George Mason University
George Mason University's main campus (called Fairfax Campus) is located in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the suburbs of the Washington DC. There are other campuses in Arlington County, Prince William County, and Loudoun County.
The school is recognized for its strong academic programs in economics, law, creative writing, computer science, and business. In recent years, two faculty members have won the Economic Nobel Price (Vernon Lomax Smith and James McGill Buchanan, Jr). With around 33,320 students this campus has more students than any other university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The History Of George Mason University
George Mason University was initially a branch of the University of Virginia in Northern Virginia. It opened it doors to 17 students in 1957 in a renovated elementary school.
Fairfax County bought and donated 150 acres to University of Virginia's new college site. This became known as Fairfax Campus. In 1959, University of Virginia officially named the college George Mason College of the University of Virginia.
The construction of the Fairfax Campus was started in early 1960 and by 1964 the college welcomed 365 freshman students. In 1966, local jurisdictions agreed to donate $3 million and purchase more land adjacent to the college. The plan was to turn the college into a regional university.
In 1972, the Virginia General Assembly voted to separate George Mason College from University of Virginia and renamed it to George Mason University. Then in 1978, the Virginia General Assembly authorized the founding of The George Mason University Of Law School in Arlington, Virginia. The Law School received a provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association in 1980, and received a full approval in 1986.
In the 1990s, a new campus opened near Manassas, Virginia. This became known as the Prince William campus.
Although one of the youngest universities in Virginia, George Mason University has grown very rapidly to the current enrollment of 33,320.
The Fairfax Campus
The main campus is the Fairfax Campus and it is the only one that has on-campus housing for about 5,400 students. George Mason is still known more as a commuter university as the majority of the students live off campus. Some students from the area continue to live with their parents while going to college. Others find rooms to rent with local families, or rent a house or apartment.
There is a huge part of the student body who are working full time and continuing to pursue a degree in graduate school. It is very common to find listings of students needing a roommate to split the rent with.
The center of Fairfax Campus is The Johnson Center (often referred to as The JC by students). It acts as both a library and student union. The ground floor has a buffet style restaurant, a radio studio (WGMU) and a 300 seat theater. The main floor has the campus bookstore, the ground floor entry to the library, and food court consisting of several fast food restaurants. The second and third floor is used by the library, having meeting rooms, computer labs, and the third floor has a restaurant named George's.
The Patriot Center is a 10,000 seat arena where both the women's and men's basketball teams play. There are also over 100 concerts performed here through out the year.
The main research library on campus is the Fenwick library. They have most of the university's books, microfilms, print and bound journals, government documents, maps, and a variety of other research material. George Mason University is part of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, granting it access to resources of thirteen other libraries in the District of Columbia.
George Mason University is currently finishing a lot of construction on new buildings and renovating older buildings. Not only is the campus growing, but the strength of the academic programs is progressing very well. In 2012, George Mason University was named #1 on the "Up and Coming Schools" by The US News.
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