Guide to the George Mason University Oral History Project collection, 1978-2013

George Mason Universtiy Oral History Project R0121


Published by George Mason University Libraries

Contact Information:

Fenwick Library (2FL)

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444

USA

Phone: (703) 993-2220

Fax: (703) 993-8911

Email: speccoll@gmu.edu

URL: http://sca.gmu.edu

Descriptive Summary

Repository George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives
Creator George Mason University.
Title George Mason University Oral History Project collection
Date 1978-2013
Physical Characteristics 6.0 linear feet (2 drawers)
Abstract Consists of approximately 200 interviews focused mainly on George Mason history. From past university presidents to former students, the collection comprises a wide range of voices and perspectives.
Collection Number R0121
Language English

Historical Information

The Oral History Program staff records and preserves oral histories primarily of members of the GMU community, which include faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the university. These interviews capture unique personal perspectives about the creation, development, and growth of the university.

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Scope and Content

Consists of approximately 200 interviews focused mainly on George Mason history. From past university presidents to former students, the collection comprises a wide range of voices and perspectives.

For example, members of the OHP collected interviews documenting the 2006 Men's Basketball run to the NCAA Final Four, including interviews with Coach Jim Larranaga and wife Liz, University President Alan Merten and wife Sally, players Tony Skinn, Lamar Butler, Will Thomas, Folarin Campbell, and others.

Other highlights of the collection include interviews with A. Linwood Holton, Governor of the Commonwelath of Virignia (1970-1974); university presidents Lorin A. Thompson (1966-1973), Vrgil H. Dykstra (1973-1977), Robert H. Krug (1977-1978), George Johnson (1978-1996), and Alan Merten (1996-present); arts patron Joanne Johnson; Joseph Mathy, Mason supporter and long-time Fairfax resident; Edwin Meese III, former rector (1998-2004) and member of the Board of Visitors (1996-2004); Richard Sparks and Ann Walker Sparks, Mason College alumni and photographer; psychology professor of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, Lev Vekker; and John and Chipper Whalan, Mason alumni and constructors of the first telescope on campus.

If available, abstracts can be found below the interviewee names.

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Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by last name of the interviewee.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research although some interviews may have access restrictions. Restrictions are under the name of the interviewee.

Use Restrictions

In general, there are no restrictions on personal use. If restrictions on personal use exist, they are under the name of the interviewee.

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Related Material

Special Collections and Archives also holds many other oral history collections with a particular empahsis on theatre and Northern Virginia.

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Index Terms

Persons:

Dykstra, Virgil H., 1925-
Holton, A. Linwood (Abner Linwood), 1923-
Johnson, George W., 1928-
Krug, Robert C., 1918-
Larranaga, Jim.
Meese, Edwin.
Thompson, Lorin A., 1902-1999.

Corporate Names:

George Mason Universtiy.

Geographical Names:

Fairfax County (Va.)
Virginia, Northern.

Subjects:

Universities and colleges--History.

Document Types:

Sound recordings.

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Administrative Information

Alternative Form Available

Samples from selected interviews are available through the GMU OHP website.

Preferred Citation

George Mason University Oral History Project collection, Collection #R0095, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.

Acquisition Information

Interviews recorded by the staff of Special Collections and Archives.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections and Archives staff. Additional processing completed in 2013 by Catharine Cox, Kerry Mitchell, and Jordan Patty.

