Alan & Gwen Nelson Lifetime Student Award History and Art History

Given to auditors of history/art history classes

2022 Awardee

Gary Garrison

Gary Garrison

Gary was born in 1942 in Long Beach, CA.  Following high school graduation in 1959, and a year at Long Beach City College, he entered the Air Force, serving from 1961-1964.  After discharge, he attended the University of South Florida and received a BA in philosophy in 1966.  He met his wife, Maggie, at this time.  They were married in 1967.  A PhD degree in philosophy was awarded by the University of Cincinnati in 1979 while Gary was an instructor in philosophy at Bethany College and West Liberty State University in West Virginia from 1971-1980.  During this period, he commuted to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and received a JD degree in 1980.  Gary and Maggie then moved to Fairfax with their son, Greg, who was born in 1978. Gary then began his 26-year career at Naval Facilities Engineering Command, retiring in 2007.  Restless to return to college life, Gary audited classes at NOVA in Annandale from 2008-2010. Eager for greater challenges, Gary applied to George Mason as a non-degree graduate student and was offered admission in 2010. This began a rewarding association with Mason instructors and fellow-students. Since Fall 2010, Gary has audited 61 classes.  He plans to continue learning.