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George Mason University Receives $1 Million Gift from Barnes & Noble for Athletics and University Programs

Dec. 11, 2008

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FAIRFAX, Va., — George Mason University today announced the receipt of a $1 million gift from Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, Inc. The funds are specifically designated, with $590,000 going toward the Basketball Practice Facility Construction Fund and $140,000 for Intercollegiate Athletic Scholarships. The remaining $270,000 will support the University Life Fund, the Undergraduate Research Fund and Fall for the Book, Northern Virginia's oldest celebration of the literary arts.

"Barnes & Noble has once again proven itself an exemplary partner," said Alan G. Merten, president of George Mason University. "The company already enhances our campus community through the services they offer our students and faculty, and this investment represents a significant new facet of our relationship. We sincerely thank Barnes & Noble for this generous gift."

Barnes & Noble has played a central role at George Mason University for nearly a decade. Since 1999, they have been a prime example of how a large corporation can become a seamless partner with a university by providing outstanding services and products to the Mason community through its campus bookstores. This was illustrated in March 2006, when the Mason Men's Basketball Team made an exciting run to the NCAA Final Four. Barnes & Noble had a huge demand for Mason gear, and they immediately decided to keep the bookstores open as long as someone was in line, helping build school spirit.

"As an integral part of the Mason community, we feel it is a privilege to contribute to the growth of Mason's academic and athletic programs," says Hil Estock, vice president of stores and campus relations for Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. "Scholarships are a vital resource for students who might not otherwise be able to pursue a college education. Our increased support of Fall for the Book illustrates our commitment to promoting literacy and the value of a good book. We are also excited to help Mason build a much-needed basketball practice facility and academic center."

The Basketball Practice Facility and Academic Center that the gift supports will be a place for the Patriots men's and women's basketball teams to practice and learn to be champions both on and off the court. The new facility is to be built adjacent to the current Patriot Center and will consist of a full-length basketball court, a training room, a weight room, locker rooms, offices and an academic center for all of Mason's more than 400 student-athletes. This facility will help Mason attract and retain the best coaches and student-athletes in the Colonial Athletic Association.

About George Mason University
Named the #1 national university to watch by U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in the heart of Northern Virginia's technology corridor near Washington, D.C., Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, dance, organizational psychology and health care, Mason students are routinely recognized with national and international scholarships. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason's Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage.

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