The national anthem was performed by friends and alumni (L to R) Wagnus Prioleau, ’19, Bobby Lacy II, ’16, Andrew Velez, ’13, ’16, ’19, and Katie Anderson, ’14, ’18.
For the sellout crowd of 20,000 soccer fans who filled Audi Field Sunday night, the main event was watching the hometown D.C. United pull out a dramatic 2-1 victory over the rival Los Angeles Galaxy in one of the biggest games of the year.
But for the 400 George Mason alumni and guests who shared one section of the stands, the excitement of the win was amplified by the spirit of the annual Mason Alumni Night.
Mason alumni met up before the game at Mission Navy Yard for food and drinks, door prizes, and free swag. They donned co-branded Mason/D.C. United ballcaps and snapped photos with the Patriot, Mason’s always-energetic mascot.
During pre-game warmups, chosen fans from Mason’s group had the chance to sit down on the field to see warmups up close and personal. Others lined the tunnel to high-five players as they ran out on the field during lineup announcements.
When the time came for the national anthem, Mason Nation really shined. As the winners of fan voting through a social media-driven contest sponsored by the Alumni Association, four recent graduates—all accomplished members of the Green Machine—took center stage. The quartet, consisting of Katie Anderson, ’14 and ’18, Bobby Lacy II, ’16, Wagnus Prioleau, ’19, and Andrew Velez, ’13, ’16 and ’19, stirred Audi Field (and a national television audience) with a rendition of the anthem that featured their sublime a capella harmonies.
More than 1,500 votes were cast in the anthem contest in two rounds of online voting. Other finalists in the voting, each of them also fantastic, were Jodi Navin, ’97, Masha Feygelson, ’14 and ’17, Danielle Cullen, ’17, and the duo of Kara Lilly, ’15 and Valeria Sierralta, ’16. You can watch the audition videos submitted by each finalist on the alumni website here.
The evening also provided the Alumni Association with an opportunity to serve the community. In partnership with the youth development nonprofit DC Scores, 30 local youths who participate in the program Acts of Random Kindness, founded by alumna Cordelia Cranshaw, ’14, received free tickets and transportation to attend the game.
“The D.C. United game is one of our largest alumni events of the year,” said associate vice president for alumni relations Chris Clark-Talley. “It was great to have the energy and spirit of the Mason Nation community on display for all to see.”
—Rob Riordan, 8/14/19