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Contents List

GMU OHP Collection, 1978-2013
Ackerman, Helen, April 26, 2005
On compact disc.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Adcock, Kathy, May 8, 2003
On compact disc.
1 hour.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Aguera, Victorio Garcia, October 2, 2001
On compact disc.
56 minutes, 42 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Victorio Aguera is a Professor of Spanish at GMU; his studies at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.; how he was hired by George Mason College; memories of the early years at George Mason; classes taught at George Mason; development of the Spanish Major and Masters Program; changes in the student body; the impact of Fairfax County's Hispanic population growth on the Spanish department; visitation of internationally known writers made possible by the Spanish Department; significant people in the GMU community; overview of recent years at George Mason.
Years covered: 1971-2001
Anderson, Philip, November 29, 2007
On digital versatile disc.
1 hour, 31 minutes, 37 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Andrykovitch, George, February 22, 2001
On compact disc.
57 minutes, 43 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Atkins, Marjorie, October 1, 1978
On compact disc.
26 minutes, 23 seconds.
Interview by Dick Nicklin.
Interview of Marjorie Atkins on "GMU Rendezvous" about her husband Oliver Atkins, who was a well-known photographer. He was personal photographer to President Nixon, and photographed many other presidents.
Banning, Brydin, March 18, 2008
On digital versatile disc.
43 minutes, 10 seconds.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
Brydin Banning is a Mason junior majoring in Communications, with a minor in Arts Administration. She is currently the president of UrbanKnowlogy 101, a student-run hip-hop dance troupe on campus. She is classically trained in ballet, tap, and jazz and has a long history in dance. Banning discusses the opportunity and pleasure she receives from being a part of the UrbanKnowlogy dance group in this interview as well as the challenges of managing school and extracurricular activities. Although Banning is not a founding member, she has been on the team since its inception and is involved in the organizational aspects.
Years covered: 2005-2008.
Baum, Catherine, August 15, 2005
On compact disc.
1 hour, 39 minutes, 49 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Ms. Baum was born in the United States and grew up in Europe. As a teenager, she returned to the U.S. and attended Woodson High School in Fairfax. It was during a government class in high school (around 1966/1967) when she first heard about Reston, and she remembers taking a tour with Robert Simon. Somehow she "knew she was going to come back to Reston . . . it was this perfect place." She was attracted to the town, because it was not a typical suburban community in the U.S.--she liked the idea that you could walk everywhere and the small-town character, somewhat similar to the places in Europe where she grew up and lived (in Paris and Wiesbaden and later in Brussels). After graduating from high school and after another stint in Europe (after high school, she went to Brussels to be with her family), she returned to the U.S. During this time [the early 1970s], the equal-credit laws had not been passed [they were passed in 1974, K.H.], and it was difficult for women to get a mortgage [women needed a male co-signer]. This was different in Reston, where Gulf Reston had its own mortgage company. Gulf Reston was more willing to help women to get a loan, because they wanted to help minorities and bring adventurous people to the area. She bought a one-bedroom condominium and moved to Reston in 1975. First, she commuted to her work in DC (back then she worked as an office manager at a law firm) by the bus that was run by Reston citizens. In the late 1970s, she went to George Mason University at night, where she got her degree in BUAD in 1981. Business and management was a "natural choice" for her--she liked math tremendously and liked "getting things done." She eventually quit working because it was too difficult to manage work and school at the same time. After graduating, she initially had trouble finding work (it was during the recession in the early 1980s), but then started to work with a Reston-based real-estate firm. Her boss at the company (Wellborn [sp?]), Mary Howard, was the first woman to become successful in Northern Virginia real estate. Mary Howard became the President of the Northern Board of Realtors in VA, a professional organization that serves as a first point for professional standards and ethics. Back then, for a women to become President of that organization "was a real coup." Women needed a thick skin, tenacity, perseverance, and negotiating skills. Afterwards Ms. Baum worked for CP1, an upper-end design firm that also built her own custom house. Then, she served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for John Laing Homes. Later she was recruited by Stanley Martin Companies. The President of Stanley Martin back then was a woman (Diane Cox Basheer [sp?]) and she wanted to work with her. Ms. Baum later became Executive Vice President at Stanley Martin. She then decided to retire, but missed home-building too much, and eventually got a call from a headhunter to become President of the Washington Division of Drees Homes. She loves the process of real estate, negotiating, marketing, the involvement with construction and architecture. Probably the most difficult time during her career was when she had to lay off employees at Laing Homes. The most rewarding experiences were and continue to be managing successful salespeople. She was very happy about becoming President of the Washington Division of Drees.
Development of Reston: Reston has been very successful in maintaining a mix of housing and in offering affordable housing. The greatest challenge for Reston today is maintaining the building structures. The obstacles for becoming a town are probably too big.
Architecture: Witnessed changes in design over time: bathrooms are getting bigger, people want more space, and children now do their homework in the kitchen. The architecture in the area is quite conservative--with the exception of Reston.
Arts: She loves architecture and arts, collects local Reston art, is a major donor of the Greater Reston Arts Center and a mentor of the Women's Center "I Can" program, helping women who want to get back into a career. She also has served as a chair of the Major Achievement in Excellent "Sales Achievement" Awards and as the Chair of the Northern Virginia Millenium New Homes Festival.
Years covered: 1950s-2005
Begun, Fred, April 12, 2012
On digital versatile disc
1 hour, 1 minute, 25 seconds
Interview by Misha Griffith
It must be noted that this interview was recorded in the Fred Begun Percussion Studio in the de Laski Performing Arts building on the afternoon before the ceremony honoring Mr. Begun. When discussing his earliest musical training, Maestro Begun pointed out that Jazz musicians do not generally get training in jazz; they either got it, or they don't. But most jazz musicians tend to emulate styles and performers they like. Mr. Begun chose Gene Krupa as the artist he most wanted to be like, both in terms of style and his fame. As far as equipment, he started playing along with the radio on a "drum set" his friend made for him out of tin cans nailed to a board. He eventually talked his parents into providing him with lessons and practice equipment. His first teacher was the drummer in the theater orchestra at the Earle Theater-now known as the Warner Theater-in downtown Washington DC. He was able to join the musicians's union at age 16, and got a drum set just like Gene Krupa from new York. Mr. Begun wanted to attend college at Julliard Conservatory in New York. He had something of an ulterior motive-the conservatory was close to 52nd street where all the jazz clubs were. Mr. Begun was hoping to augment his classical training in the day with sitting in on jazz combos at night. Mr. Begun auditioned for Saul Goodman, the principle tympani player for the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Begun described Goodman as being scary looking-like a Mafioso character, and he sounded like one too. His first year was focused on playing in the nightclubs on 52nd street, but he admitted he did not "stop traffic," so he decided to apply himself even harder at the tympani. He learned to enjoy the classical repertoire and really enjoyed performing in an orchestra. As to why he settled on the tympani, Mr. Begun joked that tympani players got more girls than snare drum players, and got paid better. Seriously, he finds the tympani repertoire to be more interesting that the other instruments in the battery. Tympani players need highly trained hands and wrists as well as an impeccable sense of rhythm. Intonation and pitch are the critical challenges for the player. The tympani must be tuned to match the orchestra and the predilections of the soloists and the conductor. The pitch also has to be adapted to the conditions in the hall, because they change over the course of the performance. The current percussion instructor, John Kilkenny, brought Mr. Begun to George Mason University to be a master instructor. Professor Kilkenny also had the idea of creating the Fred Begun studio and he worked diligently to make it happen. Mr. Begun loves to find students with talent and skills and wants to nurture them positively. He dislikes negative teaching methods, but likes to find a way to challenge the student as well. He models his teaching technique as a reaction to the instruction he received at Julliard. Mr. Begun found his teacher was less than forthcoming with all of his knowledge. He blamed this on his instructor being a creature of the 1930s and 40s, when jobs were hard to come by. In fact, Mr. Begun spoke of having to purchase tickets to Carnegie Hall concerts and bring a pair of binoculars in order to see all of Saul Goodman's techniques. He decided he would not be a teacher in that vane. He started taking students as soon as he got his first job playing in an orchestra-one gets a certain cache when one plays with an orchestra and can get students. Mr. Begun spoke of having his own mentor in the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in the principle trumpet player: Lloyd Geisler. Geisler taught Mr. Begun about the trumpet, and how to breathe properly. Since the tympani and trumpet sit near each other and must work closely together, Mr. Begun felt their relationship made him a better musician and improved the way they worked together. In the past, students went to conservatory to learn their instruments. According to Mr. Begun, today's students are far better trained in their instruments out of high school. What this occasionally translates into is that once out of the conservatory, the students do not necessarily have the same amount of awe of the older professional players that he once had. He finds that this sort of attitude occasionally keeps the student from learning as much as they could from others or from learning to collaborate with the more veteran players. His advice is to be in the now, but please do not turn your back on yesterday. Whether the student becomes a professional musician or goes into another industry, the music stays with them. They might play for their own recreation. There are handfuls who graduate from a conservatory and get discouraged because they never get music careers and consequently give up their instrument entirely. Mr. Begun finds You Tube and all the other technological tools are wonderful teaching tools to expose the students to music they may not get to hear or play in the conservatory. His complaint about them is that he finds the fidelity of digitally recorded and stored music to be less than satisfactory when to compared to the long-playing record album. He feels that recordings done in the 1940s can be quite priceless, and that digital could not match the quality. Mr. Begun's playing and teaching style cam from Goodman's technique-or what he learned of it. In his third year at the NSO, the conductor encouraged Mr. Begun to stop emulating Goodman and start his own style. This was the beginning of what he termed playing outside the box. This is also the title of Mr. Begun's forthcoming autobiography. So he does encourage his students to learn and practice proper technique, and play inside the box. However, there are times when a musician gets a "meshugena" conductor, who allows the orchestra to play outside the box, and that gives the musicians the green light. Mr. Begun described Mstislav Rostropovich as being such a conductor. When working with different conductors, Mr. Begun used to take his cue from Geisler in order to get an ensemble sound, especially in the quieter passages of an orchestral piece. Mr. Begun listed several of the more famous conductors he worked understand how they achieved a beautiful l orchestral sound. He compared Rostropovich as an outside the box conductor, as opposed to Eugene Ormandy. Mr. Begun spoke of the excitement of being on tour with the NSO. For example, he spent twelve weeks in South America in 1957 on a cultural exchange hosted by the State Department. He especially enjoyed touring with Rostropovich, because he responded to new situations with enhanced artistry. Working with and orchestra which is dealing with an inside the box conductor, one must tone down the act. Even when he is playing in the Brooks Tegler jazz combo, Mr. Begun reports that he is always cognizant of the fact that he is a guest and needs to follow the lead of the leader of the band. Mr. Begun enjoys returning to his roots in jazz, which he occasionally does with informal jam sessions with combos like Teglers'. When a tympani player makes and "oops" it is critical to cover it up as best one can and act as if it never happened, while getting back on track with the rest of the orchestra. Mr. Begun recalled his worst mistake was in a concert at Wolf Trap with Rostropovich conducting. He got confused during two entrances in a Tchaikovsky concerto that sounded alike. The immigrants to America from Europe in the wake of World War Two had a major impact on American orchestras, and brought special understanding to the artistic pieces from Europe. For a whole, there were many prejudices against American conductors, until they were broken by Leonard Bernstein, or "Lenny" as Mr. Begun called him. When asked what he liked most about the de Laski Performing Arts Center, Mr. Begun replied that he found it to be an island of culture here in Fairfax. He joked that his favorite part was the plaque with his name next to the door. He likes how each room is designed with proper storage and other amenities, but the rooms also have very nice acoustics, which do not muffle the sound of the instruments. Concerning the future of George Mason's Music program, Mr. Begun feels that it is attracting students who in the past would have qualified for and gone to the more famous conservatories. Word is getting out about the quality in GMU and he thinks it is a good place to learn to be a better musician. In closing, Mr. Begun reflected on the life of the performing artist-that this person lives a privileged life. He characterizes his choice of careers as being a life-giving force, and that might be one explanation as to why conductors have such long lives. Mr. Begun never wants to stop playing-he figuratively wants to be carried off the stage, and he greatly appreciates that he has been able to lead such a life. We asked Mr. Begun if he had any drummer jokes-he told us two, which he claimed were true about his teacher Saul Goodman, and the snare drum player in the NY Philharmonic Sam Borodkin.
Years covered: 1930-2012
Bennett, James, February 2, 2004
On compact disc.
Interviewed by Jennifer June Flack.
James Bennett talked about his interest in teaching at an early age and his interest in economics; journal editor for 25 years; has been Chair of Economics for two years; liked coming to GMU because of the potential to do things without much bureaucracy, wanted an entrepreneur-like environment; "publish or perish" approach to teaching; mentioned recent publications: "Tax Funded Politics"; another work on how technology has affected work, and future work on the misappropriation of homeland security funds; changes in the department in terms of improved quantity and quality--Nobel Laureates in the department as well; international acclamation for the department; mentioned early business classes taught at Paul IV while professor's offices were in a farm house on Kelly Drive; the student body in terms of quality input is down since first starting teaching; experience teaching has been fun with less impediments.
Years covered: 1975-2004
Bergoffen, Debra Beth, October 26, 1999
On compact disc.
58 minutes, 27 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Boettke, Peter, November 24, 2010
On digital versatile disc.
Interview by Nona Martin and Robert Vay.
In the first of two interviews, Peter J. Boettke discusses his time as a doctoral student in George Mason University's Economics department. He speaks of his time between graduate and returning to the school as a professor, when he came to the realization that teaching graduate students was important to him, and that he desired to have colleagues who were economists, particularly Austrian economists. He found both things at GMU.
Years covered: 2003-2010.
Boettke, Peter, December 3, 2010
On digital versatile disc.
Interview by Nona Martin and Robert Vay.
In this second interview, Peter J. Boettke talks about George Mason University being the best place to do weird things, which in this instance is the heterodox field of Austrian economics. It was and still is an exciting place with very talented students when he came to the department. He details the students he worked with and how they care on the legacy of Don Lavoie. And, that his student placement rate disproved the notion that Austrian economists could not get jobs in academia.
Years covered: 2003-2010.
Bolstein, A. Richard, November 30, 2001
On compact disc.
2 hours, 26 minutes, 11 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Discussion of time at Mason; development of the Department of Applied and Engineering Statistics at George Mason University; chair of Department of Applied and Engineering Statistics from 1999 to 2006.
Boothe, Leon, February 28, 2003
On compact disc.
1 hour, 25 minutes.
Interviewed by Paulina Vaca.
Borkman, Thomasina, April 7, 2004
On compact disc.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Professor Borkman taught at Catholic University; came to George Mason University and saw more freedom here; more open to women (Catholic wasn't); perceived biases at Catholic where they did not treat women well; 40% female at GMU, where she felt more power balances; Department of Sociology moved around from trailer to Robinson B; 5,000 students when first starting out; mentions students as being more difficult now in their behavior than in the early years; "standards have slipped"; mentioned some aspects of faculty/administration relationship: Christmas at Gunston Hall as an ended tradition between faculty and administration; university demands research but has less support to do research; projects on self-help, mustual aid, and experiential knowledge with cross-national study; described her publications; overall feeling of GMU is that it has been upbeat and positive; saw the library as undergoing gigantic improvement; Chair for 10 years on the Human Subjects Review Board as a memorable experience; has enjoyed her colleagues and the freedom of the university.
Years covered: 1974-2004.
Bradley, Ted Ray, May 4, 2000
On a compact disc.
1 hour, 5 minutes, 56 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Brewer, Charles, November 2, 2011
On digital versatile disc.
55 minutes, 14 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay.
Mr. Brewer attended Washington-Lee High School and graduated in 1964. He was proud of other Washington-Lee alumni Shirley MacLain and Warren Beaty. While Mr. Brewer wanted to become an actor like them, his mother convinced him to go into a more practical field like business. He decided to attend George Mason College (GMC) because of economic reasons-he had been accepted elsewhere, but was able to live at home and attend GMC at a lower cost. He had not completely settled on a major when he started at GMC, but they had only a handful of degrees to chose from. He remembered feeling lost on the first day, and characterized himself as a young eighteen-year old. Registration took place ahead of time-one simply signed a form for open classes. He recalls the college only had one paved parking lot-the rest of the parking areas were gravel. Mr. Brewer took the bus from Seven Corners to downtown Fairfax-the WMTA- and had to hike from downtown. The only buildings he passed on the way to campus were the shops on Main Street, City Hall, and a subdivision, but no commercial buildings. When the weather turned bad, he joined a carpool. Mr. Brewer does not recall Dr. Reid, the Director of the College, and he does not recall the official Dedication ceremony in November of 1964, but thinks he might have attended it. In regards to the sports facilities, Mr. Brewer remembers the playing field just beyond the South Building. The GMC Rugby team, which he recalled lacked many teeth, was a very cohesive group. The Basketball team used the old Fairfax High School gymnasium for their games, and Mr. Brewer became the statistician for the radio feed. Does not remember the Dress Code controversy of 1964-5 or the Man in the Trailer who lived on the corner of University and 123. He thinks the sports teams themselves might have chosen the mascot of the Patriot, and that it fell in line with the other historical mascots in Virginia. He also was too busy as a student to recall the controversies between Director Reid and the Faculty in the Spring of 1965. Mr. Brewer had not known that GMC would become a four-year college, but he was happy it became one. He was only a daytime student because he had a job in the evening. He spent down time with the other students in the Ordinary-the cafeteria. Clubs were very informal-even the fraternities and sororities were just local, and did not join with the national organizations until several years later. He and another student started the Agora Club, to focus on drama and debating. The debate portion fell by the wayside due to lack of interest, but they put on a variety show in spring of 1965 and made a black and white silent film in 1967. The film retold the Jekyll and Hyde story with the Rugby team and a chase scene that ended up in Georgetown. In 1968 he produced a discovery play called "the Country Wife." The costumes were borrowed from the Little Theater of Alexandria. The play was performed on the stage of the Lecture Hall-which had just been built. Had to allow for lack of proscenium. The Agora Club produced two variety shows while he was there. Mr. Brewer was the President of the Young Republicans, and brought Joel Broyhill the congressman for Fairfax to talk. Another campus activity Mr. Brewer was involved in was the Gunston Ledger-the campus newspaper. He was the business manager for the paper. Elton Caton, the editor, was an activist who kept his staff busy, but was not afraid to print anti-war material. The newspaper was about campus matters, not community affairs, although Mr. Brewer recalls writing a review of the movie "2001: a Space Odyssey." Politics on campus were still vocal, with protests for and against the war, and Mr. Brewer remembers that a GMC professor who burned his draft card made national news. Brewer himself received several deferments for the draft, but was called up immediately after graduation, which is why he chose to join the Navy instead. Mr. Brewer also worked as a photographer for the yearbook: The Advocate. He described the first darkroom as a broom closet between two biology labs. Mason Days were not as big of an event in 1968 as it is now-he recalls watching the tug of war. However, he does not recall how the College came up with its mascot or colors. Chancellor Thompson was well liked; Mr. Brewer described him as having a "regal bearing." Under Thompson, Mason expanded through purchase of land and building new buildings, like the Lecture Hall and the library. Mr. Brewer was part of the gang of students who helped move the books out of second floor of East hall and into the new library. H. McBain Turner was a popular Dean of Students who drove a Jaguar convertible that broke down frequently. Mason may not have come into competition with the larger schools in the area, but the Rugby team did beat UVa. Mr. Brewer felt that the instructors were uniformly very good, and he remembers them very fondly. The first commencement was notable for the brevity of the ceremony-only fifty-two people were matriculated that day. After the Navy, Mr. Brewer returned to GMU to get his MBA, and found the College had turned into a real University, and he was pleased to see how it had grown. He also served on the alumni advisory committee.
Years covered: 1964-1968
Broome, Benjamin, February 3, 2009
On compact disc.
27 minutes, 44 seconds.
Interview by David Houpt.
In this interview, Professor Benjamin Broome discusses his relationship with Dr. John N. Warfield; offers his perspective on the development of Interactive Management (IM) and its popularity over the years; shares thoughts about what makes for a successful IM session, using the work of the Winnebago tribe in Nebraska as an example; and touches on his experience applying some of the IM technology in Cyprus.
Years covered: 1930-2009
Access Restrictions
Restricted access to recording. Only transcript available for viewing.
Use Restrictions
Restricted access to recording. Transcript available only. There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Benjamin Broome interview must be obtained from Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Brown, Lorraine Anne, March 7, 2002
On compact disc.
39 minutes, 29 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Lorraine Brown is a Professor of English at George Mason University. Description of George Mason College; viewpoint of faculty members during the early 1970d; relationship with UVA; funding issues under UVA and after separation; faculty relationship with GMC administration; how the English Department worked with the UVA syllabi; faculty reaction after 1972 separation; faculty meetings in response to new independence; the role of the faculty after separation; GMU leadership; key people who helped develop GMU's first 30 years; concerns about the development; the lasting impact of GMU's independence; how GMU is different from GMC.
Years covered: 1966-2001.
Brunette, Peter, December 15, 2003
On compact disc.
24 minutes, 45 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Peter J. Brunette is an English and Film Studies Professor at George Mason University. He has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level and now teaches a Cultural Studies Ph.D. program. Past positions: Director of Film and Media Studies program, Director of the Writing Lab, Graduate Director. Has published books on Italian directors. Talks about his side career as a film critic and the interdisciplinary aspect of the English department; attends film festivals worldwide; mentions publishing as part of the teaching profession; mentions President Johnson's policy of expanding the university. Participated in the development of the English and Film Studies department.
Years covered: 1975-2003
Buchanan, James, October 19, 2010
On compact disc.
40 minutes, 21 seconds.
Interview by Nona Martin and Robert Vay.
Dr. James Buchanan talked about the entrepreneurial spirit that brought him here, listing Karen Vaughn as influential in his move to George Mason University. When he came from Virginia Tech, he brought about 7 colleagues with him. The main difference between them and the faculty at GMU was that they (Public Choice folk) had higher status in the field. By the time he came to GMU, the school was just starting its PhD program. He spoke about the role of geography in academic scholarship.
Buchanan also traced his decision to become an economist and how serendipitous it was. He spoke about how he developed his teaching style. The style he employs is one of inclusion and interaction with the students; one that encourages and not breaks down the student. He spoke about the influence of his professor Frank Knight. The lesson he learned from him was to challenge everything: to buck status and convention and for living out that lesson he became known as a maverick as well as what led to his winning the Nobel Prize.
He spoke of several of his colleagues, including Gordon Tulluck, Karen Vaughn, and Walter Williams, and of students such as Peter J. Boettke.
Dr. Buchanan explained his schedule now that he is retired: he still gets up early, and he is very busy working out new ideas and giving lectures.
Years covered: 1930-2010.
Buffardi, Louis Carl, January 26, 2001
On compact disc.
1 hour, 29 minutes, 43 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Bumgarner, Kenneth, April 26, 2002
On compact disc.
1 hour, 29 minutes, 50 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Butler, Lamar, June 30, 2006
On digital versatile disc.
17 minutes, 30 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Calhoun, Thomas, November 4, 2011
On digital versatile disc.
39 minutes, 49 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith and Robert Vay.
Mr. Calhoun retired from the US Navy in the summer of 2004, and started at George Mason in January of 2005. He had been in the civil engineer corps. And supported the land facilities in the US and in Italy. His work in the Navy was very similar to his work at GMU: planning and building and maintaining facilities. The Department of Defense has a different decision-making process than the University-the D of D has age-old systems to follow, while the University's process is more collaborative and does not follow established procedures. Mr. Calhoun describes the facilities department's responsibility lies in insuring the buildings are ready for the students, faculty and staff. When things are properly functioning, the rest of the campus should be unaware that his department exists. He finds leadership skills are important to connect properly with others in the university. He also depends on the ability to keep many projects going and to be aware of how things are proceeding, as well as knowing what to do in case something goes wrong. The construction effort of the past five to seven years has been an effort to keep up with growth-always a game of catch up. The facilities are ones that are needed today. However, looking forward, it is important to make the facilities attractive and useful in order to attract new students. Growth has been in response to specific needs by specific departments. It has to be carefully planned. All the campuses must be in active contact with the communities surrounding them. Dr. Merten has set up advisory committees in the various communities, they are proactive working with the residents. GMU has become a major force in the economic community and the partnerships have mirrored the growth of Fairfax County itself. Mr. Calhoun insists that the university must be driven by the needs of the students. Information must be gathered and shared, as well as translating the visions of diverse groups and turning those ideas into buildings and facilities. Students are harder to get information from-mainly because they are here for a shorter period of time. Always getting student input. Speed of communication is affecting facility design. Students also learn differently today than before, so the facilities must reflect those needs. It has become vital to keep up with the trends, is sometimes constrained by the existing form of the rooms. Federal and state funding is dependent on following procedures and rules. Sustainability and health and accessibility are all important considerations. Meeting the broadest range of needs is a guide. Work like the bypass comes under numerous different jurisdictions, and Mr. Calhoun must hire consultants to help with the planning process. There is a facilities master plan that each area is tagged for specific purposes, and the Board of Visitors regularly meets to develop these provisions. Example: the change between GMU as a commuter campus to become a residential based campus. This drove many decisions in how to redesign the campus based on needs of residential students. The BofV set the broad parameters, but the facilities dept. decides the specifics. LEED is important throughout the nation. It is a set of standards that asks new buildings to be sustainable. Actually save money in the long run by saving energy. GMU B of V decided to meet LEED silver standards before the Commonwealth instituted the policy. Dr. Merten has been very active and supportive in building. He is able to figure out the balance of resources and requirements. Merten has been the driver for two projects that were uncommon to universities: Mason Inn and Masonvale. Very successful both in University and around the community. The community pushback against these projects-the conference center has become an important draw for other business, and the neighbors of Mason Vale liked the rural feel. These provide additional tools to the University to recruit top talent. The most important function of a facility, in Mr. Calhoun's opinion, is to make the building work from the inside out and then to make it look good. Dr. Merten's lasting legacy: he will always be tied to the growth that has occurred. Has been a game of catch up. Making all the pieces fit together and ask the question "wow, how did they do that?" Mr. Calhoun is excited about the growth of the campus and the system that encourages people to make a difference.
Time period covered: 2004-2011
Carty, Rita, March 18, 2002
On compact disc.
54 minutes, 32 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Cawley, Edward "Jeff", July 7, 2004
On compact disc.
1 hour, 40 minutes, 55 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Edward "Jeff" Cawley started at George Mason College in the fall of 1964. Remembers the dedication in 1964 as a "fluke." His family had lived in the area since 1945, and he chose GMC because of its low cost and convenience. The campus was very small and it felt "almost like a family." He majored in business and public administration, while working as a part-time teller at a bank in Fairfax. Cawley remembers the protest against Robert Reid and protests against the Vietnam War. After graduating in 1968, he worked full-time with the bank and became assistant auditor. In 1970 he started to work with the City of Fairfax, first as assistant treasurer, then became comptroller (director of finance) in 1975. Fairfax has changed: fewer school-age children, much more high-end residential development, commercial areas. The city was rather ignorant toward the university at first, but started to acknowledge the importance of GMU in the late 1970s/1980s. One of the outcomes of the collaboration was the CUE system (City University Energy saver). Cawley was a GMU Foundation trustee from 1972 - 1996; it was the best group he has ever been involved with. He notes the "can-do" attitude of the Board of Trustees. He is now working with the Annual Fund of GMU. He retired as Director of Finance, and is volunteering with the Red Cross.
Years covered: 1964-2004
Chaivoe, Nick, January 18, 1978
On compact disc.
3 hours, 3 minutes, 38 seconds.
Interview by Shirley Tanzer.
Christopher, Susan, May 27, 2004
On compact disc.
1 hour, 8 minutes.
Interview by Paulina Vaca and Robert Vay.
Church, Lucy, August 18, 2000
On compact disc.
55 minutes, 25 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Church, Randolph, March 14, 2000
On compact disc.
58 minutes, 8 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Cohen, Dan, November 4, 2010
On digital versatile disc.
37 minutes, 1 second.
Interview by Nona P. Martin and Robert Vay.
Dan Cohen started working for the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) in January of 2001. He is currently the director of the CHNM, a position he took over in 2007 after the sudden and untimely death of Roy Rosenzweig, the founding director of CHNM.
As a traditional historian, Cohen always had an interest in digital media as he worked as a computer consultant throughout high school and college.
He explains CHNM as being organized along three objectives: Education, Public Projects, and Research. These were not the objectives when the center was started. At that time, the main objective was Education. The objectives morphed as the need and opportunity arrived. CHNM is 90% grant funded and employs nearly 50 people. The way they choose projects is simply to match ideas with available funding.
He sees CHNM's uniqueness as being grounded in the fact that they are grounded in the discipline of history. This even affects their hiring choices. CHNM chooses more often to hire historians with little to no tech training, and then to train them. It is important even when coding to look through the project with a historian's eye.
Years covered: 1999-2010.
Conklin, William, July 6, 2000
On compact disc.
1 hour, 1 minute, 50 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Corrigan, James "Jim", October 22, 2010
On compact disc.
An oral history interview with three Mason alums: James "Jim" Corrigan, Rod Burfield, and David Ritchey.
Interview by Nona Martin with Bob Vay.
Transcript available.
Years covered: Not specified.
Cotman, Timothy, August 24, 2010
On digital versatile disc.
43 minutes, 34 seconds.
Interview by Nona P. Martin and Robert Vay.
Timothy Cotman Jr. grew up in Charles City County in Virginia. He was the only one of his small graduating class (55 people) to go to George Mason. He decided on Mason after attending an open house for prospective engineering students. He attended Mason from 1990 to 1995. Although he was originally interested in the sciences, he finally decided on English as his major.
Of his favorite classes, he recalls a class in African American literature that was taught by Keith Clark. This class was one of the most influential in his undergraduate studies. It started what could be referred to as a racial awareness. He also points to professors Humbertson and Ashley Williams as professors that really made a difference.
While on campus, he was a member of the Black Student Alliance. He was also a member of Echoes of Joy, a mass choir led by Tiffany McDaniels.
When he was a junior (in 1992), he took an on-campus job working with the Early Identification Program (EIP). He has been working with EIP in one role or another continuously since then, particularly in his position as a Minority Achievement Coordinator in the Arlington County School System.
After becoming involved with the Black Alumni Association, he learned all that many of Mason's Black Alumni had done before him, such as the Black Student Alliance, to make everything possible, and he felt he should do more.
Years covered: 1990-2010.
Cozzens, Robert, April 6, 2004
On compact disc.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Professor Robert F. Cozzens has been teaching Chemistry at George Mason University since 1967; his first impression of GMU was that it was a small college and that it would grow. He has enjoyed teaching and has seen the school grow gradually; however, student numbers have gone up, but he's not sure that the quality has gone up. He mentioned that he designed the curriculum, and that funding for the department is difficult because there are no industries around Virginia to drive the money and the students. Professor Cozzens described his field of research with lasers and working with the Department of Defense through the National Research Lab. He has liked keeping in contact with students and likes having academic freedom.
Czarda, Lawrence D., March 3, 2012
On compact disc
31:12
Interview by Misha Griffith
Dr. Czarda opened the interview describing the various positions and learning and teaching experiences he had at George Mason University since 1983. In total, he had had fourteen separate offices on three campuses. He had worked as chief of staff for both George Johnson and Alan Merten. His main responsibilities had been to take care of crisis and problems as they arose, so this is why he filled so many different jobs. Dr. Czarda then explained his role in the hiring of Dr. Merten-that he was the senior staff member and liaison to the Board of Visitors (B of V) and the search company, but also had to vet candidates himself to prevent conflict of interest problems for the search firm. He described how the B of V were divided and contentious because of the appointees from both Governors Douglas Wilder and George Allen. So he was responsible for collecting the data on Dr. Merten and negotiating the contract himself. Dr. Czarda contended that Dr. Merten's background and his knowledge of Washington DC made him stand out from the other contenders. Dr. Merten was very relaxed during the interview process and showed he was a perfect fit for George Mason. From the process of negotiating with and learning to work with Dr. Merten, Dr. Czarda related the many things he learned: how to be honest and open with the hiring committee, how to negotiate before taking the job, and how to research the University once he was hired. Dr. Czarda used these lessons when he took the job of President of Greensboro College, and negotiated a contract that he felt would be in the best interest of the College. When Dr. Merten arrived at George Mason, he had many major positions to fill in the first 18 months. Dr. Czarda described how the President went about the task of filling these positions very deliberately and with an eye toward communicating to the University that he had certain goals and wanted to get off on the correct foot. Dr. Czarda thinks that this situation could have been a crisis, but with proper planning, crisis was avoided. 9/11 was a large challenge too. Dr. Czarda was VP of Operations at this point, and he recalled how the destruction of the Pentagon was visible from the Arlington campus and affected that campus in particular. The DC sniper episodes just after affected the two other campuses. Dr. Czarda credits President Merten with steadfastness and steady leadership to see GMU through these crises and support the rest of the staff and faculty in any way they needed. The Executive Council and the Group of Four were the vehicles Dr. Merten used to bring about his goals and ideas. Dr. Czarda found that Merten's values consisted of several important methods. The first was clear communications, which Dr. Czarda describes and a combination of transparency and accountability. What gets measured can get better if properly resourced. Another value was acceptability in the community-which Dr. Merten worked hard to be inclusive of everyone. A third value was to be supportive of staff, and Dr. Czarda gave the example of a personal crisis he experienced in which Dr. Merten was totally supportive. Dr. Czarda had been very involved with community involvement before he worked at Mason. As Chief of Staff, he was the University's liaison to the State government in Richmond, as well as working closely with regional and county representatives in opening GMU's other campuses. He found that Dr. Merten was extremely good at reaching out to these communities and the leadership to enact the change he wanted. Part of working well in the community is understanding the role the University plays in the economy of the region. In bad times, enrollment goes up. Dr. Czarda and Merten positioned and marketed the University as a crucial investment during bad financial times. During good times, it is critical to leverage improvement and build facilities. Concerning teaching, Dr. Czarda was a teacher himself, so he understands and respects faculty. Those things that he is most proud of is building and working with a university that was constantly on the move and growing. Dr. Czarda is as proud of this as he is of all the buildings he helped to secure. Dr. Merten's lasting legacy, according to Dr. Czarda, is making George Mason University an important part of Northern Virginia, and part of the infrastructure. The National stature of George Mason can be attributed to Dr. Merten. One of the things Dr. Czarda learned from Dr. Merten was that the President's wife is an indispensible team member in the University. Dr. Czarda then explained that many of his family members are still connected to George Mason, and so he returns frequently.
