Today, Amazon announced that it will establish a second headquarters in Arlington. This is great news for Virginia, the greater Washington region and our university. I am proud to have worked with the Governor, his team and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to make it happen and I’m grateful to all the members of our team who worked so diligently on an exciting proposal and supported the process in many ways.
Amazon’s investment in Northern Virginia is projected to create 25,000 high-paying jobs, perhaps the largest economic development event in the history of our region. It will also help consolidate greater Washington and Northern Virginia as a leading national and global hub for information technology.
As announced by the Governor today, the Commonwealth will make major investments in transportation and higher education. Investments will allow many of our sister universities across Virginia to expand computer science programs and Virginia Tech to build a new campus in Northern Virginia. We look forward to working with all of them to advance Virginia’s competitive position as a global leader in information technology.
On our side, as Virginia’s largest and fastest-growing research university and our region’s leading source of talent, we stand ready to help Amazon be successful while continuing to serve the needs of all existing employers.
Our Arlington Campus, which occupies 1.2 million square feet near the new Amazon HQ, already enrolls more than 2,500 graduate students and faculty in public policy, law and business. The university will invest more than $250 million to expand the campus with a new School of Computing and the Institute for Digital InnovAtion.
Together with additional investments from the Commonwealth and other sources, the two initiatives will help triple our enrollment in computing-related majors to more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students by 2024. At the same time, the Institute for Digital InnovAtion will serve as an incubator of ideas and entrepreneurship, allowing faculty and students to engage with the public and private sector. This is where the Amazons of the future will begin.
The timing of this announcement couldn’t be better for Mason. Our strategic plan is delivering results, and we are about to complete our Faster Farther campaign well ahead of our goals. New investments in the context of the Amazon decision will help establish Mason among the nation’s leading research universities and as an example of access to excellence.
None of this would be possible without the hard work of our faculty and staff and the support of our friends, supporters and partners. Thank you all. This is a win for Mason, the region and the Commonwealth.