George Mason University: Mason’s Spring 2022 graduation honors a diverse graduating class, including more than 25 percent first-generation students

George Mason University will honor the state’s largest 2022 public university graduating class Friday in its Spring Graduation ceremony at EagleBank Arena on the Fairfax Campus.

Mason will award more than 9,700 degrees—and about 800 certificates—at the university’s first in-person Spring Commencement since 2019, and the one that coincides with the university’s 50th anniversary as an independent institution.

The ceremony starts at 10 a.m., with doors opening at 9 a.m. No tickets are required. The event will be livestreamed on Mason’s YouTube channel.

To provide the safest possible environment for graduates and their guests, Mason will require all students, faculty, staff, and guests in attendance to wear masks.

The most diverse university in Virginia, Mason will honor degree and certificate earners from 89 countries, 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and foreign military installations.

Of the projected 6,392 bachelor’s degree earners, 27% report they are first-generation college graduates, an outcome of the university’s commitment to providing opportunities to students of all backgrounds.

Employers are eager to hire Mason grads—88% of 2021 grads had a positive career outcome within six months of completing their degree. One of those employers is Peraton, a Virginia-based national security company that has hired more than 450 Mason alumni. Stu Shea, chairman, president and CEO of Peraton, will be the featured speaker at graduation.

Shea draws parallels between his young Northern Virginia company and Mason as a young university. He said his company seeks “people who have grit and aren’t afraid of the impossible, who push the envelope to achieve innovation that benefits the greater good.”

“Mason’s tenets—research, innovation, diversity—closely align with Peraton,” Shea said. “For a Mason graduate, we consider it a natural progression to work with a company like Peraton.”

Bhagya Nair, graduating with a bachelor of science in information systems and operations management, is the student speaker.

Mason produces a significant number of graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields—38% of this year’s bachelor’s degree earners, and 24% of the 3,199 graduate degree earners.

The top five undergraduate majors are information technology; psychology; information systems and operations management; computer science; and criminology, law and society.

For the 2,905 students earning master’s degrees, the top five majors are curriculum and instruction, special education, data analytics engineering, business administration, and education leadership.

The top majors for the 294 students earning doctoral degrees are education, economics, earth systems and geoinformation sciences, electrical and computer engineering, and psychology.

There also are 132 law school graduates. The Scalia Law School held its degree celebration Saturday, May 14.

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