About George Mason University
|Motto||Freedom and Learning|
|Endowment||US$ 55.16 million (2012)|
|Undergraduates||20,782 (Fall 2012)|
|Postgraduates||12,405 (Fall 2010)|
Coordinates: 38°49′51″N 77°18′27″W / 38.8308°N 77.3075°W / 38.8308; -77.3075
|Campus||Suburban, 806 acres (3.26 km2) total across all campuses
700 acres (2.8 km2) Fairfax Campus
|Colors||Mason Green and Mason Gold|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I, CAA, 22 varsity teams|
|Mascot||The Patriot (formerly "Gunston")|
George Mason University (GMU), frequently referred to as Mason, is a public university based in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, south of and adjacent to the city of Fairfax.Additional campuses are located nearby in Arlington County, Prince William County, and Loudoun County. The university's motto is Freedom and Learning while its slogan or tagline is Where Innovation Is Tradition.
Named after American revolutionary, patriot, and founding father George Mason, the university was founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1957 and became an independent institution in 1972.Today, Mason is recognized for its strong programs in economics, law, creative writing, computer science, and business.In recent years, George Mason faculty have twice won the Nobel Prize in Economics.The university enrolls over 32,500 students, making it the largest university by head count in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution in January 1956, establishing a branch college of the University of Virginia in Northern Virginia. In September 1957 the new college opened its doors to seventeen students, all of whom enrolled as freshmen in a renovated elementary school building at Bailey's Crossroads. John Norville Gibson Finley served as Director of the new branch, which was known as University College.
The city of Fairfax purchased and donated 150 acres (0.61 km2) of land to the University of Virginia for the college's new site,which was referred to as the Fairfax Campus. In 1959, the Board of Visitors of UVA selected a permanent name for the college: George Mason College of the University of Virginia. The Fairfax campus construction planning that began in early 1960 showed visible results when the development of the first 40 acres (160,000 m2) of Fairfax Campus began in 1962. In the Fall of 1964 the new campus welcomed 356 students.
Local jurisdictions of Fairfax County, Arlington County, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church agreed to appropriate $3 million to purchase land adjacent to Mason to provide for a 600-acre (2.4 km2) Fairfax Campus in 1966 with the intention that the institution would expand into a regional university of major proportions, including the granting of graduate degrees.
On April 7, 1972 the Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation which separated George Mason College from its parent institution, the University of Virginia. Renamed that day by the legislation, George Mason College became George Mason University.
In 1978, the George Mason University Foundation purchased the former Kann's department store in Arlington. In March 1979 the Virginia General Assembly authorized the establishment of the George Mason University School of Law (GMUSL) – contingent on the transfer of the Kann's building to George Mason University. GMUSL began operations in that building on July 1, 1979 and received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association in 1980. The ABA granted full approval to GMUSL in 1986.
Also, in 1979, the university moved all of its athletic programs to NCAA Division I. Enrollment that year passed 11,000. The university opened its Arlington campus in 1982, two blocks from the Virginia Square-GMU station in Arlington. In 1986 the university's governing body, the Board of Visitors, approved a new master plan for the year based on an enrollment of 20,000 full-time students with housing for 5,000 students by 1995. That same year university housing opened to bring the total number of residential students to 700.
Through a bequest of Russian immigrant Shelley Krasnow the University established the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study in 1991. The Institute was created to further the understanding of the mind and intelligence by combining the fields of cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and artificial intelligence. In 1992, Mason's new Prince William Institute began classes in a temporary site in Manassas, Virginia. The Institute moved to a permanent 124-acre (0.50 km2) site located on the Rt. 234 bypass, ten miles (16 km) south of Manassas, by the year 1997, and is now known as the Prince William Campus. The university graduated more than 5,000 students that following spring.
While George Mason University is young compared to established research universities in Virginia, it has grown rapidly, reaching an enrollment of 30,714 students in 2008.According to a 2005 report issued by the university, enrollment is expected to reach 35,000 students by 2011 with more than 7,000 resident students.
In 2002, Mason celebrated its 30th anniversary as a university by launching its first capital campaign, trying to raise $110 million. The school raised $142 million, $32 million more than its goal. The George Mason University logo, originally designed in 1982, was updated in 2004.
In 2008, the School of Management celebrated its 30th anniversary. Also, in 2008 Mason changed its mascot from the "Gunston" animal to the "Patriot".