Years covered: 1983-2012
Deshmukh, Marion, February 23, 2000
On compact disc.
46 minutes, 21 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Dykstra, Vergil, February 18, 2010
On digital versatile disc.
46 minutes, 23 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Dr. Vergil Dykstra was the President of George Mason University from July 1973 until 1977. Coming to Mason in its first years as an independent university, he brought with him knowledge about the challenges of building up a very young university from his previous administrative positions at other universities. he speaks about how he first wanted to establish credibility and trust with the faculty and staff, and then help them to understand the necessary undertakings to make Mason a successful school. Dr. Dykstra also spoke about the relationship of Mason with other Virginia schools (particularly the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech), and working with the political establishment in Richmond.
Dr. Dykstra's goals for Mason were to increase the diversity of the student body, expand academic programs, and increase the physical amenities on campus. Initially seeing the need for a more diversified student body, he hired an African American Director of Admissions to help place Mason on the path to encouraging diversity. Additionally, discussions about acquiring a School of Law started during the early 1970s, and while Dr. Dykstra did not see the need for another Virginia law school at the time, he did encourage the growth of Mason graduate programs. During his time as president, he also succeeded in seeing great physical growth on campus, including the opening of Student Union Building I (SUB I), Fenwick Library, and Robinson Hall. Although he believed that Mason could grow under the auspices of a "commuter school," discussions about building on-campus living also began during his presidency. He also spoke about influential campus events and activities, including Jane Fonda coming to speak to the student body, and the success of the Forensics team.
Dr. Dykstra has remained aware of Mason activity, and even watched the men's basketball team in the NCAA Final Four in 2006. When asked about the large and ongoing growth of the university, he believes that Mason has changed for the better. He speaks about how his presidency was extremely challenging, but about how it also was a valuable learning experience.
Years covered: 1973-1977
Eakin, LeRoy, November 18, 2003
On compact disc.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
LeRoy Eakin talked about his life, moving to Washington, D.C. with his family. He mentioned attending Duke Law School; served three years as a Navy Flight Instructor and Senior Check Pilot; covered career as a Banker and Real Estate Developer from Northern Virginia; involved with the development of Fairfax and Falls Church with his company, Eakin Properties; mentioned his membership on the Board of Trustees for George Mason University; talked about GMU and its programs; discussed Eakin Park and his wife, Ruth Eakin, and her career as an architect; mentioned his scouting career; briefly mentioned his experiences traveling abroad.
Years covered: 1925-2003.
Edwards, Randall, January 12, 2004
On compact disc.
Interview by Jennifer J. Flack.
Mr. Randall Edwards covered the following topics: his engineering background; his teaching experiences at Wytheville Community College; starting at GMU in 1988; involvement with Urban Village Task Force; Dean of Instruction for Germanna College; experience as President of New River Community College; creation of special programs for women at New River; lobbying of the General Assembly for special programs; Virginia economic bridge, which brings opportunities to the southwest region of VA; challenges in constructing facilities for George Mason University; special projects such as the Performing Arts Center, working with Senator Colgan for bonds and funds; construction of the Johnson Center; developments on the Prince William campus; and future projects for GMU.
Years covered: 1988-2004.
Ellis, Joseph, December 2, 1982
On compact disc.
1 hour, 26 minutes, 57 seconds.
Interview by Janet Hoefer.
Elstun, Esther Nies, March 21, 2000
On compact disc.
1 hour, 8 minutes, 52 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Erdwins, Carol, March 17, 2004
On compact disc.
Interview by Jennifer J. Flack.
Professor Carol J. Erdwins teaches Psychology; she first started as a part-time professor. She will be retiring in May 2004, and she will then invest more time at the Women's Center in Vienna, with clinical work. She designed part of the curriculum in the early years, taught psychology of women, started the therapeutic communication-skills classes, and likes to teach psychology of women. She recently has been teaching clinical interviewing, particularly how psychologists do a clinical assessment of new patients. She talked about the growth in her department with more students. Colleagues that stand out for Professor Erdwins are Jean Melinger and Charlotte Altman. She shared an anecdote about the administration and the challenges of women in the workplace. She foresees that future retirements will change the chemistry in the department.
Years covered: 1975-2004.
Ernst, Richard, October 5, 2008
On digital versatile disc.
37 minutes, 47 seconds.
Interview by Leah Donnelly and Adam Fielding.
Dr. Richard Ernst was the President of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) for 30 years, and in this interview he speaks about the initiatives that he enacted during his term, as well as broader issues such as the roles and responsibilities of a community college to the population. Indeed, Dr. Ernst has witnessed a transformation in this region in terms of both population growth and demographic shifts. It is his position that a community college must adapt and respond to these changes regardless of what that entails. In the case of the Northern Virginia area and NVCC, that meant serving the needs of non-native English speakers and illegal residents, and adapting to the kinds of industry being brought to the area. Ernst also speaks about the personal and professional relationships that he had with all of the George Mason University Presidents, and he speaks about collaborative efforts between the two schools to create an adaptive, productive, and innovative higher-education community in the region that responds and grows alongside the counties. As an institutional leader, Ernst spent most of his time in the field and in the community, doing hands-on fundraising, acting as spokesman, listening to what the community needed, and gaining the trust and respect of the citizens. Ernst credits the hiring and maintaining of an excellent and professional staff as allowing him to really come to know the NOVA community and work beyond the walls of the institution.
Years covered: 1930-2008.
Evans, Andrew J. "Andy", October 24, 2012
On digital versatile disc
1 hour 50 minutes
Interview by Misha Griffith
00:00:42 Mr. Evans describes how he came to Mason through the request of Mason professor Darius Swann to fill out the job of minority recruiter in the new Office of Minority Affairs. Mr. Evans believes he came to Dr. Swann's attention though Evan's work with Al Robinson, who was Alexandria's first black elected official. Evans then worked with the Ford Foundation to study political science. The Ford Foundation was looking for inner-city blacks to get involved in politics as a result of the violence of the late 1960s. 00:02:42 Mr. Evans describes his participation in the riots in DC after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April of 1968. He recalls his childhood growing up in a large Catholic family in Alexandria and going to a parochial school. He was the only son who was drafted, and served in Vietnam in 1967. While overseas, he saw what "real po'' was-what being desperately impoverished really meant-and this was an especially educational experience for him. He learned about the Vietnamese peoples' strength and resiliency in traumatic times, and how aware they were of their surroundings. When he returned to Alexandria, he had to choose between being a radical protester or getting into politics. His family had been involved in the political struggle to integrate Alexandria's libraries, so Mr. Evans had something of a background in politics. 00:07:09 Mr. Evans describes his campaign for Sheriff of Alexandria in 1973. He decided that his cause was to improve the jail, which was in the black neighborhood. During the campaign FBI officials showed him one of his campaign poster full of bullet holes, and said they could not protect him, but that the Federal government did have an interest in who ran the jail since it was used to house Federal prisoners. Mr. Evans only lost by 101 votes. However, his candidacy convinced him that he should go to law school. However, it was at this point that he received a call from Dr. Swann inviting him to apply for the job at Mason. 00:10:12 Mr. Evans listed his duties at Mason. He had two offices-one in the admissions office for recruiting, and one at Minority Affairs to counsel students at Mason. He considered his job to be a visible example and to bolster the issues important to black and minority cultures on campus. He spent a lot of time in outreach to minority communities through newspapers and broadcast programs to invite people to Mason. 00:12:32 Mr. Evans had seen the Virginia State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report that was highly critical of minority representation at Mason. He met with President Vergil Dykstra, and laid out for him the plan to recruit a solid core of minority students who could work at college-level but also be effective representatives. Dykstra offered Mr. Evans a six-month contract. Mr. Evans also met with Vice-President Krug, who offered a Black Power salute the first time they met. Both administrators had a lot of respect for Dr. Swann, and so they trusted what he and Mr. Evans planned to do. 00:15:49 Mr. Evans saw much promise in Mason as a school that had many opportunities for minority students, especially because of its location. The respected programs like nursing were major drawing cards for prospective students. However, he describes Mason in the 1970s as a sleepy campus set back in the woods full of working-class students. 00:18:15 The student body, according to Mr. Evans, was no so much apathetic as just not knowledgable about things outside the immediate area. The Administration was very supportive and participated in many student activities. Mr. Evans was impressed by the faculty because they were involved. He singled out instructors like Fred Millar and Vickie Nelsen-Raeder, because they were very vocal and very willing to support him. The times themselves were very transitional-people were just starting to talk about the unrest of the sixties and the Civil Rights movement, and many instructors sought Mr. Evan's advice on how to address these issues with their students. 00:21:57 Mr. Evans discusses his approach toward being an advocate for causes. He recalled his education in an all-black parochial elementary school, and the impressions the nuns left on him. They encouraged him to project a sense of confidence. Mr. Evans was aware that as a black male, he reflected an even larger group of black males, so that projecting a sense of confidence could carry a person a long way. He also had learned to be responsible from his father, and so he in turn felt responsible for guiding students on the right path. Feeling comfortable while talking to people was another skill he depended on to get his message across. He contends that his main goal was to understand how to thrive in a diverse community, and the skills he learned he applied and also taught others those skills. Mr. Evans considered himself an ambassador as much as he was a counselor or an admissions officer. 00:27:20 In putting together his strategy for brining more minority students into Mason, Mr. Evans worked closely with Dr. Swann. The discussed what type of students they wanted and what the concerns would be when he spoke at high schools. He listened to the concerns with a "political ear" to find out what they wanted, and how he could best serve their needs. He knew he was competing with all the other universities, including traditionally black colleges. He needed to find what was unique about Mason, and also get the word out that Mason offered the same education for in-state tuition costs. He invited parents and students to visit the campus. The strategy was to continue to support the students once they got here with programs and counseling. 00:30:38 Mr. Evan's search for students took him all the way to the Carolinas. He was most interested in schools like TC Williams that had a large core of minority students. He talked to the counselors and identified one or two students at each school who he thought would be a good prospect. Mr. Evans was the first minority recruiter in Virginia-soon after he started other universities started hiring minority recruiters. Consequently, Mr. Evans started the Virginia Association of Black Admissions Councellors, and they shared information on students. He did not feel he was in direct competition with TBCs, but that they were in DC and very expensive. He used the fact Mason had money available to give grants and scholarships, and he could save families money. But he also shared information with the TBCs and helped to get students into the programs that fit them best. 00:36:30 The concerns that black high school students had with going to Mason included just plain not knowing the college was even there. He used slide shows to show the activities on campus, and take copies of the Broadside to give the students examples of what was happening. He felt having a black man representing Mason piqued both black and white students' interest in the college. 00:39:25 The opposition to his work, according to Mr. Evans, was probably the fear that he would bring in a horde of unqualified students-just to make the numbers look good. The concerns he heard most in meetings were concerns that the students coming in would be ultimately successful at Mason. To allay these fears, Mr. Evans went to the instructors and asked what a good student in that program needs to know and what they need to do to succeed, then he would match up the students with those standards. He would bring the instructors and the prospective students together. This was so successful, the instructors were willing to go out to the high schools with Mr. Evans and present their programs to the students. 00:42:36 The size of Mason in the 1970s made visiting and talking to each prospective student a realistic goal. Mr. Evans contends that now students have a variety of social networking opportunities they just did not have in the 1970s. He took the responsibility on himself to be on campus and walk around and talk to students. He set up a peer counseling program where sophomores and juniors would keep track of students around campus. Mr. Evans believes strongly in the institution of the "grapevine"-a system where many eyes and ears were watching out for everyone else. He understood that so many of his students were the first people in their family to go to college, so they had no idea of what was expected of them. So being in contact was the only way to fix problems. 00:48:20 Mr. Evans, building on the job he had as a recruiter, was also a "community organizer." That much of what he did was finding out what was happening and matching people to available resources or heading off problems before they got bigger. Dr. Swann knew that the success of the program was if the students stayed, were happy and felt supported. Mr. Evans, after having experienced war first-hand in Vietnam, realized that people need a lot of faith to live day to day and that he was ready to get involved in the community once he came back. 00:53:00 Mr. Evans describes attending a rally at which Martin Luther King, Jr. was speaking. The rally was to plan a march on DC, and that King insisted that all participants pledge to take a non-violent approach to the march. Mr. Evans was very taken by this. He also got a sense of becoming an organizer, just as King had planned and organized everything that he did. 00:56:26 Mr. Evans recalls his dealings with campus security at Mason. He made sure to meet with the security chief and the rest of the force. He tells the story of a young black woman in the dorms who had the letters "KKK' written on her door and a burning piece of paper shoved under the door. All of the people involved and the administration had an internal meeting and resolved the problem and defused the situation. This led to the establishment of the dorm adviser system. End of Part One 01:00:45 Mr. Evans discusses what he thought was the potential for Mason. He saw a lot of opportunity for growth. But he felt that the school had to work harder at integrating the local black high school students into the school-he cited UVA's example of what could be done. Mr. Evans also commented that candidates and politicians liked to speak at the Mason campus. He wanted to make sure that the individual groups were considered when the building boom started-which is why he is thrilled to see Mason now has a Women's Center. 01:04:27 Mr. Evans, while he did not have a close connection with the business community, did notice their appearance at Mason Days and other events. When corporations would come to recruit on campus, Mr. Evans would seek them out for their support and what sorts of opportunities they might have for black students. He was very keen to find out what sort of requirements for those jobs were, and how he could communicate those to students so that they could get jobs. 01:08:04 One of the outreach efforts Mr. Evans worked at was to bring minority speakers onto campus-that the Commonwealth had money to pay for these speakers, and he wanted to secure a share for Mason. He brought Julian Bond to campus, hoping he would not be too radical for the local crowd, but was pleasantly surprised to see white students attending the event too. Mr. Evans brought Dick Gregory the next year. He felt this gave Mason some prestige. 01:10:56 Mr. Evans discusses his founding of the on-campus organization Ujima, which was the first black student organization The first president was Octavia Stanton, who later that year became the first black president of the entire student body. It was this group who worked to bring in speakers. Once Ujima was secure, the black fraternities and sororities came onto campus, bring even more black culture like step shows. Mr. Evans worked hard to bring the black churches onto campus as part of the campus ministry. This was critical in getting the black community to accept George Mason as safe and open place to go. 01:17:23 Mr. Evans remembers many demonstrations in the DC area, but Mason was only starting to become more aware of national issues. He organized bus tours of Mason students to go into DC and experience these marches and share their ideas. He jokes that he preferred marches because he needed some occasion to wear his dashikis. 01:20:54 Mr. Evan's main goal was to see students successfully finish college and get their degrees. He wanted them to feel proud that they had accomplished something. The student who had to be coerced into attending Mason was not what Mr. Evans was looking for. Retention is key to success, and Mr. Evans gets requests from all over the country to train other admission officers and counselors how to recruit and more importantly retain minority students. In discussing first generation college graduates, Mr. Evans could tell that these students were inordinately proud of their accomplishments. 01:24:33 In order to keep students, Mr. Evans describes how he went beyond just counseling and got deeply involved in the culture-dancing and playing ball with the students. He made himself available to the students at all times. And he listened very carefully. Because the demand on him was so great, he helped to set up a contingent of peer counselors, so that students could share with other students. 01:28:05 Mr. Evans discusses the creation of the International/ African Student association, which he was the adviser. There was a casm between the black students and the students from Africa because they came from very different cultures. He encouraged meetings where students brought their unique food and ate together in order to get the two groups talking and sharing cultures. African students were well aware that their parents sacrificed to sent them, and they worked very hard to keep from failing. The African American students were still living with the cultural fallout of slavery and Jim Crow and were afraid to be embarrassed. Mr. Evans wanted to encourage the American students to learn the self-confidence that the African students came to school with, so that they would take on the society and confront the issues, rather than hide from them. He really wanted to see the black students challenge the status quo. 01:39:28 Mr. Evans saw the newness of George Mason as a positive for challenging and encouraging black students. It did not have an entrenched history of overt racism. He even challenged them to work at Mason and become part of the structure. The administration opened up and allowed the school to define itself. As Mr. Evans described it, "we didn't want a slice of the pie; we wanted the recipe." 01:42:00 Mr. Evans contends that the opportunity to work at Mason was a gift, and it allowed him to grow and develop a life-long strategy of working with others. He developed a respect for teamwork in the Army, and he saw that good people are just good people, no matter who they are. He knows that if we could just get beyond personal differences, we could communicate and succeed together. He took lessons from the important speakers that he helped to bring to Mason the idea that we need to overlook separate races and get to work helping the human race. Mr. Evans work at Mason helped him move away from the civil rights struggle and radicalism and learn to devise structure. He became a much sought after adviser to colleges all over the United States on how to put together minority recruitment and how to retain minority students. He is still getting calls from students wanting him to get them into Mason, and that he feels this is a testament to how well the program went.
Years covered: 1960s-2012
Feinstein, Hyman, November 16, 1979
2 hours.
Interview by Karen Wickre.
Ferguson, Susanne, January 23, 2003
On compact disc.
33 minutes, 53 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Fischer, Klaus, February 21, 2001
On compact disc.
41 minutes, 14 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Fisher, Margaret, November 10, 1992
On compact disc.
44 minutes, 1 second.
Interview by Rosemary Hogg and Ruth Kerns.
Flach, Frances Rawls, June 25, 1985
On compact disc.
43 minutes, 36 seconds.
Interview by Rosemary Hogg and Ruth Kerns.
Flagel, Andrew, April 22, 2010
On digital versatile disc.
32 minutes, 1 second.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Andrew Flagel, current Dean of Admissions at George Mason, grew up in Dayton, Ohio. He came to the DC Metro area to go to college at George Washington University, where he pursued studies in political science and law. During the summers he worked in the Adminissions Office and realized that he did not want to go to law school. Upon graduation from college, he stayed at GW to work in Admissions and receive his MA; later, he moved on to work for the Capital Hill educational programs, and then became the Director of Admissions at the University of Michigan Flitn Campus. He learned of the opening for Dean of Admissions at George Mason, and he took the position in 2001.
Dean Flagel compares the Mason admissions procedure to other more traditional and rigid college admissions programs. He says that when he first came to Mason he knew the school as an institution for adult and returning students, but found that this was not an accurate stereotype. When he came to Mason, he found that it had a tradition of innovation, and that was something that really drew him to the position. Flagel describes how the Mason admissions process has progressed from interviewing every applicant up until the late 1990s, to the current holistic process that is used today. The applicant pool for Mason today is much more competitive, and accepts less than 50 percent of applicants. He says that one of the most amazing things about Mason is that the University has been able to serve non-traditional students, while at the same time serving traditional students.
Flagel goes on to briefly describe the statistical aspects of the admissions process. He states that the process is at the same time very predictable, but also very unpredictable. He says that most people could be taught to figure out the admissions process for 95 percent of those admitted by running numbers, but the process is made unpredictable based on the 1-5 percent of students admitted based on specific talents and special characteristics. Flagel comments that the process at Mason is somewhat more difficult because there is no "typical" Mason student. He then goes on to discuss how Mason has accounted for the growing number of applications, which are primarily accommodated through electronic processes.
Flagel speaks about what it means to be the Dean of Admissions at Mason, and how he has overseen some of the largest classes of new students. He says that typically as better students apply from farther away, schools tend to see a decrease in the number of students that accept. However, this has not been true, and there have oftentimes been larger classes than anticipated because more students are accepting their admissions to Mason. Flagel says that students are attracted to Mason not only because of its location, but also the diverse campus atmosphere and the types of professors and academic opportunities available. He also discusses how Mason is so different from the other Virginia universities, and says that Mason is "radically different" from the other schools. Flagel says that the distinctive nature of Mason really makes it stand out. He also believes that the reputation of Mason as not being as competitive as the other Virginia schools is a very regional idea, and that even this is changing.
Dean Flagel concludes his interview by discussing the other activities on campus with which he is involved (search committees, advising a fraternity and sorority, etc.). He also says that Mason is unique in that it is out to "change the world." Mason is constantly trying to do things that no other institutions are doing, and he believes that this is the model that future institutions should look like. The future of admissions is to keep up with this changing process in order to make this happen.
Years covered: 2001-2010.
Fletcher, James, November 25, 2003
On compact disc.
44 minutes, 37 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Flack.
James J. Fletcher is an Associate Professor in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He began teaching full-time in 1972, and achieved tenure in 1976. He entered into administration and became the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean for Undergraduate Studies; he was in this position from 1982 until 1996. He also served on the Senate committee and served as Chair of the department for two terms. At the time of the interview, he was working on bioethics research; was the advisor to an ethics committee at a local hospital; had reviewed the background of George Mason University's Philosophy Department and the slow changes over the years for the department's general education. He gave an overview of recent expansion in applied studies, specifically bioethics and business and environmental ethics. He also mentioned the evolution of teaching styles, and how the comparative approach has been transformed through teacher evaluations. Finally, he assessed his work and influences at GMU.
Years covered: 1969-2003.
Foreman, Joel, September 10, 2002
On compact disc.
51 minutes, 49 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Joel Foreman is an Associate Professor in the English Department. He discussed the following topics: why he came to George Mason University; the different career paths he took; the intellectual community in the university and the English department during the early years; his experience with teaching English and writing courses to undergraduates and graduate students; his favorite classes he taught; the first years of the English Department; the development of the curriculum in the English department; development of English in academia; computer technology and the virtual classroom; teaching business writing and new research on the experience; and people in the English Department.
Years covered: 1972-2002.
Friedley, Sheryl, November 12, 2007
On compact disc and digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 12 minutes, 24 seconds (.MP3 file). 1 hour, 5 minutes, 18 seconds (video recording file).
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
Sheryl Friedley came to George Mason University in the 1970s to assist Bruce Manchester with the Forensics Team; she also took a faculty position as an instructor of speech in the Fine and Performing Arts department. The department would later split (thanks in part to efforts by Manchester and Friedley) into three separate departments, one of which is the Department of Communication. Forensics fell under the auspices of the Department of Communication and Friedley became a professor within this department, as well. In this interview Friedley discusses her 16-year stint with the team and her reflections on how the team developed under Manchester's and her's direction. Friedley defines forensics and unpacks all the categories and processes involved in coaching. She also discusses standout students, favorite memories, challenges, and the evolution of Mason's team and the national competitive field as a whole. Friedley also talks about her close relationship with Bruce Manchester, who was both a mentor and a friend and how she and Manchester took as their goal to create a "family-like" environment in which to nurture and develop forensic talent.
Years covered: 1977-2007; her years with the GMU Forensics Team, 1977-1993.
Galindo, Vicki and Jagdhuber, Keith, May 12, 2010
On compact disc and digital versatile discs.
24 minutes, 36 seconds (.MP3 file). 24 minutes, 45 seconds (video recording file).
Interview by Jennifer Janes, with Bob Vay.
Vicki Galindo and Keith Jagdhuber are both representatives from The Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel. Vicki is the Director of Sales and Marketing and Keith is the Catering Sales Manager for The Mason Inn. Their interview begins with a description of their jobs, as well as a brief description and history of the Conference Center and Hotel. After about ten years of planning for this project, The Mason Inn will finally open as an innovative meeting space and hotel in July 2010.
In the spring of 2009, ARAMARK was awarded the contract to manage the Mason Inn. Ms. Galindo and Mr. Jagdhuber discuss ARAMARK's relationship with the University, and say that when ARAMARK comes into a project they try to meld the mission of the Conference Center with the mission of the University. Their mission is to provide an exceptional experience that serves as the front door to the University, and to incorporate the ideals of both Mason the man as well as Mason the University. Throughout the Conference Center and Hotel there are a number of things to pay homage to George Mason (the man), including carpet fashioned after the articles of the Bill of Rights and love letters framed in each of the rooms. The restaurant will also be named Boxwoods, after the landscaping at Gunston Hall.
Right now about 60-65 percent of the business that the Conference Center and Hotel is receiving is coming from the University. However, both Galindo and Jagdhuber say that its ability to hold conferences with people from around the world takes The Mason Inn's reach far past the immediate community; there is also not another venue of this caliber in the Fairfax community. Continued relationships with the university's events management will also attract larger conferences because of the possibility to utilize various spaces on campus. The Mason Inn is also striving to be LEED certified at the silver level, which means that they are trying to be as sustainable as possible. The hotel is working with local businesses, farmers and vineyards to increase their impact and relationships within the local community.
The Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel is scheduled to open in July 2010, but the grand opening will be occurring in September 2010. Grand opening events for September are being kept secret for the time being. Between July and September, students and their families will be able to access the hotel for orientation; there will be at least one wedding; and several smaller family events. Right now the hotel is also already accepting reservations for graduation 2011.
Years covered: 2009-2010.
Gallehr, Donald, November 29, 1999
On compact disc.
1 hour, 5 minutes, 1 second.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: 1966-Unknown.
Gallehr, Donald, May 9, 2011
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 37 seconds (video recording file).
Interview by Christine Widmayer, with Bob Vay.
Dr. Donald Gallehr applied for a job at George Mason College after reading an ad in the newspaper. He began teaching in summer 1966. Another professor told him that the reason the University needed so many English professors was because the previous department had all been let go after submitting their resignations in protest to the Chancellor.
Dr. Gallehr says he felt he could help build the school, which made it the right fit for him. He spoke consistently about the innovation of the University and how, if you wanted to get something done, you could just do it. That spirit of innovation allowed him to hold many different positions throughout his time at George Mason, including Professor of English, Director of the Northern Virginia Writing Project and Director of the Composition program.
Dr. Gallehr tells the story of working on a self-study of the University when it was working toward its accreditation. He was on the committee studying the admissions office. He realized very quickly that there were no black students on campus, and so he investigated. He found that the director of admissions at the time was meeting with black applicants and telling them they would be happier at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale. The director wasn't even registering their applications, so there was no record that they had even applied. Gallehr reported this to his supervisors and it became a serious issue. Gallehr was required to testify at a meeting held by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission at Turo Church in Fairfax. After his testimony, the Commission announced that there would be "no repercussions for this young gentleman." Gallehr's department head leaned over to him and said "Looks like you just got tenure."
Dr. Gallehr also discusses his role in developing the Northern Virginia Writing Project, a chapter of the newly formed National Writing Project that teaches high school teachers how to teach writing. It was actually Gallehr who named the NWP as a joke when introducing Jim Gray, the founder of the Bay Area Writing Project, which started it all.
Gallehr discusses his overhaul of the writing program on campus, as well as his role in starting the Creative Writing MFA program. He helped introduce the idea of writing across the curriculum, which is now common practice. He also discussed how he introduced meditation into the writing classroom and how that has led his students to be better, more focused writers.
Gallehr also speaks of historic and local events that affected the campus-most especially the Vietnam War. He tells an anecdote of a young student of his who burned his draft card and went to prison after reading Civil Disobedience in Gallehr's class. The student thanked Gallehr for teaching the book.
Gallehr's many other comments focus on the diversity of the students, the innovational spirit of the University, and the people who help him grow as a professor. His passion for his students, colleagues and the University are all obvious.
Years covered: 1966-2011.
Galluzo, Gary, January 26, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
52 minutes, 12 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay.
Dr. Galluzzo recounted his experience as starting out as a high school history teacher and encountering a happy accident that led him to become a teaching specialist and then on to becoming a dean. He was one of the five deans who Dr. Merten brought into George Mason when he started his presidency. He interrupted his work at GMU to work for three years as the Vice President of the National Board for Teaching Standards. He returned to GMU to teach, and in 2009 became the head of the Doctoral program at the College of Education and Human Development. Dr. Galluzzo then discussed his interest in setting standards for teachers and moving away from the idea of teachers as public servants and recreating them as a profession-much like medical doctors and lawyers. This calls for a rethinking of the profession and creating a new set of qualifications and training levels. As a dean, Dr. Galluzzo strove to work towards the Holmes group concept of introducing the fifth year and graduate training for all teachers. It was started under his predecessor. Mason is a unique place because it only trains graduates in the education field-not undergraduates. This means working with the local area to bring in working teachers to train. Galluzzo's second goal as dean wants to raise the awareness of George Mason's teaching faculty nationally by sitting on boards and publishing research. His third goal was to make sure students know that they are being intellectually challenged in the department. Dr. Galluzzo is a researcher of teacher education and school reform, as well as studying teaching in order to make sure each student gets an equal opportunity to learn. He studied various universities, including Mason, and wrote major papers tracking how the improvement of teaching training. His latest work concentrates on teachers as agents of change-that school reform starts directly in the classroom (the answer is in the room), and that he encourages teachers with advanced training to be leaders. Dr. Galluzzo chaired the University Library Task Force, to upgrade the University. Also served on the Strategic Goals Panel for SAACS, which eventually implemented the Students as Scholars program. He sat on the two major national boards, which he described earlier in the interview (AEECT, and the NBPTS.) He was also appointed by the Governor of Colorado to work on the State's Standards board. His disappointment in the field is mainly that we have not connected research to practice, and Dr. Galluzzo blames this on paradigm wars. We do not have enough nuanced thoughts to apply one set of solutions to another situation. Second problem is that policy makers think they have the solutions, when in fact policy is a blunt instrument and the situations call for scalpels. Third disappointment is scale-hard to move fast enough to get nationwide response and support. Wants to find ways to motivate the teachers to improve. Dr. Galluzzo describes the intellectual climate at GMU as being a very open and spontaneous when he first came here. Now, he finds the University more "researchy" that the standards are much higher and more like a major university. Technology has improved his research and his teaching methods. He can send out his slides and lessons to the students ahead of class and students are much better prepared. The biggest difference in students is that he now has students who want to be scholars-to do research on their own. His students are more intellectually voracious. The campus, because of the dorms, is more convivial. National and International attention attracts more students and money in terms of grants. The University is also earning this reputation by training smart people and getting them out into academia. Scholars have fewer restrictions to hold back their research and work. There is room to move at GMU, and few leave. Dr. Galluzzo finds that the increase of the student enrollment has filled his program, and that it takes a lot of effort to keep track of everyone. Dr. Galluzzo thinks GMU is a product of the business community. Part of the quality is due to having only two presidents in 35 years, and long-serving provosts. It creates relationships and trajectories that help the University grow and work with the Commonwealth. GMU went through major changes during Merten's tenure. Merten is very supportive of each school, and comes to the yearly meetings, as well as contacts the deans to get input. He obviously wants to make sure that the University does not fail and that each department and school does not fail. According to Dr. Galluzzo, Dr. Merten's legacy will be that he helped make GMU a real player on the national and international stage. We got lucky in 2006, and the Final Four created community. The Provost brought in the intellectual portion of the equation. Now local parents are wondering why can't my child get in? GMU is no longer the fallback option. The Global Summit in 2005 was a change to the University, as well as the Center for the Arts that seem to galvanize the community. Even though he took a leave to work on the national field, he never contemplated permanently leaving Mason. He is extremely proud of creating the standards for teachers, but feels it will not really catch on until the money for education is returned.
