George Mason University

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Group.png George Mason University  
(UniversitySourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
MottoFreedom and Learning
HeadquartersVirginia, USA
Type• Public
• research university
• sea grant
Sponsored byKoch family foundations, Open Philanthropy
Other namePatriots
Virginia-based university heavily Koch-funded. Notable for hosting over 40 libertarian research centers and affiliates.

George Mason University is a Virginia-based public university near Washington, D.C. A "magnet for right-wing money" [1] and heavily Koch-funded[2], it is notable for hosting over 40 libertarian research centers and affiliates including the Institute for Humane Studies and the Mercatus Center.


The university began as the Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia in 1957. In 1972 it had grown to the point where it officially separated from its parent institution.

It became a "magnet for right-wing money" during the 1990s: from 1992 through 1994, 12 libertarian foundations invested a combined total of $8.55 million in various academic programs and institutes of George Mason University. It was this funding that help establish (and continues to support) the University's unrivalled set of libertarian "study centers", which aim to recruit and support young, free-market-oriented students - typically through paid-for "study trips", seminars, and placements.

Study Centers

The most influential of George Mason University's study centers are:


In April 2016, GMU announced that the Charles Koch Foundation was contributing $10 million to its law school. This contribution came at the same time as a $20 million anonymous donation that was contingent on the school being renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law.[3]

"Since 1985, George Mason University (GMU), and its associated institutes and centers, has received more funding from the Koch Family Charitable Foundations than any other organization."[2]

Between 2011 and 2014, the Charles Koch Foundation gave $48 million to GMU, the Associated Press has calculated.[4]

The Mercatus Center is currently the main focus of right-wing and libertarian funding. Between 1999 and 2001, the Mercatus Center was the third largest recipient of conservative foundation money (a position previously held by the Institute of Humane Studies). [2]

As of April 2011, George Mason University is listed among the funders of Princeton-based Climate Central[5], though this just reflects Climate Central's subcontracting on an NSF grant to GMU's Center for Climate Change Communication.[6]


Employee on Wikispooks

Ellen LaipsonDirector of Center for Security Policy Studies2015



Koch family foundationsControlled by the billionaire Koch brothers, who finance the 'right' in US politics when they say the right things.
Open PhilanthropyGrant maker funneling deep state money among other things to pandemic planning. Financed Event 201.


Alumni on Wikispooks

Scott BennettWhistleblower
Spent 2 years in jail as a result of speaking his mind and attempting to blow the whistle on fraud and corruption inside the US war machine.
Sibel Edmonds18 January 1970Iran
Sibel Edmonds was recruited by the FBI as a translator in the wake of 9/11. She quickly turned whistleblower when she discovered security breaches, cover-ups and malpractice at numerous levels. The US government has made her "the most gagged person in the history of the United States".
Chris Edwards
Christine Fox
Hala Gorani1 March 1970USJournalist
Deborah Hersman7 May 1970BureaucracyInvestigated collision of two Washington Metro trains and over 25 major transportation incidents.
Zachary Petrizzo1999USPropagandist"Conservative activist turned leftist propagandist". Very suspect.
Steve RicchettiLobbyistCounselor to President Biden, lobbyist
Karl Rove25 December 1950Deep politician"That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."


  2. a b quote=Since 1985, George Mason University (GMU), and its associated institutes and centers, has received more funding from the Koch Family Charitable Foundations than any other organization--a total of $29,604,354. The George Mason University Foundation has received the most funding, $20,297,143, while the Institute for Humane Studies has been directly given $3,111,457, the Mercatus Center $1,442,000, and George Mason University itself has received $4,753,754.
  3. Lee Fang, "Law School Sells Naming Rights to Secretive Antonin Scalia Fan," The Intercept, April 1, 2016.
  4. Matthew Barakat, "George Mason University becomes a favorite of Charles Koch," Associated Press, April 1, 2016.
  6. Ben Strauss email 2011-04-11; see reference on Climate Central page for detail.
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