Mason has always been All Together Different.

April 7, 2022 marked 50 years from the day that Virginia Governor A. Linwood Holton signed legislation to separate George Mason College from the University of Virginia to better meet the educational needs of Northern Virginia. This signature set in motion a half-century of progress that has fueled Northern Virginia’s transformation from a bedroom community of Washington, D.C., to one of the most dynamic regions in the country.

Mason opened its first campus in Fairfax in 1964 on 150 acres from the City of Fairfax. By 1968, it graduated the first class of 52 students. By 1971 Mason was offering and awarding graduate degrees.

From left, Student Government President James Corrigan, Governor Linwood Holton Jr., Mason Chancellor Lorin A. Thompson, Mason Advisory Board President John Wood, and Student Senator Anne O'Grady.



And Mason is not slowing down

For a while, Mason carried the tagline "Where Innovation Is Tradition" because it has always done things differently. Whether it was buying a law school, creating an engineering school focused on information technology, or merging dining facilities with a library to get funding for a new building (that's the Johnson Center by the way), Mason's done what it's had to do to keep moving forward. 

Mason, at 50, is at an inflection point, as we celebrate the accomplishments that got us here and and focus on the university we are becoming, the students we are graduating, and the world we are helping to shape.


Mason Trailblazers

Celebrate Mason Trailblazers—faculty, staff, students, and alumni—who helped make a difference in our community and beyond.