George Mason University’s Alumni Association celebrated its 50th anniversary with more than 500 alumni, university leaders, and George Mason community members at a special gala celebration.
With just 52 alumni in 1968, Mason now has more than 187,000 alumni today, just 50 years later. The event was an inspirational night for alumni and all those connected with Mason.
Long-time supporter of the School of Business and Mason, Lovey Hammel, BS Business Administration ’88, was featured in a special video produced by GMU-TV titled “The Common Thread: A Story of Perseverance and Spirit.”
“We dream big,” said Ángel Cabrera, president of Mason. “When the door opens, walk through it. And I tell you, if it doesn’t open, kick it open. Kick it open, then walk through it. Then hold it open for many others to follow.”
As part of the event, the Alumni Association recognized 50 Alumni Exemplars who represent Mason’s diverse alumni community, and who exude what it means to be a Mason graduate. Seven School of Business alumni were honored at the event.
Paul T. Burke, BA Business and Public Administration '68
Paul Burke’s academic experience at Mason provided a foundation for lifelong military, public, and nonprofit service, leading organizations to accomplish their missions. After Mason, he completed Infantry Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army, serving in Vietnam as a combat signal officer, and was twice awarded the Bronze Star. Throughout his career he helped lead different nonprofit organizations focused on public service.
Michael R. Kutsch, MBA '75
Michael Kutsch has more than 35 years of entrepreneurial experience identifying successful business ideas and creating the infrastructure and processes to execute against them. His broad background includes founding, building, and acquiring various business interests and generating substantial value through effectively managing the operational and financial aspects of dynamic businesses. He earned an MBA in finance from Mason.
Stephen W. Neal, BS Business '78
From working as a young boy in the tobacco fields of Annapolis, Maryland, to becoming a dealer principal with one of the largest minority-owned commercial truck and school-bus dealerships in North America, Stephen W. Neal is CEO of K. Neal International Trucks Inc. and K. Neal Idealease Inc. Neal’s success was built on several foundations that he learned while attending Mason, and he is a proud Patriot.
H. Patrick Walters, BS Business '75 and MBA '80
Patrick Walters is currently Inova Health System’s EVP and chief human resources officer. He has been a member of Inova’s senior leadership team for more than 25 years. Walters’ early career included executive and financial leadership positions in other healthcare organizations in the Northern Virginia region. He credits Mason for preparing him well by providing broad exposure to business fundamentals, respect and appreciation for multiple points of view and the honing of his communication skills.
Allen F. Johnson, BS Management '83
Al Johnson has served as president of Allen F. Johnson & Associates (AFJ), a global business and consulting firm, since 2005. Previously he was an ambassador in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in the Executive Office of the President. The education, leadership, and social opportunities available at Mason were essential to his professional and personal development. Mason provided a strong foundation for his understanding of business, problem solving, and community service.
Ivy L. Zelman, BS Accounting '90
As CEO of Zelman & Associates, Ivy Zelman has 27 years of experience covering housing and housing-related industries. Founded in October 2007, Z&A provides analyses across all aspects of the housing spectrum. For the past 23 years, Institutional Investor has recognized Zelman as one of the most preeminent figures within the housing industry. Most notably, Institutional Investors–America Research Team rankings placed Zelman and her team with 11 first-place rankings.
Franziska Moeckel, BS Marketing '07
Franziska Moeckel is the assistant vice president of personalized health at Inova Health System. Moeckel is also the co-creator of MediMap®, Inova’s innovative pharmacogenomic testing program and the institution’s first trademarked product line. With more than 10 years of healthcare experience and a deep understanding of precision medicine integration, she is a respected thought leader in the field.
As part of the event, held at the EagleBank Arena on May 12, Mason’s Alumni Association presented a check to the George Mason University Foundation for $78,540, for the 50th Anniversary Scholarship Endowment.