Did you know that up until the 2004 Commencement George Mason University graduation gowns were black? The university moved to green gowns in 2004, thanks to the work of a Traditions Committee. In 2011, Mason started using the environmentally friendly GreenWeaver caps and gowns, which are made from 23 20-ounce plastic bottles.
The Traditions Committee was started in 2000 by Mason faculty member Karen Rosenblum, then vice president for university life. The committee, composed of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, implemented several changes in 2004 including the addition of the words “cum laude,” “magna cum laude,” and “summa cum laude” to the university diplomas, replacing the formerly used “distinction,” “high distinction,” and “highest distinction.”
The committee also played a role in the creation of a school ring, which includes the university seal on one side and the statue of George Mason with a background of the Johnson Center on the other, and the march of graduates from the statue of George Mason on Wilkins Plaza to EagleBank Arena for the Commencement ceremony.
Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services