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Helping students on and off the field

Mark Monson
Photo by: Ron Aira/Creative Services/George Mason University

At Mason, student-athletes are passionate about their athletic endeavors. Now, thanks to a fellow Patriot, Mason can help student-athletes succeed off the field as well.

Mason biology alumnus Mark Monson, BS ’74, established an endowment to support the Academic Support Center in Mason’s Athletics Department. The $25,000 gift—named the Athletic Academic Fund—helps a student-athlete succeed in both academics and athletics, as well as have a valuable Mason experience, all with fewer financial obligations. This is Monson’s third endowment to the university.

His previous endowments to Mason include the Mark D. Monson Endowed Scholarship, awarded to a full-time, in-state, rising senior pursuing a biology degree in the College of Science;
as well as the Nancy G. Monson Endowment for the Visual

Arts, in honor of his late wife, to support student artists. Both endowments, while established for very different reasons, are personal in nature to Monson.

“After I earned my degree in biology, my career path took me in a very different direction. But the degree stood me in good stead overtheyears,”hesaidabouttheMarkD.MonsonEndowed Scholarship. “So, I established this scholarship to support fellow students of the biological sciences.”

However, his degree and his stories are only a small part of Monson’s connection to Mason. “George Mason [University] is in my family’s blood. My brother, his first wife, my daughter, my son-in- law, my son, my daughter-in-law, and my step-daughter are all alumni of George Mason,” he said. “I’ve also come back to take courses at Mason—just for fun.”

For the scholarship, Monson attributes his own values of integrity, the willingness to consider other points of view, and the ability to reach an independent conclusion based on facts. He considers his ability to contribute to Mason a matter of good fortune and his belief that students should be ready for their next steps.