George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Major Donors

Concentrated Support Fuels Volgenau's Growth

Some special donors have helped Volgenau become the engineering education powerhouse it is today. Their vision and generosity continue to help us reach our goals. We'd love for you to join them.

Sid Dewberry shakes hands

Sid Dewberry

Sid and Reva Dewberry

Sid and Reva Dewberry's motivation for the gift of $1 million to the Volgeneau School of Engineering was a department with first-class research and education in civil engineering. In honor of this generous donation, the department of Civil Engineering at George Mason now bears their names.

 "It was a pleasure for my wife and me to provide this gift to the university that will help build a first-class research and teaching civil and environmental engineering department," Dewberry said.

The fund is used to support the school's Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering(CEIE) Department. In recognition of the gift, the department was renamed the Sid and Reva Dewberry Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. This is the first department at the university to be named for a donor.

"George Mason University has quickly become one of the many universities across the country that is providing the necessary education and training for future civil engineers."

Sid Dewberry

Dewberry, who has a long history with Mason, played a key role in developing VSE's Civil Engineering Department and founded the Civil Engineering Institute, which supports the university's specialized programs in advanced urban systems planning and design. His ongoing commitment to the university is evident by his position as Rector Emeritus of Mason's Board of Visitors, as well as a member of the George Mason University Foundation. Dewberry is also the founder and chairman of the Dewberry Companies. From the time he was a young civil engineer and land surveyor in the 1950s.

The Dewberrys' gift funded a new civil engineering laboratory, completed in fall 2012. The lab supplements classroom learning with hands-on training in hydraulics, geotechnical and environmental engineering and the behavior of structural materials. Beyond the benefits associated with the laboratory, the gift also affects VSE's undergraduate and graduate programs.

The funds will also be instrumental in recruiting, retaining, and promoting excellent faculty and outstanding graduate students.


 

Long and Kimmy Nguyen applaud

Long and Kimmy Nguyen

Long and Kimmy Nguyen

The Volgeneau School of Engineering officially named its new state-of-the-art engineering building in honor of the generous $5 million dollar gift from Northern Virginia businessman, Long Nguyen and his wife Kimmy in 2009.

The Nguyen Engineering Building is part of the Volgenau School of Engineering continued endeavor to provide cutting-edge research and education facilities for a new generation of IT and computer engineers.

Long Nguyen, who is originally from Vietnam, credits Northern Virginia with his success and has adopted the area as home. In 1985, Nguyen left a teaching position at Georgetown University and established Pragmatics, an information technology solutions company, headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Nguyen also served on Mason's Board of Visitors.

"We believe very strongly in education and chose to bestow this gift upon George Mason University because of our commitment to its future."

Long Nguyen

"My family and I are extremely grateful for the opportunities and freedom we've been afforded since immigrating to the United States," said Nguyen. "We believe very strongly in education and chose to bestow this gift upon George Mason University because of our commitment to its future."

The demand for IT professionals, computer scientists, and engineers continues to grow, particularly in Northern Virginia area. VSE is meeting this need thanks to the cutting-edge research and educational facilities provided in the Long and Kimmy Nguyen Building. Their generosity plays an important and valuable role in our school's future.

The gift supports the school's expanding programs and ensures its ability to recruit and retain world-class faculty and attract energetic, talented, and creative students. The building, which formally opened its doors in the fall of 2009, contains more than 180,000 square feet of classroom, research and office space. As such, it is the largest academic building on Mason's Fairfax Campus. It is also Mason's first LEED-certified green building.


 

Ernst Volgenau signs a document

Ernst Volgenau

Ernst and Sarah Volgenau

In 2005, the School of Information Technology and Engineering (now the Volgenau School of Engineering) at George Mason University celebrated its 20th anniversary and announced $10 million gift from Ernst and Sara Volgenau. The gift was the largest individual contribution in the history of the university, and kicked-off the newly named school's $20 million fund-raising campaign.

"Because of the number of technology companies in this region, Northern Virginia needs a first-class teaching and research university in the study of science and engineering," said Volgenau. "My wife, Sara, and I decided to invest in the school because we believe capable Mason faculty and administrators are creating that first-class learning environment. We are honored to be a part of this effort."

"Because of the number of technology companies in this region, Northern Virginia needs a first-class teaching and research university in the study of science and engineering. My wife, Sara, and I decided to invest in the school because we believe capable Mason faculty and administrators are creating that first-class learning environment. We are honored to be a part of this effort."

Ernst Volgenau

A distinguished professor of information technology and engineering, Volgenau is the chairman of SRA, a leading provider of information technology services to clients in national security, civil government, health care, and public health organizations.

The Volgenau gift enabled the school to make strategic investments in critical areas of study such as biotechnology, knowledge management, and information security. The additional funds raised during the campaign were used to help finance the construction of a new building to house all of the school's academic and research programs.


 

For more information about becoming a donor or making a gift, contact Director of Advancement & Alumni Relations Linda Kovac at 703-993-9375.​​

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