George Mason University (often referred to as GMU or Mason) is a public university based in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, south of and adjacent to the city of Fairfax. Additional campuses are located nearby in Arlington County, Prince William County, and Loudoun County. The university's motto is Freedom and Learning while its slogan or tagline is Where Innovation Is Tradition. Named after American revolutionary, patriot, and founding father George Mason, the university was founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1957 and became an independent institution in 1972. Today, Mason is recognized for its strong programs in economics, law, creative writing, computer science, and business. In recent years, George Mason faculty have twice won the Nobel Prize in Economics. The university enrolls over 32,500 students, making it the largest university by head count in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
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