We took Espen to his orientation at George Mason. It is a fast growing up-and-coming place and the orientation reflected that. Mariza’s orientation at the University of Virginia was all about tradition. In case anybody didn’t know, they reminded us that Thomas Jefferson founded the place and we heard a lot about the famous things and people associated with the University of Virginia. Not so George Mason. It is a young institution with more future than past.
George Mason University was founded in 1957 as a branch of the University of Virginia, designed to soak up some of the students in growing Northern Virginia and was mostly a commuter and part timer school for a long time. It became an independent institution in 1972 and was named after George Mason because he lived in the neighborhood a couple hundred years ago; there is no other connection besides the statue below and the name.
It has improved a lot and benefits from its primo location in the Washington metro area. Today it is is strong in applied science, economics and law with more than 30,000 students.
Espen is majoring in computer engineering. The dean made a very good presentation, but he had an easy hand to play. Evidently the graduates of the engineering school don’t have very much trouble in the job market and there are lots of opportunities with local firms. The current economic downturn will probably be over by the time Espen graduates.
One of his colleagues in the department is called Phuc Dang. Tough name to have, but I suppose it is memorable and maybe useful for a guy who works with computers. You don’t have to tell people which technician to call. When your computer crashes, just say “Phuc!” followed if you want by “Dang” and help is on the way.
Above is one of the original boundary stones of the District of Columbia. It is now well into Virginia. I don’t know the exact sequence of events, but evidently the Feds weren’t using the land so Virginia got it back. The City of Arlington more or less encompasses the old Federal district in Virginia.