Thursday, April 7, 2022, was a day for the history books at George Mason University.
In addition to recognizing Mason’s 50th anniversary as an independent university—a milestone marked in a rousing celebration at the Johnson Center—it was also Mason Vision Day, a day of giving that aimed to unite the entire university community around their shared passion for a single cause.
This year, that cause was the Green Machine Ensembles, a group made up of hundreds of students, alumni, and community members devoted to celebrating the power of music to inspire spirit and shape lives.
Among the most celebrated college pep bands in the country, the Green Machine spreads Mason spirit at athletic events, campus celebrations, and off-campus performances throughout the region and beyond, with a total of nine groups—including the Drumline, Mason World Winterguard, the Fife and Drum Corps, and the Dirty Gold Brass Band—comprising the Green Machine Ensembles.
“The Green Machine has always been more than just a band,” said Trishana Bowden, vice president of advancement and alumni relations, and president of the George Mason University Foundation. “It is a community and a movement, with students from all walks of life that represent Mason at its best. The Green Machine is the ideal cause for our university’s fundraising energies on Mason Vision Day.”
In addition to its online giving component, Mason Vision Day included in-person events on all Mason campuses, and happy hour parties in eight cities across the country. Early returns showed that more than 500 donors had contributed more than $190,000 for the Green Machine through online gifts, with counting still underway. This exceeds the $150,000 goal for the ensemble, making it the highest amount raised for the Green Machine.
That financial support is gratifying, said associate professor of music Michael W. Nickens (aka Green Machine leader Doc Nix), because the Green Machine has always been about supporting students and building community.
“I’d like to think a lot of people see themselves in the Green Machine in some sort of way,” Nickens said. “People have told me that they wouldn’t have finished at Mason, but the Green Machine helped them. They found support just in being together.… The nutshell of it all is, come as you are. We’ll figure out a way to lead you to something that’s better than when you walked in the door.”
Donations are still being counted — to include non-Green Machine donations — and a final tally is expected next week. It’s never too late to give to support the Green Machine. If you’d like to contribute, please visit the Mason Vision Day website.
April 13, 2022 / Originally published here.