Welcome to MasonHoops.com

Jump in to the discussion! Sign up is easy, we want to hear what you have to say!

Sign Up

RIP former President Alan Merten

Discussion in 'George Mason Basketball' started by sleeperpick, May 21, 2020.

  1. sleeperpick

    sleeperpick All-American

    Likes Received:
    1,674
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    Location:
    Pat Dome
    Dies at 78 of Parkinson's. RIP
  2. MasonFanatic

    MasonFanatic All-Conference

    Likes Received:
    1,091
    Trophy Points:
    2,840
    Mason wouldn't be the university it is today without the leadership of Alan Merten. RIP.
  3. mkaufman1

    mkaufman1 Moderator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    2,325
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    Sad news. I enjoyed seeing him shoot tshirts at the old scoreboard in the Pat Center during his time as President. Even though he prevented the basketball program from seeking its full potential post final four, he certainly helped Mason as a whole.
    mhAdmin and XTSG like this.
  4. psyclone

    psyclone All-American

    Likes Received:
    1,130
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    Email from President Holton:


    Dear Colleagues,

    I am sad to report that Alan Merten, the university’s fifth president, died today in Florida. He was 78 and had battled Parkinson’s disease for some time.

    Dr. Merten’s influence on the emergence of our university is immeasurable. During his 16 years as president, from 1996 through 2012, he guided a young Mason to unprecedented growth and development and founded many of the Mason pillars that we take for granted today, including the Science and Technology Campus and University Life, while transitioning a regional university to a residential institution with a global focus.

    During Dr. Merten’s tenure, more than 20 major buildings sprung up on the university’s three campuses, including the Art & Design and Engineering buildings in Fairfax, the Biomedical Research Laboratory and Hylton Performing Arts Center in Prince William, and Founders Hall in Arlington.

    Dr. Merten’s ambition was to “move George Mason from good to great” and raise the quality and visibility of a budding university. He did that and so much more.


    Dr. Merten expanded the university’s research output so it could become a greater innovative force in the Washington, D.C., region and in Virginia. He sought to establish academic programs in new areas and consolidate competing academic programs, recognizing that smart and sensible combinations could be as innovative as new creations. That is a precursor to the multidisciplinary approach we take in so many of our endeavors today.


    When Dr. Merten took over as president, Mason’s enrollment was about 23,000. By 2010, enrollment had swelled to about 32,500, with a sharp increase in out-of-state enrollment. When he retired in 2012, Mason had matured into a residential university, with about 7,000 students living on campus.

    At the same time, Dr. Merten deepened Mason’s relationships with the Northern Virginia business, technology and arts communities and was the driving force behind a capital campaign that brought $142 million into the university.


    His tenure included so many highlights that raised the profile and trajectory of Mason – hosting the 1998 World Congress on Information Technology, faculty member Vernon Smith winning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002, and Mason’s miraculous run to the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in 2006. U.S. News & World Report designated Mason as the “Number One University to Watch” in 2008 and on its first list of “Up-and-Coming Universities”—schools “that have recently made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus or facilities.” That national recognition is part of the Merten legacy.


    Dr. Merten remained an ardent supporter of Mason, with him and Sally endowing four scholarships among their many, many contributions to our university and Northern Virginia community.


    We send our deepest thoughts and condolences to Sally and the entire Merten family, as well as his many friends and colleagues around Mason and beyond.

    Sincerely,

    Anne Holton

    Interim President
    mason89 and FreeGunston12 like this.
  5. psyclone

    psyclone All-American

    Likes Received:
    1,130
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    A big part of Merten's legacy....tweet from Doc Nix:

    Michael W. Nickens

    @DocNix12


    Alan Merten took a chance on me, and delivered when I needed him to. Rest well my friend, I am eternally grateful for you.
  6. MasonSAE4

    MasonSAE4 All-Conference

    Likes Received:
    1,387
    Trophy Points:
    2,840
    I’ll never forget seeing him attempt to lift the t shirt cannon his final year, only barely get it parallel with the ground, and absolutely perforate some poor guy in the first rows head. RIP to a legend.
    Pikapppatri8 and FreeGunston12 like this.
  7. GSII

    GSII Hall of Famer

    Likes Received:
    2,500
    Trophy Points:
    7,840
    I will always remember our talks to Richmond talking bball and what Mason needed to become Stanford of the East. Dr. Merten gave me alot of insight in how things worked in the real world. Despite being hungover most of the time, I will cherish his wisdom.

