(L to R) Long Nguyen, Dean Ken Ball, Lloyd Griffiths, and Kimmy Duong at the announcement of the Lloyd Griffiths Plaza project. Photo by Christopher Bobo.
As dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering from 1997 to 2012, Lloyd Griffiths made a huge impact. Griffiths improved academics, established community partnerships, and led the effort to build a facility fit for Mason Engineering. Opened in 2009, the Long and Kimmy Nguyen Engineering Building is the primary academic home for the more than 200 faculty and nearly 8,000 graduate and undergraduate students of the Volgenau School.
Yet Griffiths felt there was one piece left undone. He envisioned an outdoor plaza on the Patriot Circle side of the building, with benches, pathways, and a beautiful green space where people could gather and outdoor classes could even be held. But state funding and private donations could not quite cover the additional cost.
A decade later, a path to realizing that idea is now in view, just as Griffiths retires officially from the Mason faculty. On May 21, nearly 200 colleagues, friends, corporate leaders, and former students gathered at the Nguyen Building to wish Griffiths well in retirement and to celebrate the kickoff of a fundraising campaign for construction of Lloyd Griffiths Plaza. Under a tent on the future site of the plaza, they raised a glass to honor their friend and mentor, and admired renderings of the plaza design.
Attendees also celebrated the fact that more than $93,000 towards a first-stage fundraising goal of $100,00 has already been raised in just three months since the building campaign began. While these initial funds will allow the planning and design work to proceed, $1 million more will be needed to complete the vision over the next three years.
To help build Lloyd Griffiths Plaza, contact Michele Brumsey:
Director of Advancement
Volgenau School of Engineering
703-993-6069 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Griffiths’ contributions were saluted by his friend Kathy Clark, EMBA ’95, a philanthropist and volunteer leader of the building campaign. “Congratulations, Lloyd, for all that you’ve done, and for everything and every person in this room that you’ve touched,” said Clark, a retired software entrepreneur who is also emeritus chair of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and a former George Mason Alumnus of the Year.
Many leading philanthropic supporters of Mason Engineering were on hand to honor Griffiths, including the school’s namesake, Ernst Volgenau, and the building’s namesakes, Long Nguyen and Kimmy Duong. As a philanthropist himself, Lloyd and his wife Arlene have been generous supporters of Mason, including not only the School of Engineering, but the arts and other favorite causes. The Lloyd J. Griffiths Scholarship Endowment, established in his honor in 2009, awards an annual $1,000 scholarship to a deserving undergraduate engineering student.
To conclude the event, Dean Ken Ball presented Griffiths with the first-ever Volgenau School of Engineering Pillar Award, in recognition of a person who has advanced Mason Engineering through exceptional leadership and service, both at George Mason University and in the community at large.
May 30, 2019 / Rob Riordan