The Mason Spirit: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of George Mason University George Mason University

The Decades

With its Old Skool theme, this year's Homecoming is all about reminiscing over the good old days. We will celebrate each of Mason's decades throughout Homecoming week. So unearth that pet rock, pull out your favorite John Hughes video, check out the Homecoming web site at, and remember the way we were.


 Homecoming 2005


Number of Students: 356
Number of Buildings: 4 on one campus
Number of Degree Programs: 2 (certificate)
In-state Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: $11 per semester hour
Number of Students Living on Campus: 0
Number of Graduates:
Mason President: Robert Reid

Graduate programs would be offered in the fall of 1970 with the first graduate degrees awarded at Commencement in 1971.

By 1970 the campus would grow to 572 acres from the original 150 purchased by the City of Fairfax and donated to the University of Virginia for a branch campus.

U.S. President: Lyndon Johnson
Academy Award Best Picture: My Fair Lady
Nobel Peace Prize Winner: Martin Luther King Jr., United States
Super Bowl Winner:




Number of Students: 6,134
Number of Buildings: 17 on two campuses
Number of Degree Programs: 50
In-state Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: $630/year
Number of Students Living on Campus: 0
Number of Graduates: 852
Mason President: Vergil Dykstra
Mason Day Bands:

In 1972, the college acquired the former Fairfax High School (now Pope Paul VI High School) on Lee Highway. The facility was known as the North Campus.

In 1972, the General Assembly passed legislation making the college an independent institution under the name George Mason University.

New buildings included Clarence Robinson Hall, an addition to the Student Union, and the five-story tower addition to the Charles Rogers Fenwick Library. Construction on an addition to Robinson Hall was about to begin, and planning for an additional tower for the library was under way. The second library tower never came to be.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia refused to allow a law school at Mason, but a law school was later established at the Arlington Campus in 1979.

The number of minority students was barely 1 percent of the total student population.

U.S. President: Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford
Academy Award Best Picture: The Godfather, Part II
Super Bowl Winner: Miami Dolphins




Number of Students: 14,545
Number of Buildings: 26 on two campuses
Number of Degree Programs: 90
In-state Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: $1,512/year
Number of Students Living on Campus: 1,000
Number of Graduates: 2,085
Mason President: George Johnson
Mason Day Bands: LSQ, Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers, and The Slickee Boys

The Patriot Center and Humanities Complex (Performing Arts Building) were under construction and scheduled to open in 1985 and 1986, respectively.

The Fairfax Campus was still called the Main Campus.

The Center for Study of Public Choice was created.

Carolyn Kreiter-Kurylo became the first doctoral graduate in 1983 from the Doctor of Arts in Education Program. The late Clarence J. Robinson, Alexandria banker, businessman, and philanthropist, left $5 million dollars to Mason that established the Robinson Professors appointments.

U.S. President: Ronald Reagan
Academy Award Best Picture: Amadeus
Super Bowl Winner: Los Angeles Raiders




Number of Students: 21,774
Number of Buildings: 61 on two campuses
Number of Degree Programs: 104
In-state Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: $4,044/year
Number of Students Living on Campus: 2,499
Number of Graduates: 4,483
Mason President: George Johnson
Mason Day Bands: The Gap Band, Shoelace Soup, and Image Band

The doctoral program in cultural studies was established.

A contest was held to rename the new Zero-Based Curriculum Program. The program, renamed New Century College, began admitting students in fall 1995.

Faculty, staff, and students were eagerly awaiting the construction of the University Center (the Johnson Center).

Astronaut Pierre Thuot took a reproduction of the university's seal with him into space on the space shuttle Columbia.

U.S. President: Bill Clinton
Academy Award Best Picture: Forrest Gump
Nobel Peace Prize Winner: Yasser Arafat, Palestine; Shimon Peres, Israel; and Yitzhak Rabin, Israel
Super Bowl Winner: Dallas Cowboys




Number of Students: 28,874
Number of Buildings: 124 on three campuses
Number of Degree Programs: 144
In-state Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: $5,448/year
Number of Students Living on Campus: 3,921
Number of Graduates: 5,918
Mason President: Alan Merten
Mason Day Bands: Nini Camps, Black Market, Honeychuck, RPM, The Graham Colton Band, and Guster

Mason begins fall semester with the largest student body in the state of Virginia.

Students registered for classes via web registration through the Patriot Web. It was the first time registration was conducted solely online.

Mason was ranked #1 in diversity by Princeton Review.

Ike's, a late night eatery, opened in the Eisenhower Commons and immediately became a "hot spot" on campus.

U.S. President: George W. Bush
Academy Award Best Picture: 0
Super Bowl Winner: New England Patriots