The university began as the Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia in 1957. In 1972 it had grown to the point where it officially separated from its parent institution.
It became a "magnet for right-wing money" during the 1990s: from 1992 through 1994, 12 libertarian foundations invested a combined total of $8.55 million in various academic programs and institutes of George Mason University. It was this funding that help establish (and continues to support) the University's unrivalled set of libertarian "study centers", which aim to recruit and support young, free-market-oriented students - typically through paid-for "study trips", seminars, and placements.
The most influential of George Mason University's study centers are:
Institute for Humane Studies (Charles Koch appears to be chairman of its Board of Directors)[ http://www.theihs.org/koch-summer-fellow-program/faqs#159 ]
Mercatus Center (Charles Koch sits on its Board of Directors)
Center for Market Processes ("was a precursor to the Mercatus Center")
Center for the Study of Public Choice
Law and Economics Program and Center
Law School Renamed after Antonin Scalia with $30 Million from Koch Foundation and Anonymous Donor
In April 2016, GMU announced that the Charles Koch Foundation was contributing $10 million to its law school. This contribution came at the same time as a $20 million anonymous donation that was contingent on the school being renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law.
"Since 1985, George Mason University (GMU), and its associated institutes and centers, has received more funding from the Koch Family Charitable Foundations than any other organization."
Between 2011 and 2014, the Charles Koch Foundation gave $48 million to GMU, the Associated Press has calculated.
Funding of study centers
The Mercatus Center is currently the main focus of right-wing and libertarian funding. Between 1999 and 2001, the Mercatus Center was the third largest recipient of conservative foundation money (a position previously held by the Institute of Humane Studies). 
Organizations funded by GMU
As of April 2011, George Mason University is listed among the funders of Princeton-based Climate Central, though this just reflects Climate Central's subcontracting on an NSF grant to GMU's Center for Climate Change Communication.
Wegman Report and GMU's "slow-as-molasses" misconduct investigation
See Wegman Report for the investigation timeline; as of October 2011, 18+ months after the initial complaint, the investigation has not concluded.
("Allegations [of dubious scholarship including plagiarism and inaccuracy] now touch on no less than 35 pages of the Wegman report, as well as the federally funded Said et al 2008."; "not only scholarship problems in the work, but clear failure in the PhD supervision process itself."; yet, "more than nine long months after [allegedly plagiarized author Raymond] Bradley’s initial formal complaint, it is still not known whether GMU has managed to complete its inquiry, or whether there will be a formal investigation....every step of the way GMU has not respected its own procedures and timelines, leading to ...delay and obfuscation... disregarded its obligations with respect to possible misconduct in federally funded work.")
"George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees."
(as of April 2004)
Alan Merten, President; to step down June 30, 2012.
Thomas Hennessey, Chief of Staff
Maurice Scherrens, Senior Vice President
Peter Stearns, Provost
Helen Ackerman, Vice President for University Relations
Randall Edwards, Executive Vice President
Joy Hughes, Vice President for Information Technology
Earl Ingram, Vice President/University Equity Officer
Judith Jobbitt, President, GMU Foundation, Vice President for University Development and Alumni Affairs
Karen Rosenblum, Vice President for University Life
Board of Visitors
("Without limiting the generality of its powers, the Board of Visitors exercises its authority principally in policy-making and oversight.")
Edwin Meese III, Rector
Sidney O. Dewberry, Vice Rector
Dorothy Gray, Secretary
Edwin J. Feulner, Jr.
