“I’m always excited to come back to the Arbor,” she told MLive.
“My dad graduated from there, my brother graduated from there. It’s home.”
An alumna who graduated in from Spring Arbor in the 1970s, Mason returns regularly for concerts and special events such as free workshops.
Friday’s concert benefits the Babbie Mason Minority Music Scholarship, which helps fund tuition for aspiring singers and performers.
Like other events, Mason is incorporating her Spring Arbor family and will be joined by the university’s choir, orchestra and jazz band. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $4 for students.
Mason grew up in Jackson, Michigan, where she went to high school with NFL coaching legend Tony Dungy. Her family was deeply steeped in religion and music. And the passion hit her early: Her father was a pastor and, from an early age, she accompanied him on piano.
Her career has taken her around the world and won her acclaim. Mason has twice won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award and has been nominated for Grammies. She’s sung for Presidents Carter, Ford and Bush and is a member of the Christian Music Hall of Fame.
Mason speaks at women’s conferences throughout the nation and has written books about faith.
But no matter the acclaim or fame, Mason’s path always finds her way back to Spring Arbor.
It’s a bond typical of the unique relationships among alumni and Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities.
The schools stress community over conformity, with small class sizes that allow students to work closely with professors committed to helping them forge their own path.
It’s an experience that simply isn’t available at traditional universities. And despite what you may have heard, independents are often less expensive and boast higher four-year graduation rates than four-year institutions.
Be bold. Be different. Go independent.