Jack Wood Award Recipients for 2015
Mason Student Government – The student government annually works to build a strong relationship with the Fairfax City Council and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The student government partners with area officials at the start of each academic year to host the Relax in Fairfax event. In addition to all the community service they organize and perform year-round, the student government also has an annual day of service to the local community, called “the BIG Event,” which took place just last week. The student government also is responsible for the Mason Lobbies effort each year, which helps us tell the Mason story to state legislators in Richmond and rally support for projects that benefit both the university and the community. Here to accept the Jack Wood Award on behalf of the Mason Student Government is Student Government President Phil Abbruscato.
Dr. Stephen Fuller, a Mason professor and the pre-eminent economist for evaluating the Washington, D.C., region. Dr. Fuller runs Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis, and his quarterly forecasts are eagerly anticipated by the business community, elected officials and media on both sides of the Potomac River and in the District of Columbia. He imparts his findings through personal outreach and public appearances and also hosts an annual conference, now in its 23rd year, dedicated to the regional economy. Dr. Fuller epitomizes constructive town-gown relations, and we’re pleased to honor him.
Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts – Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts has been under the leadership of John Mason for the past 30 years. Founded as a collaboration between the City of Fairfax and George Mason, the Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts Festival aims to enhance the community’s awareness of the many arts and cultural opportunities in Fairfax. It supports fledgling arts organizations in the community. And in the past decade, Spotlight has begun offering six different scholarships to high school seniors to study arts at Mason and Northern Virginia Community College. The Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts Festival has grown from a three-day arts festival into a three-week festival encompassing all aspects of the arts, visual, theatre, music and dance performance. Students, faculty and city residents have performed and participated in the festival, both in the city and on campus. This is a town-gown endeavor that has enriched the university and the community for decades.
Partnership Initiative Category:
#VisionFairfaxMason – #VisionFairfaxMason, led by Cathy Wolfe, Mason’s director of campus planning, and Brooke Hardin, planning division chief for the City of Fairfax. Cathy and Brooke were instrumental in organizing a visioning exercise, called a charrette, that brought together the university and city communities to discuss short- and long-term goals and possibilities for downtown Fairfax and the Mason campus. Cathy and Brooke worked with city and university leaders, as well as the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, to host the three-day session. They continue to be a dual driving force in implementing recommendations that arose from those talks. Cathy and Brooke will present their work at the International Town Gown Conference, which highlights best practices in Town Gown relationships.
Elected Official or City/County Employee Category:
Delegate Tim Hugo – Delegate Hugo is one of the main reasons we are gathered here today. Delegate Hugo, whose district borders the Fairfax Campus, has been a long-time supporter of George Mason University. Several years ago, Delegate Hugo secured critical funding for this road project that would link the eastern and western portions of the Fairfax Campus. This action unlocked the potential for further development. It will also improve pedestrian safety for students, provide Mason with a signature entrance on Braddock Road and reduce the impact on traffic at the Braddock Road and Ox Road intersection. In true town-gown fashion, Delegate Hugo’s contributions on many projects benefit community residents and the university. We are appreciative for all that he has done to help bring the Campus Drive project to fruition.
Congratulations to all our award recipients. We greatly appreciate your leadership in strengthening the relationships between the university and the communities we serve.