Sneak Preview: 2024 Commencement speaker Ginna Claire Mason ’13 visits Elon

A graduate of Elon's renowned Music Theatre program, Mason will be speaking at both ceremonies for the Class of 2024 in the Schar Center on Friday, May 24.

As she prepares to take the stage in the Schar Center next month for Elon’s 134th Commencement, Ginna Claire Mason ’13 returned to Elon this week to connect with students, faculty and staff and share some of the lessons she’s learned from her career on the stage and screen.

Mason made her Broadway debut in 2015 portraying Glinda in the international hit musical “Wicked” and has added to her career accomplishments in recent years playing the leading role in multiple holiday season productions on the Hallmark Channel. In 2017, she was recognized by Elon for her professional achievements as one of that year’s “Top 10 Under 10 Alumni.”

And on Monday and Tuesday, Mason was seen all across campus as she prepared for her upcoming role as the featured speaker at the graduation exercises for Elon’s Class of 2024 on Friday, May 24. Mason will be speaking at both ceremonies that day, with students from the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and the School of Communications receiving their diplomas at 9 a.m. and students from the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education and Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, receiving their diplomas at the 2:30 a.m. ceremony.

During an interview with Elon News Network on Tuesday, Mason shared what the return to campus meant to her. “I just feel so excited about everything that’s happening here. I care so deeply about this university,” Mason told ENN journalist Anjolina Fantaroni during the interview. “There are so many opportunities here, and I was definitely the kind of person who wanted to say yes to everything. … I hope students can take advantage of opportunities to explore their interests and find new interests.”

Originally from Nashville, Mason was selected for Elon’s highly competitive music theatre program and arrived on campus that year as one of six women joining the program that year. During her visit this week, Mason reconnected with faculty from the program and other areas of campus before leading a masterclass for current Music Theatre program students in Scott Studios on Tuesday afternoon.

During the masterclass, Mason shared about her own professional experience and offered feedback to multiple students about their singing performances. She walked students through exercises that helped them think about their performances in new ways while offering tips and tricks for getting the most out of their voices.

“I believe in this program so much,” Mason told the students. “I think this is a really compelling storytelling form, and I think stories have the power to change hearts and minds. That’s a power that all of you possess.”

During her visit to Elon, Mason participated with students in a ballet class with Cherie Bower, adjunct assistant professor of performing arts, and met with officers for the Class of 2024. She joined a women’s small group with InterVarsity, which she was deeply involved with while she was a student. Along with sitting down with ENN, Mason visited with President Connie Ledoux Book at College Coffee and took a tour of Elon’s campus to see how it has evolved since she was a student.

Mason’s remarks to graduates will be just part of a week of celebration of the members of the Class of 2024. Learn more about Elon’s 134th Commencement exercises and accompanying events at the Elon University Commencement website.