Capital Campaign Highlighted at Fall Convocation

Posted: October 7, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

George Mason’s successful fund-raising campaign that brought in $142 million to the university was the primary focus of the fall convocation, held yesterday for faculty and staff in Harris Theatre.

President Alan Merten had high praise for the many people who helped make the campaign a success. “Through hard work, creativity and the support of many, this unprecedented effort raised our entire institution to a new level of excellence,” he said.

In other topics, Merten discussed the arrest of a Mason student in the Johnson Center on Sept. 29 on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct. The incident involved a student who was allegedly stripped of a protest sign, asked to leave the building and then later arrested. Merten acknowledged that there are disagreements as to what exactly transpired and, as a result, separate investigations are being conducted by campus police and by a team of senior managers that includes Thomas Hennessey, chief of staff; Maurice Scherrens, senior vice president; and Sandra Hubler, vice president for university life.

Merten expects both reviews to be completed by mid-October, at which time decisions will be made as to what additional steps, if any, to take. “George Mason strongly supports freedom of speech and works hard to maintain an environment in which it can be carried out,” he said.

Finally, Merten recapped a number of university highlights over the past few months that ranged from plans to establish a new campus in Loudoun County and the beginning of the Northeast Sector Project on the Fairfax Campus to the dedication of Hazel Hall (named after John “Til” Hazel) at the Arlington Campus and Mason’s fall enrollment of approximately 29,600.

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