Fairfax Earns High Marks for GMU Campus
The year: 2006. The venue: Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The stakes: A chance to go to the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. Somehow, unheralded George Mason University, totally devoid of national basketball cachet, pulls off one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history, beating powerhouse and two-time NCAA champion Connecticut. They were going to the Final Four … where they promptly got stomped by the University of Florida, ending their Cinderella story. Still, here was this little-known school from Fairfax, Va., that made the leap to which every program, let alone a lowly mid-major, aspires. Wow. That’s an accomplishment.
It shown a bright light on George Mason University, giving it some of the best exposure the school has ever had. Today, I doubt anyone involved with the team, or its fans, can forget that ride, but there’s more to Mason than that magical succession of games in the 2006 tournament.
George Mason University was founded a relatively short time ago in 1972 and since then has grown into a respected Virginia institution, offering a combined 186 degrees (71 undergraduate, 114 graduate and one law degree). Though the main campus is in Fairfax, the school has three others – Arlington, Prince William County and Loudoun County. If you go to school or work here, renting in Fairfax would be ideal.
As of the fall semester in 2008, the school had a full-time enrollment of 17,996 and a total enrollment (including part-time students) of 32,067. In fact, The Princeton Review ranked it one of America’s 100 “Best Value” public colleges for 2009. The renter in Fairfax would do well to keep an eye out for the national and international entertainment acts that perform at the school’s Patriot Center. In fact, I saw Liz Phair there back in the late-’90s during her tour for the underrated “Whitechocolatespaceegg” album, opening for, well, let’s just not get into that right now.
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