(originally posted in the Mason Family Flash)
Dear Parents and Family Members,
As we start the fall semester, the question I hear most often as parents and family members accompany their students to George Mason University is, “Where did the time go?”
We are privileged to witness many poignant moments as parents, family members and friends help our newest Patriots settle in for the fall semester; each one brings a unique perspective and history to Mason, and we look forward to their excitement and energy as we embrace their hopes and expectations for the future.
It’s also a time to reflect on how much the university has changed over the years, even though our guiding principles remain the same. Mason’s commitment to transformative learning continues as we advance with the Student Experience Redesign, a collaborative initiative to provide the ideal university culture where students experience a harmony of people, processes, and technologies in a transparent and responsive environment. We are already seeing the fruition of that hard work with the launch of the Mason Student Services Center (MSSC), a first stop and central resource for information and solutions related to registration, enrollment, financial aid, billing, academic records and other student support services; At MSSC, a team of cross-trained representatives provide assistance and expertise for new and continuing students at all points of the academic year.
Our students have changed too: the majority of our incoming class of freshmen, part of the cohort popularly referred to as Generation Z, are both tech-talented and tech-dependent – they’ve not known a time without full connectivity. But they are also passionate about exacting real change in the world. Our students are multi-cultural; they are activists; they are experience-driven; they are entrepreneurial and innovative. Thank you for creating this wonderful class of Patriots!
Even though their generation may be unique, our current and incoming students still want the same things that most students want:
- academic programs that are intellectually challenging and engaging, and that prepare them to successfully pursue their passions, dreams, and future careers;
- a climate to explore concepts and ideas with curiosity, openness, and respect;
- a safe and open community, where they feel a sincere sense of belonging;
- opportunities to work with, learn with, or live with someone different than themselves, adding to the quality of their overall learning experience.
We are committed to building an inclusive environment that is focused on student well-being, and we offer many learning opportunities designed to build and capitalize on the resilience of each student. We know this is important to academic success, but it is also necessary as we prepare students to be citizens of the world. At Mason, your student is not only part of one community – they are a part of many. And a committed community of faculty and staff are here to support your student throughout their time at Mason.
Please refer to the University Life webpage as a starting point in connecting to many university resources. I also invite you to watch Welcome to George Mason University, a short video that embodies our shared perspective of the inclusive community and welcoming climate we seek to create here.
We will do everything we can to help your students achieve their goals and aspirations. I look forward to meeting many of you at Family Weekend, November 8-10, 2019.
Vice President for University Life
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