The main campus of George Mason University is situated on 677 acres (2.74 km2) just south of the City of Fairfax, Virginia in central Fairfax County, approximately 15 miles (24 km) west of Washington, D.C. The Fairfax campus is served on the Washington Metro by the Vienna station on the Orange line. A 15 minute shuttle in addition to the CUE bus, free for students with a Mason ID card, serves the students through routes from the Metro station to the University.
In the early 1960s four buildings were constructed around a lawn in Fairfax, appropriately named East, West, North (later, Krug Hall), and South (later, Finley Hall). The first four structures, today dubbed "The Original Four," "around a lawn" were understood as a clear reference to the buildings around The Lawn of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In addition, in the words of the architects, the architecture of the buildings was meant to reflect Jeffersonian influence through the use of red brick with buff colored mortar, white vertical columns, and sloped shingled roofs.
Master plans were developed to incorporate further development, which saw new additions such as Fenwick Library and Lecture Hall. By 1979 master plan development was handled by the firm of Sasaki & Associates, which continued to work alongside the university in the years that followed. Student housing first became available in 1977. The 1980s saw the university expand with a new building being added on each year, including the Patriot Center. As well as the construction of the Fairfax campuses network of hot and cold water piping that provides power efficient, centralized heating and cooling for the university's buildings.
Recent years have once again brought a new construction boom to the Fairfax campus, which is currently undergoing a massive, $900 million construction campaign (between 2002–2012) based on the 2002 University Master Plan.This has brought about a huge influx of new buildings to campus, and renovations of existing buildings, most recently:
Building Name / Type / Description – Completion Date
Fairfax is the only campus of George Mason University with on-campus student housing. The campus is divided up into three neighborhoods, which combined house approximately 5,400 students. A seventh housing area is currently under construction to house an additional 600 students and more dining facilities.
Shenandoah (formerly Southeast):
Rappahannock (formerly Central):
Aquia (formerly Northwest):
In summer 2008 the Patriot Village area was demolished to make room for the RAC (an on campus gym complex). Patriots Village consisted of dozens of permanent modulars located just outside of Patriot Circle, east of Ox Road, offering modular and suite-style units.
The George W. Johnson Learning Center, more commonly known as the Johnson Center or JC, is the central hub on campus, completed in 1995 and named after University President of 18 years, George W. Johnson. Located in the center of campus, the $30 million, 320,000-square-foot (30,000 m2) building was built as the first of its kind building on any American campus, acting both as a library and a student union. The ground floor includes a buffet style restaurant named the Bistro, the campus radio station WGMU Radio, a coffee shop named Jazzman's, 300-seat movie theater, and Dewberry Hall. The main floor includes the campus bookstore, a large food court with several fast food restaurants, a patisserie and the ground floor of the library. The second and third floors of the Johnson Center are primarily used by the library, with multiple group meeting rooms, computer labs, a news and media resource, and a full service restaurant named George's located on the third floor.
The Johnson Center serves as the center for student life with many activities and productions sponsored by Program Board and Student Government. In 2004 during the Democratic Primaries, Senator John Kerry, the eventual Democratic Nominee for President, visited George Mason University and gave a speech on the floor of the Johnson Center. In 2007, shortly after announcing on his website that he would establish a presidential exploratory committee, Senator Barack Obama gave a speech at the "Yes We Can" rally at the Johnson Center atrium. The next week he formally announced his intentions of running for president.
The Center for the Arts includes a 2,000-seat Concert Hall built in 1990. The concert hall can be converted into a more intimate 800-seat theater. Most Center for the Arts events take place here, including operas, orchestras, ballets, and musical and theatrical performances such as Kid Cudi in 2010. Its Provisions Library houses special collections focusing on social change and the arts.
The Patriot Center is a 10,000 seat arena, home court for the Men's and Women's basketball team. The Patriot Center is also host to over 100 concerts and events throughout the year, annually attracting major performers like the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The 68,000-square-foot (6,300 m2) Aquatic and Fitness Center opened in 1998 at a cost of $11 million. The center includes an Olympic size swimming pool containing eight 50-meter lanes, twenty-two 25-yard (23 m) lanes, two movable bulkheads, and a diving area equipped with two 1-meter and two 3-meter spring boards, a Warm-water recreational pool, Locker rooms, a whirlpool, a coed sauna, and a family changing room.
