On June 9, 1968 George Mason College of the University of Virginia awarded its first baccalaureate degrees to 52 candidates. Prior to that George Mason, then part of the University of Virginia’s system of branch colleges, awarded only a two-year associate degree. Attendees were encouraged to complete their degree at the University at Charlottesville, which most did. Members of the Class of 1968 were the first students at Mason’s Fairfax Campus when it opened in September 1964. They started clubs and created traditions that are still around today.
“First Class” is an exploration of George Mason University’s history and a celebration of Mason’s students over the decades. The exhibition focuses mainly on the Class of 1968, but it also highlights student life at Mason during the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s. On display are photographs, newspaper articles, yearbooks, and memorabilia items reflecting the growth and history of George Mason University. “First Class” can be seen in the Special Collections Research Center Gallery.