Here’s an impressive fact: one out of every four Mason students who graduated last year were the first in their families to earn a four-year college degree. Nothing better illustrates Mason’s role as the higher education institution that provides opportunity to all in our region. Two programs, the Early Identification Program (EIP) and the Student Transition Empowerment Program (STEP), are especially important to helping these first-generation students succeed in college.
The need for these programs is great, and that’s where the Diversity Scholarship Golf Classic comes in: an annual event that directly supports preparing, recruiting, and retaining first-generation college students. A favorite tradition for many Mason boosters, the charity golf tournament has raised more than $350,000 over the past 20 years to support student scholarships.
On June 13, more than 115 golfers gathered at the Country Club of Fairfax for the 21st annual tournament. Greeted by beautiful early summer weather, the golfers were treated to great hospitality and entertained by a fun day of golf and fellowship. Also on hand were several of the students in the STEP and EIP programs, who not only helped staff the event but also shared their personal stories with supporters under the tent at the 19th hole.
On the course, the popular team scramble format provided plenty of opportunities for birdies, and four teams tied for the low score of 57. Men’s and women’s winners were also crowned for contests like closest to the hole, longest drive, and straightest drive.
The Diversity Scholarship Golf Classic is a volunteer-led event that could not succeed without the support of a dedicated group of Mason community partners. Thanks go to the event’s long-running title sponsor, Sandy Spring Bank, especially to Jay O’Brien (incoming chair of the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees) and to Anne Bolger for their exceptional help throughout the planning and execution. Special thanks also go to volunteers and supporters Jim Green and Ty Johnson for their tireless work and enthusiasm in chairing the tournament committee.
Other companies providing major sponsorship included China Telecom Americas, Capital One Bank, Davis-Paige Management Systems, LLC, the Brick Companies, CACI, and Volkswagen Group of America. We are grateful as well for the generosity of our tee and hole sponsors: the Abrams Group, BB&T Wealth, BB&T Scott and Stringfellow, EDJ Associates, Inc., Edmund Bedsworth, Van Metre Companies, and the friends of Nancy Murphy.
All of these supporters, as well as the many individual golfers who enjoyed the day, have one thing in common: by reaching a hand out to help lift up students in need, they are creating a new generation of success stories for our communities.
Jim Green (co-chair)
Ty Johnson (co-chair)
Robert Sowell, Sr.
University Life Advisory Board
Vice President Rose Pascarell (ex officio)
Jim Green (chair)
Ty Johnson (vice chair)
Annie Bolger (secretary)
Robert Sowell, Sr.
June 14, 2016 / RR