Fenwick Library was originally built in 1967, with additions in 1974, a tower in 1983, and renovations in 2005–2006. It was named for Charles Rogers Fenwick, one of George Mason's founders. Fenwick Library is the main research library at George Mason. Its resources include: most of the university's books, microfilms, print and bound journals, government documents, and maps. Electronic resources include networked and stand-alone CD-ROMs, the libraries' online catalog, a number of databases available through the libraries' membership in various consortia, and Internet access. Another important collection of research materials housed in Fenwick is the Government Documents collection. This collection includes both federal and Virginia state documents. Both sets of documents contain items from the administrative, legislative, and judicial branches of government, and constitute an invaluable source of primary source materials for students and faculty in political science, public policy, sociology, business and other fields. There is also a special GIS center in Fenwick Library which conducts GIS drop-in sessions every week.
George Mason University is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, granting it access to resources of thirteen other libraries in the District of Columbia.
In July 2010 George Mason University opened a 148 room hotel on its Fairfax Campus.The Conference Center & Hotel is LEED-certified Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council,and is the only full-service, upscale hotel in Fairfax and near George Mason University.The Mason Inn is operated by Crestline Hotels & Resorts,and hosts conferences, business meetings, scholastic events, and area social occasions. Bringing the outside in, the public spaces and each of the 148 guest rooms at The Mason Inn are appointed in earth tones accented by shades of red and orange.
Each guestroom features a work area, sitting area, and high speed wireless Internet access, as well as flat-panel TVs, and in-room safes. Public spaces, including the 20,000 square foot IACC Conference Center incorporate touches that are reminiscent of the spirit of George Mason. Carpet on guest room floors replicate the script of George Mason’s handwritten letters and a copy of the Virginia Constitution is displayed in the Lobby.
The 5.2-acre (21,000 m2) Arlington campus was established in 1979 by the Virginia General Assembly for the newly founded law school. In 1980, graduate and professional programs were also offered in the building, a converted Kann's department store. Since then the school has grown to offer a multitude of graduate degrees. In 1996, Arlington's campus began its first phase in a three phase campus redevelopment project. In 1998, Hazel Hall was completed to house the law school, the Mercatus Center, and the Institute for Humane Studies. The second phase, to be completed in 2010, is underway for a 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) building named Founders Hall is to house the Schools of Public Policy, Education and Human Development, Information Technology, Engineering, Management, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Computational Science, and the College of Visual & Performing Arts and academic and student supports services.Arlington's campus is projected to reach an enrollment of 10,000 students by the completion of its redevelopment.
The Arlington campus is served on the Washington Metro by the Virginia Square-GMU station on the Orange line. The station is located approximately two blocks west of the campus.
George Mason's Prince William campus opened on August 25, 1997 in Manassas. It is located on 124 acres (0.50 km2) of land. The campus offers a high-tech/bio-tech and emphasizes bioinformatics, biotechnology, forensic biosciences educational and research programs in addition to computer and information technology. The campus also offers creative programs of instruction, research, and public/private partnerships in the Prince William County area.
Prince William offers an M.A. in New Professional Studies in Teaching, an M.A.I.S. with a concentration in Recreation Resources Management, a B.S. in Administration of Justice, undergraduate programs in health, fitness, and 'Recreation Resources', graduate programs in exercise, fitness and 'Health Promotion', and nontraditional programs through continuing and professional education in geographic information systems and facility management.
Prince William also boasts the 300-seat Verizon Auditorium, the 110,000-square-foot (10,000 m2) Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, and a 85,000-square-foot (7,900 m2), $46 million Hylton Performing Arts Center which opened in 2010.Other buildings on the Prince William campus include the Occoquan Building, which houses various academic, research, and administrative resources including a Student Health clinic, Bull Run Hall, a 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) building which opened in the fall of 2004, and Discovery Hall, which was completed in 1998 at a cost of $20.4 million.
In the fall of 2005, the university opened a site in Loudoun County, Virginia. Several months later, it announced the gift of 123 acres (0.50 km2) of land by Greenvest, LLC, to build a fourth suburban campus. The campus was scheduled to open in 2009. However, the proposal was voted down by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, as part of the larger Dulles South project. Greenvest rescinded the gift.Committed to expanding its presence in Loudoun, the university has now proposed a possible joint campus with Northern Virginia Community College. The campus would be located in Broadlands, Virginia.
