There are so many aspects to Mason, so many facets to this amazing university, that often it feels hard to keep up with the latest milestones and accomplishments of our faculty, our students, and our schools—many of them enhanced by philanthropy.
Consider what’s happened in recent months alone. In Fairfax, the Peterson Family Health Sciences Hall is rising proudly at the entrance to campus. In Arlington, record charitable gifts have led to the renaming of our school of policy and government and our school of law, with new opportunities for students there. And in Prince William, at our Science and Technology Campus, the spotlight is shining on what is still one of the best-kept secrets in Northern Virginia.
More than 4,000 Mason students pursue studies at the SciTech Campus, in fields such as mechanical engineering, biodefense, medical research, and the sciences. Plans are afoot for new engineering labs and other research facilities, which will add to the campus’s stature as a hub for the life sciences. This September, we held the groundbreaking ceremony for construction on campus of a new wing for the Hylton Performing Arts Center. That same week, Governor McAuliffe was on hand to see a statue placed honoring the legendary Mason advocate and benefactor Senator Charles Colgan on his 90th birthday. (Sadly, Senator Colgan passed away in early January. What an impressive life and legacy!).
Driving this progress is Mason’s famed spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. But there is another ingredient: community engagement and a commitment to partnerships. The campus exists and thrives thanks to a two-decade partnership among the county, the City of Manassas, and Mason that is truly unique in its scope.
As Mason’s influence continues to grow, the SciTech Campus will certainly be an epicenter for that development—to everyone’s benefit. In the years to come, perhaps your children will study there. Perhaps you will work at a business spawned from innovations patented there. Perhaps the health or life of you or a loved one will benefit from discoveries made in the labs there.
You certainly can attend an arts performance at the Hylton Center, this very month, and I encourage you to check the schedule. I also urge you to do more: find and follow your passion, as the wonderful Mary Postma advises. Deepening your involvement with our amazing university, as Mary makes so clear, can be more than personally fulfilling. It will also contribute to Mason’s growing, not-so-secret success.
As always, thank you for your support.
Janet E. Bingham, PhD
Vice President, Advancement and Alumni Relations
President, George Mason University Foundation
January 2017 / reprinted from Spirit, the magazine for the George Mason University community