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Dean's Blog: Patriot Pride - Green and Gold

Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

Are you a proud Patriot?

We’re officially ‘back to school.’ Our campus is full with folks coming and going to classes. And the leaves on the trees are just starting to turn colors. Now it’s time for us to turn out our colors as well.

George Mason University participates in College Colors Day and Spirit Fridays when students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to wear their Mason green and gold to show school spirit.

First celebrated in 2005, College Colors Day is nationally organized by the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). College Colors Day always falls on the Friday before Labor Day and seeks to celebrate the spirit of tradition by encouraging students, faculty, staff, and alumni to wear apparel from their favorite school(s) throughout the day. On some college campuses, Fridays are awash with school colors as campus communities gear up for upcoming athletic competitions. Yet I would challenge that school spirit runs deeper than just amazing basketball, track, or swimming performances by our athletes.

In fact, I was never as proud of our university than when we mobilized for the pandemic.

I’ll never tire of sharing this story…our brilliant scientists and hardworking staff and faculty identified a cutting-edge, saliva-based COVID testing method, certified and scaled up our on-campus facilities to quickly, affordably, and systematically test our Mason-wide community for COVID amidst transitioning thousands of classes to an online delivery format.

Patriot Pride – Green and Gold

I’m also proud of our efforts to provide access to and create inclusive STEM pathways to success. As one of the most diverse schools in the nation, Mason Science contributes heavily to national efforts to encourage women to study STEM subjects (science, engineering, technology and mathematics). Our college’s undergrad science student population of more than 62% female learners and graduate population of 51% female students shows we encourage and support all to pursue important STEM degrees and make societal contributions.

Patriot Pride – Green and Gold

I’m also extremely proud of the research and academic opportunities we offer our students. We achieved over $34M in funded research last year. And we offer more than 1,600 course sections for both Mason science majors and thousands of others who need a strong foundation of core STEM classes. Mason Patriots depend heavily on us to learn and grow.

Patriot Pride – Green and Gold

Yet before we just throw on our Patriot Green and Gold, perhaps you are curious to know why and when our Mason colors came to be?

Students cheering at Mason sporting event

According to the website, George Mason A History, the green and gold colors emerged at Mason in 1966. A few stories exist suggesting either they were identified after seasonal decorations, or because no other local teams shared the combination for athletic uniforms. The history notes students voted for colors then that would come to represent us today. And even if green or gold aren’t your favorite colors, we wear them to represent the pride we have in our accomplishments, in the scientific community and opportunities we strive to provide. And the connected Patriot Pride we all share. After all, the strength in our university is in our people. And when we wear our green and gold, others can see that we are a part of the Mason Nation. And we are proud to let others know it.

I’ll be wearing my green and gold this week and on Fridays to come. Join me, Proud Patriots.

How to Participate
Wear your green and gold on Friday, September 2.

Post yourself, your friends and family, or even your pets sporting Patriot pride – and don't forget to tag We Are Mason on Instagram (@wearemason) and Twitter (@WeAreMason4Life). Or email your photos to and we will post them on our digital channels.

Please also join us for an outdoor celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Wilkins Plaza (on the Fairfax campus, located outside the Johnson Center).

*Optional: Bring your $25+ campus bookstore receipt for Mason merch to the #WeAreMason tent to claim a free t-shirt (and don't worry, you can still grab other free swag without a receipt).


Visit the dean's blog for more insights from Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm.