Homecoming theory…

Homecoming at Mason is decidedly untraditional. Our transformation from understated to alive and unconventional occurred only in very recent years, and the event now spans a variety of days throughout the week. Many of the festivities are led directly by students. The community at George Mason has diversified into an array of backgrounds that are often underrepresented at other universities.
As Mason’s populations have changed, so have its customs. A common assumption is that homecoming at the university is geared towards a traditional audience—that freshmen and the uninitiated are the ones for whom the fun occurs exclusively. We are proud to say this is not the case. The minds behind Homecoming Week have continued to expand the invitation to students of all kinds, and our own staff and faculty as well. Events are planned to the interests of the whole university community, finding that key values like competition most excite attendees. The motivation for all this? Quite simple: those of us who work to make Mason great work to inspire all who are involved to feel they genuinely belong here.
We are now host to traditional and nontraditional students, international students from all over the globe, young professionals, and more. Mason is humbled to have each of them, and the invitation to our celebrations goes warmly to all of them.
An identity has emerged for the university that takes immense pride in the diversity and excellence of its population. This is what university-wide events speak to: the spirit of the school, the composite brilliance of every person who comes to this campus carrying their own spark. Individual events highlight this new multiplicity in their own way; once, we played along with the theatrics of crowning a Homecoming Queen and King. Now our court is much bolder—we appoint royals of all walks, some of whom have gained national recognition for their roles as Mason Majesty. Over the winter break, international students returning home carried a Mason torch of their own with them. Whole teams, such as the “G Men” led by our own David Atkins, amplify the joy of being part of George Mason University.
This week seeks to be just such a delight. Friday night, a choir of exhilaration will rise from the pep rally. The proceedings will be peppered with giveaways. The university throws its bloc party, which in its sixteen running years has practically expanded into a festival of its own, with tents for warmth, family areas, a community-wide chili-making contest, and lots for tailgating—the advance lots for which have even already sold out. The events themselves culminate in the basketball game at the very end of the week, but the message runs through and above every happening: We are Mason, and we wouldn’t be, without everyone who’s here.

Posted in Uncategorized.