Years covered: 1997-2012
Gessner, Theodore, April 17, 2000
On compact disc.
57 minutes, 54 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Goff, Angie, February 24, 2010
On digital versatile discs.
27 minutes, 43 seconds (video recording file).
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Ms. Goff is a Mason alumna who currently works as a reporter for W*USA TV Channel 9 in the DC area, and is known for her use of social networking tools, like her blog "Oh My Goff," to get the news out. Ms. Goff speaks about how she was a "military brat," finally settling down in Herndon, VA to complete high school. After not being accepted to West Point, she decided to stay in the Northern Virginia area, the only place she could really call home, and attend George Mason.
While at George Mason, Goff majored in Communications. She speaks of her mentors within the program. She also tells of how she took the initiative to begin an externship program, where she received credit for spending a summer and working with Entertainment Tonight in LA. In addition to speaking about the Communications program, she also talks about how she was very involved with her sorority, Alpha Omicon Pi. She says that is was a fun social group, while at the same time allowing her to develop her leadership skills; she eventually became chapter president.
After her graduation from Mason in 2001, Goff went to work for ET again, then moved to Sioux City, Iowa, South Carolina and finally ended up back in the DC area with W*USA 9. She is known for her use of social networking to cover the news, including Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. Of her future, Goff says that she is finally trying to settle down, although she is not sure what the future holds.
Years covered: 1997-2010.
Griffiths, Lloyd, February 3, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
45 minutes, 51 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay.
Years covered: Not specified.
Halpin, Gerald, November 17, 2010
On digital versatile discs.
91 minutes, 12 seconds (video recording file). 1 hour, 28 minutes, 17 seconds (video recording file).
Interview by Nona P. Martin and Bob Vay.
Mr. Halpin was raised on a farm near Scranton, PA. He was employed straight out of high school and went to college in the evenings. He took a job at RCA and eventually was asked to manage a factory. He joined the military instead. His eyesight was too poor for the regular service, so he enlisted in the SeaBees. When he got out of the service he went to school at what is now the University of Syracuse. It was then that he started his first real estate endeavor, owning a series of boarding houses. He also met his wife there.
He and his wife went on their honeymoon to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. And he promised himself that if he ever got any substantial bit of money that he would buy land out in that area. And he did just that. They split their time between their Mt. Vernon home and their Jackson Hole ranch.
He worked for Atlantic Research as a developer. In his words, he made money for the scientist. Then he started his own firm, WestGroup with many of his former colleagues. Among them were Tom Nicholson and Chuck Ewing. He credits surrounding himself with good people as the key to his success.
Years covered: 1925-2010.
Harway, Maxwell, September 19, 2005-November 30, 2005
On 9 compact discs.
Interview by Katja Hering.
Years covered: Unknown.
Use Restrictions
This oral history interview may not be used in any publication or broadcast without the interviewee's written permission. This limitation includes all form of communication presently known as well as those yet to be discovered. Permission to publish material from the Maxwell Harway interview must be obtained from Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Hawkes, Robert, February 27, 2002
On compact disc.
1 hour, 12 minutes, 12 seconds.
Interview by Paulina A. Vaca.
Robert Hawkes is Professor of History at GMU; How he was hired to GMC; GMC's inception; UVa influence on GMC: UVa people in the administration at GMC; Diversity issue at GMC (compared to UVa); Discussion about Robert Reed, Director of GMC; Discussion about Lorin Thompson and Robert Krug; The separation from UVa; New vision for GMU once it became independent; Virgil Dykstra's influence on GMU's transition; New programs for an independent GMU; GMU's diversity; Graduate programs; The GMU approach to education; GMU as a Modem University; GMU stories.
Years covered: 1966-2001.
Hawkes, Robert, November 12, 1999
On compact discs.
1 hour, 52 seconds.
Interview by Paulina A. Vaca.
Robert Hawkes is Professor of History at GMU; How he was hired to GMC; GMC's inception; UVa influence on GMC: UVa people in the administration at GMC; Diversity issue at GMC (compared to UVa); Discussion about Robert Reed, Director of GMC; Discussion about Lorin Thompson and Robert Krug; The separation from UVa; New vision for GMU once it became independent; Virgil Dykstra's influence on GMU's transition; New programs for an independent GMU; GMU's diversity; Graduate programs; The GMU approach to education; GMU as a Modem University; GMU stories.
Years covered: 1966-Unknown.
Hazel, John "Til", April 20, 2011
On compact disc.
1 hour, 13 minutes, 32 seconds.
Interview by Chrstine Widmayer, with Bob Vay.
Mr. Hazel first heard of George Mason College through Fairfax Mayor, John Wood, who asked him to get involved. He was a member of the Board of Visitors of GMU from 1972-1983, and Rector from 1976-1978 and 1982-1983 before becoming a trustee and president of the GMU Foundation in 1984. Mr. Hazel was involved in several aspects of Mason's early history and spoke about his involvement in acquiring the land for the Fairfax campus. He discusses the motivations ofthe early players in the George Mason community, and the divide between "antis" in Richmond who opposed George Mason and the supporters of the school who believed the establishment of an institution of higher learning in Northern Virginia was essential to the development of the area. Mr. Hazel discusses the creation ofthe Arlington Law School, of which he was a central player. It was hard work getting the Advisory Board to grant professional degrees for the University, which Mr. Hazel believed was the next step in the University's development. Opening the law school was a major breakthrough in the early years of GMU. Another major breakthrough Mr. Hazel believes was getting the university involved in the community and fighting through the "satellite attitude" that much of the faculty was stuck in. This involved getting housing on campus and providing GMU with a plan for the future as its own independent institution. Mr. Hazel also tells the story of convincing George Johnson to come here over martinis at the Dulles airport. He discusses Johnson's vision for the university, that he wanted GMU to be a center for Northern Virginia, and that he wanted the University to be active in the Technology business and the community. Mr. Hazel tells several wonderfuI anecdotes about George Johnson's presidency and the effect he had on the campus.
Years covered: 1967-1995.
Heastie, Joe, January 14, 2010
1. On compact disc .MP3 file 2. On compact disc as DVD, but audio quality is somewhat obstructed
55 minutes, 58 seconds (.MP3 file).
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Mr. Heastie began his college career at Howard University, but did not finish there and began working for the federal government. He returned to school in the late 1970s, and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland. Upon finishing his bachelor's he found himself wanting to continue his education, and chose to do his graduate work at Mason.
When Mr. Heastie came to Mason, he said that it was an extremely white school and did not have the diversity that it does today. Despite its lack of diversity, it was a school in which he found a comfortable and welcoming environment. He says that Mason had a world-class group of professors; where other universities treat their adjunct professors as lesser, Mason really utilized them to give their students a different type of learning. The library at the time was extremely small, and did not accommodate the number of students at Mason. Additionally, he comments that Mason had very few technological and computer opportunities for its students, and was operating off of the William and Mary mainframe. Mr. Heastie graduated with his MPA in 1984.
Mr. Heastie says that he has spent almost of his adult life involved with Mason. He was appointed to the Board of Visitors by Governor Baliles to be one of the required alumni members. He volunteered for every committee of the Board, and was also appointed to be the liaison between the GMUAA and the BOV. He says at the time the alums really identified mostly with their individual schools. He remained on the BOV for 8 years, including time spent as Rector and being appointed by another governor, Doug Wilder. He says this second appointment was more difficult, and his wife started a write-in campaign for his reappointment, and he was appointed Rector during that term. He says that he was the first African-American Rector for a Virginia state school (other than the state's historically black colleges).
Mr. Heastie also served as the president of the GMUAA from 1997-1998. He says that this was challenging since Mason was still young, and did not have the same types of alums that older universities have. The GMUAA was a group of very dedicated but extremely underappreciated alums that were constantly in search of money. He says that he was well liked because he was willing to speak up to the BOV on their behalf, and gave them more visibility.
In 2000 Mr. Heastie was awarded the Alumni Service Award, and he says of all the awards that he has received in his lifetime, this award is one of which he is extremely proud. He says it means a lot to have his school and peers recognize the work that he has done with Mason.
When asked about what he would rate as the three most important events in the University's history he says that the first is the appointment of George Johnson as University President, whom he believes really caused Mason to be the school it is today. Second would be the decision to actively increase the student population at Mason. Third is the explosion of the information technology field in Northern Virginia because Mason really grew from the increase in population. He believes that, today, Mason is on path to becoming a school as desirable to Virginia high school students as the other well-known Virginia schools. Mr. Heastie also has a daughter that came to Mason for her graduate work in the late 1990s. After graduating with her bachelor's from UVa, she applied to the MA Counseling program at Mason and was accepted on her own merit. He says that they had similar experiences in feelings about the quality of the school and their happiness with the school. He says that today one of the unique things about Mason is that a very high percentage of its students already have field experience in the career field that they want to enter. When he was a student, this was not true of the minority students, and while they still worked, they worked in jobs not related to their future careers. After stepping down as Rector from the BOV, President Johnson asked Mr. Heastie to form a committee known as the Minority Advisory Board. He was to pull together minority owners of businesses in Northern Virginia to help minority students gain experience in their desired fields, and to raise money for minority scholarships. He chaired this board (which would later be called the Diversity Advisory Board) for three years, and stayed on it for another 2 years. While the Board later disbanded, they accomplished a lot in a very short period of time, and this process is still happening in a different capacity today.
When asked what it means to be a George Mason graduate, Mr. Heastie says that it involves lots of pride. He says that Mason really has become Northern Virginia's university, and not just a university in Northern Virginia. He says that the community has benefited greatly from the programs at Mason. Mr. Heastie says that he is extremely proud of the growth of the University, and is very proud of the students of the University.
Years covered: 1960s-2010.
Heath, James and Nancy Buddeke, September 20, 2004
2 clips on compact discs.
1. 1 hour, 34 minutes, 57 seconds 2. 55 minutes, 36 seconds
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Nancy Buddeke Heath attended George Mason College from 1964 until 1965, where she also worked part-time in the admissions office. She transferred to Mount Mercy College (now: Carlow University), where she received her B.A. in 1966. She returned to George Mason University in 1974, where she was in the first class of the newly established Nursing program. After graduating with a B.S. in Nursing, she worked as a Registered Nurse in several DC area hospitals, including Georgetown University Hospital. She met her husband, Jim Heath, while at George Mason College. They have three children.
Jim Heath was a student at George Mason College at Bailey's Crossroads from 1959 until 1961. He transferred to George Washington University in 1961, where he received his B.S. in 1964. He returned to work as a biology lab instructor at George Mason College from 1964-1970. At the same time, he went to graduate school at American University, where he received his M.S. in biology in 1970. After graduation, he was employed as a construction foreman and a research assistant and associate at both George Washington and American universities. From 1979-1993, he was a Research Biologist at the Walter Reed Armby Medical Center. Since 1993, he has been a Research Biologist at the National Institutes of Health. He met his wife, Nancy Buddeke Heath, while attending George Mason College.
Years covered: 1959-2004.
Hennessey, Thomas, October 17, 2011
On digital versatile discs.
44 minutes, 53 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay.
J. Thomas Hennessey, Jr. is one of the first doctoral graduates of the Institute of Public Policy, now the School of Public Policy, at George Mason University. As the Chief of Staff for the University, Professor Hennessey is responsible for all administration in the Office of the President. He also serves as the legislative liaison to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the University Liaison to the Board of Visitors. Hennessey chairs multiple University-wide committees, including the Privacy and Security Compliance Team and the Crisis Management Response Committee. Externally, he serves as Chairman of the Board for the Commonwealth Homeland Security Foundation and Vice Chairman of the Board for the Virginia Economic Bridge.
Professor Hennessey's research and teaching focus on public service, management of change in public organizations, and organizational theory. He has written and taught extensively on the "Reinvention of Government." Since joining the faculty at George Mason, he has been a Grant Recipient, PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government; Principle Investigator, Primary support to the Governor's Task Force on Procurement Assessment; Principle Investigator, Department of General Services and Department of Juvenile Justice, Commonwealth of Virginia, Strategic Planning and Performance Measure Management; National Council Member, Region IV, American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), 1998-2002; Chairman, American Society for Public Administration, Regions III and IV; and Program Director, Cooperative Research on High Performing Organizations, Prince William County, Virginia.
On behalf of the University, he has served as Director of the Excellence in Government Program, Acting Executive Director of the Congressional Institute for the Future and Program Director for Lead the Future. Prior to joining George Mason University, Professor Hennessey served with the United States Army for 28 years in successively responsible leadership positions and retired as a Colonel from the Army's Intelligence and Security Command. His most recent assignments included Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, Chief for the European Division of Political-Military Affairs for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Military Attaché for the American Embassy in London, United Kingdom. His military assignments include combat and staff positions from platoon through theater from Vietnam to the Middle East.
Years covered: Not specified.
High, Jack, November 18, 2010
On compact disc.
42 minutes, 13 seconds.
Interview by Nona P. Martin with Bob Vay.
Jack High came to GMU when the university was just beginning its PhD program. One of the things that attracted him was the Market Process Center. Mason was known as a place where creative ideas were happening.
He was a visiting professor at Harvard Business School and when he returned, he was acting dean of the GMU Business School for one year. After which, he along with a program he helped found, the Program on Social and Organizational Learning (PSOL), moved over to the newly founded public policy department. Of all that he has done, he enjoys being a teacher most of all. He finds the students in the public policy department to be very driven. He is proud of the work he did in helping develop the PhD program in economics.
When talking about notable colleagues, Dr. Jack High mentioned Don Lavoie as being radical yet welcoming. He described Lavoie as a scholar who took the works of others seriously and easily crossed disciplines in order to pursue meaningful discussions.
Years covered: 1981-2010.
Holman, Emmett, January 16, 2002
On cassette tape.
Interview by Paulina A. Vaca.
Emmett Holman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy; why he decided on teaching at GMU; classes taught at GMU; memories of the early years at George Mason; colleagues in the Philosophy department during the early years; changes in the Philosophy department; the development of the Philosophy department at GMU; changes in the student body; the development of computers in GMU; significant people in the GMU comunity; overview of recent years at George Mason. Years covered: 1970-2001.
Holton, A. Linwood, April 6, 2004
On cassette tape.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Gov. A. Linwood Holton
Years covered: Not specified.
Hughes, Joy, February 10, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
51 minutes, 57 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay.
Dr. Hughes had a non-traditional path-she decided to go to community college after her third child started kindergarten to learn to be an elementary school teacher. Her instructor encouraged her to go into secondary school math education. At Rider University, she was then encouraged to graduate in pure math, and entered the Rutgers mathematics program as a graduate student specializing in ring theory. She went into education as a career because of the support she received in her education. She then related how in her work, she early on saw the benefits of computers in higher education, so she got her doctorate so she could apply the computers to her work. On coming to George Mason University, Dr. Hughes remembered that Dr. Merten tasked her with uniting the computing needs under one system and the primary mission of IT would be to "enable the strategic goals of the University." One instruction Merten gave her was that he would hold her responsible for many things over which she had no authority. Coming from Oregon State, she had worked with a sufficient IT system, but at George Mason, she found a fragmented and inefficient system. The faculty did not trust the unreliable resources, and she found it necessary to build a reliable system to gain their trust. The growth of the University, according to Dr. Hughes, is more than just numbers of students. George Mason has increased in programs, research, and in disciplines like the hard sciences. We now serve a larger resident population and challenges with transportation, and Dr. Hughes is proud that the ITU has been critical in the growth. IT has changed the type of people working here and the methods of communicating and research. IT even helps create online courses, conferences, and reference portals to allow students and faculty to work without coming on campus. In terms of achievements, Dr. Hughes points to the success she has had in forming collaborations and partnerships between groups in the University and in the community. Through Dr. Merten's help, she was able to secure the equipment trust fund to make sure equipment was up to date, as well as help her work on the budget group to advocate for resources and upgrades for IT and for the library in particular. When it comes to change, Dr. Hughes learned from President Merten that it is critical to connect the new with the old. New initiatives should always seem like natural outgrowths of older systems. She studied Noel Tichy's work on change theory, and that one cannot bring about a technological change unless one studies the political and cultural aspects surrounding it. Unlike places like Carnegie Mellon, that try to work ahead of existing systems, Dr. Hughes finds it is more important to bring tested systems that better fit the needs of the University. If they do see something on the horizon, she finds a faculty or staff member to test it before wholesale adopting it. Events that have shaped George Mason include: .The World Congress on Informational Technology was held at George Mason in 1998, and that was the first time the University could build relationships with government and corporate IT leaders. We still have global connections because of it. Security incidents are a major concern. The ITU put a considerable amount of resources into security. The economic downturn has even affected IT, and that the state no longer contributes as much. Globalization-the University that was built to serve Northern Virginia is now a trusted partner many places around the world. Dr. Hughes believes that even thought our growing student population uses technology daily, most of them do not understand that technology. However, there are escalating demands on the IT infrastructure. She feels her most important job is to prioritize the requests and needs. Thanks to Dr. Merten, Dr. Hughes frequently gets involved in the globalization of education at George Mason. She gives the example of the challenges faced by the Confucius Institute and their worries that might fail. She helped it to develop as an organization and build a strong working partnership between the University, the Chinese Culture Ministry, and the Beijing Language institute. Last December she was awarded a medal for her work. Another big change is the move to "big science." However an opportunity came about with the NIH, and they needed research facilities, so through a partnership with Georgetown Medical School, and the ITU was critical to setting up these facilities in Prince Williams. Dr. Hughes described a large credenza in Dr. Merten's office, which has piles of reports on programs to expand, and he has to find people with resources to find the wherewithal to start these programs. She used the example of Vernon Smith coming to the University with his team, and then winning the Nobel Prize. Dr. Then discussed innovations from the IT Department that have been internationally recognized. These include: the Library's Information Fluency Program; IT's optical network; the Technology Across the Curriculum; and the Virtual Computing Lab. However, she thinks George Mason is best known for its collaborative programs. VIVA-the Virtual Library of Virginia-was born here, Virginia Scan-which is a set of tools for security professionals-was born here. Dr. Hughes noted that she heads 4VA, a working group of the presidents of the four largest state universities in Virginia that works to hold the line on cost of instruction and increase research resources. Part of the IT's success, according to Dr. Hughes, depends on partnerships with corporations to find and use the correct resources. The 4VA partnership works closely with Cisco Systems to meet via Telepresence. These experiences are helping to develop techniques for using Telepresence in the classroom, so that one instructor can teach in several different locations. 4VA is allowing all the Universities to share best practices. The Telepresence system brings international partnerships together very successfully, leading to better understanding due to face to face interaction. IT has been involved in securing space and servers for RRCHNM(Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media) and for the Library's special programs-fulfilling Dr. Merten's ideals that part of the University's mission is to help make sense of the vast amount of information the Internet brings. With the new equipment and programs, students can get a better idea of how to sift through the information. Dr. Hughes gives several ideas about what Dr. Merten's legacy may be at George Mason University: his community engagement, student development, and his respect for staff. One initiative that impressed Dr. Hughes about President Merten was his skill in hiring people. The people who Merten brought in, especially positions like deans and the Provost, has allowed Mason to advance further than one could have imagined. Events that affected Dr. Hughes personally at George Mason include the globalization of the campus and the closer connections between cultures. Such entities as the Confucius Institute have brought important lessons to the University, and education in Virginia. Looking into the future, Dr. Hughes hopes that people looking at these oral histories ten years from now can understand what the University was trying to do, and how it reached out to the community and to the world. However, higher education is very expensive-and is even losing money on in-state students. The costs are too great for the state to bear. Consequently, the Universities will need to create new and accurate business plans to make the University sustainable and more efficient.
Years covered: 1996-2012
Jarvis, Jay, December 16, 2009
On digital versatile disc.
42 minutes, 13 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Jay Jarvis came to George Mason University in the fall of 1972, after attending NOVA, to pursue his BA in Business Administration. Within just a few weeks of being at Mason, Jarvis was elected as President of the student body. In the interview, he discusses the role of student government in the time right after Mason became an independent university and there were major changes and initiatives within the university community. Jarvis graduated from Mason in 1974.
After graduating, Jarvis became involved with the George Mason Alumni Association. He served as president during the 1976-1977 term. During this time, Jarvis tried to initiate an alumni award. This idea came to fruition and was even awarded to Jarvis in 1978. He has remained involved with the GMUAA, and discusses the opportunities he has had to work closely with every University president. He also speaks candidly about the power struggles between the administration, the students and the alumni.
Throughout the interview, Jarvis discusses the changes within the George Mason community since he was a student in the 1970s. He shares his pride at being a part of Mason, as well as his hopes for what the future will bring to the University.
Years covered: 1972-2009.
Jensen, Ronald, October 6, 1999
On compact disc.
31 minutes, 1 second.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Johnsen-Neshati, Kristen, November 3, 2000
On compact disc.
46 minutes, 2 seconds.
Interview by Michelle Bessette.
Years covered: Not specified.
Johnson, George, May 26, 2005 and July 1, 2005
On compact discs.
Part I: May 26, 2005 Part II: July 1, 2005
Interview by Helen Ackerman and Katja Hering.
Dr. George W. Johnson
Years covered: Not specified.
Johnson, Joanne, July 5, 2005
On compact disc.
Interview by Katja Hering.
Years covered: Not specified.
Access Restrictions
Restricted.
Use Restrictions
Restricted.
Johnson, Michael, December 3, 2004
On compact discs.
1 hour, 41 minutes.
Interview by Katja Hering.
Michael Johnson came to George mason College in 1964, when it was still a two-year college. He lived in Falls Church, VA. He got scholarships to UVA, but decided to go to Mason because it was closer to home. When he came to Mason, he wanted to be a history teacher so he majored in history. He also took several classes in political science. Memorable were classes with Fanny Fern Davis in biology. He remembers her excitement of looking at a one-cell organism in swamp water, even though she must have seen it hundreds of times. He carried that excitement into his current work in archaeology -- the sense of being excited about what one does. Another influential class at Mason was one East Asian Civilization, probably taught by someone working for the State Department or CIA. The teacher taught the Socratic method (he said that he was not going to lecture anymore, but that he would ask questions and students had to justify answers). Johnson says that George Mason taught him not what to think, but how to think.
Johnson was active in the student government. He and others drafted the constitution for the student government, and he remembers when student government voted for the school colors -- green and gold. Johnson was an editor of the Gunston Ledger -- the predecessor of the Broadside, the student newspaper. He also played baseball at Mason, and his coach was Jim Shea.
His last year at Mason was overshadowed by the Vietnam War -- there was a conflict with the student newspaper after a new editor took over. There was a petition to withdraw funding from the paper because some students felt it was too political and anti-war. Michael Johnson, while not directly involved with the petition, agreed it was necessary. But, the funding was not withdrawn and the paper became less political as time passed.
Johnson graduated in 1968 -- the first four-year class had 52 students who all knew one another. He then volunteered for the Navy in Vietnam, where he served on a swift boat. After returning from the war, he worked for the government in civil defense for awhile. But, he realized that he wanted to do something that he loved. So, he got hooked on archaeology after he found an ancient spear point while digging in a garden in Chantilly. In 1975, he went to American University, where he received a master's degree in anthropology. He also took one class at Mason on historical methodology in the history masters program in 1975. But, before he received the degree from AU, he began working for Fairfax County as an archaeologist/preservation planner.
Johnson is now a senior archaeologist for the Fairfax County Park Authority and works in a variety of areas, including preservation planning, public outreach and "standing in front of bulldozers." In 2004, he considered getting another degree (PhD) in geology, possibly at Mason. He is married to Gail Johnson (born Gallagher), who also graduated from George Mason College.
Years covered: 1964-2004.
Jones, Morris, July 15, 2004-July 23, 2004
On compact discs.
Part I: July 15, 2004 -- 51 minutes (.mp3) Part II: July 23, 2004 -- 1 hour, 3 seconds (.wma)
Interview by Katja Hering.
It is recommended to listen to Part II of the interview (July 23, 2004) first.
Morris Jones was born in Rome, NY (where they dug the Erie Canal), and lived there until he graduated from high school in 1939. He then went to Milton College, Wisconsin (he wanted to leave NY State) until he was drafted into the army (either 1940 or 1941). After being drafted, he went to Camp Upton on Long Island, and then to St. Louis for basic training. Afterwards he went to the ASTP: Army Specialized Training Program. The program put him in the topographic battalion, where he was trained as an engineer. Initially, he stayed in the U.S. for a year, where he went on maneuvers and learned how to work with maps. Then he went overseas with the topographic unit, first to England, and then to Germany. In Germany, he was asked to put newly built autobahns on old German maps, based on aerial photographs, so that the allies could navigate them. "We never fired a rifle." He says that "he was lucky" and was thankful that he was not sent to land on a beach (in Normandy, K. Hering). He remembers an incident in Germany, when he was walking guard duty in Moenchengladbach, and an old gentleman said "Guten Morgen." Morris put his nose up in the air and kept walking, since they had been instructed not to have any contacts with Germans. He has regretted that ever since. After the war, he was sent back to Germany, around the Ruhr basin. He remembers seeing a fellow coming out of a concentration camp. He said that was terrible and he cried. They were also in Holland for awhile, where they lived in a castle. There he saw a V1 bomb in the air, going toward England. He remembers that during the war, "a lot of the time was spent doing nothing." He stayed in touch with his family by writing letters. Of course, he wanted to go home. Jones could tell when the armistice was signed (on May 8/9, 1945, K. Hering) because the planes above them flew individually and not in formation. He and fellow soldiers were glad when they learned of the surrender. The army let you go home on points. (After the war?), he was also in France and later in Germany -- where soldiers lived in private houses.
After the war, he went back to complete college (on the GI Bill). He went to South Dakota, where he got a B.S. in General Science. After graduating, he passed a civil service examination for topographic engineers. Then, he got a job with the U.S. Geological Survey, and went to North Dakota to map the field (together with a rod-man). It was cold in the prairie, but they had portable tables and they passed the time by telling stories. From North Dakota, he went to Texas and to Missouri. On a 2-year leave from the USGS, he mapped the ruins of Mayapan, an ancient city in Yucatan, Mexico, for archaeologists at the Carnegie Institute. Later, he also mapped the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal, Guatemala, for the University of Pennsylvania. In the early/mid 1950s, he went back to Washington, DC to work with the US Geological Service. He became the manager of the Map Distribution Branch of the USGS, and became chief of the unit in 1960, where he oversaw more than 100 employees. In 1970, he transferred to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the Coast and Geodetic Survey unit, with similar responsibilities.
After retiring in 1977 (his first retirement, as he put it), he drove a school bus for Fairfax County. Then, he worked for the Highway department as an inspector on Route 66. He also worked for the NVCC as manager of the Support Services division for four or five years before he came to Mason. In 1984, he came to Mason. After several other jobs, he began working for key control as an assistant locksmith. David Lee taught him how to be a locksmith; Jones identified Lee as a wonderful guy and supervisor, who should be more appreciated. Jones also was one of the first active participants of the HEP program, the Health Education Program, which started with a grant from the Physical Education department. Kay Liebermann and his wife Romaine were original members. Some members also participated in the Senior Olympics.
Years covered: 1920-2004.
Kanyan, Joseph, April 27, 2000
On compact disc.
56 minutes, 18 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Karton, Alissa, August 10, 2006
On compact disc and on digital versatile disc.
CD: 30 minutes, 52 seconds. DVD: 31 minutes
Interview by Veronica Fletcher and Katja Hering.
Years covered: Not specified.
Kelley, Michael, December 18, 2000
Audio recording on data DVD as .mp3 file.
1 hour, 21 minutes, 35 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Kelly, T. Mills, November 3, 2010
On compact disc and on digital versatile disc.
CD: 40 minutes, 21 seconds. DVD: 31 minutes, 37 seconds.
Interview by Nona P. Martin and Bob Vay.
Dr. T. Mills Kelly has been working for the Center for History and New Media for almost a decade, starting in the summer of 2010. He is an associate director at the Center. His position in the Center was the main reason why he chose to come to George Mason University over the other universities that offered him tenured track positions.
He explains that the Center and the PhD History program grew up together and feed on each other. The Center provides the focus on new media and this makes the program distinct, while the program provides the Center with graduate student assistants who have been vital to many projects. One of the things that Kelly believes sets the Center apart is that it is embedded in the History Department. The Center draws from the wealth of the faculty.
Years covered: 2001-2010.
Kelso, Donald, October 8, 1999
On compact disc.
51 minutes, 1 second.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Kiley, William "Tom", March 24, 2004
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Professor William "Tom" Kiley first taught in 1969; saw GMU as hiring "younger" people; studied in CA and holds PhD from Brown University; GMU's Mathematics department was small but he was able to become close with students and faculty; had classes at what would be Paul VI High School and there was once a shuttle bus to campus; enjoys teaching undergraduate level; least enjoys grading; started when there were 1.500 students and was told it would grow to 15,000; taught computer science before the computer science department developed; has seen changes throughout the faculty, noticing that there are now more qualified, teaching-oriented, and research-oriented faculty members; saw the administration of Thompson and Krug as more autocratic; mentioned the Math Dept. being opposed to student evaluations; Math Dept. circulated the underground pamphlet entitled the "Pink Flamingo" to protest against the administration; has enjoyed activities, colleagues and good students.
Years covered: 1969-2004.
Knell, Iris, October 31, 2007
On compact discs, as .mp3 and .wav files.
59 minutes, 51 seconds.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
Iris Knell speaks about her 22-year career at George Mason University and, in particular, about her role as coordinator of the Clarence J. Robinson Professors Program. Knell traces the history of the program and details the large role that both George Johnson and David King played in creating the program. Ms. Knell also discusses recruitment processes, her job responsibilities, the role of technology in shaping the Robinson program, the future of the Robinson program, the changes that have occurred at Mason over the years, and her favorite moments during her time here. Ms. Knell discusses previous jobs and her impressions of Mason as an institution of higher learning and how her impressions have changed over the years.
Years covered: 1985-2007.
Koch, Rita, April 5, 2010
On compact disc and digital versatile discs.
CD: 25 minutes, 20 seconds. DVD: 25 minutes, 30 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Mrs. Rita Koch grew up in the Centreville area, where she lived until about age 18. After high school, she began working for the Pentagon where she met and married a military man. Her husband's military career sent them around the world, during which time Mrs. Kock worked as a registered nurse. Despite her worldwide travels, she says that she always wanted to come back to the place she knew as home - Northern Virginia.
Mrs. Koch discusses the changes that she has seen in the area, including vast population growth, the decline of agriculture, new job markets, transportation, and Northern Virginia's transition to a desirable place on its own. She comments on the changes in transportation in the area, as well as the impact that Dulles International had on the region. She says that for a long time residents perceived Dulles as a white elephant, but that it eventually turned into one of the main reasons that the region developed the way it did.
Since her family has lived in Centreville for generations, Mrs. Koch discusses her interest in Centreville history. She recently stepped down as president of the Centreville Historic Society, and she talks about the functions of the society. Mrs. Koch also gives a brief history of Centreville, beginning with the Civil war and its impacts on this particular town. She says that while she is not really a historian, this interest was thrust upon her by the length of time that both she and her extended family have lived in the area.
Mrs. Koch concludes her interview by listing the three most significat changes that she has seen in the area: population, traffic, and diversity. She discusses her reasons for returning to the Northern Virginia area, and why she had decided to stay here for so long. She says that Northern Virginia is unique like any other busy, busy urban center and that everyone is running somewhere.
Years covered: 1940s-2010.
Kolker, Aliza, September 27, 2002
On compact disc.
28 minutes, 38 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Years covered: Not specified.
Kravtiz, Edward, March 22, 2004
On compact discs.
30 minutes, 15 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Flack.
Professor Kravtiz teaches drawing and painting; worked at the old Fairfax high school -- now Paul VI; 15-25 students; Department of Fine and Performing Arts mixed with the Department of Communication; developed curriculum of the Visual Art Department; mentioned President Johnson as focusing more on the performing arts -- dance, theatre and music instead of the study of art; Johnson focused on not having art as too professional but building the arts for the community; focused more on building for the audience than on making GMU a conservative art school; Professor Kravitz mentioned that the "digital revolution" was behind the growth of the program; wants to see GMU as a more "professional" school so that students would be more committed; described installations as 3-D paintings in space that tell a story; events that stand out are the performances at the Center for the Arts, 9/11 mural and bus trips to NY art museums.