Mason's current Loudoun site offers several graduate programs; an MA in Business Administration, Masters and doctoral programs in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), a graduate degree in nursing, and a Master of Science in telecommunications. The Loudon campus also offers five undergraduate programs; a minor in business and management, certificates in the College of Education and Human Development, a BS in health science, a minor in information technology, and an introductory course in social work. Other graduate level courses, such as those offered by the Department of Information and Software Engineering, are periodically taught at the site.
George Mason opened a 'campus' in the Ras Al Khaimah emirate of the United Arab Emirates in 2005.No one ever graduated from the Ras al Khaimah 'campus' and it never grew beyond one building.The Ras Al Khaimah 'campus' nominally offered three undergraduate Bachelors of Science degrees in biology, business administration, and electronics and communications engineering. They subsequently added a course in "educational leadership and management."
On February 27, 2009, Mason announced they would close the Ras Al Khamimah campus at the end of the Spring 2009 semester. University Provost, Peter Stearns, cited that the relationship between George Mason University and the partner foundation in RAK worked smoothly until early 2009. He explained that the foundation would be reducing the financial support as well as attempting to change the academic reporting structure. In an e-mail to students Stearns wrote, "We have not been able to reach agreement with our RAK partner on a budget and administrative structure that, in our judgment, assures our ability to provide an education that meets Mason standards."
The university has strength in the basic and applied sciences with critical mass in proteomics, neuroscience and computational sciences. Research support comes to Mason faculty from such agencies as the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Likewise, the Center for Secure Information Systems is designated as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) as well as a Center of Academic Excellence in Research (CAE-R) in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency.
Mason's Center for History and New Media attracts more than one million visitors to its websites every month.It curates such digital archives as The September 11th Digital Archive and The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, which documents the records of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and Hurricane Wilma.
The Fairfax campus also serves as the headquarters for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs.
Mason's Center for Global Education's study abroad program has been rated highly offering dozens of programs ranging from one-week spring break programs to full year programs..
Mason's flagship Study Abroad experience is the prestigious Oxford Honors Program in which highly qualified students endure a rigorous application and interview process and, if selected, travel to the United Kingdom where they study for 6–12 months as matriculated students of Oxford University.
Mason was awarded $25 million in 2005 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, for construction of a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at the Prince William Campus in Manassas.
|U.S. News & World Report||138|
US News & World Report Undergraduate rankings include:
US News & World Report Graduate program rankings include:
Research at Mason is organized into centers, laboratories, and collaborative programs.These include the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Education and Human Development, New Century College, the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, the School of Computational Sciences, the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Public Policy, the College of Science, and the School of Management. In addition, Mason's Office of the Provost includes research centers that deal with economics, global education, and teaching excellence.
In addition to a business undergraduate major and minor, Mason's School of Management has graduate programs for the Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) with a wide variety of concentrations/specializations, an Executive Master of Business Administration degree (EMBA), a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA), a joint MBA/MSA degree and a Master of Science in Technology Management degree.
The school's sports teams are called the Patriots. The university's men's and women's sports teams participate in the NCAA's Division I, and are members of the Colonial Athletic Association, or CAA. The school's colors are green and gold. George Mason has two NCAA Division I National Championship to its credit; 1985 Women's Soccer and 1996 Men's Indoor Track & Field.
George Mason University was catapulted into the national spotlight in March 2006, when its men's basketball team advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament by defeating the Michigan State Spartans, the defending champion North Carolina Tar Heels, the Wichita State Shockers, and the top-seeded Connecticut Huskies. Their "Cinderella" journey ended in the Final Four with a loss to the eventual tournament champion Florida Gators by a score of 73–58.As a result of the team's success in the tournament, the Patriots were ranked 8th in the final ESPN/USA Today Poll for the 2005–06 season. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and USA Today featured the story on their front pages, and was ranked by several publications as the sports story of the year.
The Patriots, who had never won an NCAA tournament game before 2006, became the first team from the CAA to crash the Final Four and were the first true mid-major conference team since 1979 to do so (that year, the Larry Bird-led Indiana State Sycamores as a #1 seed, and the Penn Quakers as a #9 seed both reached the Final Four). As #11-seeds, the 2006 Patriots also tied the 1986 LSU Tigers as the lowest-seeded team ever to reach the Final Four.
In 2008, the Patriots returned to the NCAA Tournament after winning the CAA Tournament. They were given a 12 seed and matched up against 5th-seeded Notre Dame. The Patriots were unable to make another miracle run, losing to the Irish by a score of 68–50.
