Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Relations Trishana Bowden (at left) meets Mason donors at the Celebration of Giving. / Photos © Risdon Photography.
Creating a community of givers. That theme echoed throughout the Celebration of Giving, a festive reception held Sunday evening, December 8, at the Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus to thank George Mason University’s most loyal and generous donors.
“Your giving to Mason makes an impact,” said vice president of advancement and alumni relations Trishana Bowden to the nearly 200 guests in attendance. “It makes students’ dreams a reality, funds groundbreaking studies, and changes lives.”
An annual tradition, this year the reception provided an opportunity for the university’s leadership to recognize the many individuals who give at significant levels each year to their favorite program or cause, as well as those who support the university through a planned gift or in their estate plans. Through gifts from individuals as well as organizations, Mason raised a record total of nearly $125 million in the 2019 fiscal year (ending June 30), with contributions from nearly 13,000 donors, about 40 percent of whom are alumni.
In the spacious lobby of the Center for the Arts, beautifully decorated for the occasion, guests were entertained by a terrific jazz quartet, consisting of graduate music student Tom Mulherin on piano, graduate jazz studies student Zoe Jorgenson-Speirs on bass, undergraduate jazz studies student Emma Pivetta on the saxophone, and Khanh Ngo, a 2018 graduate of the School of Business, on vocals. Following the reception, many guests went on to attend the Mason Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Concert, held that evening in the concert hall.
Mason is always a community “rooted in education, innovation, and inclusion,” Bowden said, citing another value of the gathering.
Quoting Coretta Scott King, Bowden added that “the greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. If we use Mrs. King’s calculation, I think it proves Mason is pretty great. And that greatness comes from you all, Mason’s compassionate members, Mason’s community of givers.”
December 10, 2019 / Rob Riordan