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George Mason University

Overview of George Mason University

George Mason University (GMU, Mason, or George Mason) is a public research university in Fairfax, Virginia. It was officially established in 1956 as a Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia and later became an independent institution in 1972. It has since grown to become the largest four-year public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The university is named after the founding father George Mason, a Virginia planter and politician who authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the basis for the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Mason operates four campuses in Virginia, with a fifth campus in Songdo, South Korea.
The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. The university is particularly well known in the fields of economics and law and economics. Mason faculty have twice won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics: James M. Buchanan in 1986 and Vernon L. Smith in 2002.
Eagle Bank 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.


In the United States, George Mason College has four campuses, all within the Virginia Commonwealth. Two are in the Piedmont district of Northern Virginia and one in the area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The college has one campus in South Korea, within the Songdo region’s Incheon Free Economic Zone. Ras al-Khaimah’s university had a campus, but that site is now closed. The Blue Ridge campus is run in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, just outside Front Royal.

  • Abdiweli Mohamed Ali-President of Puntland and Prime Minister of Somalia.
  • Jake Kalish-baseball player.
  • Shawn Camp-baseball player.
  • Anna E. Cabral-Treasurer of the United States under President George W. Bush.
Fun Facts
  • In 2012, "Mason Law School graduates taking the Virginia Bar Exam for the first time hit a pass rate of 100 percent for the test sitting in February 2012."
  • George Mason University has produced 2 Nobel Prize winning Economist.
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