Years covered: 1977-2004.
Kreiter-Foronda, Carolyn, June 8, 2007
On digital versatile discs.
Interview by Veronica L. Fletcher.
Years covered: Not specified.
Krug, Robert, October 20, 2005
On compact discs and digital versatile disc.
CD: 2 hours, 3 minutes, 44 seconds. DVD: 2 hours.
Interview by Katja Hering.
Years covered: Not specified.
Kuebrich, Dave, July 29, 2011
On digital versatile discs.
58 minutes, 59 seconds.
Interview by Bob Vay.
Dr. David Kuebrich came to George Mason University in the fall of 1974. He became the Director of the American Studies program in the 1980s. He also worked as the Chair of the Faculty Senate and the Secretary of the Faculty Senate. He has written two works on Walt Whitman, and has studied Melville.
Dr. Kuebrich discusses in this interview how Mason grew in the sixties and early seventies, and how he was hired with five other English professors in 1974. He worked on making women's studies a discipline on campus and discusses how, at the time, students and faculty alike were opinionated and had a voice. He discusses how today's students and professors are much more apathetic.
Dr. Kuebrich discusses the advent of computer technology and how that has affected the campus. He also describes his views of the great disparity between administrators and professors at the university, and the issues that have arisen from those differences.
Dr. Kuebrich also goes into detail about the student body when he arrived in the seventies, and how it has changed overtime.
Years covered: 1974-2011.
Larranaga, Jim, October 18, 2006
On compact disc and digital versatile discs.
CD: 57 minutes, 3 seconds. DVD: 46 minutes, 52 seconds.
Interview by Veronica Fletcher and Katja Hering.
Years covered: Not specified.
Larranaga, Liz and Merten, Sally, September 15, 2006
On compact disc.
1 hour, 9 minutes, 26 seconds.
Interview by Veronica Fletcher and Katja Hering.
Years covered: Not specified.
Lathbury, Roger, December 17, 2003
On compact discs.
39 minutes, 50 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer L. Flack.
Events that led Mr. Lathbury to teach at GMU; various positions held at the English Department; writings published; his involvement with Orchises Press; challenges and disappointments of publishing; challenges of teaching with students of various educational levels; developments at GMU and within the English department; growth of the student body; events, such as the first writer's conference, that stand out as important; colleagues, such as Amelia Rutlege, who stand out as inspiration; changes in the foreseeable future for GMU's English department, such as new courses on editing.
Years covered: 1972-2003.
Lehman, Elyse, January 23, 2004
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Ms. Lehman discussed her projects on Child Cognitive Development, Memory, and Attention; mentioned her publications on soft-object attachment and her research projects which concern children's attention-level skills; mentioned changes in the student body since coming to teach; growth of the student body and problems that are developing such as the lack of resources and faculty to meet the students' needs; the importance of faculty to dedicate time to teach introductory classes; growth of the psychology department in terms of graduate and doctoral program; direction GMU should take towards preparing students for the future.
Years covered: 1976-2004.
Levy, Pamela, February 10, 2004
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Pamela Levy is a Systems Assistant at the Johnson Center Library; she has been at the University since 1976; started off at the Circulation Department at Fenwick Library; mentioned conversion of the library to an automated system; moved from Chicago, Illinois with her husband, Ronald Levy, because the job market was bad; talked about changes to the library since the progression of computer technology; sees technology as sufficient in the library, but needed in other areas of the University; saw progress in the library and as information became more readily available; has enjoyed the changes on campus since the opening of the Center for the Arts; events that have stood out at GMU is when the campus community came together after September 11, 2001.
Years covered: 1976-2004.
Liebermann, Kay Elizabeth, October 29, 2003
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Kay Elizabeth Liebermann was born in 1921 and raised in Sparta, TN; father was a Dodge and Plymouth dealer; worked at the Pentagon as a "Government Girl" (1942); talked about her son's and daughter's careers; mentioned son graduating the year George Mason College became a university; mentioned the old campus and how it developed; mentioned outdoor activities and places in Northern Virginia she likes to visit; talked about her work as a volunteer for Fenwick Library since 1981 and her work at Fenwick's Special Collections & Archives department.
Years covered: 1921-2003.
Lockhart, Betty and Calder, Charlene, August 8, 2005
On compact discs.
1 hour, 27 minutes, 32 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Betty Lockhart came to GMU in 1971 and first worked for Dean Booth's office. She started working in the History department in 1972 as a part-time classified employee. She stayed until her retirement in 2002 (30 years).
Years covered: 1972-2002.
Lytton, Randolph, November 3, 1999
On compact disc.
41 minutes, 42 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Manchester, Bruce, March 24, 2004
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Professor Manchester retired in August 2004. He taught communication; first taught at Hunter College and thought the college had too little space and too many students; came to GMU with "northern stereotypes"; taught at what would be Paul VI High School; taught along with the art department and was once the only full-time faculty member; described access of faculty to administration as less than it was before; received the David King award for long-standing educational development within the University and was the 3rd faculty member within the University to receive the award; preferred to teach undergraduate students; traveled to national competitions; was Director of Forensics; Forensics Team won over $10,000 in awards for over 16 years and ranked as top 5 in the country and #1 on the east coast; he served as Vice-Chair of the National Individual Events Committee (forensics); he wanted to see the Communications department grow its graduate program.
Years covered: 1975-2004.
Mandes, Evans, January 1, 2000
On compact disc.
44 minutes, 9 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Mao, Agnes, October 20, 1999
On compact disc.
26 minutes, 30 seconds.
Interview by: Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Martin, William, March 13, 2000
On compact disc.
42 minutes, 34 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Mason, John, June 2, 2008
On compact disc and digital versatile discs.
CD: 54 minutes, 28 seconds. DVD: 54 minutes, 40 seconds.
Interview by Leah Donnelly and Bob Vay.
John Mason is the former mayor of the City of Fairfax. In this interview, he discusses the City's perception and interaction with the University -- its leaders and students. Mason did not begin his career with a goal of ending in politics, but rather he landed there by accident. He served in the Army for 21 years and retired as a colonel. Then, he joined the professional world with the company SAIC, which was an employee-owned organization at the time. SAIC brought him to the Northern Virginia area, where he became involved with various civic organizations in the City of Fairfax. He was elected Mayor in 1990, in what was a bi-partisan and self-described "pleasant" election. Over the years, Mason has brought great advancement to the community and collaborated with GMU leaders on cultural and infrastructural initiatives.
Years covered: 1950s-2008.
Mathy, Joseph, April 25, 2005
On compact disc.
Interview by Veronica Fletcher and Katja Hering.
Years covered: Not specified.
Mauller, Ralph and Marjorie, July 14, 2011
On compact discs.
1 hour, 32 minutes, 17 seconds.
Interview by Robert Vay.
Dr. Mauller and Mrs. Mauller met in St. Louis when they were only thirteen and fourteen years old. They attended the same church. They married in the midst of World War II while Dr. Mauller was in the Navy. Dr. Mauller taught for awhile in the Midwest before moving to Arlington, VA to work for NSA.
In the late 1950s, Dr. Mauller heard about the Northern Virginia Center at Washington and Lee High School, where he soon began teaching math. Dr. Mauller also taught at the Bailey's Crossroads location for George Mason College. He had about nine students in his class, and they were all serious students, set on getting degrees. It was expected, Dr. Mauller said, that the students would continue their studies at the University of Virginia after starting at GMC. Mrs. Mauller also worked in the GMC library at Bailey's Crossroads.
In this interview, Dr. Mauller discusses the general attitude toward GMC when it first began. He discusses how there was no local community college, but they were operating under the mentality "build it, and they will come."
Dr. Mauller also discusses his role in the selection of the current Fairfax campus. Dr. Mauller was involved in running the statistics of the area population to determine which location would be closer to the center of Northern Virginia, and therefore benefit the most people. He discusses the move to the Fairfax campus and what that meant for the University.
Finally, Dr. Mauller discusses the four chief executives he worked under, including JNG Finley and Robert Reid.
Years covered: 1945-2011.
McCann, Jess, May 17, 2010
On compact disc and digital versatile discs.
CD: 29 minutes, 12 seconds. DVD: 29 minutes, 22 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
After applying to several universities, Jess McCann chose George Mason on the advice of her mother (who had also come to school at Mason) and because she loved the campus atmosphere. While at Mason, Jess lived on campus for her four years, became involved in Greek life, and majored in communications. She says that while most people believe that there is no campus life at a commuter school like Mason, the group of students that she was involved with on campus and her time spent in Chi Omega proved otherwise. As a Chi Omega she met a great group of friends, became co-Rush chair her senior year, and chaired Greek Week a few times. Her penchant for interacting with people led Jess to major in communications, where she states she was influenced and motivated by professors Paglen and Manchester.
After graduating from Mason, Jess responded to an ad in the newspaper for a sales position. Although she had no previous sales training, she instantly fell in love with the job and became very successful. A year after working for this company, her boss supported Jess to start her own sales company. In teaching her sales reps techniques, she found that the most relatable analogies came from the dating world. In 2007, she left her company and became involved in the self-help field.
Since leaving sales, Jess has done a number of things, including writing a dating advice book entitled You Lost Him at Hello: A Saleswoman's Secrets to Closing the Deal with Any Guy You Want. She says that her book is different from other dating advice books because she is not a psychologist, but rather draws her advice from real-life sales techniques. When asked about some of her techniques, she talks about using the "mirror theory," where you mimic the attitude of the other person on the date; "filling your funnel," where you don't put all of your eggs in one basket and date multiple people until you find a commitment; and "prospecting," where she encourages women to take initiative when looking for dates.
In wrapping up her interview, Jess says that she is very grateful for the experiences she had at Mason, as well as the opportunities to meet different types of people at the University. She says that she grew from the diversity on campus. In addition, she states that college can provide a great foundation for the future and that no one should discount the people that someone can meet in a university environment. Overall, Jess says that she really enjoyed her time at Mason, and that she has been able to carry the friendships that she made through her life.
Years covered: 1999-2010.
McCord, Ted, January 18, 2000
On compact disc.
1 hour, 27 minutes, 31 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Use Restrictions
There is a restricted use on interview.
McDermott, Michael, February 29, 2000
On compact discs.
1 CD: 1 hour, 24 minutes, 59 seconds. 2 CD: 1 hour, 39 minutes, 15 seconds. 3 CD: 1 hour, 30 minutes, 27 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
McEachern, Phillip, February 14, 2002
On compact disc.
44 minutes, 10 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Years covered: Not specified.
McNamee, Kevin, August 8, 2006
On compact discs and digital versatile disc.
CD: 45 minutes, 5 seconds. DVD: 45 minutes, 5 seconds.
Interview by Katja Herring and Bob Vay.
Years covered: Not specified.
McTarnaghan, Roy, March 25, 2002
Video Teleconference Interview.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Roy McTarnaghan as the Director of the State Council for Higher Education during the early 1970s; SCHEV's role and McTarnaghan's personal role in separating GMC from UVA; discussions with Lorin Thompson and Edgar Shannon concerning the separation; Northern Virginian Legislators with regard to higher education, GMC, and UVA; larger educational issues in Virginia during the 1970s; the relationship between SCHEV and the government of Virginia; major players of the independence movement; the 1972 view of George Mason and its future; present-day George Mason; personal and professional memories connected with GMC's independence.
Years covered: 1970-1972.
Meese, Edwin, May 8, 2006
On compact discs.
2 Parts: 1 hour, 16 minutes, 39 seconds and 10 minutes, 6 seconds.
Interview by Katja Hering and Paul Koda.
Years covered: Not specified.
Merten, Alan, August 17, 2006
On compact disc and digital versatile discs.
CD: 47 minutes, 57 seconds. DVD: 47 minutes, 49 seconds.
Interview by Anna Hakes and Katja Hering.
Years covered: Not specified.
Merten, Alan, January 21, 2010
On compact discs and digital versatile discs.
CD: 42 minutes, 44 seconds. DVD: 42 minutes, 53 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Dr. Alan Merten came to George Mason University after the retirement of Dr. George Johnson in July of 1996. Dr. Merten describes his academic background, attending both the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University, where he ultimately received a PhD in Computer Science. He spent time in the military, and then became interested in teaching at the collegiate level. In addition, he was eventually drawn to collegiate administration. When he heard of an opening position for a university president at George Mason, he took the opportunity to move back to the Washington, D.C. Metro area and applied for the position. Having a unique background in computer science, Dr. Merten discusses how Northern Virginia was an attractive place to come because of its growing influence in the field of information technology.
Dr. Merten describes what he knew about George Mason prior to coming to the school, as well as perceived strengths and weaknesses of the school. He compares the school to a "start-up company," with which there was a certain amount of chaos. One of his initial challenges was how to create order out of chaos so that the university could survive; he did not want to take away the entrepreneurial spirit of the campus community, but he did want to make the University look like a traditional campus. Dr. Merten also compares his style of running the university to Dr. Johnson, whom he describes as a "cowboy" leader. He continued expanding the friendships of the university, while cultivating the existing friendships because he believed that the University needed to better their existing relationships within the community. At the same time, Dr. Merten began hiring people who had his same vision or who would be capable of working with his vision for George Mason.
When asked about his initial days as president of the University, Dr. Merten believes that the University has achieved more than he could have ever imagined. He says that his first act as University President was to rename the three distributed campuses, so that there was no main campus but rather a Fairfax campus, a Prince William campus and an Arlington campus. Dr. Merten also discusses that the primary draw to his coming to George Mason was the location, and how in his initial days it was important to take advantage of location. He believes that the location and the diverse student body it draws give the Mason community a "global connection."
Dr. Merten concludes the first part of his interview by discussing how people have come to recognize George Mason University. He provides a list of important things that have brought Mason to the national stage 1- Jim Buchanan wins Nobel Prize 2- Vernon Smith wins Nobel Prize 3- Final 4 Basketball Tournament 4- US News and World Report names Mason #1 Up and Coming University
He says that all of these give the world a "George Mason wake-up call."
Years covered: 1996-2010.
Merten, Alan, January 28, 2010
On compact discs and digital versatile discs.
CD: 56 minutes, 50 seconds. DVD: 56 minutes, 55 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Dr. Merten begins the second part of his interview by identifying what he considers to be top points in the University's history, including the arrival of a new president, hiring Vernon Smith who went on to win a Nobel Prize, men's basketball going to the NCAA Final Four in 2006, and US News & World Report naming Mason as the #1 University to Watch.
Dr. Merten then comments on specific events and waypoints in University history. First, he discusses his involvement with the first successful Capital Campaign, which raised $142 million by 2002, and the movement towards encouraging more alumni to give back. He also comments on his successful rebranding initiative, when the Mason university logo and athletic logo were redone.
Despite the failures of similar rebranding attempts at other universities, Mason capitalized on this initiative and changed to the logos that were spread nationwide during the 2006 NCAA Final Four. Dr. Merten sees the Final Four as coming at an extremely opportune point in Mason history, when the media promoted a number of positive aspects of the University.
Returning to the idea of the distributed campus, Merten discusses attempts to expand with Ras Al Khaimah, and the more recent plans to build a campus in Loudoun. Although the RAK campus did not succeed, it has not hindered Mason from pursuing similar projects abroad in places like South Korea. The gift of land for the Loudoun campus has just been finalized, and the demand for a campus in Loudoun has begun concrete discussions for building and expansion in that area. Dr. Merten believes that the distributed campus concept is extremely important for what Mason is trying to accomplish; students are no longer "going away" to college, but rather Mason encourages more "non-traditional" students to come from jobs and live within the community.
Although Mason has seen great growth, Dr. Merten believes that the quality of the University has gone up. Dr. Merten discusses the rising student population and that, unless the state of Virginia financially supports more growth, Mason will be unable to meet the enrollment-growth mandate. He says that Mason is not a business, but he tries to run it in a "business-like fashion." This enabled the administration to foresee what budget cuts or rises would do for the University, and helped them to escape many negative impacts of the financial downturn. He discusses some of the goals that they had not been able to meet yet: more adjunct faculty than desired, not able to expand academic programs as desired, larger staff in development, etc. However, the capital for the building growth was allotted prior to the economic downturn, and places like Mason Yale have been opened ahead of schedule.
Dr. Merten concludes his interview with plans and hopes for Mason's future. He wants to see more activity on the Arlington campus, continued growth on the Fairfax campus including increased student housing, and larger degree programs. He wants Mason to remain an innovative campus; he wants to see more research, but not at the expense of teaching; and he wants the University to continuing probing in a smart manner.
Years covered: 1996-2010.
Merten, Sally, May 23, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
51 minutes, 2 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffin.
00:00:58 Mrs. Merten recounts the "Interstate 66" story, in which she encouraged Allen Merten to apply for a teaching job at George Mason University many years ago. She describes how she grew up in Kansas City, MO and then talks about her schooling. After getting her bachelors in Nursing at Avila College, she wanted to see the world and consequently joined the Air Force. She was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, which is where she met President Merten while he was recovering from surgery. 00:02:26 When asked what her proudest achievement at George Mason have been, Mrs. Merten states that seeing improvement in the quality and the diversity of the Mason student body has made her very proud. She also says that the engagement she and Dr. Merten feel with the staff and faculty is important. The entrepreneurial spirit of the university, which she saw when she arrived, and that they have worked to foster is another point of pride. 00:03:49 Mrs. Merten speaks of her association with "Fall for the Book" as one of her favorite activities at Mason and the community. She feels that the event in particular brings the community onto campus, and campus representatives into the community in a particularly helpful way. She listed other boards she served on: WTA, Medical Care for Children Partnership, the latter service was an extension of her training as a pediatric nurse. She is busy with Flat Hills school through her grandchildren's involvement. 00:05:44 Mrs. Merten insists that her and Dr. Merten's energy and drive comes from lots of sleep and loving what they do. 00:06:48 Mrs. Merten discusses some of her career as a nurse and as a teacher. She worked at an evacuation hospital in California during the Vietnam War. She thinks that the military, and all the moving around one does as military families, gives one a perspective on America. They lived in Budapest, Hungary in 1974 and an extended stay in France in 1984 and these sorts of experiences give you an appreciation of your country. Also, working in military hospitals allowed Mrs. Merten to see first hand the sacrifices the young men were willing to make for their country. She thinks that the treatment veterans receive now is markedly different than the veterans of Vietnam received, and that it is important to show them they are appreciated. Mrs. Merten recalled coming to the campus on 9/11/01, and seeing all the students watching what was happening on TV, and how the many different ethnicities were all together. She credits our diversity and the ethics of the University for being supportive of so many different groups, but also supportive of the military. 00:11:10 Watching an entity as big as a university from the inside fascinates Mrs. Merten. She sees that everyone on the inside wants to make it a better place, and she is impressed at how people reach across divisions and departments to make it a better place. Even thought there may have been some disagreements, she finds everyone willing to work together to work toward a goal. There are a lot of compromises, but not much dissention. She finds this unique because of how the Board of Visitors is formed by gubernatorial nomination, and so every four years sees a new crop incoming. Mrs. Merten thinks it is necessary to have members of the B of V who understand what higher education means, and willing to fight in Richmond. There are many intangibles to serving in the B of V besides money. Mrs. Merten discussed how Dr. Merten travelled extensively to meet all the constituencies and that this strategy was very successful. 00:16:25 The Mertens do not have any short term plans for themselves, except to visit with family members and travel. She plans to continue working on many boards and work on committees. She really wants to read and do middle points, and to travel to see Mt. Rushmore. Also on her bucket list is to learn about astronomy and mythology. 00:20:04 Mrs. Merten did not expect to stay for 16 years, five maybe. Dr. Merten had been approached to go to other colleges, but he wanted to stay here. Since they have been here both of her children had gotten married and had four grandchildren. In their travels, they have engaged with Mason Alumni all over the US to grow support for the University. We now have 150,000 alumni who will be more involved in giving back. 00:23:30 Mrs. Merten has been instrumental in acknowledging the contributions of the staff and helped to create a staff senate. She credits Linda Harber with really growing this program. One year Mrs. Merten was called to read the certificates, and she continued the practice because she enjoyed it so much. The two ceremonies held each year have grown and Mrs. Merten thinks this is very important. She also discussed the grounds at Mason and at the Mathy House, and that there has been a special effort to keep them beautiful despite of the construction work and the predatory deer. 00:29:06 Mrs. Merten tells of entertaining and holding fundraisers at the Mathy House. The back yard can hold a tent for 100 for dinner. The Mertens also entertained community members and college faculty for intimate dinners in order to break the ice. These dinners were very popular in bringing the University and the community together to find ways to support each other. 00:33:50 Two events stood out for Mrs. Merten as the most important of her time at George Mason. The first was the Nobel Prize to Vernon Smith, with the world attention on Mason and the Mertens getting to go to the ceremony in Sweden. The second event was the 2006 appearance in the Final Four. She feels that after that event, she does not have to explain who or where George Mason is. She includes 9/11/01 on the negative side of the events, but she feels the University's reaction to the event was very positive. She really loves all of the music and dance performances. 00:35:27 Mrs. Merten thinks their legacy at George Mason will be the pride that everyone at the University and in the community take in the University itself. 00:37:03 Mrs. Merten does have advice for the incoming president, Dr. Cabrerra and his family: be yourself. She insists that the incoming family does not have to do exactly what she and Dr. Merten did, but that they can decide what to support. But that they should wait at least six months before they decide in order to better understand the community. Mrs. Merten contends that Dr. Cabrera has a big learning curve ahead of him. When Dr. Merten started at GMU, he had several deans and heads of departments to replace, but Dr. Cabrerra will have some of these people retiring soon. Mrs. Merten feels that Mason is now a "big time" university, which really happened during their watch. 00:44:16 Mrs. Merten lists some of the programs that have grown: forensics, dance team, basketball, swim team, the crew team, which have all improved thanks to recruiting. She then tells of the women's crew naming a skull after the Mertens. She added that she is excited about returning to see more performances and games. 00:46.43 Mrs. Merten talked about Dr. Meten's biography appearing in the "Etched in stone" edition, and that one of her grandchildren has taken a liking to the book. We ended the interview discussing the other interviews of University Presidents that we have in the archives and some more information about the Mathy House and the Merten's eventual plans.
Years covered: 1960s-2012
Metcalf, James, March 22, 2001
On compact disc.
59 minutes, 44 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Mielczarek, Eugenie, October 18, 1999
On compact disc.
52 minutes, 27 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Millar, Edmund "Fred", October 1, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 25 minutes, 16 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith.
00:00:40 Millar outlined his early teaching experience as a high school instructor in Cleveland. After progressing to ABD status, he was recruited by George Mason at a conference. 00:01:48 Millar does not recall any responsibilities he was expected to perform as a new instructor at GMU, although some faculty did have community service projects on their own. He did find that GMU students were hesitant to perform community service or even travel into DC because they were afraid of the city. He blamed this on their family upbringing. He characterized GMU as a buccolic campus out in the country. 00:02:43 Millar describes his impressions of the student body. He describes the "commuter college" compromise the local community forged with the more prestigious UVA in order to get a campus here. This created a varied student body-full of working and non-traditional students. Millar states that this made for very interesting classes that posed a wide range of opinions and experiences. However, the campus was not racially or ethnically mixed. 00:05:07 Millar did not think the GMU student body was any more apathetic than the rest of the nation's students. He did perform a modified experiment on his students the first day of class based on the Milgram experiments to test their obedience to authority. He used these experiments to encourage classroom discussion as well as to gage student's ability to avoid confronting authority. He found the students mainly eager to learn, but some were only interested in grades and avoiding work. The better students, according to Millar, were the ones who wanted to be tested and demonstrate their mastery. 00:11:53 Millar discusses the movements in the sixties, and the ramifications they had on the students of the seventies. He reminds us that radicalism was embraced at some, but not all campus, and that some colleges had small awareness campaigns rather than massive protests. Millar wanted to get his students active in causes, and so he would devote class time to help students finding causes. One group of women started a movement to get better lighting in the parking lot, and faced apathy from the administration-even though there had been assaults and rapes reported. Under Millar's coaching, the women went to the media and got attention and the administration improved the lighting. Millar knew the students were not apathetic, but did not know how to go about organizing a movement and effecting change. 00:14:41 He described making himself available to students who did want to delve deeper into politics and current affairs. At the time, an interest in politics was seen by the community as weird. In addition, Millar described how he brought Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden to speak on campus, which mobilized opposition by a local Baptist Church. 00:16:54 Millar described how the community was not happy with his invitations. He explained that he was among a cohort of young, idealistic instructors who were radicalized in college, and were hired in the early seventies by administrations to fill a perceived need to make the faculty more liberal and relevant. However, these same instructors were then let go when the country shifted right at the end of the seventies. 00:18:14 Millar described GMU as "the service center for the Reagan Revolution." He described the character of GMU as changing in the late seventies from the bucolic campus to the center of conservative think tanks supported by wealthy corporate interests like the Koch Brothers. Millar also remembered when the man in charge of "pacification" in South Vietnam in 1966, Robert Komer, was invited to GMU to speak. Millar and another instructor, David Keobrich, began to question Komer, but were not allowed to speak, so Koebrich went behind the speaker and wrote his points on the blackboard. Millar thought this was an important lesson to his students about holding authority figures accountable. 00:21:28 When asked about his opinion of the faculty, Millar responded that he was not impressed by the elitist nature of colleges. He told a story of an anthropology instructor who was so embarrassed to be teaching at GMU that he defaced his parking sticker so people would not see where he taught. Millar discussed how he saw the relationship between the private, elite colleges and the lower level public community colleges and universities and how they were meant to order a society into a stratified system. 00:26:22 Millar is convinced that good teachers must consider their subject vital to the education of students. He was interested in getting his students politically active. 00:27:58 Millar saw two initiatives on campus that he felt were pivotal. He described how he and Bill Langford coordinated the move to bring an African American recruiter on campus, and they hired Andy Evans. African Americans had to be recruited to come to GMU, and had to be encouraged to stay, and Evans was a charismatic advocate for the new recruits. The second initiative was that the administration wanted to expand the campus north into the School Street area, which was a historically black community. They lost this battle. 00:31:12 Millar did not see anything that positive on campus. He felt the most progressive department was the English Department, and they were generally at the forefront of any of the movements. The system at the time allowed oldest members to become the department chairs, and they would have veto power over the rest of the department. Millar did not get along with his chair, so he organized the rest of the sociology faculty and would override the chair. But he became an enemy of the senior faculty by organizing the junior faculty, and consequently when the community turned against his activism, he had no support from his management. Millar was allowed to press his case to the faculty academic freedom committee, and he had extensive support from the student body, as well as some faculty support, and a experienced civil rights attorney. He won in the committee, but was released by GMU anyway. His take-away was that you could not have a revolution in just one department, but you had to organize the entire faculty. Millar contends that faculty, then and now, are raised to be "competitive individualists," and this minimizes their chances and their desire to organize and effect broad changes that way. 00:36:44 Millar describes the rally that was thrown in the Student union in support of his job. During the festivities, a young man tried to choke Millar, and was stopped by two bystanders. Millar spoke of how the man was deranged, and had been told that "Fred the Red" was a danger to America, so he took it upon himself to get rid of this menace. He spoke of student support and a handbook that had been created by the students to introduce other students to the problems. (There was some discussion between Fred, Bob and Misha about if the handbook was in the archives) 00:39:44 Dr. Millar talks about one of his more promising students: Dale O'Brian, who ran a furniture store and had a typical life with wife and two kids Then he took Millar's class and things changed for him. Millar then discussed what he thinks the role of the university is in transforming people and opening their eyes to new possibilities. He said the very act of being exposed to radical ideas really shakes people up, and turned some into his opponents. He points to Europe, where students are already exposed to socialist thought, while in America they almost never get exposed. 00:43:28 Millar discusses his relationship with Economics professor Howard Bloch. They each agreed to let the other give a lecture in their classes to show the oppositional viewpoint. Millar recalls meeting Bloch years later, and commiserating that the Economics Department at Mason had taken over the Institute of Public Choice and other strongly right-wing organizations, and that Bloch had gone from being a conservative voice in the department to a liberal voice. 00:45:20 When asked about the October, 1976 event with Senator Harry Byrd's campaign speech on the Mason campus, Millar does not remember it at all. Misha and Bob told the story as reported in the Mason Broadside. Millar says that he would not have made the attendance at such a rally mandatory, which was one of the charges against him in April of 1977. He did encourage political action from his students, but this would not be the type of assignment he would condone. Millar recommended we talk to Darius "Lee" Swann, who was a pivotal witness on his behalf at the hearings held the spring of 1977. 00:52:00 Millar describes Swann and the federal court case: Swann vs. Mecklinberg County that was pivotal in the desegregation of Virginia schools. Millar listed many of Swann's accomplishments. 00:54:10 Millar talks about his philosophy behind encouraging his students to participate in political actions. He contends that we as a society are indebted to the trade union and civil rights movements that spurred the variety of movements in the 1960. But that those movements had lost their vigor in the 1970s, even though they had made great progress. 00:57:38 Millar discusses his identity as a socialist, both as a private citizen and as a scholar. He describes the risks academics faced as socialists-that many simply kept their political philosophies to themselves until they achieved tenure, but that they then ran the risk of being coopted. Millar felt his activism doomed his academic career, but he also felt that he had more to do than just teach. END OF PART ONE 00:59:24 Millar contends that his problems were mainly over his organizing efforts among the junior Faculty. He found a loophole that allowed the faculty to vote on major issues, and he organized a big enough voting block to prevent the senior faculty and department chair from having their way. He felt it was important to organize the department democratically, however the senior faculty resented this. Another charge against Millar was that other instructors and administrators felt he was being too propagandistic-that he was favoring one aspect of sociology over the other aspects. A cited reason for not renewing Millar's contract was that he had not published sufficiently. Millar's witnesses rebutted all these charges in the Academic Freedom and Tenure hearing, and he won the vote of the committee. Millar felt that the stated standards were too focused on enlarging the reputation of the university, while his objective was to encourage students to become more politically and socially aware and be willing to find deficientcies in the university and community as a whole. 01:02:20 Millar recalls that other faculty members, mainly the senior faculty, were not held to the same expectations that he was. He felt that too much of the funding and endowments were going to right-wing professors, and that GMU was serious in burnishing their credentials in this direction. 01:03:00 Millar did mention his political leanings both in and out of class, and avidly worked to bring differing and at times unpopular viewpoints onto campus through guest speakers. These speakers included General Shoup, who spoke out against American Imperialism. 01:06:40 Millar describes How the fight for and against his retention formed a division in the university, and that his supporters staged marches and had bumper stickers that said "Don't bump Fred." He did know who was leading the charge against him, and that they had coerced part of his voting block to turn against him. However, he did not quite know where the top levels of the administration stood. He jokingly blamed his defeat of President Dykstra at the faculty tennis tournament with helping to end his career. 01:09:20 The charges against Millar were that he showed too much bias in his courses, that some students felt uncomfortable being exposed to radical ideas, and that he did not publish or research enough. While he did have plenty of supporters and put on a vigorous defense with a prominent civil rights attorney, it was still not enough. Millar does not know if there was any outside pressures put on the school to get rid of him. 01:11:18 Millar was very aware that his job was in jeopardy at the time, but was also looking around at other activities he could do outside of teaching at a university. He became an environmentalist and worked in public advocacy and education, but was never a full-time teacher after that. He concentrated on nuclear power and its hazards. Of late he is working on more education-based causes such as school integration. 01:13:35 The issues he was most interested in before his time at Mason were issues of creation of community colleges as a method of segregating college populations along class lines. Later at Mason Millar focused on multiple issues, including women's rights, war and peace. 01:14:43 Millar thinks the university should be about the free exchange of ideas, and that unpopular ideas should be stated and weighed as well as popular ones. He then discusses the phenomenon he observed of universities hiring young radical instructors to cater to the more radicalized student population of the late sixties, only to get rid of these same instructors a few years later. 01:16:22 Millar thinks that the Cold War justified and exasperated an already potent reaction against the politics of the left. He contends that the Cold War encouraged conservatives to lump all socialism into the totalitarian camp found in the Soviet Union, and most American students had no exposure to any forms of socialism, even moderate forms. This creates a lack of alternative thinking and a lack of alternative solutions for current crisis. 01:18:42 Millar thinks that Mason had some essential core values of competitive individualism, which shaped how the university taught students, and how they selected faculty. This positioned them well for the Reagan revolution, when the university provided intellectual heft to the movement. He does admit that Mason's student body has become more diverse, but he wonders if this diversity expends to the courses that are offered. He found that the majority of foreign students were women-that the sons were allowed to go to college elsewhere, but the daughters had to stay closer to home. 01:21:45 Bob Vay asked about Dr. Millar's role in the hiring of Andy Evans, Mason's first minority recruitment officer. Millar recalled that one of his first committee assignments as a new instructor was to help set up a minority recruitment drive. President Dykstra had found money to hire someone, and Millar was on the interviewing committee. And he stated that Evans had a naturally winning personality that Millar thought was perfect for the job. He was always very impressed with Evans and enjoyed his stand-up comedy routine.
