An email with the updated schedule for the 2nd annual Alumni Weekend arrived Friday evening when my wife and I were about halfway between Knoxville and George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. It included the following sentence: “Just announced: The football game scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled due to a conflict with the visiting team.” A conflict with the visiting team? That’s exactly what I wanted to see! Shouldn’t the email have said the football game has been canceled due to a resolution with the visiting team? The George Mason University Club Football Team was supposed to play Globe Institute of Technology. So thanks for nothing, Globetrotters.
Despite my disappointment, we kept driving north. I had already paid for admission to two events including a reception for former and present student leaders. Back in the olden days, I was station manager of WGMU. They had a display of old yearbooks near the check-in table. I found a page with a picture of student media leaders including a photo of me that was taken during an open house at WGMU’s then-new studios in Thompson Hall.
The student leader reception and the PatriotFest BBQ were lightly attended but showed growth from last year’s first-ever such events. At least they had cake at the BBQ. Entertainment was provided by student singing and dancing groups. The finale was an appearance by former mascot Gunston who got a makeover and is now a spokesthing for eco-friendly behavior. Her co-star is a face character named Mason. The new Gunston can speak and is apparently now a female. At first I was confused by the voice coming through the PA speakers. She must have had a microphone inside her mascot head. The effect would work better if her mouth could move when she talks.
The bronze statue of George Mason was inside a temporary tent that was set up for prospective members of the Class of 2014. As we looked around, several people asked if my wife and I were staying at the fancy new Mason Inn on campus. No, I said. I was a commuter student at GMU and I am now a commuter alumni.