Van Metre Companies CEO Rick Rabil, chairman Beau Van Metre, and trustee Alison Van Metre Paley, along with company leadership and members of the Van Metre family, join Mason president Ángel Cabrera, Dr. Beth Cabrera, and vice president of advancement Trishana Bowden at the dedication of Van Metre Hall. / Photos © Risdon Photography.
One of George Mason University’s major academic buildings has a new name, honoring a family business that grew into a corporate and community leader for Northern Virginia.
University leadership gathered May 13 with staff of the Van Metre Companies and Van Metre family members for the dedication of Van Metre Hall on the Arlington Campus.
The naming recognizes the generosity of the Fairfax-based residential and commercial real estate development company, which in 2009 donated 37 acres in Ashburn, Virginia. Now valued at more than $20 million, the land will be sold to support university programs.
“Van Metre is known as a company of builders. By constructing homes and offices and recreational facilities, you have contributed impressively to the growth and the quality of life of our region,” said Trishana Bowden, vice president of advancement and alumni relations.
“But we also think of you as builders in another sense. Through your philanthropy, you have helped to build a community that cares … and our community is a better place because of you.”
Rick Rabil, vice chairman, president, and CEO of the Van Metre Companies, emphasized Van Metre’s many ties with George Mason, noting that several members of the firm’s executive team in attendance are Mason alumni. “We are honored to have the Van Metre name associated with George Mason University,” Rabil said.
Beau Van Metre, chairman of the Van Metre Companies, and Alison Van Metre Paley, a trustee of the company, joined Rabil in accepting the honor.
“This is not just the story of a generous gift—it’s the story of a partnership, and of a connection between a family and company that really cares about the community they are part of,” said Mason President Ángel Cabrera.
“Important things happen here in Van Metre Hall,” Cabrera added, noting the many high-profile business, government, and community leaders who often speak there. Boosted by the arrival of Amazon’s new corporate presence, the Arlington Campus will be the site of a $250 million expansion over the next several years, becoming a center for innovation in the region.
Previously known as Founders Hall, the building’s name change was approved by Mason’s Board of Visitors in October. New signage on the building exterior has been installed, with additional signage updates inside coming over the next several weeks.
Founded in 1955 by Albert Van Metre, the Van Metre Companies builds residential, commercial and recreational facilities across Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C., region. Both the company and the Van Metre family, through their respective foundations, have a record of community citizenship and charitable support, focusing on causes including health, poverty, veterans, education, youth, the arts and animal welfare.
May 15, 2019 / Rob Riordan