News at Mason
Celebrating the success of the Faster Farther campaign
December 11, 2018 / by Rob Riordan
George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera addresses the crowd at the Faster Farther celebration. Risdon Photography.
Janet Bingham,vice president for Advancement and Alumni Relations and president of the George Mason University Foundation, talks about the successful Faster Farther comprehensive campaign. Risdon Photography.
Rick Davis, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, was the master of ceremoncies for the event, which featured performances by vocal studies and opera students from the College of Visual and Performing Arts, among others. Risdon Photography.
Michael Nickens, aka "Doc Nix," director of the Green Machine Ensembles, at the gala celebrating the success of Faster Farther. Risdon Photography.
Tennille Parker (BA '97), scholarship recipient and past president of the Alumni Association, speaks on behalf of Mason alumni at the Faster Farther gala. Risdon Photography
George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera (left), Janet Bingham, vice president for Advancement and Alumni Relations and president of the George Mason University Foundation, and Joseph J. O’Brien Jr., chairman of the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees. Risdon Photography.
Nearly 700 George Mason University supporters, including alumni, faculty and staff, gathered Saturday, Dec. 8, to celebrate the success of the Faster Farther comprehensive campaign, which has achieved the biggest fundraising goal in university history.
Calling George Mason “one of the most exceptional stories in higher education,” President Ángel Cabrera announced that Mason has raised more than $690 million to support students, faculty, campus facilities and research.
“This is the secret of the great American university: a community that comes together, that does whatever it takes to build a great institution for the service of everyone, today and tomorrow,” Cabrera said.
Faster Farther was announced publicly in September 2015 with a $500 million goal. In 2016, Mason recorded its best fundraising year ever, $98.3 million, and that momentum has continued. More than 73,000 donors, including alumni, faculty, staff and community leaders, have made gifts during the course of the campaign. The university's endowment also tripled during that time, to $142 million.
Rick Davis, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, served as master of ceremonies for the black tie-optional affair at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown Washington, D.C.
Highlights of the program included a performance by vocal studies and opera students from the College of Visual and Performing Arts, along with members of the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.
The event also included performances from Mason Music Productions, Mason’s Fife and Drum Corps and a small ensemble from the Green Machine performing “Faster Farther,” an original composition by Andrew Velez, BM ’13, BA ’13, MEd ’16.
Tennille Parker, BA ’97, a scholarship recipient as an undergraduate and a past president of the Alumni Association, spoke on behalf of Mason alumni.
“Scholarships open those doors for those of us who otherwise would have been unable to attend,” Parker said, “for those who’ve heard of college, who’ve dreamed of it, but couldn’t make the gap between dreaming a reality.”
Vice President for Advancement Janet Bingham noted the many contributions philanthropy has made to Mason, including establishing nearly 300 new scholarship funds for students, the openings of Peterson Family Health Sciences Hall and Point of View, the success of the Antonin Scalia Law School, the naming of the Schar School of Policy and Government and supporting Mason’s rise to tier-one research status.
“… For all those accomplishments that we are very proud of, we’ve never lost sight of our fundamental mission of public service,” Cabrera added. “We’ve known from the beginning, talent is distributed equally—talent doesn’t care about race or the economic wealth in your family. But opportunity is not distributed equally. We are in the business of providing opportunity to every person of talent, no matter where they’re from, no matter what their background is. That’s what we do, together.”
A thank you reception for faculty and staff who donated to the campaign will be held on the Fairfax Campus in January.