Mason Korea welcomed all new and returning Patriots at an online convocation ceremony Wednesday. Over 100 attendees comprised of faculty, students, and staff joined the celebration online.
“You are part of the largest Mason class in our history, including the largest freshman class and our largest graduate and student enrollment ever,” said George Mason University President Dr. Gregory Washington in his congratulatory video message.
Mason Korea’s incoming freshman class grew by 10% compared to last fall despite the pandemic, and student enrollment also shot up by approximately 10% since last year. Over 10% of our total student enrollment is composed of international students, including 35 students joining us from the Fairfax campus this fall.
Campus Dean Dr. Robert Matz and the entire Mason Korea leadership welcomed all students from the stage as the rest of the community tuned in via Zoom. These leaders collectively have over fifty years’ experience back at Mason’s campus in the US and, alongside with their Mason Korea colleagues, align the educational, student, and institutional culture of the Mason Korea campus with that of George Mason University as a whole.
Before coming to Mason Korea, Dean Matz served as Senior Associate Dean and Interim Dean of Mason’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Shannon Davis, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, previously served as the chair of Mason’s Faculty Senate. Chief Business Officer Pat Quinn served for many years as Mason’s US Director of Student Fiscal Services. This degree of senior leadership from longtime members of the home campus is unique among the Incheon Global Campus Universities.
Dean Matz began his speech by reflecting on convocation as one of the many connections between Mason Korea and Mason’s US campuses. “Convocation is a welcoming ceremony, an important rite of passage for all George Mason University students, whether they study at our campus in the Commonwealth of Virginia or right here in Songdo,” Matz said. That connection extends to a shared dedication to Mason’s educational mission. “Know that the talented faculty and staff of George Mason University—both here in Korea and in the US—are ready to help you make your college years a success,” he added.
Kelley Chung, Associate Dean of Admissions and Enrollment, announced that for the second time at Mason Korea, we have the child of a Mason alum starting this fall. “You are a diverse group, representing nine different countries and coming from all parts of Korea. We have a Danish Korean student raised in Busan who is passionate about issues around the trafficking of children. We also have a student who already served in the US military and has professional experience in medical logistics. There are many of you who came from the US because you wanted to learn more about Korea while you were pursuing your academic aspirations,” she said.
“You will be expected to ask questions, seek answers, and think creatively,” said Dr. Shannon Davis, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, adding, “You will be active participants in your own educational journey. These are the hallmarks of a Mason–and Mason Korea–educational experience, indeed a world-class American educational experience.”
Yorgun Marcel, Associate Dean for University Life, stressed the importance of engaging with our community. “The education you have chosen to receive at Mason Korea is one that begins in your classrooms but extends to every aspect of your time as a student on our campus.”
“Having served as Director of Student Fiscal Services at Mason’s Fairfax campus for 14 years, I am thrilled to be part of Mason’s Korea campus,” said CBO Pat Quinn in his welcome speech, where he informed students of various administrative services available to them.
Student Council President, Claire Jung, shared her experiences and advised new students to visit faculty office hours. She also advised students to take of themselves, as they pursue their aspirations. “Be the legacy that you would like to see, while making sure that you are attending to your needs,” she said.
For more photos from the event, please click here.
August 27, 2021