A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

What Does It Mean to Be a Patriot?

By Colleen Kearney Rich on March 15, 2022


George Mason University president Gregory Washington first posed this question in his first letter to alumni in the Summer 2020 issue of the Mason Spirit.

“By definition, it is an expressed feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to a particular place or way of life. There is so much more to being a patriot than the physical defense of our country, and here at Mason, we have a more expansive, more inclusive approach to patriotism,” he wrote.

He suggested we “not deny the contradictions in our history, our community, and our own lives but…instead face them, embrace them, and grow honestly through them.”

We asked the Mason Nation through email and social media what it means to them to be a Patriot.

This is what they told us.


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