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

Posted: December 11, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By John Blacksten

Mason has received a $1 million gift from Barnes & Noble College Booksellers Inc. A portion of the funds, $590,000, will go toward the Basketball Practice Facility Construction Fund, and $140,000 will fund 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,” says Mason President Alan Merten.

“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 Mason for nearly a decade and has been a prime example of how a large corporation can become a seamless partner with a university. Since 1999, Barnes & Noble has provided 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. A huge demand for Mason gear developed, and Barnes & Noble immediately decided to keep the bookstores open as long as someone was in line, helping to 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, to be built adjacent to the current Patriot Center, 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.

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