Campus

$10 Million Gift from Dwight Schar Will Support Mason’s Efforts to Advance Policy and Public Service

Policy school to be renamed the Schar School of Policy and Government

May 5, 2016 — George Mason University announced today that businessman and philanthropist Dwight C. Schar has pledged $10 million to the university’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. Schar is known in the greater Washington metropolitan area for founding and leading NVR, Inc., the region’s largest residential homebuilder.

In recognition of this gift, Mr. Schar’s many prior contributions, and his stated long-term commitment to the school, the Board of Visitors approved the naming of the school in his honor. The school, which educates some 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year, will be known as the Schar School of Policy and Government.

“I am grateful to Dwight for his support over the years. Dwight is a visionary builder and philanthropist who has already made a lasting name by improving the quality of life across the Northern Virginia region through his business and his philanthropy,” said George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera.

“Mason has steadily grown its influence in the world of policy and government, showing Northern Virginia can be both a starting point and a destination for people who want to serve and make a difference,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “Nobody gets that better than Dwight Schar, a driving force for the regional economy and a strong and valued supporter of the Commonwealth. Dwight is truly an inspirational advocate for education, and this gift ensures his legacy will endure.”

Schar and his wife Martha have been long-time supporters of the university. They established an endowed faculty chair for the public policy school in 2002 and have provided significant support for the school’s Center for Regional Analysis over the years. Schar served on the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees from 1986 through 1998, and received the George Mason Medal, the university’s highest honor, in 2003. His daughter, Tracy Schar, earned her bachelor’s degree from Mason in 1984 and is a current member of the university’s Board of Visitors.

“This gift acknowledges the successes already achieved by Mason’s public policy school, and it signals our expectation that its great history is only the beginning,” said Schar. “But this is more than rhetoric; it is based on a palpable shared feeling among students, faculty, and school leadership that something very exciting is happening here. This is not the end of the road. I look forward to having a long-term relationship with the school and watching it grow and thrive.”

The $10 million gift, which is one of the largest in the university’s history, will be used to institute the programs and support the culture that will merit wide recognition as one of the great schools of its kind in the world, explained Cabrera.

“Dwight Schar’s gift will help bring the increased international acclaim the school so richly deserves. We anticipate a fruitful and ongoing relationship as we work to make the Schar School a world leader,” Cabrera added.

Schar’s $10 million gift represents another significant boost to the university’s Faster Farther comprehensive campaign goal of $500 million, which supports Mason’s campuses in Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William along with more than 6,500 faculty and staff and nearly 34,000 students.

The university’s Board of Visitors approved the renaming of the school at its May 5 meeting. Formal approval of the new name is also required from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).