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Graduation day at George Mason University. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)


George Mason University

The university named Angel Cabrera, 44, head of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, to be its fourth president. The current president, Alan G. Merten, retires in June. Merten served as university chief for 15 years and is credited with raising the stature of the institution. In 2011, the university began construction on a building in Front Royal to house the Smithsonian-Mason Global Conservation Studies Program. George Mason also looked to establish a presence in Tysons Corner.


George Mason is the first university to offer a graduate degree in biodefense.

4400 University Dr.

Fairfax Va., 22030


Founded: 1957

President: Alan G. Merten

Employees (local): 5646 (5646)

NOTE: Our methodology for the rankings.