George Mason offers more than 200 clubs and organizations, including 16 fraternities, 15 sororities, 24 International-student organizations, 25 religious organizations, a student programming board, student government, club sports, debate team, and student media. In a 2004 survey of 357 universities GMU was ranked number one for diversity.The Office of Student Involvement at Mason administrates Student Government, Program Board, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Recognized Student Organization (RSO), Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA), and Weekends at Mason (WAM).Mason also offers an Army ROTC program, called The "Patriot Battalion." Mason's club sports include ultimate frisbee, crew, equestrian, field hockey, football, lacrosse, underwater hockey, fencing, and rugby.
The George Mason University Forensics program is one of the top ranked competitive speech teams in the United States and has achieved international recognition in the field of communication studies.The team was founded in 1970 and has won nearly 10,000 individual speech awards. In 2010 the team placed 4th at the American Forensics Association National Tournament and won the International Forensics Association Championship. The Forensics Program has been extremely active on the George Mason campus with an active Community Service Committee. GMU hosts the annual Virginia is for Lovers collegiate speech tournament, the Patriot Games scholastic speech competition (which in 2009 had over 1,000 entries), and also will host the 2011 Catholic Forensics League Grand National Tournament. Currently Dr. Peter Pober is the Program Director with Jeremy Hodgson as Assistant Director.
Mason offers two regular print publications, Broadside, the student newspaper, and the Mason Gazette, the University-published newspaper. Mason also operates a Campus radio station, WGMU Radio. The online radio station offers music, entertainment, news, and public affairs relating to the University community, regional area and the country. GMU-TV is the university's professional Educational-access television station. GMU-TV is an award-winning leader in educational, informational and public interest programming. The unit offers a broad spectrum of content, ranging from public affairs and humanities to science, medicine and the arts. The Mason Cable Network, or MCN, is the student organized and operated station, and offers student produced entertainment and information on campus channel 89, available on the Fairfax campus of GMU. Mason also sponsors several student-run publications through its Office of Student Media,including the VoxPop, a feature magazine, Connect2Mason, an online media and news convergence Web site,Volition, an undergraduate student literary and art magazine, Phoebe, a graduate literary journal, So to Speak, a feminist literary journal, GMView and Senior Speak, an annual yearbook publication and video, New Voices in Public Policy, School of Public Policy student journal, and Hispanic Culture Review, a student bilingual (Spanish/English) journal on Hispanic literature and culture. Mason also sponsors several academic journals including, TABLET, the International Affairs Journal of George Mason University. Between approximately 1993 and 1998, the University was also the home of The Fractal: Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Between 1990 and 2005, the underground newspaper Expulsion was distributed on the Mason campus. It also experienced a brief online resurgence in 2007.
The staff of the Center for History and New Media produces a podcast called Digital Campus.
In fall 2008, the satirical online newspaper, The Mason Squire, premiered.The site featured fake news stories criticizing the university. The newspaper's mottos were "Because fake news doesn't report itself" and "Fake news just got a whole lot sexier". However, the site has been inactive since late 2009.
George Mason University does not have traditional Fraternity & Sorority housing or a "Greek row." For several years, three Panhellenic Council organizations had established "Living/Learning Floors" in the University Commons. Alpha Omicron Pi had a floor 2004–2010, Gamma Phi Beta had a floor 2006–2010, and Alpha Phi had a floor 2007–2010.
Officially, Mason refers to "Greek Life" as "Fraternity & Sorority Life" to avoid confusion with the Hellenic Society club, a student organization focusing on the people and culture of Greece.
Most organizations in the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHC) hold one or two large charitable events each year. Most organizations in the National Pan-Hellenic Council(NPHC) and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) hold a series of smaller charitable events throughout the year. The NPHC is also known for its annual Step Show.
The most well-knownevent associated with Fraternity & Sorority Life on campus is held each spring and is called Greek Week. This annual event includes competitive sporting and trivia events, charitable fund raising, and is usually ended with Greek Sing. Organizations participating in Greek Sing put together 10–15 minute themed shows which have included extravagant costumes, set designs, lighting displays, multimedia presentations, dances, singing, acrobatics, and more.
PHC holds a formal recruitment each fall. Informal recruitment is held in spring. Many PHC organizations also offer continuous open recruitment (or continuous open bidding) after the designated recruitment period. IFC has a designated one-week rush period in the fall and spring. This week is regulated and monitored, but participants are not registered or tracked.