From 17 students to the largest public research university in Virginia.

In 1957, Mason was started as a branch campus of the University of Virginia. The school consisted of a single building and 17 students. Fifteen years later, on April 7, 1972, then-Governor A. Linwood Holton signed legislation to separate George Mason College from the University of Virginia. George Mason University was born, officially starting a now more than 50-year journey of acceleration and growth. We have grown to more than 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Our commitment to serving our students, community and the world is having a measurable impact.

But let’s take a moment to step back, take a breath, and highlight some of the defining events in Mason’s history.