Family Weekend Includes Mason Midnight Madness

Posted: October 13, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

For the sixth year, George Mason hosts Family Weekend starting today, with check-in beginning just before noon on the Fairfax Campus. (The Prince William Campus got a head start yesterday with its special programs.)

The annual event welcomes all Mason families – including employees – for a weekend of social activities, including the highly popular Mason Midnight Madness that ushers in the men’s and women’s basketball season.

A full schedule of events on the Prince William and Fairfax Campuses is available online.

Hill Harper, “CSI: NY” Star

A special attraction of Family Weekend 2006 is stage, film and television actor Hill Harper, star of “CSI: NY,” on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall. This event is free. Harper’s book, “Letters to a Young Brother,” is drawn from the humbling life lessons he learned on the road to his Ivy League education and beyond.

Inspired by the countless letters and e-mails he has received from teens, Hill Harper set out to write a series of letters to young people that would catch the attention of even the most reluctant readers. The result is a motivational, but approachable book full of encouragement on a wide array of hot topics, particularly among young African-American and Hispanic men.

For more information on Family Weekend, visit the web site or call 703-993-3961.

Spotlight on Athletics

A weekend of big athletic matches and huge practices are part of Family Weekend, as the Patriots will put win streaks on the line, face nationally-ranked teams and perform in front of a national television audience.

The weekend begins with excitement as the men’s soccer team travels to Old Dominion University today and puts its nine-match winning streak on the line against the Monarchs.

Old Dominion is 9-2-1 overall, 4-1-1 in the CAA, and it is ranked No. 13 by College Soccer News. The Patriots are No. 22 in the same poll.

Meanwhile, the women’s soccer team welcomes the Monarchs to George Mason Stadium at 7 p.m. The Patriots have a three-match winning streak of their own after beating Georgia State University, the University of Delaware and Drexel University. In Old Dominion, Mason faces a team that has lost just twice this season. The Monarchs are 12-2-0 overall, 4-2-0 in the CAA.

The women’s volleyball team will have an equally difficult task. Playing at home in the John Linn Memorial Gym at 7 p.m., the Patriots will take on Towson University, which is second in the conference with a 16-5, 7-2 record.

Fans at the volleyball or women’s soccer matches can head across campus afterwards and catch Mason Madness, the official start to the basketball season.

The Office of Housing and Residence Life is sponsoring a Mason Madness Pre-Party from 8 to 10 p.m. in Ike’s in Presidents Park. Face painting, recreational games, movies and music will be offered. At 10:15 p.m., there will be a traditional torch walk from Eisenhower Hall through campus to Mason Midnight Madness at the Patriot Center.

At Mason Madness, kicking off around 10:30 p.m., fans will be entertained with competitions as well as performances by select groups. The Patriots’ cheerleaders, dance team and pep band will energize the crowd. Patriots’ players and coaches from the men’s and women’s teams will be introduced to their fans for the first time this season, and they will perform in front of the home crowd. The teams urge fans to “Be a part of Gold Rush! Be Bold. Wear Gold.”

If you can’t make it to the athletic events, you can follow the action online at via GameTracker. If you can’t make it to Mason Madness, tune to ESPNU at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday morning to catch the televised version of the event.

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