj is a founding member of Mason’s School of Management Advisory Board and CEO of DigitalNet LLC, a Herndon, Va.-based IT company. Kavelle Bajaj is founder of I-NET. The communities benefiting from the Bajajs’ generous assistance include a leper colony in India.

K. David Boyer Jr., chairman and CEO of MacKenzie Associates, is the recipient of the Mentorship Award. A former chair of the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees, and current member of the College of Arts and Sciences and Diversity Advisory Boards, Boyer has acted as a mentor to local and national start-up companies. Among his current protégés are MetroStar Systems, Inc., an e-commerce solutions and web applications firm that includes Mason alumni on its executive board.

Long Nguyen, president and CEO of Pragmatics Inc., a growing firm based in McLean, Va., will receive the Entrepreneurship Award. Nguyen, an entrepreneur who has been in business for more than 20 years, has taken his company from a start-up venture to a multimillion-dollar corporation. Nguyen is a member of the George Mason Board of Visitors.

With the Unity Award, William Soza, principal, Soza Associates PC, is being recognized for having welcomed people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds into his company. Soza has helped them develop their careers, both within his own company and beyond. He is currently a member of the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees and the Diversity Advisory Board.

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