George Mason University
George Mason University (Mason, GMU) is a public research university in Fairfax County, Virginia. The university was originally founded in 1949 as a northern branch of the University of Virginia. Renamed in 1959 after American Founding Father George Mason, who authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights that later influenced the future Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution, it became an independent university in 1972. It has since grown to become the largest four-year public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mason operates four campuses in Virginia (Fairfax, Arlington, Front Royal, and Prince William), as well as a campus in South Korea.
|Motto||Freedom and Learning|
|Type||Public research university|
|Established||October 1, 1949|
|Founder||Commonwealth of Virginia |
(Virginia General Assembly)
|Formerly part of the |
University of Virginia
|Endowment||$154.2 million (2020)|
|Provost||Mark Ginsberg (Interim)|
|~2,600 (Fall 2020)|
|Students||39,032 (Fall 2020)|
|Undergraduates||26,515 (Fall 2020)|
|Postgraduates||11,437 (Fall 2020)|
|Campus||Mostly Suburban, with 953 acres (3.86 km2) on the flagship Fairfax Campus, and 1,148 acres (4.65 km2) across the four other Virginia campuses|
|Language||Mostly English, but also Spanish, and Korean (excluding second-language acquisition courses).|
|NCAA Division I – A-10, ECAC, EIVA, IC4A|
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education ranks it among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". Two George Mason economics professors have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics: James M. Buchanan in 1986 and Vernon L. Smith in 2002.
EagleBank Arena (formerly the Patriot Center), a 10,000-seat arena and concert venue operated by the university, is located on the main Fairfax campus. The university recognizes 500 student groups as well as 41 fraternities and sororities.