Mason Korea welcomes President Washington

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Mason Korea was honored to host George Mason University President Gregory Washington for his inaugural visit to Mason Korea last week. President Washington’s week-long, highly intensive visit was filled with key events and meetings with the Mason Korea community and external partners.

Meet the Mason Korea Community

On the first day of the visit, Mason Korea Campus Dean Robert Matz welcomed President Washington and introduced him to the Mason Korea community.

President Washington with student leaders at Mason Korea. Photo courtesy of Mason Korea

The President held several strategic meetings with Mason Korea leaders, including Dean Matz, Dean Academic Shannon Davis, Dean of Admissions and Government Affairs Kelley Chung, Dean of Academic Life Yorgun Marcel, and Business Manager Pat Quinn .

Washington also wasted no time meeting with Mason Korea students, faculty and staff. He led town hall meetings with each group, announcing that “it’s Mason time”. He shared his vision for Mason Korea and answered questions from the audience.

Washington also had the chance to meet the growing community of Mason alumni in Korea. Alumni from Mason’s US and Korea campuses had the opportunity to meet Washington at a dinner party in Seoul.

Major University Events

During his visit, Washington welcomed all new and returning students at the 2022 Fall Convocation, which officially kicked off the new semester. He congratulated the inaugural group beginning Mason’s second half-century, urging them to work hard with full assurance that Mason is committed to supporting their journey.

people around a conference room table
Mason signed two memorandums of understanding during President Washington’s visit.

The celebrations continued with the launch of the Mason Korea Industrial-University Collaboration Foundation (IUCF) led by IUCF Director Dean Shannon Davis. “IUCF reinforces Mason Korea’s role as an active campus for research and civic engagement alongside Mason’s U.S. campuses,” Washington said at the opening ceremony.

Form new partnerships

Washington signed two memorandums of understanding on behalf of the university during his visit. The first was with NCSoft, a top game company that Mason Korea has worked closely with for the past two years. The Mason team also visited NCSoft’s headquarters.

The second MoU was reached with Hanguk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS), a top university in Seoul, whereby the two leading universities agreed to explore areas of collaboration.

Meet government and industrial partners

Washington met with executives from Samsung Biologics and toured the company’s headquarters in Songdo. He also met Samsung Biologics Sam Machour, Executive Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, Mason Korea Advisory Board Member, and generous donor impacting the lives of Mason Korea students.

washington tower and matz Songdo
President Washington visits Songdo with Dean Robert Matz

Executives from KEPCO, South Korea’s largest electric utility company, also welcomed the opportunity to meet with Washington to discuss other areas of collaboration. The president also met with senior officials from the Green Climate Fund, also headquartered in Songdo, and the US Embassy in Seoul.

Meeting with members of the American advisory board of Mason Korea

In addition to executives from Dean Matz and Mason Korea, members of Mason Korea’s US Advisory Board have accompanied Washington on a number of its engagements.

Virginia State Senator Chap Petersen, who passed the law establishing Mason Korea in 2010; Tracy Comstock; and Hyun Lee—all Mason Korea advisory board members visiting from the United States—joined some of the meetings and played a key role in garnering more support for Mason Korea.

Exploring Songdo and Incheon

Between events and meetings, President Washington enjoyed a brief tour of Songdo, the international business district that is home to Mason Korea. Washington and Matz discussed Mason Korea’s future plans while overlooking Songdo from Tower G, an iconic skyscraper in Songdo.

They also visited Heungryunsa Temple and the Memorial Hall for Incheon Landing Operation and enjoyed watching an SSG Landers baseball game with the Mason Korea community.

The highlight of the evening was student band Mason Korea SKETCH singing the Korean national anthem, led by Professor Kimberlie Fair.

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