Years covered: 1960s-2012
Miller, Howard, June 1, 1979
On compact disc.
42 minutes, 24 seconds.
Interview by Purcell and Wickre.
Years covered: Not specified.
Moore, Anne C., May 7, 2012
On compact disc
33:56
Interview by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay
00:00:37 Dr. Moore was hired as the Prince William Institute (PWI) Librarian in November of 1993, and that she was brought in to develop the library there. This was while the facility was still in the shopping center on Sudly Road in Manassass. Her job was to create a basic collection, establish study areas, set up a computer lab, and create the IT infrastructure. She developed a curriculum for the computer technology that benefitted the burgeoning Internet-based industry in Prince William. She also determined the design of the eventual library facility at the PW campus, even though she left Mason just as it was being finished and never got a chance to work on the campus. 00:04:00 Dr. Moore was very excited to be developing an all new facility, especially given that his was the dawn of the internet age, and that she was involved in the ground floor of a powerful new industry. She was also enthused about the close working relationship between the Prince William area businesses and the University. She even designed the first website for the Prince William County government. As part of her outreach she trained many classroom instructors throughout the County how to use the computer and work with the Internet. 00:08:48 As far as the overall design of the entire campus and the establishment of the Prince William Institute, Dr. Moore encouraged talking to Jim Fonseco. In addition to doing all the main negotiations between the county, the community and the University about the construction of the campus, Fonseco developed the industry-inspired curricula and established new programs of study that outgrew the PWI and migrated to the main campus, according to Dr. Moore. 00:10:28 As far as the development of programs at PWI, Dr. Moore recalled that the plan was to build small unique programs that would grow, as opposed to a slimmed down version of a university. The emphasis was on business and information technology. Her program was specifically known as an "educational transformation" program, which encouraged close industry connections, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Later such fields as genome typing and microbiology were created to fill needs for trained workers. The needs were defined by communication between industry leaders and the University. Randall Edwards was involved in making these connections. 00:13:37 The Sudly Road location had been negotiated before Dr. Moore was hired, and there were staff members already at work there when she arrived. She had to develop her collection of materials around the curriculum already being established-meaning it was closely related to the IT and semi-conductor field. At the Sudly Road facility, Dr. Moore acknowledged that her little lab and set of offices was all that was the PWI until the new buildings could be completed. 00:15:30 Dr. Moore stated that the building delays were based on taking longer than projected to get the work done. The community just did not have enough political ability to make it happen any faster. However, the main impotice for building the PWI campus came from the residents of the community, not necessarily from the Fairfax campus. 00:17:29 Concerning the role of the Northern Virginia Community College and the failure to build on their campus in Manassass, Dr. Moore does not remember much, except that the political relationships fell apart early in the process. NVAA wanted to go on their own and create a relationship with GMU, but the county did not want a community college sort of facility. 00:19:20 There was a movement by some community leaders to make the PWI independent of GMU, but there just was not sufficient support to make it happen. It became clear that the best chance for success would be to have the power and prestige of Mason behind the project to be successful in attracting talent and money. Dr. Moore does remember an atmosphere of doubt about which of the plans would eventually win out.
Years covered: 1990s-2012
Moran, Ron, May 24, 2001
On compact disc.
55 minutes, 30 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Moretz, Walter, March 23, 2000
On compact disc.
58 minutes, 40 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Morowitz, Harold, May 3, 2007
Interview by Katja Hering.
Years covered: Not specified.
Murphy, Nancy, June 6, 2011
On digital versatile discs.
32 minutes, 26 seconds.
Interview by Christine Widmayer and Robert Vay.
Ms. Murphy first came to George Mason University in 1987. She had been living across the street and often walked along Patriot Circle for exercise. One day on her walk, she thought about how nice it would be to work at George Mason. Then, she pursued it.
Ms. Murphy has served as the administrative assistant to the chief executive student affairs officer (a position that has changed names many times) since 1988. She describes the development of University Life, particularly during Dr. Merten's presidency. When Dr. Merten took office, he decided he wanted a more active student affairs office. He created the position of Vice President of Student Affairs. This position is to be held by a faculty member, who is to report directly to the Executive Council. As the University grew, Dr. Merten also decided that Student Affairs was not a proper title for the work the Student Affairs department did. He believed Student Affairs focused on the affairs of not just the students, but also the faculty and staff of the University. He renamed the department University Life.
Ms. Murphy discusses the growth of the student body and the growth of diversity on campus, as well as how computer technology has influenced her work at the campus in general. She shares anecdotes about students and faculty alike. Ms. Murphy speaks to the various contributions she has made to campus life and the various contributions George Mason has made to her life. She discusses the lasting friendships she had made here, and the legacy of community she will carry with her upon her retirement in June 2011.
Years covered: 1987-2011.
Myers, Margaret, February 2, 2009
On digital versatile discs.
52 minutes, 5 seconds.
Interview by Leah Donnelly and Bob Vay.
Dr. Myers served as an assistant director in the Information Technology and Systems Division of the Institute for Defense Analysis after a long and distinguished career with the Department of Defense. She received her doctorate from Mason in information technology as part of the first class to graduate from that program. In fact, she was the very first person to receive a doctorate in that department because her name came first alphabetically. Dr. Myers has held a variety of high-level positions in the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring in 2005 as a colonel. Dr. Myers served on active duty with the U.S. Army from 1976-1978. She has worked in IT for the Army Operational Evaluation Command, where she evaluated and tested IT systems and software that are used in combat missions. Dr. Myers has published extensively and is a member of several boards and committees, including the advisory board for the GMU School of Information Technology and Engineering, the Board of Visitors for the National Defense University, and the Association for Enterprise Integration.
Years covered: 1970s-2009.
Nasser, Maureen, August 8, 2006
On compact discs and digital versatile disc.
CD: 45 minutes, 33 seconds. DVD: 46 minutes.
Interview by Katja Hering and Bob Vay.
Years covered: Not specified.
Neal, Stephen, March 16, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 16 minutes, 41 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith.
Mr. Neal opens his interview by describing his company, K. Neal Trucking, in Maryland. He then describes his childhood in Annapolis and the family moving to Glenarden, Maryland, where he attended high school. His first year of high school was the first year of busing in Prince George's County, so Mr. Neal spoke of how he had a long bus ride to school and how he had to pass two other closer high schools to get to his school. He played basketball at Duval High School, but explains that he was late to start playing because he misbehaved as a young person and his struggles led to his expulsion. His mother's intervention was able to change this, and Mr. Neal says it was a life changing experience for him.
About being recruited to George Mason University, Mr. Neal discusses how he was not a stellar basketball player in high school but many of the area universities were scouting him. He says his high school basketball coach warned schools away from him, stating that Mr. Neal had a behavior problem. However, Coach Linn decided to take a chance on Mr. Neal and brought him to Mason. Mr. Neal describes Coach Linn as a small man with a huge influence because he put together a team of very good people; he created a great community for students, of whom included Caroline and Jay Marsh. Coach Linn became a significant positive male presence for the athletes, especially for those young men who grew up without fathers.
In parting, Mr. Neal says that his college experience at George Mason mapped who he is today. When he thinks about those people who he went to high school with, he knows they are mostly dead or incarcerated. But now he wants to help people, just as people helped him in his early life. Those people who worked to keep him in school and took a chance on him are now the people Mr. Neal wants to emulate.
Years covered: 1970s-2012.
Nickens, Michael, February 4, 2010
On compact disc and digital versatile discs.
CD: 1 hour, 12 minutes, 34 seconds. DVD: 1 hour,9 minutes, 30 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Dr. Michael Nickens, more commonly known as "Doc Nix" by the Mason community, has been the Pep Band Director at George Mason University since the fall of 2006. Dr. Nickens discusses his role as leader of the pep band, a position created in direct response to the men's basketball team going to the NCAA Final four in the spring of 2006. Formerly a student-run organization, Nickens talks about the transition of the band to a faculty-directed organization. He credits the students for creating a talented band on which he only put the fine touches and challenged to go farther.
Dr. Nickens discusses how it was to come into an environment with so much energy after the Final Four, and how it impacted the role of the Pep Band. He also talks about how he serves as a type of mascot for Mason, and the inspiration for his over-the-top outfits. He sees himself as a physical manifestation of the energy and spirit that accompany collegiate sports, and how he wants to be the catalyst that helps the Pep Band encourage that type of energy among the Mason community.
In addition to talking about the pep band, Dr. Nickens speaks about the Performing Arts at Mason. Recognizing that Mason is still a fairly young university, he discusses the potential for performing arts and how the departments are learning how to realize that potential. Nickens also tells us about his role as an assistant professor of music.
Years covered: Discusses academic career prior to coming to Mason in 2006; Covers Mason topics from 2006 to 2010.
O'Connor, John, May 5, 2011
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 6 minutes, 9 seconds.
Interview by Christine Widmayer and Bob Vay.
Dr. O'Connor first came to George Mason College in 1969 as a graduate student from the University of Virginia. He taught here as part of his graduate program in English for a few years before heading back to UVA. He accepted an English professorship in 1973. Dr. O'Connor worked as a Professor of English, the Director of the Composition Program, a Co-director of the Instructional Development Office, Vice-provost for Information Technology and Library Services, Dean of the New Century College, and Dean of Higher Education.
Dr. O'Connor discusses his many areas of study, including his study of Arthur Miller and nontraditional retellings of Shakespearean plays. He tells the story of how this interest led him to investigate the Federal Theatre Project alongside Lorraine Brown, which brought him to a warehouse in Maryland chock-full of documents, plays, and information on the FTP. He helped to acquire this highly regarded collection for George Mason University, which he then helped supplement with oral history interviews with FTP personnel.
Dr. O'Connor describes his involvement in the New Century College and the creation of a zero-based curriculum that would allow the NCC to educate its student holistically. He discusses how the NCC introduced interdisciplinary studies with experiential education.
Dr. O'Connor also discusses his involvement in the building of the Johnson Center and how the vision of a learning center came together. He says the center was designed to be more than a student union: full, instead, of student groups, art exhibitions, music, and other types of educational and cultural opportunities.
Years covered: 1969-2011.
O'Connor, Thomas, December 1, 2011
On digital versatile discs.
27 minutes, 17 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay.
Mr. O'Connor described his early career as a basketball coach at Dartmouth College and Loyola College in Baltimore. He became the Athletic Director at Loyola for ten years, and then moved to Santa Clara College in Central California to serve as their Athletic Director for six years. Returning to the East Coast, O'Connor was Athletic Director at Saint Bonaventure College. In 1994 he was selected as George Mason's Athletic Director. He was a friend of the prior AD at GMU who was moving on to Georgetown. The responsibilities of the Athletic Director cover every aspect of an athletic program on campus-from the facilities to dealing with student athletes. He moved from coaching to administration purely because there was an opening. His first year as AD at Loyola they won a National Championship, and he enjoyed the excitement that went with the responsibility. He also enjoys making a difference with a lot of other people, including people on campus as well as in the community. When he arrived at Mason, O'Connor found the program to be in good shape. What he determined to do with it was to raise the expectations and to create stronger programs that could compete at higher levels. Under President Johnson and Scherrens, they were able to meet these short-term goals. With the arrival of Dr. Merten, the long-term goals of the athletic department fit well into Dr. Merten's vision for GMU. O'Connor says that his priorities are to make sure the students have a good experience, and that they are able to compete safely. Wants to make sure they have the basic human needs to be successful in life and on the sports field. He measures his success in the graduation rates and in the GPA levels. Also focuses on life skills of the athletes. After that, the winning rates of the teams. NCAA certification process is a good overview of how an athletic program is doing. O'Connor is unhappy because the NCAA is putting the certification process on hold temporarily. He listed the many people involved in the certification process-done about 18 months ago as part of a two and a half year process. Title IX is something that O'Connor feels that the University should be positive about compliance with. He stresses that the men and women's programs are funded equally and that everyone should be treated equally in all the programs. It is an internal driver, not an external program. Improving the Colonial Athletic Association has been a long-term plan for the entire association-making the conference competitive in basketball. There has been sharing off the courts as far as academic facilities for the students who travel to games thanks to the efforts of the Colonial Athletic Alliance-the support system. The biggest change in the community at Mason for O'Connor has been the rise in resident students. It has changed the campus life in the evenings and on weekends. The new buildings on campus are also a big positive. Off campus, O'Connor cites the Final Four appearance and the Nobel Laureate as huge events that gave Mason visibility on the national stage. Leading to the joke about "who will be the next George Mason?" The investment in athletic facilities is part of the push and pull of budget arguments, but O'Connor insists that the investment in the facilities pays off in the development of the entire college community. Athletics can be seen as the front door of the university because of the overall visibility, but O'Connor sees athletics as also the side door of a house, because the side door generally leads to the kitchen and the rooms where everyone congregates. He feels academic needs should come first, but that it is important to make sure the athletic facilities that are ageing get the proper respect too. O'Connor sees the athletic department is a diverse community, and not based on numerical demographics. He thinks diversity is a cultural issue that needs to be addressed with sensitivity, not quotas. Merten and Johnson did not differ that much in O'Connor's estimation because they both were trusted leaders. Their personalities were different, but O'Connor found each engaging men in their own ways. Both wanted quality and balance and have the athletic program to excel without embarrassing the University. Becoming an assistant Vice President as well as Athletic Director, because it better integrates athletics into the development of the University as a whole. Merten's legacy, in a concrete way, has been all the building. It has changed both the look of the University as well as the nature of the student body-into a stronger and more vibrant community. Merten has also given George Mason considerable visibility because of his involvement in multiple important committees. O'Connor's "Merten Moment" has been the discussion they had during the run to the Final Four-that the University needs to be promoted as a whole because the University is bigger than the Basketball program. And that we got where we were because of who we are. O'Connor has been at many universities, but he feels George Mason is a special place.
Years covered: 1970-2010
Pacheco, Josephine, June 22, 2001
On compact disc.
1 hour, 7 minutes, 44 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Papaconstantopoulos, Dimitrios, November 22, 2004
On compact discs.
1st clip: 33 seconds 2nd clip: 1 hour, 12 minutes, 31 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Dimitrios Papaconstantopoulos received his undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Athens, Greece in 1961. He later pursued his graduate education in England, where he received his PhD in theoretical solid-state physics at the University of London in 1966. After finishing his PhD, he came to the United States but did not plan to stay. In April of 1967, however, a military dictatorship in Greece overthrew the social-democratic government of George Papandreou, Sr., which lasted until 1975. Because of this event, Papaconstantopoulos decided not to return to Greece but to stay in the U.S. He started to teach in the physics department at George Mason College in Jan./Feb. 1967. He taught everything except for lab: pre-engineering, physics, and other advanced courses. He worked closely with Eugenie Mielczarek. At the beginning, the small department built a four-year curriculum (from the initial two-year one). He notes that in comparison with the European education system, which encourages students to specialize early, U.S. physics education has a broader curriculum. Prof. Papaconstantopoulos was chair of the physics department from 1974 to 1977. He focused on attracting students and faculty, and made efforts to build a PhD program. He left in 1977, partially because the efforts to build a PhD program were not successful at the time and partially because he wanted to spend more time conducting research. He worked at the Naval Research Laboratory, where he later became the Head of the Complex Systems Theory Branch. His areas of study included band structure calculations, superconductivity, and theory of alloys. He also taught as an adjunct professor at GMU in the Department of Computational Science.
Years covered: 1961-2004.
Papp, Zoltan, January 27, 2005
On compact discs.
1 hour, 20 minutes, 46 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Dr. Zoltan Papp received a PhD in mathematics at the University of Debrecen (Hungary) in 1960. He then worked as an assistant professor at the Teachers Training College of Szeged (Hungary), and also consulted a shop in retail analysis using statistical techniques. The political situation in Hungary became more restrictive after the uprising in 1956. He decided to leave the country, and he came to the U.S. in 1967. Papp first worked at the Western Union Telegraph Co. in New York doing statistical evaluations of telex traffic date. He accepted a job offer at George Mason College in 1969 because he liked the Fairfax area and the job had an attractive appeal. At that time, GMC's mathematics department was just beginning to expand. Papp developed several courses in probability, statistics, abstract algebra, and other subjects. He conducted on his own research in the area of abstract algebra while teaching. In 1981 he received a job offer from IBM, where he worked as a consulting statistician. He also taught at the IBM Corporate Technical Institute. Papp came back to the Fairfax area after his retirement from IBM in 1999, and taught at GMU as an adjunct professor in the applied engineering department.
Years covered: 1958-2005.
Peck, Margaret, April 8, 2010
On compact discs.
35 minutes.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Mrs. Peck was born in the Herndon region, where her family has lived and farmed since the late 1700s or early 1800s. Growing up, the region was an agricultural area, where the farms were mostly dairy farms. Members of her husband's family were also long-time Herndon region dairy farmers, and she shares a little bit of her husband's family history. Mrs. Peck says that dairy farming began declining when the site for Dulles Airport was chosen in the 1960s, and much of the agricultural land was taken away to build the airport.
The area of Herndon where Mrs. Peck has called home for almost all of her life is known as Floris. She shares what stores and schools were in the town of Herndon, as well as her impetus for writing a book about the residents of Floris, Stories from Floris. She contacted about 45 people who lived long portions of their lives, and many of which still live in Floris, and compiled a book of stories about their time in the area. While not all were dairy farmers, many of these farming residents were affected by the changes brought about by Dulles Airport. Mrs. Peck says that the building of the airport "changed everything," and that it was a "fascinating process." She also discusses resident perspectives on the airport. Although it was thought of as a "white elephant" for many years, the long-time residents knew that it would ultimately be a successful airport that just took time to work. Mrs. Peck documented the building of Dulles Airport through pictures, from groundbreaking to opening day. These pictures served as the basis for her book, Images of America: Washington Dulles International Airport.
In wrapping up her interview, Mrs. Peck comments on why she has chosen to remain in Northern Virginia for so long. She says that she has had no reason to leave because her family has been part of a community, and that community is a great place to be. Mrs. Peck says that there is a wide range of activities in which residents can participate, and that makes Northern Virginia a desirable place to live. She says that the biggest changes in the area are the influx of businesses, the opportunities available to people, and the population growth. One of the biggest changes, with regard to population, is the amount of land available to individual families. She says that she just loves living here, and that she loves her home.
Years covered: 1920s-2010.
Pober, Peter, Novembe 20, 2007
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 2 minutes.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
Peter Pober came to George Mason University in 2003 to take on the role as Director of Forensics at the behest of former directors Bruce Manchester and Sheryl Friedley. In this interview Pober discusses his work with the Mason team, his prior affiliation with Manchester and Friedley, and his personal background with forensics in college and high school. An integral element to Pober's coaching philosophy is the "notion of the family," which he adopted from Manchester, Friedley, and Duffner. He also discusses the other traditions that he has kept over the years and some new ideas that he has introduced: the George Mason Institute for Forensics, for example. Pober sheds light on how forensics has changed over the last 20 years in terms of research, topics, and competition. He also highlights the importance of diversity and tolerance of difference that he not only fosters, but requires of his team members.
Years covered: 2003-2007, his time with the GMU Forensics Team; and 1970s-2007.
Polsby, Daniel, September 30, 2010
On digital versatile discs.
35 minutes, 49 seconds.
Interview by Nona P. Martin and Bob Vay.
Dean Daniel Polsby was the Dean of the GMU School of Law. Prior to coming George Mason, he was a professor at Northwestern University. The fact that he had friends already on the faculty and that the law school had a good reputation were amongst the reasons he relocated here. When he came, the law school had only been in Hazel Hall for a few months. One of the things that struck him about the faculty was that it was so easy going, yet serious. Faculty conversations were not about frivolous things, but about serious academic topics.
Polsby spoke of what the Office of the Dean entails. He considers it simply a middle management position. He misses teaching but doesn't have the control over his schedule that it would take to make the students a priority. When he does get the opportunity, he teaches criminal law, tortes and family law.
Dean Polsby addresses GMU Law School's reputation as a conservative institution. He says it is no secret that many of GMU professors have libertarian or conservative leanings. But he also says that it's not deliberate because GMU simply draws from the talent pool available. He relays that most universities usually pick from the left side of the spectrum, so the right side has a very rich untapped talent supply. Polsby credits three things with the Law School's success: the affordable tuition, the location, and its reputation which has been enhanced by its high ranking (once listed in the Top 50 in US News and World Report).
Polsby talks about the building of Founders Hall. He explains that although it will directly affect the Law School in only a small way, it is good for the University and community as a whole. His final points are on the topic of diversity in the School of Law and the future of the GMU law program.
Years covered: 1999-2010.
Posner, Marjorie, October 22, 1999
On compact disc.
21 minutes, 4 seconds.
Interview by Robert D. Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Prosky, Robert, November 8, 2007
On compact discs and digital versatile discs.
CD, Part 1: 50 minutes, 7 seconds. CD, Part 2: 43 minutes, 42 seconds. DVD: 1 hour, 31 minutes, 19 seconds.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
Robert Prosky is a resident of Washington, D.C. and a well-known actor of the American stage and screen. He is best known for his longtime association with Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. In this interview he discusses his life in acting, from his first role in "Our Town" in high school to his work in film, television, and his achievements on the stage -- of which he is most proud. Prosky has worked with some of the finest actors, writers, and directors in the United States, including Zelda Fichlander, Michael Mann, David Mamet, Tim Robbins, James L. Brooks, Ian McKellan, Hugh Wilson, Kirk Browning, Danny DeVito, Sam Waterston, Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Robin Williams.
Despite his experience and influence on the stage and screen, Prosky remains a dedicated family-man. In this interview he discusses the value of "everyday life" that has profoundly shaped his work as an actor.
Years covered: 1930s-2007.
Rader, Victoria, March 28, 2001
On cassette tape.
Interview by Robert D. Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Radner, John, February 25, 2004
On compact discs.
57 minutes, 53 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
John B. Radner was a Professor of English at GMU; was Director of Undergraduate Studies in the late 1990s; came to George Mason at a time of high energy and new faculty; first classes were taught at Fairfax High School; students were not cautious about asking questions, but curious; faculty shared offices; more interaction among faculty than today; Mr. Radner described the program of cultural studies as multidisciplinary and involved culture as an evolving creation; most interesting class taught on utopian literature at New Century College; enjoys new ideas arising out of classroom discussion; more classes, which aid students in being prepared for jobs after graduation, were being taught; problems arose within his department because there were more adjunct/part-time faculty instead of full-time faculty; described changes on campus with the construction of the new campus; talked about published works on 18th century British literature; examination of the motto "publish or perish"; described his department as having a good relationship with administration, deans, and presidents; reviews the most memorable moments.
Years covered: 1974-2004.
Raskin, Miriam, November 1, 2001
On compact disc.
31 minutes, 9 seconds.
Interview by Paulina A. Vaca.
Miriam Raskin as a professor in the Department of Social Work; how she came to GMU; experience as a teacher during her first years at GMU; favorite classes taught at GMU; tenure as Chair of the Social Work Program; how the social work program has evolved throughout the years; the Department of Social Work; discussion of GMU during the early years (1973-1985); how the role of GMU professors have progressed in the last 25 years; GMU students, past and present; social work students and their progress in the field of social work after graduation; increase in student enrollment and its effect on the social work department; the relationship between the social work department and the rest of the university; the relationship of the social work department and the GMU deans and presidents; social work and its ties to Northern Virginia; innovations with computer technology related to teaching and the field of social work; landmark events; the introduction of the Master of Arts in Social Work degree; important people in the social work department and the university administration.
Years covered: 1973-2001.
Rosenblum, Karen, September 14, 2011
On digital versatile discs.
50 minutes, 31 seconds.
Interview by Bob Vay.
Years covered: Not specified.
Ross, David,
On compact disc.
1 hour, 8 minutes, 51 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Sanford, James, May 8, 2000
On compact disc.
53 minutes, 28 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Sargent, Carole, March 24, 2010
On digital versatile discs.
37 minutes, 47 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Dr. Carole Sargent begins the interview by telling her story of how she returned back to college at George Mason University in her late 20s. She had tried college at a more traditional age at UNC-Greensboro, but dropped out believing that she was not college material. After years in the workforce, she realized that she was not going to be able to succeed without a bachelor's degree. Taking up an offer from the company where she was working at the time, she returned to Mason in the mid-1980s to try out a business degree. Realizing that she wanted to follow her own academic passions, she took a literature class in the 1986. Then, she returned full-time as a student at George Mason in 1988 to receive her B.A. in English.
Dr. Sargent tells of her experiences with specific professors, including Pat Storey, Roger Lathbury, Kate Brogen, James Trefil, and Jack Censer. She says that with the support of these Mason professors she was able to realize that she could succeed and even excel in college. She states that Mason was where she learned how to be a college student. By her senior year as an undergraduate, she was nominated and won the English Department's Top Student award. Dr. Sargent was encouraged to pursue graduate studies in the field of English, and she went to University of Virginia for her graduate work. There she went on to receive her PhD in English, focusing on the 18th-century English novel.
Since receiving her PhD, Dr. Sargent has written two books, which highlight her experiences in the work and academic fields. She wrote The Slam and Scream, which is a self-help book for people in secretarial jobs such as administrative assistants and paralegals. Her second book, Traditional Degrees for Nontraditional Students, is the book for which she is most widely recognized. It highlights the experiences of nontraditional students; she says that despite the commonality of older students, this book made a big splash among the media.
A proponent of on-campus undergraduate learning, Dr. Sargent is hoping that the topic will continue to spark with the increased technology for distance learning. Today Dr. Sargent works at Georgetown University, where she was formerly a professor and now works as the Director of Scholarly & Literary Publication. She says that while she learned to be a student at Mason and honed those skills at UVA, Georgetown has been a spiritual haven for her academic work. At the end of her interview, Dr. Sargent leaves non-traditional students with the advice to follow their own collegiate path, and to not rely so heavily on the expectations of family members and friends. She concludes that all of the top universities have room for serious scholars at any age.
Years covered: 1986-2010.
Use Restrictions
This interview may be used only for scholarly research. This interview may be used in public programming or promotional publications of any sort with Carole Sargent's written permission, including but not limited to slide-tape shows, radio and video documentaries, Internet publications, exhibits, and print publications. Permission to publish material from the Carole Sargent interview must be obtained from Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Schefer, Leo, March 16, 2010
On digital versatile discs.
51 minutes, 18 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Mr. Leo Schefer came from England to the United States in 1964 to pursue a career with aviation. After working for 30 years in the air and space industry, he took a job with the Washington Airports Task Force (WATF), which is an organization that works with the application of air transportation to the economy and society. He is currently the president of WATF.
Mr. Schefer gives a brief history of Dulles International Airport. In the late 1950s, the Washington Metropolitan area saw the need for a "jet-aged" airport. A 3000-acre plot of land was purchased in Burke, VA but after much complaint of an airport being located too close to residential areas, the land was sold and 10,000-acres were purchased for the airport in Chantilly, VA. There were plans for the airport to be finished by the end of the Eisenhower administration, and Dulles opened in 1961. The Washington area was not as heavily populated during this time, and airlines did not want to service the region through two different airports. Dulles would be essentially neglected until the 1980s, when it was obvious that National could no longer serve the entire region and attention was finally given to the expansion of the airport. Mr. Schefer states that Dulles was instrumental in drawing the growth of the National/Capital region to the west side of the city. Dulles today is a magnet for many large companies to locate within the Dulles Corridor because of easy access to international travel.
The WATF today is a bridge between the airports and the users in the community. It helps to put weight on the importance of repeat business traveler alongside the airport's authority in order to get more service, both national and international. He discusses the organization's role in promoting "Open Skies" agreements, which de-regulate the airline services so that they can offer services based on market demand. They are also concerned with the effectiveness of the security and customs, so that they are staffed well enough so as not to delay travelers and that they have adequate resources. The WATF continues to work with issues surrounding airport access, including land access and air traffic control. The final role of the WATF is opening communication between the community and the airports, making sure that consumers are aware of how air transportation affects them. When asked about the most important things that the WATF has accomplished, he states that it has helped to make the Washington-area airports from being some of the worst in the nation to some of the best. He also states that the Open Skies agreement has been extremely influential for air transportation, which has been in effect since I 990.
Mr. Schefer states that Dulles has managed to become a very important and influential airport because the business, civic and government groups in the region have worked together to do something about Dulles service. If this cooperation had not happened, the Northern VA area would not have become an international gateway without Dulles International Airport. Forty percent of jobs in the area were created since the 1980s, and most of the jobs were created because businesses wanted to locate near a place of international access. The Northern Virginia area would not have been able to grow into such an important economic region with access to Dulles. Schefer states that the region needs the airport because it is the gateway to prosperity and growth.
Years covered: 1961-2010.
Scherrens, Maurice, August 1, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 9 minutes, 54 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith.
Years covered: Not specified.
Scherrens, Sandra, May 16, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
51 minutes, 42 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith.
Dr. Scherrens is the Vice President for University Life (UL). She came to George Mason from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004 and was hired specifically for the post of VP. The University Life program itself was started by Dr. Alan Merten in his first year here and was run by Karen Rosenblum. In other colleges, the department is called Student Affairs, but the leadership is not generally held by a vice president of the university. Dr. Merten wanted the department to reflect more than just the students' activities, but to be involved with all the different aspects of the life of the university. His philosophy is that the students' time in college should be trans-discipline, and that University Life needs to be a collaborative process. University life, according to Dr. Scherrens, is all about meeting student needs. Currently, there is a new push on to include graduate students in the University Life mix, as they have felt their voices have not been heard. She says that students want the services to be seamless-that they are not shuffled around from one office to another, and that this is one of the benefits of having all the services under one umbrella organization. Most of the problems presented by students have multiple aspects to them: mental health problems can have aspects of physical health issues that need to be treated as well. The University is getting much more formal about assessment, with greater demands in accredidation, etc. University Life has assessment plans and surveys, but Dr. Scherrens also points out the people in University Life are in close contact with the students and get to know their needs. She believes developing relationships is the most critical work of UL. The big changes that Dr. Scherrens has overseen in her time at Mason's UL are the growth in the Housing and residential component, and development of the athletic facilities and the athletic clubs. Housing, which used to be handled by an outside contractor, is now an major portion of UL's work especially now since the on-campus housing will have a capacity of 8,000 students. In response to an obvious need, UL now has an LEAD program, which trains students in leadership skills. This fall, UL will be opening up a Grad Student office to help with an underserved community at Mason. There is a debate in the field of student affairs is what to emphasize in an era of drastic budget cuts. In most colleges, the student affairs office is subsumed under the academic affairs. However, Dr. Merten thought so strongly of UL that he wanted the head to report directly to him. Student affairs will always be competing against academic affairs, and it really cannot do so in the grand scope of things. UL does not get ignored here at George Mason. As far as her contributions, Dr. Scherrens is proud that under her time at UL, student dissatisfaction at not feeling a part of the university has dropped, and that such measurements as retention have improved. She wants to think UL played a part in making the students feel more comfortable here and more involved. The university's investment in such buildings as SUB I and the dormitories is a testament to UL's success. She also appreciates Mason's spirit of invention and innovation, and the ability to try new things and new programs. Dr. Scherrens always finds faculty who are willing to help with the UL experience. She described the formation of Faculty Fellows six years ago. This group of instructors work directly with students on specific projects. So far UL has sponsored forty such projects and Dr. Scherrens is pleased with the willingness of the faculty. Dr. Scherrens then discussed how major events off campus affect the job of UL on campus. Since the Virginia Tech shootings and the awareness of bullying, the focus is on students of concern (SOC). The ripple-down effect of the violence has been the development of emergency reaction teams on campus, as well as building well-trained and planned structures that will engage emergencies right away. Another off-shoot has been a better support structure to deal with the individual SOC. Currently Mason is below the national average of suicides and student behavior issues. Even though we have doubled our number of residential students, but the ration of suicides and problems to student body has not doubled, but has stayed low. The Health and Mental Health offices have instituted a case management system, where the staff follows through on getting extended help to students where needed. Dr. Scherrens shared the names of staff members who particularly stand out: Dr. Merten, the Executive Council, the Vice Presidents, the Budget Committees, Peter Pilber, Victoria Raeder, . She points to Dr. Merten's ability to get people to collaborate as one of the keys to Mason's success. There is not a sense of competition between the administration. Mason's climate of innovation and the culture of working with the students are things that Dr. Scherrens likes about working here. She finds that people are willing to try new things, and those efforts are rewarded here. Traffic and environment would be her biggest dislikes.
