President's Blog

2012-13: A year in review

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 3.20.54 PMHad you told me when I arrived at George Mason University that so much of real significance would be accomplished and so much progress would be made in the space of one year, I wouldn’t have believed it. Looking over this annual report of George Mason, I am amazed, excited, and so very proud to see how much your university has delivered. I think you will be, too.

Without going into all the achieve­ments in this report, I would like to reflect on the core themes that run through these activities—themes that will continue into the next year and beyond. A major university priority during the past year was developing a new vision. Literally thousands of people within the university and in our larger community contributed to this effort, and there is widespread support for this foundation for future planning, which we developed and which our Board of Visitors approved.

Out of this process, we discovered the Mason IDEA, a set of core strengths and characteristics that define who we are as a university: innovative, diverse, entrepreneurial, and accessible. Because we are accessible, we bring together one of the most diverse, talented academic communities anywhere. Diversity of perspectives and approaches in turn fuels innovation and breeds ideas. New ideas nurture our enterprising spirit and inspire action. Actions help shape our world for the better. Almost everything we do at Mason can be tied to IDEA.

Our new vision lays out our values and commitments for the future. It describes a university devoted to relentlessly exploring innovative ways to help students grow while at the same time expanding its research. It paints a university committed to enriching its community economically and culturally while it builds strong bridges with the world. These commit­ments are mutually supportive. Our research opens up endless opportunities for learning for our students, it contri­butes to the economic dynamism of our region, and it helps us find solutions to some of today’s most complex problems. Our global connections enrich our community by preparing our students to engage in an inter­connected marketplace and by bringing talent to our community from around the world.

As you will see in this report, Mason is already delivering results in each of these areas and is receiving impressive accolades for our innovative approaches.
But we aspire to do much more and I have no doubt that, with the support and partnership of our entire commu­nity, we will. Many of our initiatives are the result of ideas and opportunities brought to us by leaders in our commu­nity, alumni, and friends. We rely heavily on their ideas and their giving. Their generosity has paved the way for us to offer new scholarships for talented stu­dents, new endowed faculty chairs, and new facilities to enhance learning and
support our research. We will continue to demonstrate the great investment that Mason is. And we invite you to join us in this journey.

There is much more to talk about, and many more exciting things lie ahead for George Mason University. This report gives you only a taste of things to come!