New Student Government President Puts His Experience to Work

Posted: August 29, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Megan McDonnell

“When I came to school, I thought the most important aspect of being a good leader was being a team player and maintaining a good relationship with those you are leading. But after all my experiences as a student here, I have realized that the single most important quality to have is the ability to successfully delegate power to others.”

Dale Van Wagner
Dale Van Wagner
Creative Services photo

These words of wisdom come from Dale Van Wagner, a senior at George Mason who has taken on many leadership positions while at the university. This fall, he begins his term as Student Government president.

“Dale is an impressive leader because he leads with integrity, and his enthusiasm and hard work is infectious,” says Alexandra Davis, a student who worked with Van Wagner in Student Government. “Dale motivates students because he is team oriented and he cares strongly about all of the activities he participates in.”

Van Wagner is the recipient of the Peter C. Forame Student Leader Scholarship, which the George Mason University Alumni Association endowed so it could be awarded to deserving student leaders who demonstrate the ability to excel academically and still participate actively in university life.

“Dale has taken some of the most demanding leadership positions here at Mason, many of which require more time than he expected. But no matter what, Dale manages to keep up with all of his responsibilities and excel in all that he does,” says Nikki Elston, assistant director of Student Activities.

A wide variety of leadership positions and challenges prepared Van Wagner for his role as president. Besides being involved in the Student Senate, first as a senator and last year as speaker, he has also been a member of the Patriot Platoon, which supports the George Mason men’s basketball team.

Van Wagner was team captain of the intramural flag football, basketball and softball teams; and he was a Mason Ambassador. As a volunteer for Second Saturdays, a program that gives students a chance to volunteer in the community, he has played bingo with residents of the Inova Elderly Care Center and worked with the mentally handicapped at the Northern Virginia Training Center.

Two years ago, Van Wagner joined the Program Board as vice chair of the Concerts and Weekend Committee, where he helped organize and plan several major events on campus. He has also been a member of the President/Provost Student Advisory Board.

“I believe that my greatest accomplishment as a student leader has been strengthening student organizations by always setting a good example for other members. If I am not willing to put effort into something, I cannot expect others to,” he says.

Posted Aug. 29, 2005

Write to at