William P. Johnson, II
Byron F. Marchant
Leonard M. Pomata
John Knox Singleton
David Armor, Professor of Public Policy
David E. Bernstein, Professor of Law
James M. Buchanan, University Professor Emeritus of Economics
Timothy J. Conlan, Professor of Government and Politics
Rick Davis, Artistic Director, Theater of the First Amendment
Thomas Dietz, Professor of Sociology
Stephen Fuller, Professor of Public Policy
Hassan Gomaa, Professor of Public Policy
Kingsley E. Haynes, Dean of School of Public Policy
Vernon L. Smith, Professor of Law and Economics
Walter E. Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics (Heritage, Reason, Pelerin, etc)
Leonard Liggio, Professor of Law (Atlas, Cato, CEI, Pelerin, etc)
Robert D. Tollison, economist (Center for the Study of Public Choice) and tobacco consultant
Richard Wagner, economist (Center for the Study of Public Choice) and tobacco consultant
Related to global warming
Edward Wegman, Statistics professor and nominal author of the largely discredited Wegman Report
James Trefil, public figure in science education and science literacy who does not trust existing climate science
Jagadish 'J' Shukla, Professor of Climate Dynamics
S. Robert Lichter, head of the largely-conservative-foundation-funded Center for Media and Public Affairs, is listed among the faculty researchers of GMU's Center for Climate Change Communication.
Daniel Botkin, Professor of Biology, 1992 – Present
S. Fred Singer ("1994- Distinguished Research Professor, Institute for Humane Studies")
Pat Michaels, Senior Research Fellow for Policy and Economic Development
Notable attendees and alumni
Nancy Pfotenhauer ("started her career as graduate research assistant to Walter Williams at George Mason University, where she was taking an MA in economics")
Related to global warming
Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General pursuing Michael Mann (GMU Law School, 1995)
Wesley Russell, Virginia Deputy Attorney General
Yasmin Said, co-author with Edward Wegman of the Wegman report, the shortcomings of which have put Wegman under investigation
Milton Johns, Edward Wegman's attorney ( GMU Law School Cuccinelli contemporary, and in 2008, partner in 4-person law firm Cuccinelli & Day LLC )
David W. Schnare, principal of & attorney for the American Tradition Institute, suing in 2011 to view Michael Mann's emails ( GMU Law School, 1999)
Marc Morano (BA political science), CFACT Director of Communications and host of its anti-climate-science weblog
George Mason University has three campuses, at Arlington VA, Fairfax VA, and Prince William VA.
4400 University Drive,
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444
Phone: (703) 993-1000
Articles and resources
No byline (Undated). Koch and George Mason University. DeSmogBlog. Retrieved on 2011-03-03. “Since 1985, George Mason University (GMU), and its associated institutes and centers, has received more funding from the Koch Family Charitable Foundations than any other organization--a total of $29,604,354. The George Mason University Foundation has received the most funding, $20,297,143, while the Institute for Humane Studies has been directly given $3,111,457, the Mercatus Center $1,442,000, and George Mason University itself has received $4,753,754.”
Lee Fang, "Law School Sells Naming Rights to Secretive Antonin Scalia Fan," The Intercept, April 1, 2016.
Matthew Barakat, "George Mason University becomes a favorite of Charles Koch," Associated Press, April 1, 2016.
Funding (Individuals, foundations, government agencies, and institutions providing funding for Climate Central). Climate Central. Retrieved on 2011-04-06.
Ben Strauss email 2011-04-11; see reference on Climate Central page for detail.
The Wegman report sees red (noise). Deep Climate (2010-10-25). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
Wegman report update, part 2: GMU dissertation review. Deep Climate (2010-09-15). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
George Mason University’s endless inquiry. Deep Climate (2010-12-23). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
SACS Accreditation. Office of the Provost - George Mason University. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
Alan Merten (2011-03-23). Presidential Transition. George Mason University. Retrieved on 2011-09-29.
Dr. Daniel B. Botkin. Center For the Study Of the Environment. Retrieved on 2011-09-25.
Patrick J. Michaels - Cato Institute: Policy Scholars. Cato Institute. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
Derek Kravitz (2010-03-23). Protesters greet Cuccinelli at GMU speech. Virginia Politics Blog. Retrieved on 2011-11-05. “Cuccinelli, who is a 1995 alumnus of the law school, appeared unfazed.”
John Mashey - (2011-10-30). Curious Coincidences at George Mason: Wegman, Johns and Cuccinelli. DeSmogBlog. Retrieved on 2011-10-31.
David W. Schnare. About Me. The Hard Look. Retrieved on 2011-11-05.