Mason Family Flash

Your family could be our next Family of the Year!

The eighth annual Alan and Sally Merten Family of the Year Award, which will be presented at Family Weekend 2018 on November 9-11, was established to recognize the critical role families play in their student’s experience at Mason and to remind us that you are an essential part of our students’ support network.

Mason undergraduate students have the opportunity to nominate their family by either writing an essay or creating a short video essay that describes why their family is worthy of this honor. Both written and video entries will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Must pertain to George Mason University
  • 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

All entries, both written and video, must be accompanied by a nomination form, which can be found at Entries must be submitted in either written or video format, and the deadline to submit an entry is 5 p.m. on Friday, October 26. The guidelines below will be considered in the selection process:

  • Written submissions should be no more than 1,000 words and can be submitted using the space on or uploaded as a PDF document.
  • Video submissions must follow YouTube rules and guidelines, be no longer than three minutes, must not exceed 500MB, and you must have ownership of the video and permissions from anyone appearing in it. Video submissions should be emailed to
  • It is the sole discretion of George Mason University Orientation and Family Programs and Services to determine acceptability of content or style.

Selection Process
Family of the Year Award nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 26. A panel of university representatives comprised of faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students will choose the winning family. The winning family will be notified via email. The 2018 Family of the Year will receive the following:

  • A commemorative plaque presented at “Mason’s Got Talent: Dinner and a Show” on Saturday, November 10
  • All fees associated with Family Weekend registration will be waived or refunded if already paid in full (up to $300)
  • $200 worth of merchandise from the University Bookstore
  • Four prime tickets to Mason’s first men’s home basketball game on Friday, November 9
  • A featured article on
  • A family photo shoot and featured cover photo on the upcoming Mason Family Calendar print publication

To register for Family Weekend on November 9-11, visit For questions about the Family of the Year Award, contact Amie Mbye, Family Programs Graduate Assistant, at

Amie Mbye
Family Programs Graduate Assistant
New Student and Family Programs