Family Weekend Spotlight: Family of the Year


Each year, Orientation and Family Programs and Services recognizes one family with the Alan and Sally Merten Family of the Year Award. This award acknowledges the important role that families play in their students’ experience at Mason. This year, the award will be presented at the Family Weekend Welcome Dinner on Friday, October 14. To register for Family Weekend, click here.

In 2015 we were thrilled to honor the Brandon Family with this award. Maya Brandon wrote in her application essay: “There were many times where I lost my way, but my mother was always there to pick me up and get me back on track. Where she found herself lacking financially, she made up with faith and an astounding dedication to excellence, for herself and her daughter. She has pushed me to be all I can be and then some. I attribute my successes simply to my mother and I could never give back to her all that she has given to me. I could never express my gratitude in a way that fully displayed how grateful I am that she was chosen to be my mother.”

Maya and her family truly reminded us of the essential role all Mason Families play in our students’ support networks. Encourage your student to nominate your family for this award, by clicking here to complete the application form and submit a short written or video essay.

The selection committee will review submitted applications based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of family’s support for student’s college success
  • Evidence of family’s enthusiasm for Mason
  • Ability to articulate why their family is deserving of this honor

The Family of the Year will receive a commemorative plaque, $200 worth of merchandise from the George Mason University Bookstore, a featured article on the George Mason University website, a featured cover photo on the upcoming Mason Family Calendar, and will have all fees associated with Family Weekend registration waived or refunded up to $300.

We can’t wait to see you and your family at Family Weekend and hope that your student will take the time to nominate your family for the Alan and Sally Merten Family of the Year Award! Please contact if you have any questions.

Lindsey Conner
Graduate Assistant
Family Programs and Services