Changing Lives: the Lynch Family

A Home for Peace

Throughout their lives, Edwin W. Lynch and his wife, Helen, were among George Mason University’s longest-standing and most generous benefactors. Edwin was a real estate developer, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and a recipient of the university's highest honor, the George Mason Medal. His personal commitment to peacebuilding helped establish  Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; the family's legacy continues to this day, and it promises to change lives for decades to come.

The Lynches endowed the school’s first chair and an annual lecture series in memory of Edwin’s parents, Vernon and Minnie Lynch. They later created the John W. Burton Endowment, named for one of the school’s early directors. Their most significant contributions was the donation of their home, Point of View, and its contiguous 120 acres to create a conference and retreat center for the school.

Located in a wooded setting in Mason Neck, Virginia (not far from Gunston Hall, the historic home of the university's namesake), construction of the new academic center at Point of View is now complete. As the only venue in the National Capital Region specifically devoted to conflict resolution, the facility fills a vital need.

“Point of View is extraordinary in its capacity to facilitate and sustain the practice of conflict resolution in a place of natural beauty and serenity,” says Kevin Arvuch, the school’s dean. We are grateful to the Lynch family, who so believed in the mission of conflict resolution and peacebuilding that they entrusted us with their home.”

Reprinted from Spirit magazine, spring 2016.