    I'm still pissed at him for refferring to our FF run as the 'gift that keeps on giving'
  8. Five Two

    Five Two All-Conference

    Likes Received:
    1,730
    Trophy Points:
    2,840
    gmutom and mkaufman1 like this.
  9. mkaufman1

    mkaufman1 Moderator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    2,325
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    it wouldn’t be an article from mason without some sort of typo or factual mistake. :bricks:
    MasonFanatic and gmujim92 like this.
  10. mkaufman1

    mkaufman1 Moderator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    2,325
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    On a lighter note, I remember watching mason Wichita state in feb 2006, and after tony hit the legendary 3 pointer I shared a nice high five with Dr Merten.
    Walter, MasonFanatic and gmujim92 like this.
  11. PoorManProfit

    PoorManProfit All-Conference

    Likes Received:
    455
    Trophy Points:
    2,810
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    He always seemed to be quite the character. RIP.
  12. psyclone

    psyclone All-American

    Likes Received:
    1,130
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    Merten's obit in today's Washington Post print edition. Seven paragraphs related to the Final Four and the role of basketball at Mason, most of which are from an interview with Larranaga. Perhaps a counterpoint to the criticism of his post Final Four leadership in not maximizing, at least in terms of basketball, that opportunity. My sense is that Merten's focus was in using this lightning-in-a-bottle national publicity to build up Mason as an academic brand.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...6a9308-9c3b-11ea-a2b3-5c3f2d1586df_story.html
  13. The Great PATSby

    The Great PATSby Starter

    Likes Received:
    1,192
    Trophy Points:
    1,340
    Can't be printed in the Washington Post unless there's a jab towards the right.

    "Dr. Merten reorganized some departments and colleges, drawing pushback from faculty and students, who sometimes complained that he emphasized science and technology over the liberal arts and that he acceded too readily to a powerful and politically conservative board of visitors."
    sleeperpick likes this.
  14. psyclone

    psyclone All-American

    Likes Received:
    1,130
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    There certainly was criticism over the cancellation of Michael Moore talk, when the BOV made a lot of noise about it. Reportedly Phi Beta Kappa suddenly pulled Mason's application for a chapter over the issue.

    Mason subsequently applied again a year or so later and was eventually granted permission to start a chapter.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1354558/posts
  15. JimP

    JimP All-American

    Likes Received:
    804
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    They cancelled a speech by Moore? Wow. For all the noise made by the right about free speech on campuses, they oughta practice what they preach. Don't remember hearing anything about this.
  16. The Great PATSby

    The Great PATSby Starter

    Likes Received:
    1,192
    Trophy Points:
    1,340
    I remember hearing this. Pretty sure it was my Freshman year in the fall of 04 or Spring 05. I gave zero F's about politics then so I dint pay any attention but I want to say the cancellation was due to students complaining.
  17. Pikapppatri8

    Pikapppatri8 Hall of Famer

    Likes Received:
    1,840
    Trophy Points:
    12,840
    We had a conservative BOV? Who knew
  18. MasonSAE4

    MasonSAE4 All-Conference

    Likes Received:
    1,387
    Trophy Points:
    2,840
    I mean, our rector is a former Republican congressman. I don’t know the political leanings of all of them but I would assume it’s somewhat balanced. They haven’t exactly taken the liberal courses of action with the outcry’s over Koch money or the Scalia stuff. Not to start another politics thread but I would imagine Mason is far more “balanced” than people on either side care think.

Share This Page