Giving

Changing Lives: The Peterson Family

Building Communities, Not Just Buildings

The Peterson Companies, founded by Milt Peterson, has spearheaded high-profile real estate ventures from Fairfax Corner to Silver Spring to National Harbor. The real value, according to the family behind the company, isn’t the properties they develop—it’s the people who live here. That philosophy drives the Peterson Family Foundation to give back to the Northern Virginia community with extraordinary generosity.

Early on, the Petersons envisioned the value a university could bring to Northern Virginia and were among George Mason University’s first champions. Today, they continue to make a difference at Mason, having given generously over decades in support of academics, the arts, and athletics.


Milt and Carolyn Peterson and their family celebrating the groundbreaking for the Peterson Family Health Sciences Hall. Photo by Alexis Glenn/George Mason University

In June, the family again decided to change lives at Mason by providing $10 million to support the new academic building for the College of Health and Human Services, as well as funding for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The ripple effect of this gift will be felt far and wide for generations—not only by Mason students but by the communities those students will serve.

Because of the Petersons, community members will receive the best health care. Artists will enrich our communities. Students will earn the education they need to build a career and a life.

Reprinted from Spirit magazine, Fall 2015