George Mason University

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Mason’s MIX will spur innovation

September 25, 2017

Fairfax, Va. – The MIX will make its official debut on Wednesday when George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera joins Virginia’s Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson, regional business leaders and members of the campus and community to celebrate the grand opening of the new, student-centered collaboration and event space.

Conveniently situated at the heart of Mason’s Fairfax campus, the 14,000-square-foot facility is a place where student innovation and experimentation come to life on a daily basis. The building, which was erected in 1967 as the university’s original library, features ample space for co-working, multi-disciplinary collaboration and experiential learning with more than 90 tabletop surfaces and an array of different work stations, including 3-D printers, vinyl cutting machines and heat presses.

“It’s all about collaboration,” said Sean Mallon, Mason’s associate vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation. “We want the MIX to be a place where creative and innovative collisions happen every day.”

The event, which begins at 4 p.m., is also a kickoff celebration for “Growth4VA,” a larger statewide campaign to show how universities and colleges support Virginia’s economy. Mason has joined the campaign with other public universities to share the value of higher education with lawmakers, businesses and the general public.

The MIX is an example of how universities support the state’s economy through innovation, discovery and job growth. Mason is the latest in a growing number of schools seeking to transform open work areas into a 21st century collaboration hub, joining the likes of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, George Washington, New York University and others. The idea is to encourage students to develop their entrepreneurial, problem-solving and collaboration skills by working together.

The MIX launched this summer when it hosted the inaugural Mason Summer Entrepreneurship Accelerator (MSEA) program, but the grand opening was scheduled for September to allow more students and faculty to attend, Mallon said.

Throughout the year, the MIX will host dozens of university-sponsored events, with a focus on multi-disciplinary and collaborative activities that bring together multiple stakeholder groups. It will host events and programs aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and innovation at Mason, in the Washington, D.C. area and beyond.

“It’s an open space for everybody,” Mallon said. “It doesn’t belong to any one unit within the university. It’s a university resource, much like the library is a university resource.”

About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 35,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at