Years covered: 2004-2012
Scheinfeldt, Joseph "Tom", October 19, 2010
On digital versatile disc.
1 hour, 1 minute.
Interview by Nona P. Martin with Bob Vay.
Dr. Scheinfeldt was the Managing Director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM). He joined the staff as a project manager for the September 11 Digital Archives in 2002, while he was working on his dissertation. Scheinfeldt discusses the history of CHNM and the history of the larger field of digital humanities, explaining the two branches of ancestry from which digital humanities emerged and placed the Center in the context of that family tree.
Scheinfeldt notes that generous collaboration is the key to the Center's success, that and hard work. These are secrets learned from Roy Rosenzweig, the Center's founder. Rosenzweig was not only hard working but very generous, helping found several fields. Dr. Scheinfeldt notes that Rosenzweig was very generous with his time.
Being a history center and not a humanities center sets the Center apart. Tom talks about the close connections between CHNM and the GMU history department. As a matter of fact he describes CHNM as a research lab attached to the history dept.
Sheinfeldt explains why there is an emphasis on K -12 history education, as well as how the Center writes grants and how it keeps its identity amidst the growth. He also spoke about the Center's commitment to open source projects.
Years covered: 2002-2010.
Schrum, Kelly, May 18, 2011
On digital versatile discs.
41 minutes, 20 seconds.
Interview by Christine Widmayer with Bob Vay.
Dr. Kelly Schrum first came to George Mason as a postdoctoral fellow in 2000. Since then she has worked as a visiting assistant professor, an associate professor, the educational director of the Center for History and New Media, among many other positions.
Dr. Schrum discusses the spirit of innovation at George Mason University and how that has applied to the digital humanities. Focusing on her time working in the CHNM, she discusses how the digital humanities have spread across the country and how George Mason is helping to bring the field to national prominence.
Dr. Schrum discusses the inspiration of Roy Rosenzweig, founder of the CHNM, and how the center remains true to his vision. She also discusses the prevalence of technology in the classroom and how digital humanities are changing the face of teaching.
Years covered: 2000-2011.
Shaffer, Jay, November 17, 1999
On compact disc.
30 minutes, 41 seconds.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Years covered: Not specified.
Shea, James, September 27, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 22 minutes, 31 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith.
00:00:52 Shea describes coming for his job interview at George Mason College in March of 1966 and being caught in the snow. 00:01:33 Shea points out he graduated from University of Virginia with his bachelor's degree in 1960 before going on to Cornell. He then went to Shreveport, LA in 1964 to teach while still writing his dissertation. 00:02:23 Shea describes how he was the first baseball coach at GMC, but that he and his team had to build the baseball field before they could start practicing and playing. Because they had to do this in January of 1967, the team had no pre-season practice, and lost their early games badly. He was paid $100 for the season. 00:04:12 Shea recalls that in the middle of the season, the team's shortstop was killed in a car accident, and that this was worse than any of the losses they suffered. Additionally, he remembered that the ball field was called "Shea Stadium" and that the GMC team was doing better than the NY Mets at that time. 00:04:58 The student body, according to Shea, were very much like students at a community college (GMC as a two year college at the time). Shea found that the atmosphere of anticipation around both the students and the faculty; that everyone came with the idea of a new beginning. Many came with high ideals of starting a great university. 00:06:17 Shea felt the school had a great deal of potential because of the location, the surrounding needs, and the faculty. Shea credited Steve Early with being a leading academic who worked to build a strong political science and history department. Shea points out that he had been hired as the acting chair of the humanities department: philosophy, religion, and anthropology. He shared the philosophy teaching duties with Mike McDermott until Robert McFarlane took over as chair of the Humanities department the next year. 00:07:56 Shea characterized Dean Krug as a very kind-hearted and gentile person. He was also a very organized scientist. However, Shea described how the academic council, made up of members from every department, was charged with creating the curriculum. As time went on, Shea noted that in reality, the decisions were being made higher up the administrative ladder, and the council was not being treated as equals. The Council began to see Krug and Thompson as adversaries. 00:09:52 Shea saw Krug and Thompson as holding on to power, but he was not privy to what was happening at the University of Virginia. Shea has suspicions about Thompson working with both the Darden School at UVA and with local Fairfax elites to conform GMC into their vision of a conservative school. This led to an increasing anger from many of the faculty at the administration. 00:11:33 Shea describes how he was hired on a one-year contract, then signed a three year contract, and figured he was on the tenure track. 00:12:16 Shea did in fact find that the student body was apathetic, but that this was true of most student bodies in the mid-1960s. Shea describes the mid-point of that decade as when many opportunities and ideas started to open up for students, and change became the norm-he uses the word "fluid." Many people were facing new personal choices and challenges because they began to examine older values and found them lacking. The apathy on the GMC campus, as well as nation-wide, began to melt away. 00:14:49 Shea recalled that many students at GMC saw the school as a place where "you drove up to, went to class, then got out of there." He spoke of the Gunston Ledger as trying to stir people up-they were troublemakers. And Shea supported this sort of agitation. 00:15:47 Shea discusses the problems with the academic council in opposition to the administration's decisions as being very important to the early formation of GMC. 00:16:44 Shea describes being ill-at-ease with the world in his own life during 1967-68. This anxiety came at a time when he met a colleague from college who convinced Shea to change his way of life. After reading Tolstoy, Shea adopted non-violent resistance as a way of life and began his opposition to the Draft. 00:19:33 Shea's intellectual mentors in his thinking about nonviolence were Tolstoy and Ghandi. The Civil Rights movement also inspired him-as a Southerner, Shea felt the very fabric of his life was being called into question by the courage of the black people. While in Shreveport, he joined the NAACP, and three days after paying his dues, he was castigated by the president of the college for doing so. 00:22:15 Shea discussed the growing spirit of activism he saw at the time-that one either changed or fought the change. At the beginning of his draft resistance, Shea knew that because the resistors were so few in number, they would face an extreme amount of opposition. 00:23:27 Shea emphasized the fluidity of the moment-the sense that things were moving along at a rapid pace, and that change was a constant feature. In the Spring of 1967, he joined a group called Spectrum, a small group interested in doing something different. Shea downplayed his leadership in the movement, insisting that he came into the middle of something that was already happening. 00:25:55 Shea commented that there were so many factors that one had to take into consideration about movements that every little bit of society was changing-from drugs, music, clothing, food, and lifestyle choices. About drugs, Shea wanted to set the record straight that while he was at George Mason he never used drugs, mainly out of fear that it would be used against him if there was any trouble, and he wanted to stay clear-headed. Most importantly, people had a feeling of being liberated from the confinement of the 1950s. The people really thought, according to Shea, that they could make some serious changes in the country. 00:28:03 The idea of change in every facet of life encouraged people to rise up. An entire generation felt the excitement of seizing their day. Shea felt this was very naive, but exciting. 00:28:45 Shea says he did participate peripherally in the March on the Pentagon in 1967, but that the large protests were not that important to him or Spectrum. They saw themselves as a highly local organization that helped improve their own community. They called their resistance group "The New Army of Northern Virginia." Fueled by anger at the draft, Spectrum chose to work against it. Shea describes the numbers of inductees leaving Fairfax every week, and how he tried to intervene, or pass out information. 00:30:18 Shea established that even though he would not have been sent to war, he chose instead to send his draft notice back three separate times as a form of protest, which at the time reclassified him as 1-A delinquent and put him at the head of the line for the next draft call up. He refused to be inducted and took the case to court. While he had his personal battle with Selective Service, He was also counseling others on how to become conscientious objectors or to leave the country. Spectrum also took opportunities like on-campus recruitment, or collecting the inductees to go to the induction centers in order to counsel people and give the information. 00:33:15 On a more professional note, Shea had begun to doubt the validity of classical teaching methods. He experimented with class organization and fought against grading. He opened his classroom to inquiries about the world, rather than teaching philosophy. 00:34:45 Spectrum was a group that met every Sunday afternoon and have a potluck dinner and discuss activities and make plans. Some of the on-campus activities included organizing on campus for student rights; fought for more recruitment of black students at GMC; agitated within the faculty against the administration. Off campus activities included creating the Saturday School in Centerville to read to impoverished children; started the Free University of Northern Virginia (an effort led by former GMC math instructor Larry Leftoff); and collected fruit for the Salvation Army. 00:38:43 Shea insists he was only part of a much bigger movement, albeit he was older than most of the participants at the time. 00:39:24 Shea talks about what he was not willing to do to resist the draft. He was unwilling to commit violent acts, but he was willing to do anything else. His view has tempered over time. He now believes that people have a right to defend themselves. This includes the Black Panther's protestations against the Southern Coalition's leadership's insistence on total nonviolence. Shea has come to believe the absolute dependence on non-violent resistance is too simple. 00:43:55 Shea mostly knew who were his allies and who were his enemies during his time. He was denounced by other faculty members for his life choices as well as his political stands. He then discusses undercover police and FBI officials who spied on him and pretended to be friends with him. Shea tells the story of the CIA's involvement with a local photographer. He also recalls meeting in Thompson's office with two FBI officers about a draft-age student who fled to Canada. 00:47:46 Shea confirms Chancellor Thompson allowed FBI to use his office to spy on students. Shea then spoke of how he, David Luzbe (sic) and John Coleman burned their draft cards on campus. After the bombing of Cambodia, the protests got louder and more frequent. Discussion of the flagpole incident. Shea did not remember anyone from Kent State coming to campus. Does recall that the administration wanted to buy out his contract early so he would just leave campus. 00:51:15 Shea discusses his legal problems at the end of his time at GMC. In April of 1970, Shea altered his W-2 form, and was soon indicted by a grand jury and found guilty of a felony. Instead of going to prison, Shea became a fugitive for three years. He then turned himself in and served a year. 00:53:56 Shea talks about his time in prison and the various places he was incarcerated. The most difficult part of the experience was the halfway house after jail. 00:55:03 Shea was surprised by all the different reactions from family and friends. He describes how it affected his brother and his father-both of whom served in the military. Shea also discussed how his wife was at first involved with his activism, but later left him. An important point Shea wanted to make was that his experiences in prison and after encouraged him to take up the cause of helping ex-felons transition into life. End of Tape One 00:58: 37 Shea found that many of his relationships became very painful and difficult. He was surprised that some people turned out to be cops. 00:59:53 Shea knew he was putting his career in jeopardy with his activities. However, at the time he was not sure he wanted a traditional career anyway. 01:00:49 Early in his studies, Shea became interested in Ludwig Wittgenstein and maintained his fascination with philosophy, but he was not that interested in a life of an academic scholar. 01:02:42 What affected Shea the most were his legal problems-they followed him. Shea felt that since he was white, educated, and middle-aged he had a much easier time of finding work and adjusting that so many other ex-felons. Shea then described how he got his job at the UVA library, and how he also had time to work on his causes. They are focused locally working on human rights and helping ex-felons. 01:05:55 Shea wanted to return to the discussion of how things changed on campus in the 1960s, and used as an example the awareness of Gay, Lesbian as well as women's rights. Shea points out that the newspapers of the day would not have reported on gay issues. 01:07:01 Shea discusses his activism today-his activities to help felons transition to life in the community. Also discusses the problems facing ex-felons. He feels Charlottesville has some real civil rights issues in the black community and the GLTB community that need to be addressed. 01:09:44 Shea is glad that there are still people out there fighting to fix things, but that the energy and the numbers today are not nearly what they were in the sixties. 01:10:34 What Shea regrets about the Sixties was his naitivite-that they had huge ideals, but they were naive. They did accomplish the end of the draft, and women and minorities gained some grounds. But as time goes on, the system still is able to keep control. He is depressed that corporate control is still as powerful as it ever was-in fact probably better than they were because of advances in technology. The sixties were a moment of hope, courage, and self-confidence. Shea also brings up the current problems of mass incarceration in our nation today-that the inmates tend to be black, and that they may be counted in terms of congressional representation, but that they are worth less than the 3/5ths they were in the period before slavery. He feels the system has deeply anti-human values. 01:17:33 Shea compares the sixties movements with Occupy Walls Street movement of today. He finds the OWS is too focused on themselves than on what they were protesting. Also the power system is much stronger and smarter. 01:19:28 Shea wanted to finish with highlighting various movements still working today on social justice issues, and how certain groups are working quietly to gather resources and organizing. He leaves with a quote in Paul Gaston's memoirs from the Talmud: "It is not given to us to finish the task, nor may we take our hand from the plow." (Mishna, Ethics, 2:2)
Years covered: 1960-2010
Sherwood, Stacy, January 19, 1999
On compact disc.
11 minutes, 30 seconds.
Interview by Amy Logar.
Years covered: Not specified.
Siedlecki, Joseph, December 14, 2009
On compact disc.
21 minutes, 32 seconds.
Interview by Jennfer Janes.
Mr. Siedlecki was in the U.S. Army during WWII, where he was stationed in Europe. During that time, he joined a U.S.O. soldier show called Fall Out for Fun. Mr. Siedlecki describes how and when he joined the Army, and his experiences with U.S.O. soldier shows.
After the war was over, Mr. Siedlecki, like many soldiers, was waiting to be shipped home from his post in Europe. To pass his time, he responded to an advertisement calling musicians to audition for a U.S.O. soldier show. He joined Fall Out for Fun in September 1945 and became part of the 7th Army Special Services Band. In the show, Mr. Siedlecki played the saxophone and the clarinet. He went on several tours with the show throughout Germany. He left the show and was shipped home to the United States in 1946.
Mr. Siedlecki describes Germany immediately after the war, his living conditions, and specifics about the U.S.O. soldier shows.
Years covered: 1941-1946.
Simon, Robert, May 22, 2007
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 38 minutes.
Years covered: Not specified.
Simon, Robert, April 2, 2008
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 38 minutes, 12 seconds.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
This is the second part of an interview with Robert Simon. The first part was conducted in May of 2007. In the first interview, Simon mostly speaks about his early years leading up to the establishment of Reston. This interview focuses solely on the creation and development of the planned community.
Years covered: 1930s-2007.
Skinn, Tony, July 12, 2006
On compact discs and digital versatile discs.
DVD: 17 minutes. CD: 16 minutes, 54 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Years covered: Not specified.
Skog, Judith, February 18, 2004
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
There are restrictions on personal use. The respondent wishes to remain anonymous in any transcript or reference to any information contained in this interview. Permission to publish material from the Judith Skog Collection must be obtained from Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Years covered: 1972-2004.
Use Restrictions
There are restrictions on personal use. The respondent wishes to remain anonymous in any transcript or reference to any information contained in this interview. Permission to publish material from the Judith Skog interview must be obtained from Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Smith, Daniel, February 16, 2009
On digital versatile disc.
1 hour, 4 minutes.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
Daniel Smith was one of the founders, administrators, and instructors of the International School of Law, which later became the GMU School of Law. The International School of Law was founded in 1972 by Smith and several other men who felt that available education in law offered at most institutions was lacking the foundational principles on which the law is based. They felt that the Judeo-Christian moral and ethic codes that guide our code of law were missing from curricula. The men were idealistic, but worked hard to see their vision come to fruition. This involved finding applicants in unlikely places, generating their own financial support, taking on both administrative and instructional roles, and often completing repairs themselves on buildings to house classrooms, the library, and offices.
The school was successful in terms of how quickly they were able to establish a program and attract students given that the school had little outside support. They even offered military veterans a free education. But, they were never able to get ABA accreditation and eventually were subsumed by GMU. However, the students were still permitted to sit for the Virginia Bar.
Mr. Smith discusses in this interview the challenges of starting a law school from the ground up and some of his favorite memories from that time. He also discusses how transitioning to GMU was the right fit and that it allowed for the students of the International School of Law to finally graduate from an accredited institution.
Years covered: 1970s-2009.
Smith, Glenn, February 19, 2004
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Glenn E. Smith is a music professor and composer at GMU; he grew up in San Francisco; he first taught music lessons as a student in college; taught at Nova Scotia; impression of GMU at first was that it was a high school; saw GMU struggle with funding; wrote music at a time when there were more teachers than there were positions; eventually there was less faculty to match the growth of the student population; composed pieces for the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra; 40 music pieces published by a small New York company; gave 4 performances at the Harris Theatre (1985); wrote in every kind of genre-jazz, classical, folk, pop music; plays woodwinds, guitar, jazz piano, and viola; earlier composition required him to write with ink on onion-skin paper; computers eventually became used to hear scores and to compose; mentioned how composing is like practicing an instrument because it is a process; rarely performs his own pieces; taught faculty how to use computer technology for composition; worked on music for healing and he became a certified Reiki master; used crystals and sounds to heal; currently treating students and faculty; he saw students as being the most enjoyable aspect of teaching because of their energy and enthusiasm.
Years covered: 1976-2004.
Smith, Robert, February 27, 2004
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Robert F. Smith was a professor of psychology as well as the Chair of the Department of Psychology at GMU; his research was focused on drugs and brain behavior; shared memories of the past presidents of the University; mentions anecdote of a left-wing philosophy professor that was stabbed; Mr. Smith provided his reasoning for arming the campus police; scandals behind the departure of past presidents; Johnson as the most important president in building the campus but had less respect for faculty; mentioned that the accounting system has not kept pace with the pace of growth and administrative demands have increased; problems in numbers--tenure faculty members have remained the same, but more adjuncts and more students; first impression of the University was that it was small, but the faculty was good, likes the positive student reactions as his favorite part of teaching; dislikes the class sizes; sees inauguration of Alan Merten as the most memorable event on campus; he's studied animal modes of substance abuse and has fun with his research and projects.
Years covered: 1976-2004.
Sparks, Richard and Ann Walker, August 30, 2004
On compact discs.
1st clip: 2 hours, 20 minutes, 4 seconds. 2nd clip: 32 minutes, 34 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
Richard Sparks attended George Mason College at Bailey's Crossroads from 1961 until 1964. While at Bailey's Crossroads and at Fairfax, he became a biology lab instructor. He transferred to George Washington University, where he received his B.A., and continued to work at George Mason College as a lab instructor until 1967/68. While working in the science field, he returned to George Mason University in 1970 to get his master's degree in biology. Upon receiving his degree in 1973, he was employed with the Federal government. Sparks, who was a resident of Alexandria, VA, was also a freelance photographer and artist. He met his wife, Ann Walker Sparks, while at Bailey's Crossroads.
Ann Walker Sparks attended George Mason College from 1963 until her graduation in 1965. She spent her final year at the new campus in Fairfax, where she also worked part-time in the admissions office. After graduating from Mason in 1965, she transferred to the University of Virginia, where she graduated with a teaching degree. She taught mathematics in the Fairfax County Public School System for more than 25 years, and is now retired. But, she continued to substitute teach. She met her husband, Richard Sparks, while at Bailey's Crossroads. They have two children.
Years covered: 1961-2004.
Spindler, Frank, December 2, 2004
On compact discs.
1 hour, 38 minutes, 17 seconds.
Interview by Katharina Hering.
When Frank Spindler first came to George Mason, the school had to get an accreditation for becoming an independent university. Spindler was on the self-study committee and on the graduate council to approve graduate programs. These programs included biology, mathematics and history--which were the first Masters programs at the University. He was also on the council for doctorate degrees. When he retired in 1983, they granted the first doctoral degree apart from the law school program. When he first came to Mason, he taught U.S. history and colonial history. They had two Latin Americanists on faculty at the time. He helped put together an interdisciplinary B.A. in Latin American Studies. He also published two books.
Years covered: Not specified.
Stampp, Jym, May 26, 2011
On digital versatile discs.
29 minutes, 17 seconds.
Interview by Christine Widmayer, with Bob Vay.
Mr. Jym Stampp first came to George Mason in January 1989. He had been looking for a way to get back out to the east coast and was impressed by the University's vision and its leaders. He became the University's budget director, overseeing the University budget in all areas, before he was offered a position in Capital Finance. He became the Capital Finance Director, and oversaw the renovation or building of over 65 projects across three campuses.
In this interview, Mr. Stampp discusses how the University has grown over the years and how student population growth has changed the campus. He discusses how projects became funded, and how Mason has gone from spending $3-5 million on capital finance to spending nearly $290 million in the 2009 fiscal year.
Mr. Stampp mentions the push for environmentally-conscious buildings and LEED certification, and discusses the differences between President Johnson and President Merten's plans for the University. He also projects into the future to describe wheat he believes the next steps are in George Mason's expansion.
Years covered: 1989-2011.
Stearns, Peter, February 2, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
1 hour, 5 minutes, 31 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay.
Provost Stearns applied for the opening at George Mason when it opened in 1999, and started in January of 2000. He had been a dean at Carnegie Mellon University, but understood he would not be able to advance any higher. While he was interviewing for the position, he had heard that the state would be sending an extra twenty-five million dollars to GMU, but it turned out to only be nine million. For the first four years of Alan Merten's tenure, Dr. Stearns understood that the President mainly worked toward stabilizing the University and fixing organizational problems within the administrative and academic structure. During Dr. Stearns time, they have grown the entire time-responding to demand, opportunities to open new academic programs, could also grow with improving the quality of students accepted, and the University could also grow with an eye toward increasing out of state and international student enrollment. Growth forced a new policy to create a larger residential population-even at that the growth in dormitories lagged behind demand. Concerning the new residential atmosphere, Dr. Stearns has seen a real growth in the University Life program, and ensuring students have activities. Dr. Stearns and the administration and academic representatives have worked on the academic side to encourage a better quality student including; the highly successful Honors College, the Undergraduate Research program, and the Students as Scholars program. Dr. Stearns is impressed with the commitment of the teaching faculty here at George Mason, and he considers this the core component of creating a better learning environment. The fact that the student body has improved encourages the faculty to concentrate on better teaching. General Education was reformed at the same time he came to work here, and a permanent committee and an associate Provost are now in place to track the effectiveness of the Gen Ed Curricula. Assessment activities have expanded and become more consistent, so that the faculty and administration can better gauge results. Dr. Stearns also developed the Center for Teaching Excellence to help instructors improve their technique and encourage the scholarship of teaching. The success of these programs can be measured by the retention rates of students. Ten years ago, the retention rate of freshmen to sophomores was 73%. Today the rate is 86%, but Dr. Stearns would like us to be in the low nineties. Less formally, outcome measures show pretty good results. Most employers are happy with George Mason graduates. Concerning the change in the diversity of the student body in the past fifteen years, Dr. Stearns pointed out that there are some continuities involved: GMU already had a diverse student body where almost half of the students came from different ethnic, religious, or regions. Also have a substantial number of lower income students and ones who are the first in their family to go to college. The struggle now is to maintain the diversity within a poor economic climate. For 20% of the students, going to GMU is a real shot at upward mobility. Currently, we have more students from out of state-from 14% to 20%, and Dr. Stearns would like to see that grow. Increasing commitment to international students, and new programs has been created to ease the transition for students. Quality-wise, the grade point average of incoming students has risen. George Mason is no longer the school of last resort for Northern Virginia. Growing new programs can be done in a number of ways. One way is through central initiative and funding-that the administration sees a need and creates programs like computational social science program. Another way programs can grow from the top is through the separate colleges working together, like the gaming program, which is a shared degree from the Arts College and the Engineering college. The more common way to build programs is through faculty interest-that the instructors have an idea and then the dean and provost must come up with funding. The growth of the PhD. programs-from 12 to 35-have resulted from faculty initiatives. On a statewide basis, GMU has moved from the initial resistance to establishing new programs in the 1980s to becoming the University in the stat that creates more new programs than all the other institutions combined. Liberal arts education versus professional training is a balancing act for universities besides George Mason. Dr. Stearns points out that undergraduates here must take 40 credits of Gen Ed, and that these credits are spread into the junior year. He thinks that while the program is rewarding in its own right, we do a poor job of convincing students why a liberal education is important. But we also want them to get excellent professional and pre-professional training. The trick is to make sure the students do not perceive tension between the two. The University has substantially grown its research arm since the 1990s. The position of vice-provost for research has been elevated to a vice-presidency, signaling the greater importance and attention of research at GMU. The University has had to make some real sacrifice to create the expanded facilities for research, as well as comply with regulations that cover research. Trying to create buildings that will house research and teaching. The trade-offs are difficult in terms of facilities and the balance of teaching and research that allows research to grow without losing the core-teaching mission. Dr. Stearns encourages inter-disciplinary teaching and research at George Mason. Some programs, like the School of Public Policy are inherently inter-disciplinary, but he also works toward creating large research projects that demand multiple specialties. The VISTA Grant for teaching science and engineering works through the Education College, but uses experts in the College of Science and the Volgenau School as well. Where Dr. Stearns would like to improve is the field of inter-disciplinary teaching. Programs have good advisory boards, but we don't have as many instructors crossing the boundaries due to lack of flexibility in allocating resources. Dr. Stearns has many positive things to say about collaboration programs between GMU and various businesses and institutions. International collaborations have yielded dual degree programs that have been very successful. He thinks that our collaborations with business are not as extensive as they should be and need to be a task for the future. Especially with the shrinking federal government, businesses will need to step up to fill the void, and Mason should be there sharing in this. Sometimes collaborations fail, and Dr. Stearns explained why he thought the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) collaboration fell through. Dr. Stearns saw that the leadership in RAK was not achieving the quality he insisted on, and so he Mason out of the situation. He does not consider it his worst failure, and will continue to create these collaborations. Dr. Stearns considers George Mason underfunded compared to the other doctoral institutions in the Commonwealth. Happily, our ration to faculty to student ration is not too bad, but we rely too heavily on adjunct instructors. He feels there is a certain bias against Northern Virginia by the rest of the state. Funding from the state was 65% of the operating budget in 2000, it is now 25%. The solutions are not easy: increase tuition, bring in more out of state and international students, technological transfer and commercialization of research products, more effort at private philanthropy, specialized programs. Distance learning is on the horizon, but the general use of technology costs more to buy in and the overall effect can cheapen the experience, and this must be avoided. In general, Dr. Stearns believes we must be open to a variety of strategies to answer the budget problems. Events that have shaped the campus are led by 9/11, and the concern that the University might lose enrollment from Middle Eastern Students. The University worked hard to make students feel welcome here, and he is proud that the enrollment did not suffer. The shootings at Virginia Tech were also motivators to change behavior on campus. Dr. Stearns honestly feels that some of the preventative measures put in place are not totally reasonable, but understands that the culture of a University demands certain actions. Dr. Stearns also points to Mason's involvement in the rise of President Barack Obama, and that the welcome from the students he got here before he announced helped to convince him to run for office. Dr. Stearns discussed how international events play a role in the campus affairs-for example, that GMU was poised to open a dual degree program at the University of Cairo, and the plans had to be put on hold because of the Arab Spring of 2011. As far as Alan Merten's legacy at George Mason, Dr. Stearns thinks legacies are difficult to determine because successes at Universities generally involve the work of many, many people. You can look at all the events at the University over the past sixteen years and add them up and call it a legacy. However, Dr. Stearns narrows down the idea of Merten's legacy to this: he created a climate where innovation and initiative are possible. Merten also cleaned the basic organizational structure of the University. Merten has paid greater attention to student well being and has made Mason more student-friendly. Finally, he established a favorable climate in the region. Merten personifies Mason, but has not quite paid off in donations. Added to that, Dr. Stearns is very good to staff. Any legacy that Dr. Stearns might have is a result of the work of many people. What he hopes will be his legacy is: one, establishing the trajectory of growth of research as well as reinforce the teaching excellence at the same time at the University; two, that he has made the focus of the University a global mission; three, the effort to increase Mason's standings as a doctoral institution. There are all sorts of little specific things. Dr. Stearns sees Mason as a work in progress. He is pleased he is part of it. But he says there is lots still to do.
Years covered: 1999-2012
Story, Patrick, April 25, 2002
On compact disc.
1 hour, 12 minutes, 56 seconds.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Years covered: Not specified.
Strat, Patricia "Trish", April 13, 2010
On compact disc and digital versatile discs.
DVD: 31 minutes, 56 seconds. CD: 31 minutes, 52 seconds.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Ms. Strat moved to Oakton, Virginia in 1995, and shortly after moving to the area she became interested in the local history of the Vale community. She calls herself an "accidental historian," stumbling upon something that interested her and finding herself engaged in historical projects. She begins her interview by describing her involvement with the Vale Club, which recently led her to compile a book about the club's history, entitled 75 Years in Vale. Since Ms. Strat had been involved with a historical highway marker project, the Vale Club asked her to help them get a marker for the Vale Schoolhouse. In talking about her research for the book, she talks about a couple specific stories, people, and objects about which she learned. She discusses the history of the Vale Club, which began as an all-women's Home Demonstration Club (run through Virginia Tech) in 1934. Since farming is no longer relevant for the Vale community, the Vale Club broke ties with Virginia Tech in 1999 to become its own entity, and still meets on the second Tuesday of each month (except during the summer). Ms. Strat also discusses the history of the physical structure, which was built in 1884 as a school. The culmination of her book project was during the club's 75th Anniversary in the fall of2009, during which the unveiling of a historical marker for "Vale School/Vale Community House" took place.
After describing her work with the Vale Club, Ms. Strat backtracks a little to describe her initial project that drew her into local history. With her Girl Scout troop, she had encountered what the girls called a "secret pond" situated on land that was once a beautiful garden but had been abandoned in more recent years. Probing into the history of the land, Ms. Strat discovered an almost forgotten historical figure, Ira Noel Gabrielson. Gabrielson, an Oakton resident, had been the first director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the Fairfax County Park Authority, an inductee in the Conservation Hall of Fame, and an overall important figure in conservation whose papers were kept at the Smithsonian. Realizing that she wanted to preserve his name in local history, Ms. Strat began work to get a historical marker erected in his honor. She talks about the process of getting a historical marker, fundraising and asking assistance from the Fairfax County History Commission. The historical marker was unveiled in the spring of2008, and is situated outside of the Oakton Library. Ms. Strat says that this project helped her lose her fear of history.
During the final part of the interview, Ms. Strat discusses why her family moved to Oakton, and how she believes that the community has preserved its appearance (although farming no longer takes place here). Ms. Strat says that she does not believe the Oakton community will take the same path as the rest of the Northern Virginia region, which has become overly populated and heavily commercialized. She says that her research has shown her that one of the biggest changes in the community is the influx of trees, which have taken over the farmland. She says that the Northern Virginia region is more diverse, and that the schools, libraries and parks seem to be more appreciated here. She concludes her interview by discussing future potential history projects on which she might embark, including writing a biography for Dr. Gabrielson, and says that history is like science in the sense that you keep seeking out the answers to questions.
Years covered: 1930s-2010.
Struppa, Daniele, November 7, 2011
On compact discs.
51 minutes, 9 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay.
