Spreading Well-Being

The late Donald and Nancy de Laski wanted the world to understand how mindfulness and living a purposeful life could be transformative. For this reason, the couple made a $10 million gift through their family foundation that created the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University.

Six years after the landmark gift, the center embodies the de Laskis’ dream as it undertakes its largest initiative, making George Mason the first well-being university. With every student, faculty, and staff member at Mason committed to learning how to live a more meaningful life, we can’t help but achieve the de Laskis’ goal. Everyone who passes through Mason’s campuses will take what they have learned out into the world and spread the message.

The Well-Being University Initiative is one that is pure Mason: an interesting idea that was nurtured, becoming something that has the potential to set this university apart from its peer institutions. It is also the perfect example of the power of donor impact at Mason. Without the de Laskis’ vision for a world where everyone can live a meaningful life, the center might not have come to fruition. Without the center, Mason would not undertake the Well-Being University Initiative. Without that initiative, the impact our students and faculty make on the world around them would look very different.

I thank the de Laski family for entrusting us with their dream and for the support that made it a reality. Each of you has the opportunity to play a part in Mason’s next world-changing initiative, whatever that may be. It’s as simple as getting involved at Mason today, in whatever area sparks your imagination. It’s the key to leading a meaningful life.

Thank you for all you do.


Janet E. Bingham, PhD
Vice President, Advancement and Alumni Relations
President, George Mason University Foundation

Winter 2016 / reprinted from Spirit, the magazine for the George Mason University community