Press Club

GMU holding events this week celebrating its 50th anniversary and $250 million Arlington expansion

George Mason University is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the Arlington’s campus $250 million expansion this week with a concert, a new photo exhibit, and groundbreaking.

Beginning today (Monday), the Northern Virginia-based university will be hosting a week full of events at its Arlington campus in Virginia Square on Fairfax Drive, now known as Mason Square, culminating with an outdoor concert from a local cover band on Friday night.

There is a new photo exhibit opening in Van Metre Hall tomorrow called “Profiles of Arlington” that recognizes those “who are working to impact their community, their region, and the world.”

On Wednesday, there’s set to be an official groundbreaking ceremony for the quarter of a billion dollar expansion of George Mason’s Arlington footprint. That includes the 400,000 square-foot building set to be the centerpiece of the efforts, which is being called Fuse at Mason Square.

The building will house faculty from the Institute for Digital InnovAtion as well as the university’s new School of Computing. There will also be an atrium, 750-seat theater, a public plaza, and a below-grade parking garage. The building is estimated to be completed in the summer of 2025.

While construction actually started at the beginning of the year, Wednesday’s ceremony may include some news. The university previously said it would occupy about 60% of the space with the remaining 40% likely being leased to private companies.

The groundbreaking ceremony press release promises an “announcement of a landmark tenant.”

Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol and Virginia’s Secretary of Education Aimee Rogstad are both scheduled to be in attendance at the groundbreaking.

Thursday marks GMU’s 50th anniversary. The university officially broke off from the University of Virginia and became independent on April 7, 1972.

Then, on Friday, Mason Square will host an outdoor concert event featuring the David Thong Band which will play cover songs from across the decades. The event asks attendees to “dress your favorite decade,” with the best costume winning a prize.

Virginia Square-based Rocklands BBQ, Shrlington’s New District Brewery, and Captain Cookie & the Milkman (which is opening an outpost in Courthouse this spring) will also be there selling food and drinks.

The event is free.

Next week, noted philosopher Cornel West is set to speak at GMU’s Arlington campus about the current state of American democracy, human rights, and critical race theory.

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