Join Us at the Diversity Scholarship Golf Classic

This year marks the 19th annual Diversity Scholarship Golf Classic tournament at Mason! This event is open to all who are interested, and we warmly invite alumni, students, staff, and the public to take part. Each year, the Classic pulls in crowds of contenders and supporters from the Mason community for a day of friendly competitive play. 2014’s event will take place Friday, 6 June, at the Pleasant Valley Golf Club, and festivities begin at 8:30am.

The tournament is more than an annual celebration of play, however. Apart from drawing families, graduating classes, new students, faculty, and others with connections to the university together, the Classic provides sponsorship and funding opportunities for some of Mason’s most critical projects. Proceeds go directly to funding the Student Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) and the Early Identification Program (EIP) initiatives, allowing their activities and associated scholarships to continue to be available to students. Many know of the popular Mason tagline—IDEA. An acronym, the phrase describes four features of the university that it has worked hard to distill into its prime directives: “innovative, diverse, entrepreneurial, accessible.”These have emerged over generations of Mason studentship, moving from the university’s origins to defining its identity. The STEP and EIP initiatives are two ways in which the university fosters growth in these areas, especially in terms of being “diverse” and “accessible”.

STEPis an intensive summer program available to first-time university students from underserved populations, and is particularly aimed at students that would benefit from focused attention on college preparation. Students spend the program living on-campus, and enroll in two academic courses, as well as a series of workshops covering everything from study skills to money management. Many students have reported that their STEP experiences were the keystone formative efforts that made their college experience a soaring success by earning college degrees! The expenses of the program are covered for the participating students, making funding events like the upcoming tournament a beacon of support.

EIP is an outreach program to the broader community, seeking current middle and high school students throughout Northern Virginia who would be the first members of their families to attend a university. The Early Identification Program, draws up the resources available to Mason and channels them into the tutelage and mentorship of public school students with aspirations of collegiate success. Students enroll in their 8th grade year and remain in the program until they graduate from high school, while receiving seminars and workshops on life and university skills. Most critically, these students are offered the guidance of EIP alumni and current Mason students. EIP participants receive tutoring in all academic subjects and build their skills in each, and the EIP alumni who themselves do much of the tutoring offer a strong role model to these students.

As such, these programs are exactly within the university’s aims and honors—pathways for brilliant young persons to break institutional barriers, and be part of the tradition of opening doors for creative new professionals from myriad backgrounds. There is no lip-service at George Mason University; it takes all hands to craft a bright future.

For more information on sponsorship packages that can be purchased to support these programs, please contact Philip Hunt, MA, JD, via email at phunt1@gmu.edu or telephone at 703-993-7081. Specific packages contain unique privileges for their donors, so we welcome you to enquire.

To register to play in our tournament, please visit http://diversitygolfclassic.gmu.edu/. The registration fee for individuals will be $150, and to register as a group of four, the fee is $600.

We hope to see you and yours on the green!

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