In high school, usually around the end of May or the start of June, there would come a day when students got together to connect and reflect over the past year — yearbook day. What you might not know is that George Mason University has its very own yearbook, GMView.

“Students don’t think about how important a yearbook is going to be in the next five to 10 years,” said Cynthia Lont, faculty advisor to GMView. “I get a lot of students who contact me and ask if I still have extra copies of older editions.”

Like many programs at Mason, GMView is entirely student-run.

“I teach a class called ‘The Yearbook Workshop every semester,” Lont said. “It brings students from across [the] university because everybody needs that one more credit in a 300 level course to graduate.”

The Yearbook Workshop not only offers students an opportunity to earn that ever-elusive last credit, but it also provides a chance to become a part of something larger.

“A lot of them are actually students who probably work part time or full time,” Lont said. “They’ve never really had a chance to be part of a tradition here at Mason. They’re not in clubs or organizations because they work, they have families, they have lives. But because they can do this for a credit, they can be a part of something. They’ll have their picture in the end, they’ll have a layout they were a part of, so they can walk away from Mason saying, ‘I left my mark.’”

Not content to simply give students a hardcover book with photos and memories from the past year, each yearbook comes with a companion DVD.

“Because they come in the $35 set, we don’t do the same thing in both,” Lont said. “In the print, we have the senior portraits, which is cool, and then we have team sports pictures. But on the DVD, we actually have the footage from the games. So anything we have that’s action oriented, we don’t want to freeze it and put it in print. We want to actually show you the action and put it on the DVD.”

On the DVD that Lont displayed, there were sections dedicated to commencement, Mason Day, International Week and other various events from campus. Additionally, students who purchase yearbooks now can record a message for their friends and family to be included on the DVD.

“Every year we do Mason Day, International Week [and] if we can get out there, we do the Shack-a-thon with Greek Week,” Lont said. “It’s really up to the students what we end up with.”

The yearbook itself features the aforementioned senior portraits, a section called “Senior Speak” that allows seniors to write a blurb to be featured in the yearbook, as well as recurring features like “In Loving Memory” and “Then and Now.”

The “Then and Now” section features interesting facts comparing Mason in its inception to Mason 2012. One amusing fact is that credits were only $11 when Mason first became a school.

April 10 to 13 marks the last opportunity to have your photo taken for senior portraits, so make sure you get your photo taken if you haven’t already.