George Mason University

News at Mason

Honoring academic achievement at Spring 2018 Commencement

May 17, 2018   /   by Preston Williams

Mason's 51st annual Commencement will honor a diverse class of more than 9,000 graduates. File photo by Ron Aira.

George Mason University will honor a diverse class of more than 9,000 graduates at Commencement on Friday and will continue the new tradition of recognizing several outstanding faculty members for their achievements and impact.

The 51st annual Commencement begins at 10 a.m. Friday at EagleBank Arena. Doors open at 9 a.m. for guests. More details about Commencement are available here.

Paul Polman, CEO of London-based transnational consumer goods company Unilever and a proponent of global sustainability and corporate responsibility, will be the featured speaker.

The 2018 Mason graduates hail from 80 countries and 46 states, in addition to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thirty-seven percent of students reporting parental education level say they will be the first in their families to earn a four-year degree.

A reflection of the region’s workforce needs, 26 percent of the 2018 undergraduates are in STEM fields and another 10 percent are in the health sciences. For advanced degree recipients, 28 percent are in STEM and 5 percent in the health sciences.

The top five majors for the more than 5,600 undergraduates are psychology; criminology, law and society; accounting; information technology; and biology.

The top five majors for the 2,900 master’s candidates are curriculum and instruction, special education, data analytics engineering, education leadership, and public administration.

The top five majors for the more than 300 doctorate candidates are education, psychology, economics, environmental science and public policy, and conflict analysis and resolution. The university will award 147 law degrees.

Mason President Ángel Cabrera will present the four endowed presidential faculty awards:

The Earle C. Williams Presidential Medal for Excellence in Social Impact: Stephen S. Fuller, Dwight Schar Faculty Chair and University Professor,

Schar School of Policy and Government.

The United Bank Presidential Medal for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Angela Hattery, Professor and Director, Women and Gender Studies Program, College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Beck Family Presidential Medal for Excellence in Research and Scholarship: Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, College of Science.

The John Toups Presidential Medal for Excellence in Teaching: Patricia Miller, University Professor, School of Music; and Linda Apple Monson, Distinguished Service Professor, School of Music.

Topics: Graduation