The Hine family (from L to R): Audrey, Taylor, and Kayla, with parents Scott and Helen. / Photo by Christopher Bobo.
It takes only a brief visit to the Fairfax home of Scott Hine, BS Decision Science ’85, and Helen Hine, BS Finance ’85, MEd Special Education ’99, to realize that the Hine family are Mason Patriot fanatics. Their walls are covered with Mason memorabilia, spanning from their time as undergraduates living in the on-campus student apartments to the Final Four run and beyond. Downstairs, the Mason photos, pennants, and posters compete for space only with mementos of Scott’s beloved Minnesota Vikings.
Scott, a senior executive at the U.S. Dept. of Energy, is as loyal a Mason alumnus as you’ll find. One of his favorite student memories is watching Mason basketball great Carlos Yates lead the Patriots to victory in the old PE Building (now the RAC) over a David Robinson-led Navy team. Scott and Helen have been men’s basketball season ticket holders for almost 15 years, but his dedication extends far beyond rooting for Mason athletics. It embraces alumni service, mentoring students, and supporting student scholarships as well.
Recipient of the 2016 Alumni Service Award, Scott has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, including as treasurer, and currently serves on the Scholarship Committee. He is the treasurer of the School of Business Alumni Chapter and is also on the Center for Government Contracting Advisory Board. For the Volgenau School of Engineering, he is on the Information Sciences and Technology Advisory Board. This year Scott even started teaching a two-semester capstone class as an adjunct professor, guiding information technology majors in the Volgenau School of Engineering through their senior design project coursework. He enlisted four fellow alums to judge the students’ end-of-semester presentations last fall, and plans to do so again this semester.
Scott’s many interactions with students helped lead he and Helen, a teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools, to establish a scholarship fund at Mason. The Hine Family Scholarship Endowment, launched in December, will award annual scholarship support to undergraduates “who demonstrate a strong commitment to making a positive sustainable impact on individuals, the environment, and/or the community.” Ideally, scholarships will be awarded to students “who have promoted alumni involvement in student activities and/or student involvement in alumni activities.”
Fostering that connection between students and alumni is especially important to the Hines. Scott wants to help more alumni, from his generation and others, find ways to become involved with the university. “Back then very few lived on campus the way we did; now they don’t come back to campus. They got their degree and moved on. So how do you get students—before they become alums—connected? We need to figure out a way to get them involved while they’re here. So we’re just trying to create a connection.”
The Hine family legacy at Mason is growing, thanks to the family’s twin daughters, Kayla and Audrey, both recent Mason graduates. Kayla Hine graduated with a degree in management in 2013, and is now enrolled in the master’s program in biodefense at the Schar School of Policy and Government. Kayla has worked at Mason since 2015, first for the Provost’s Office, and now as a financial analyst in the dean’s office at the Volgenau School of Engineering. Audrey Hine, who also received her management degree in 2013, completed a master’s degree in Criminology, Law and Society in 2015. She now works for the Department of Justice as a criminal analyst. The Hines’ son, Taylor Hine, a 2015 graduate of Christopher Newport University, works as a systems engineer.
At Winter Graduation this past December, Kayla joined her father in handing out “Mason Alumni” pins to the new graduates as they walked off the stage—yet another example of the family’s passion for turning students into loyal alums. Volunteering to “pin” new alumni at Commencement is a personal tradition for Scott, one he’s embraced for nearly 15 years.
“I’ve done the math in my head,” Scott says, “and I’ve now pinned more than 10,000 new alums. It might be closer to fifteen thousand.”
“I even got to pin my own daughters as they graduated,” he says, grinning. “Who else has done that? Not many!”
Rob Riordan / March 2, 2020