Dr. Struppa came to GMU in 1988. He was at that time a professor at the University of Calabria in Italy. His advisor, Dr. Carlos Berenstein of University of Maryland, recommended he apply for a mathematics opening at George Mason. He started as a full professor of mathematics, and after one year he began the Center for the Application of Mathematics. For two years 1992-94 he was the chair of the Math Department. He later became the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2003, Dr. Struppa became the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, where he served until he took the position of Chancellor at Chapman University in 2007. Dr. Struppa's research is available on the American Mathematician's Society website. He estimates about ninety percent of his work is in theoretical mathematics, but the rest is generally in the field of applied mathematics, such as signal processing. He applies his expertise in mathematics to a variety of fields that are not necessarily pure mathematics. His path to the deanship of CAS was not unusual. When Alan Merten became President of the University, he wanted to choose his own deans, etc. The former Dean of CAS, David Potter, moved up to the provost seat. Dr. Struppa knew he wanted to move up in the administration, but thought he was too young and too new at Mason to apply. Dr. Struppa, on taking the Dean's position, felt the CAS was poorly funded and supported, considering that they served a largest portion of the student body. He had many changes to the program in order to get the support of the administration. Comparing the CAS to the Roman Empire, Dr. Struppa used the lessons of that history as a guide to define boundaries of the CAS, seceding certain programs to other colleges like the Music Department, and incorporated other programs like Biology. His last contribution was, once the CAS was strong enough, to divide it into the two parts: the CHSS and the COS. Dr. Struppa felt he was instrumental in reviving the Economics Department as well as securing a Nobel Laureate in that department. He also wants to take partial credit for helping to create the Roy Rosenzweg Center for History and New Media. In Science, Dr. Struppa feels one of his contributions was to bring in Lance Liotta and the Department of Proteomics. When Dr. Struppa started as a faculty member, he felt the CAS did not have good support. He felt that much of the slack has been taken up, but finds that in his current position at a small university (5,000 students) he thinks the relationships can be made even better. 9/11 spurred the University to create programs like biotechnology to cope with the terror and take positive steps. The growth of the federal government also bodes well for GMU, even through some state budget cuts. Dr. Struppa recalled a breakfast with Dr. George Johnson in which he gained some valuable management advice-to build a core of supporters and that the best moment for an administrator is when budget cuts are threatened. It makes it easier to get rid of waste. Gaining an international reputation allows the University to create the best programs-it helps attracts best talent and best students. The benefit of the student must be uppermost, and attracting the best scholars is how one does it. This allows the administration to justify the high cost of education. It is a tool to recruit best students, best scholars and teachers, as well as best administration-deans, etc. Dr. Johnson had a very strong leadership style-but Dr. Struppa did not know him that well. Even though he disagreed with some of Dr. Johnson's decisions, it was always obvious who was making the choices. Dr. Struppa does not feel the same about Dr. Merten, and prefers not to criticize someone who is not in the room. Administration, according to Dr. Struppa, is about service. When one is doing research, your life is mainly about your own work. When one is teaching, one is working for the student and still on your own work. In administration, one's job becomes service to other people-at least 90% of the time is doing work for other people. Dr. Struppa is doing math on his own for free-he still teaches and publishes. Dr. Struppa thinks Mason has a very bright future ahead-it is in a great location and has good friends. He hopes that the new president can create some concrete actions to move forward. He would put more attention toward working toward the future, but also re-envisioning the relations with students. He thinks adopting some of the practices of small liberal arts colleges concerning contact and work with the students. Dr. Struppa thinks only good things will come to George Mason.
Years covered: 1988-2011
Summers, Ian, November 14, 2007
On digital versatile disc and compact disc.
DVD: 58 minutes, 40 seconds. CD: 1 hour, 6 minutes, 40 seconds.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
Ian Summers discusses his time at Mason and particularly focuses on his time as a member of the GMU Forensics Team. He walks through the steps involved in creating and executing a speech. In the interview video he demonstrates part of a speech that he prepared about OPEC, or the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Summers also discusses the various categories of speech: judging criteria, working with other members of the team, traveling to competitions, and the legacy of "family" started by Bruce Manchester and Sheryl Friedley and maintained by Coach Peter Pober. He also discusses auditioning for the team, training that he received, and his work at the summer institute mentoring younger students. He also discusses the opportunities that he has experienced as being part of the team that he may not have had if he hadn't joined the team. Overall, Summers offers the student perspective of the GMU Forensics Team, focusing on aspects of research, time management, and working with other students.
Years covered: 2003-2007.
Svendal, Sigrid, September 18, 2009
On compact disc.
9 minutes, 10 seconds.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
Sigrid Svendal was a researcher from Norway, who conducted research at GMU's Special Collections and Archives. She was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oslo, where she worked on a dissertation that examined the American influence on Scandinavian dance.
Years covered: Not specified.
Swann, Darius "Lee", December 12, 2012
On digital versatile discs.
42 minutes, 6 seconds.
Interview by Misha Griffith.
00:00:43 Dr. Swann described his career after receiving his Masters in Divinity in 1948. He was assigned as a missionary to teach at the University of Nanking in China and left in August of that same year. He was an eyewitness to the 1948 Revolution in China, and was forced to leave after three years. He studied for another year and a half and then was reassigned to India. After language study, he started teaching at Allahabab University. He became interested in Oriental (Asian) drama, and studied while on furlough at Union Seminary, then returned to India to research and write his dissertation. In 1964 he was finished with classwork and taught at Johnson C. Smith College. 00:02:51 Dr. Swann discussed the case of Swann vs Charlotte-Mecklinberg County School Board, which was an important case on bussing and civil rights that was found in Dr. Swann's favor by the Supreme Court. Dr, Swann recalled as a child he had to walk to school, while the white students had busses. 00:04:24 In order to study Asian drama, Dr. Swann attended classes at the University of Hawaii. In the course of finishing his dissertation, he started looking for work, and eventually received a letter from George Mason College, which he had never heard of. He traveled to Washington DC for an interview. The morning of the interview (presumably August of 1971) he glanced at the front page of the Washington Post, and saw that GMC was reported as being in trouble with the US Commission on Civil Rights due to lack of integration. He went to the interview and accepted the job, mainly because he only had to prepare for one class, rather than the several classes he needed to prepare for at the other colleges at which he interviewed. 00:08:35 Dr. Swann talked about teaching religious studies for two years until the Drama Department was started, and that he moved there in 1973. He found the religion classes easier to teach, and found that the atmosphere in the drama program was not as congenial as that in religious studies. He taught classes and directed plays that did not fit well with the other instructors. The first theater the department used was in the North Campus Building-the old Fairfax High School facility-until the Harris theater was built. 00:11:15 Dr. Swann described how he got involved in the Office of Minority Affairs. He had noticed that there were very few African American students on campus, and tried to get to know them. He felt they were cowed down, and so he asked one young lady if there was an African American student club or organization. The student replied that "they" had told her not to do that. So Dr. Swann determined he would start one and try to improve the attitudes of the students. From his discussions with the students on organizing, he formed the ideas on how to recruit more students to Mason, and how to retain those that were there already. He wrote a proposal and sent it to the faculty members to discuss. 00:14:28 Concerning the relationship between administration and faculty, Dr. Swann said it was not exactly adversarial, but they also did not seem to be coming together effectively. 00:15:12 Dr. Swann did not recall seeing any of the reports that had been released earlier about Mason's lack of integration. He had gained his understanding of the situation through news articles initially. 00:15:29 Dr. Swann described how surprised everyone was when President Dykstra accepted his proposal and agreed to fund at least three of the four positions requested. Eventually they got all four positions. He did find deficientcies in a few students who needed tutoring, but most of the black students did not need any more help than most students. 00:17:47 Dr. Swann recalled how he hired Andy Evans to recruit black students from the area. A large number of students came from TC Williams High School in Alexandria. Dr. Swann never discussed the ideas of quotas or goals with the administration. The Office of Minority Affairs used research by a gentleman from Reston who did research on this, but mainly the OMA relied on Andy Evans and his contacts to recruit. 00:20:38 Dr. Swann does not recall any open resistance to bringing in more black students, but he does not know of any covert ill feelings. He did remember one black student having trouble with a professor over what she called a "black C," meaning that a black student could only receive such a grade. He thinks many of the problems arose from a question of perception. Dr. Swann did not remember the Upward Bound Program. 00:23:24 Dr. Swann felt the student body was limited in its perspectives. He recalled that on entering his first class, one student remarked "Oh Lord." But on the whole he did not feel any particular discrimination. Dr. Swann felt the students were sheltered, and would encourage them to research at the Library of Congress, where many of his white students were afraid to travel. As far as increasing the number of black students, he was happy to see it increase and that the awareness of black students on campus increased. 00:27:00 As far as collegues, Dr. Swann felt he had a good reception in the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy. William McFarland, the chair of the department was very supportive, as well as Norman Yantz. He appreciated Loraine Brown's help. In the OMA, he felt Andy Evans and Dianne Long had made major contributions. Dr. Swann thought President Dykestra was a good intentioned and hard working president who did not always have the full support of the faculty. 00:30:20 The fact that Mason at the time was a commuter school did not hamper the drama department. 00:30:50 Because of his leadership in the OMA, Dr. Swann frequently served on committees that needed minority representation. This led to minor conflicts with certain members of the faculty. 00:33:15 Dr. Swann does not really have disappointments about his time at GMU. He acknowledges he felt he did not have good support in the Drama Department, mainly because of his focus of study. He described the plays he produced, and how he worked in the Asian Theatrical vernacular. After four attempts to recruit him, Dr. Swann finally chose to teach at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta in 1984. 00:38:45 One event that Dr. Swann mentioned was the commencement address the student body asked him to deliver c. 1978. He did remember participating in the hearing over Fred Millar and the problems of academic freedom. 00:41:10 Dr. Swann is very pleased to see that George Mason University has become such a diverse and well-integrated university, and that he had a hand in starting it in this direction.
Years covered: 1948-1984
Swann, Linda, February 24, 2004
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer June Flack.
Linda Swann moved to Virginia in 1964 and began graduate work at George Mason in 1974. She received her master's degree in English and worked on the Federal Theatre Project with Lorraine Brown and John O'Connor; originally, she is from Kentucky; she mentioned the excitement when first starting work at GMU; but she states that it was difficult at times because the card catalogue was still in existence and computers were not in use; difficult also because the library was short-staffed; turnover has been a problem in the library but less in the more technical arenas; she liked the fact that the environment was small and friendly when she first started working; she worked on cataloging books and dealing with gift donations; she liked working with rare books and special collections.
Years covered: 1974-2004.
Taylor, Anita, February 26, 2003
On compact disc.
Interview by Patricia Vaca
Thaiss, Christopher, October 30, 2001
On compact disc.
Interview by Paulina Vaca
Christopher Thaiss is Chair of the English Department. How he came to GMU; Experience as a part-time teacher during the first years at GMU; Favorite classes taught at GMU; Tenure as Chair of the English Department; Discussion of GMU during the early years (1975-1985); How the role ofGMU Professors have progressed in the last 25 years; GMU students compared to students from other universities; Student enrollment increase and its effect on the English Department; Curriculum changes for undergraduates by the Writing Across the Curriculum program; Graduate Students in English and in the Education department; Experiences with the MAin the Teaching of Writing and Literature; Innovations with computer technology related to teaching and the English curriculum; Landmark events: the creation of the Non-Fiction concentration in the MFA program; Writing Across the Curriculum; History of the PAGE Program; Important people in the English Department.
Years Covered: 1975-2001
Thomas, Will and Campbell, Folarin, September 20, 2006
On compact disc.
Interview by Anne Hakes and Katja Hering
Thomas, William, April 6, 2010
On compact disc.
Interview by Jennifer James.
Mr. Thomas begins his interview by giving a brief biographical sketch. He was born and grew up in Alexandria, and then attended the University of Richmond where he studied law. Upon graduation, he opened his own firm in Alexandria until the 1980s, when he merged practices with Til Hazel and moved his principle practice to Fairfax. In the late 1990s, Hazel and Thomas merged with Reed Smith; today Mr. Thomas splits his time between offices in Falls Church and Richmond. He currently lives outside Richmond on a farm. Mr. Thomas discusses the changes in Northern Virginia from both business and personal standpoints. He states that in the 1960s the boundary for Northern Virginia was Bailey' s Crossroads, in the 1970s the boundary began to move further out as Reston was developed, in the 1980s Dulles became the boundary, and today Leesburg seems to be the end. He comments that Dulles International Airport will be the "center of a major urban area that is Northern Virginia." Mr. Thomas continues his interview by discussing different gubernatorial appointments. He comments that his close relationships with Virginia governors Chuck Robb and Gerald Baliles caused him to be appointed to a number of different boards. The first appointment he discusses is being a member of the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority board; he was on the first board from the 1980s-1990s. He says that Dulles is an economic engine for the region, and that it has transformed the Dulles corridor into a fully developed commercial and residential area. He states that he believes the inner portion of Northern Virginia would have developed without Dulles, but it would have been missing the job growth. The next appointment Mr. Thomas discusses is being on the Center for Innovative Technology, and he uses this as an opportunity to discuss the influx of technology jobs and growth in the region. He believes that the proximity to DC and the center for government jobs was the real reason for technological development in the region, but the Center for InnovativeTechnology did help.
Mr. Thomas' discussion of technology in Northern Virginia leads to his commentary on higher education in the region. He says that one of his early partners, Jim Thompson, was instrumental in getting a university in Northern Virginia; his partner Til Hazel was also a very influential force in the development of George Mason. Of the most influential forces in the development of the region he lists four things: presence of the federal government, defense spending, Dulles Airport and George Mason University. Mr. Thomas then goes on to discuss his appointment to the Board of Directors of The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.
In wrapping up his interview, Mr. Thomas discusses the great population growth over the time that he has lived in Northern Virginia. He states that it Northern Virginia is a very dynamic place. Despite the fact that he currently works mostly out of his Richmond law office, he continues to practice in Northern Virginia because he likes the change and challenges of the region. He concludes his interview by talking about transportation in the region. Mr. Thomas states that it will take great ingenuity to solve the region 's current transportation problems.
Years covered: 1940s-2010
Thompson, Lorin and Wood, John, November 12, 1980
On compact disc.
Interview by Martha Turnage
The transcript can be accessed in the William Hugh McFarlane GMU history collection in box 3, folder 53.
Tillman, Betty, June 14, 2007
On compact disc.
Interview by Veronica Fletcher
Trefil, James, November 11, 2002 and December 10, 2002
On compact disc.
Interview by Paulina Vaca
Trump, Kathy, November 23, 2009
On compact disk.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Years covered: 1981-2009
Turnage, Martha, March 27, 1984
On compact disc.
Interview by Rosemary Hogg & Dale Foster
Vaughn, JayEll, May 13, 2008
On compact disc.
Interview by Leah Donnelly & Bob Vay
Veatch, Charles, May 18, 2006
On compact discs.
Interview by Veronica Fletcher and Katja Hering
Vekker, Lev, February 9, 2001 - April 11, 2001
On compact discs.
Interview by Robert Laws
Vogel, Harold, October 13, 2001
On compact discs.
CD#1: 01:09:28 CD #2: 00:22:53
Interview done by Misha Griffith and Bob Vay
00:00:47 Mr. Vogel recounts his family history. He was born in Detroit MI to a German immigrant family in 1930. His father was from Southern Germany and his mother from the North of Germany. After getting his engineering degree in Germany, his father immigrated to the US. However, he made more money as a stone-cutter, which was his family's trade. Mr. Vogel then recounted how his parents met. 00:02:56 The Depression had impoverished his family, even though his father and had been frugal and tried to invest it in property, but it was heavily leveraged. Mr. Vogel's father liquidated everything and moved into a farmhouse and became as self-sufficient as possible. 00:05:35 When the ready cash had been used up, except for the price of a round-trip ticket to Germany, Mr. Vogel's father moved back to Germany. Mr. Vogel spoke of his great-grandfather, who was a very wealthy man and left something for each of his nine surviving children. So Mr. Vogel's family moved in with his grandfather and they worked in the grandfather's stonecutting business. His father eventually opened an engineering firm. 00:07:53 Mr. Vogel recounted how he learned the trade of stonecutting from his grandfather. He learned to mimic what his grandfather was doing with his mallet and chisel at five years old. He spoke of some of the mistakes he remembers making as a small child while playing with the tools and heavy stones and expensive gold leaf. However, after many mistakes, his grandfather allowed him to gild a piece that was needed in a hurry, and Mr. Vogel recalled feeling ten feet tall at that point. 00:13:22 Mr. Vogel described his unique circumstance at the beginning of World War II: that he arrived in Germany only speaking English. This made him stand out in the small town, and he was not popular among other boys, but was mothered over by the girls. In a visit back to Germany in his forties, Mr. Vogel recounted that he met one of the girls. 00:15:16 Right after the war, Mr. Vogel started work posting bills against the bombing-he stated that one of the other boys who was doing this was caught and hung, but Mr. Vogel claimed he was not caught because he ran faster than the soldiers. While he stopped posting bills, he went on to other work. Because of his experience in stone cutting, he decided to go to Nuremberg to work as an apprentice cutter. Mr. Vogel found a sculptor who worked in stone and wood, and had an excellent relationship with him. The sculptor took Mr. Vogel to concerts and encouraged him to join an amateur chorus. Mr. Vogel considered it to be the greatest time of his life. 00:19:56 Mr. Vogel talked some of the buildings he helped to rebuild, like the St. Lawrence Cathedral. He worked directly with a very old man who needed help with physical labor. The older man in turn taught Mr. Vogel highly specialized techniques of stone work such as setting a rose window. Mr. Vogel got experience in laying out the design on paper, making the pattern, cutting the raw stone, and then joining and fitting the cut stones together. 00:24:08 Because, as Mr. Vogel guessed, about 80% of the city of Nuremberg was destroyed by Allied bombing, he got an opportunity to work on a range of projects. He also spoke of having the desire to learn as much and to do as much as he could. 00:24:51 At the end of the war, Mr. Vogel was unable to finish high school in Ansbach, so he took his grandfather's advice to start work immediately. He described his apprentiship as being an entirely hands-on practical experience. In contrast, he observed that the American style of education was entirely based on theory, and that the Americans had no idea how to carve. He contends that a better education could be a combination of theory and experience. After getting his high school diploma while in the Army, he was able to use the GI Bill to attend college. 00:27:52 Mr. Vogel describes how he came to America after the Second World War. He volunteered for the draft to prevent it from interrupting his immigration to America-he explained he liked to get things over with as soon as possible. He did basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey and did his specialty in missiles. 00:31:24 After the Army, Mr. Vogel went to work for an architect in Washington DC as a draughtsman. The architect allowed Mr. Vogel to work at flexible hours, which gave him the opportunity to attend college at Cochran. Eventually Mr. Vogel quit because he found the working conditions too confining. The architect helped him to get work cutting stone in Bladensburg. He also described the difficulties in proving to the foreman that he could in fact cut stone, since he had no example of his work in America, as well as adjusting to using the air hammers used by American stonecutters. 00:37:15 The full-time nature of this job forced him to switch to night classes, but he persevered working toward his PhD., thinking he would eventually become a teacher. He found out he was not a good teacher-especially since he worked cutting stone full time as well. His first teaching job he was reprimanded for not attending faculty meetings, and some of the students complained he was a strict disciplinarian. Mr. Vogel admitted he was not much of a diplomat in those days. 00:41:16 Mr. Vogel recounted how he met his wife, Hilde Vogel-Michalik while he was working on a church in Beurhault (sic). From his savings he bought a bicycle and spent his free time touring the area. Through acquaintances he met Hilde, who had been working with refugees in Finland. He then related how Hilde's family managed to stay out of concentration camps because her father was a hydro-electrical engineer, which was a necessary skill. Her education was in painting, which she studied at the School of Fine Art at Essen. They were mutually attracted by their love of art. 00:46:39 Mr. Vogel said he and his wife's approach to art were very different, and it led to many challenges in the home. Thankfully they were both tolerant. She saw art as an emotional process, while he worked more as a designer, and for him art was a cerebral process. Working in stone demanded a more practical, disciplined approach, but he also made many studies before he worked on the stone. 00:50:48 Mr. Vogel discussed how his art and his business were one in the same-how to create a work in a budget and have some left over for himself. His approach was very goal oriented. During the Reagan years, when the money was available, he had to change his goals and purchased machinery that he had not planned on. 00:53:33 While he worked at the National Cathedral, Mr. Vogel met Sunny Mathy, who owned a sheet metal shop where Vogel had work done. They found they both lived in Fairfax and became good friends. Mr. Vogel told how Sunny Mathy gained the family farm on his father's death, and his brother got the family business-a pot and pan repair business. But the brother's personalities were very different, and Sunny was ambitious, and he bought the shop from Joe. Sunny made a killing when they wanted to develop that block. With the Kennedy's administration, Georgetown became a popular place, and the property Sunny had there was sold for a large sum of money. Sunny used the money to create a top-of the line sheet metal shop-this shop had a specialized wooden floor and the newest machinery. With the money he made off of the shop, Sunny opened a bank. Mr. Vogel recalled how he had borrowed money from him to buy a car. 1:04:02 The Mathys and the Vogels had a good rapport, according to Mr. Vogel. Hilde painted several watercolors of the Mathys, and made Christmas cards for them. When Sunny built his home, he wanted Mr. Vogel to create something out of the local Aquia sandstone. Sunny built three houses on the property on Pope's Head Road-one for his mother, one for himself, and one for guests. The one for his mother has an elevator. 01:01:29 Mr. Vogel moved to Fairfax in 1955 and lived there until 2000. He remembers when Fairfax ended at the Access Hospital on 123-now the Innova emergency clinic. He also remembered the black man who lived in the trailer on School Road, and that when the city wanted to evict him, the residents stopped them from doing this. END OF PART 1 00: 00:16 Mr. Vogel discusses the importance of the Mathy family to Fairfax. That the Mathys invested in the Fairfax area at a time when the fortunes of the area were on the upswing. Mr. Vogel compared it to Ancient Greece, when everything just happened to go right. About leaving a legacy, Mr. Vogel stated that Sunny Mathy told him that there would be thousands of people with their hands out, but the best way would be to find one or two places where investing could do the most good. 00:03:03 Mr. Vogel wanted to keep the collection of his wife's works together because they had lived in Fairfax most of their lives, and wanted their works to stay in the place they considered home. 00:04:15 Mr. Vogel discussed his relationship with the Mattusch family and with GMU's art history professor Carol Mattusch. The families frequently had dinners together and swimming in the local pond. The Pope's Head Road neighborhood was a very rural area, as Mr. Vogel remembered it. 00:07:05 When asked what is favorite works are, he claims he likes all the pieces that were successful. He recalled going out to a mansion in Maryland to bid a project for a lawyer. Since the lawyer liked sailing, Mr. Vogel created a stone sail which he found very satisfying. 00:09:50 When he went to work on the National Cathedral, Mr. Vogel was the youngest mason on the job, and was not part of the senior craftsmen. However, he had worked on flying buttresses in Germany and was fascinated by the complexities of the design. He had learned how to create it from an old master mason. He saw that the masons at the National Cathedral were not doing it correctly, and he let them know about it. So of course they challenged Mr. Vogel to build it. He did his calculations and drawings at home, then came back and started. He found some flaws in the initial layout of the supports, and corrected those. Mr. Vogel credited his crew with making the stones fit perfectly. 00:20:16 Mr. Vogel thought that art plays a very powerful role in education-he uses the Ancient Greeks as an example of how a culture flourishes when it practices all the arts. If one piece is missing, then the culture is not complete. 00:22:09 Mr. Vogel concluded by stating that George Mason University is on an upswing and that he hopes it continues to improve for a long time.
Years covered: 1930s-2010
Walsch, Dan, December 19, 2011
On compact discs.
Interview by Misha Griffith
Dr. Walsch came to George Mason in January of 1989 after some time as the director of Public Relations and Marketing at Howard Community College in Maryland. He had been in higher education since 1976, and before that had been a newspaper reporter. As the Press Secretary for George Mason, he is the voice of the University to the outside media and to the larger community. As such, he touches on the administration and every other part of the University. He both has to react to outside events and to bring information about the University to the media. He does work with the experts at George Mason who provide their insights to the media on specific topics, but his role differs in that he speaks for the University as a whole. Dr. Walsch is also a communications professor at George Mason, and he enjoys teaching. He gets to share case studies of his Press Secretary responsibilities, which enhances the classroom experience. When the University experiences a major event like the announcement of a new president, Dr. Walsch "depends upon the kindness of strangers"-he taps into the help of other experts and participants in order to craft the best message to the media. Sometimes he can be better prepared-as in the 2006 Final Four, but sometimes he has to gather the information and craft a message in a hurry. As a former reporter, he understands the needs of beating a deadline, however, he also wants to keep the University in the best possible light, and so if he does not know the answer to a question, he makes sure he tells the media that he just does not know, then endeavors to find the answer as quickly as possible. One external event that has affected his work has been the concern of safety on campus because of the tragic shootings at other college campuses. The University's weapon policy has been a flash point that he has had to argue in the media. Dr. Walsch thinks that it is essential for the communication arm to be involved in all phases of planning for the University. He feels this has been a healthy trend in many organizations, especially at George Mason. As far as leadership at the University, Dr. Walsch feels that having two long-serving presidents has been very beneficial to the institution, because each man has been able to propose changes and see them through to completion. He characterizes Dr. Johnson as a president who was very firm about setting goals, but allowed others to fill in the details. Dr. Johnson initiated the innovative personality of George Mason by breaking down barriers between departments and having groups work together who had not cooperated before. Dr. Merten brought more order to Johnson's impetus. He also kept the motion moving forward, even during the bad budget times. As a person, Dr. Merten is not the dominating character that Dr. Johnson was, but he has been able to establish the University as an international presence. Locally, Dr. Merten identified the "publics" that were of concern to the University, and that he has expanded these publics globally. It is important for GMU to be a good neighbor, and that means being a cultural center and work closely with the city of Fairfax. One aspect of this is dealing with existing and potential traffic problems. The University's Media Relations department has put a great deal of effort into making the Expertise found at GMU available to the public at large in the form of media interviews. This has been a big part of getting the George Mason story out to the public. Mason's location has made this possible as well. Dr. Merten's legacy will be that he kept the University moving forward in good times and in bad times. Dr. Walsh thinks that Dr. Merten has made things better for everyone here on campus. Dr. Walsh is proud of the University's extensive use of media to communicate-even in social media. He points to the final four as a remarkable experience, but he feels that the University itself has been innovative and pushing forward slowly and steadily. In closing, Dr. Walsh wanted to mention that he has enjoyed being here because of the quality people and their positive attitude. He thinks the faculty and staff take the idea of innovation to heart, and in doing so have kept our attitude young.
Years covered: 1976-2011
Warfield, John, June 27, 2008
On compact disc.
Interview by David Houpt Dr. John Warfield has had a long and successful career studying a variety of different topics. The majority of his time has been spent dealing with complexity and finding ways for groups to manage complex situations. In this interview, Warfield discusses his background in electrical engineering, work with digital and analogue computers, and his work with Battelle Memorial Institute and how this experience led him to develop Interpretive Structural Management (ISM). He also discusses the establishment of the Center for Interactive Management (CIM) at the University of Virginia, problems and clients CIM worked with, and the Center's move to George Mason University. Warfield also describes Interactive Management (IM) and its history, making sure to draw the distinction between 1M and the later developed Work Program of Complexity. Next, Warfield outlines the preparation that goes into an 1M workshop and then describes what actually takes place during a typical workshop and how this process helps groups overcome complexity. Warfield also talks about what he believes to be his greatest contribution to scholarship, some the men who influenced his work and his opinions of the state of higher education in America.
Years Covered: 1950-2008
Wekerle, Inge, November 5, 1999
On compact disc.
Interview by Robert Laws.
Welke, Penny, May 19, 2010
On compact disc.
Interview by Jennifer Janes.
Penny Welke dropped out of college to get married as a young woman; in her late 30s she finally decided to go back to college and complete her deg ree. Since she had continued to take college classes here and there throughout her life, she was able to apply many of those credits to a Bachelor's degree in Individualized Studies. In 1982, she was awarded her BIS from George Mason. Throughout the time Ms. Welke was completing her undergraduate degree, she continued to work as a para legal at a law firm . Her then boss had encouraged her to return to school, and a lso suggested that she participate in a " reading the law" program under his direction. Upon Ms. Welke's completion of her BIS, her boss told her that she sho uld consider going to law school; she applied and was accepted to the George Mason School of Law. Ms. Welke discusses her time in law school, some of the c lasses she remembers, and professors that she found to be influential. Because she was participating in a reading law program, she was able to sit for the bar in 1984, which she passed prior to receiving her Juris Doctor. Ms. Welke was awarded her JD in 1985, and recalls being among the first group of students to graduate in the Patriot Center. Ms. Welke goes on to discuss her life after graduating from Mason. She became a partner in a law firm with the boss that encouraged her to go back to school. She continues to remain very involved with Mason, and was awarded the Alumni Service Award in 2008. At the end of her interview, Ms. Welke says that she always takes the opportunity to tell people (especially women that left school to get married and raise children) that they can go back to college at any age.
Years covered: 1980s-2010
Whalan, John and Elaine "Chipper", March 4, 2005 - April 8, 2005
On compact discs.
Interview by Katja Hering
Wilding, Jim, March 25, 2010
On compact discs.
Interview by Jennifer Janes
Jim Wilding grew up in the Washington Metropolitan area, and attended Catholic University where he studied engineering. Upon his graduation from Catholic, he was offered a junior position working on the Dulles Airport project, which was at that time sti ll in its infancy. Although he believed that this would just be a postcollege job, Mr. Wilding would have a career in aviation that spanned 44 years, all of which were spent at the Washington area's airports.
Mr. Wilding speaks of the changes within the Metropolitan area's airports. He begins by speaking about the changes that the field of aviation in general has seen, including its transition from a niche travel market to a very widespread mode of transportation . He comments that as much as aviation has changed in general, the area airports saw even greater changer. Mr. Wilding discusses the shift from area airports being federally operated to operation under local entities. This was a controversial move because although the area airports were a low priority for the federal government, they brought in revenue. Eventually the local governments gained control of the airports, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (WMAA) was formed in 1987. Mr. Wilding served as WMAA President/CEO until his retirement in 2003.
Continuing the interview, Mr. Wilding gives a brief history of Dulles International Airport. He says that it was important that the federal government was in charge of the area airports when Dulles was built because it became increasingly difficult to find the revenue and clout to build airports in later decades. Although Dulles sat deteriorating until the switch to the local governments in the late 1980s, it would have been much more difficult to build later on. He discusses the controversy over location of Dulles in Burke, VA, and how the airport ended up in the Chantilly area. The initial idea about building another area airport was that you had to get passengers as quickly as possible to downtown DC, but this changed over time. Today only I in 7 passengers go to the downtown DC area once they land at Dulles.
Mr. Wilding calls airports "economic generators" that enable other things to happen. He states that Dulles enabled Northern Virginia to become a high-end commercial center of activity. Businesses want to locate near good, international air service, and this is what Dulles did for the area. As Dulles brought in more businesses, businesses brought in more passengers for a reciprocal relationship. He reminds us that the original planners of Dulles were very wrong in predicting the path that the field of aviation would take; despite Dulles' rough start it has become a very important economic generator to the area.
In wrapping up his interview, he comments on how much the Northern Virginia area has changed. He says that the area has experienced changes and population growth that were unforeseen over the past 50 years. Northern Virginia, specifically Fairfax County, is no longer a suburb but a job center in and of itself. Fairfax and Loudon counties have really taken advantage of Dulles as an asset. He states that Northern Virginia area has been allowed to grow so much in part because of the foresight to build Dulles International Airport.
Years covered: 1950-2010
Wilkins, Roger, September 26, 2007
On compact disc.
Interview by Leah Donnelly, Bob Vay & Katja Hering
Roger Wilkins has been a professor at George Mason University for 20 years and has held the position of Robinson Professor of History and American Culture for a large portion of that time. In this interview, Wilkins discusses how and why he came to Mason, his impressions of and dealings with his students, his teaching style and how he approaches his curriculum in a non-traditional way, the political climate of the campus in 2007 compared with that of his generation, and how and why he became a Robinson professor. He also discusses his work with restructuring public education in the District of Columbia, his plans to continue this work after retirement, and his favorite Mason memories.
Years covered: 1987-2007 but he also touches on his college years during the 1950s.
Use Restrictions
May only use quote from transcript. Audio may not be reproduced for publication. Permission to publish material from the Roger Wilkins interview must be obtained from Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Wilson, LaShonda, April 9, 2008
On compact disc.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
LaShonda Wilson is a Mason senior and Communication major. Wilson has been dancing since she was very young when she lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia and is considered "classically trained." At some point during her high school dance career Wilson became interested in hip-hop dance and has danced professionally with the group Culture Shock DC. She is one of the founders of UrbanKnowlogy 101 and in this interview she discusses the challenges and rewards of being a student leader of a student-run organization.
Years covered: 2005-2008 and some discussion of Wilson's childhood years.
Wingblade, Ann, April 24, 2002
On compact disc.
Interview by Paulina Vaca.
Zitzmann, Carl, May 22, 2009
No audiovisual material available.
Interview by Leah Donnelly.
Carl Zitzmann was University Photographer at Mason from 1981 to 1990 and continued to work at Mason until 1998. He was here during the early years of Mason's transition from a small regional college to a nationally recognized large state school. In this interview Mr. Zitzmann discusses his time at Mason as a photographer and the memories and experiences that stand out the most. He also discusses the first years of the Mason Gazette as he worked closely with its founder Joan Ziemba.
Years covered 1960s-2009
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