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Strategic Giving to Support the Region’s Evolving Economy

Beautiful early June weather, an informal backyard setting, and the enthusiasm of dozens of friends and business colleagues made for a memorable evening at a reception hosted by Mason supporters Nicole and Harry Geller on June 7 at their home in McLean, Va.

Guests gathered around the patio to hear an update on the progress of the university’s Faster Farther campaign, along with a briefing on two academic-program initiatives that are especially important to the Northern Virginia region: cybersecurity and government contracting.

Dean Ken Ball, Associate Professor Paulo Costa, and Associate Professor Jim Jones, all from the Volgenau School of Engineering, spoke about Mason’s top–10 ranked expertise in cybersecurity education and research. Professor John Hillen of the School of Business, an accomplished CEO and former assistant U.S. secretary of state, discussed Mason’s government contracting initiative. The GovCon market employs about one of every six professionals in the region, including some 10,000 Mason alumni.

Host Nicole Geller, BS Economics ‘86, summed up the evolution of the university this way: “Those of us in this region think of Mason as the local university. But with the exponential growth we’ve had at Mason, it’s a global university now.” Ms. Geller is the founder and CEO of GCS, Inc., a government-acquisition and program-management provider, and a member of the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees. Her spouse is a self-described “serial entrepreneur” and a business faculty member at the University of Maryland.

The reception was one in a series of “Mason Matters” events being hosted throughout 2016 by members of the Board of Trustees and other friends of Mason to promote giving to Faster Farther, the university’s comprehensive $500 million campaign. Guests who braved rush-hour traffic to arrive in McLean were rewarded with specialty margaritas and a fiesta-themed menu (and departed raving about the delicious mini-cupcakes, which came in piña colada, margarita, and chipotle chocolate flavors!).

Giving Opportunities

Gift opportunities at many levels, including naming opportunities, are available with the School of Business and the Volgenau School of Engineering. Gifts of any amount support our students and faculty—while also helping to secure the region’s 21st-century economy.

  • To support Mason’s cybersecurity engineering program, click here or contact Director of Advancement Linda Kovac at 703-993-9375 (or lkovac@gmu.edu).
  • To support Mason’s Government Contracting Initiative, click here or contact Director of Development Eleanor Weis at 703-993-2412 (or eweis2@gmu.edu).

June 8, 2016 / RR