ICAR Grant Funds Conference Center Director Position

Posted: May 31, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

A $1 million grant from the Rice Family Foundation marks an important step toward the International Conference and Retreat Center planned by the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR). The four-year foundation grant will enable ICAR to create and endow the Henry Hart Rice Chair for Conflict Resolution, which will be held by the director of the planned center.

This grant to ICAR is the first from the Rice Family Foundation to George Mason University. The late Henry Hart Rice was a New York real estate broker who was skilled in bringing people together to help them negotiate their differences. In the 1960s, he became interested in international issues, and through his philanthropy sought to promote understanding and improve difficult relationships.

In the future, part of ICAR’s work will take place at the International Conference and Retreat Center. The center will provide a place for retreats and research, as well as meetings between parties in conflict to work out racial, religious, gender, political, or other divisive issues. Last year, Edwin and Helen Lynch, longtime benefactors of the university, donated their 39-acre Mason Neck property called Point of View to serve as the location of the center.

“We will make the site accessible to other parts of the university,” says Sandra Cheldelin, director of ICAR. “We hope the business community might also want to use it, as well as state and federal agencies. Plans call for state-of-the-art communications equipment wired to the rest of the world, which will enable us to bring people into conferences without physically having them there. The overall vision, however, is for a low-profile, quiet place.”

See the full story in the May issue of the Mason Gazette.

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