Patriot Center gets new name in GMU, EagleBank partnership

Patriot Center renamed.
Artist's rendition of George Mason University's soon-to-be-renamed Patriot Center. (Courtesy GMU and EagleBank)

FAIRFAX, Va., May 7, 2015 – George Mason University and EagleBank announced a multimillion-dollar strategic partnership Wednesday. Headlined by a broad array of education programs, this new agreement also awards naming rights for the university’s landmark Patriot Center venue, whose name will be changed to “EagleBank Arena.”

While the Patriot Center name change might be the most visible part of the deal, the real benefit to GMU is new support from its strategic partner for scholarships, internships and numerous educational initiatives geared toward boosting the university’s already well-known business degree programs.

“This is a landmark moment for George Mason University and EagleBank,” said Mason President Ángel Cabrera in a prepared release. “Our shared vision goes beyond the financial contribution that will benefit so many people. This is about a relationship between two institutions that have a stake in the community and are investing in the future of our region.”

Ronald D. Paul, chairman and CEO of EagleBank, based in Bethesda, Md., agreed, noting that “As a local bank, we are delighted to partner with one of the region’s most prominent universities. In entering into this array of support, EagleBank underscores not only our commitment to Northern Virginia and the region, but also to the creation of a multi-platform alliance that will support education, job growth and future economic prosperity throughout our community.”

According to the news release, the new partnership agreement “provides for a minimum $6.6 million commitment by EagleBank to the university over 10 years. It also includes the unilateral right of EagleBank to extend the agreement for up to a total of 20 years.”

Highlights of the partnership include EagleBank’s sponsorship of a series of business leadership development programs emphasizing the education and mentoring of GMU students in leadership and entrepreneurship.

The partnership will also inaugurate an annual internship/apprentice program offering qualified university students a chance to participate each semester in EagleBank operations.

In another plus, EagleBank will serve as consultant to GMU’s master’s degree program in real estate development program.

According to the press release, the Patriot Center will be officially renamed EagleBank Arena on July 1. Located in the heart of the GMU campus in Fairfax, the 10,000-seat multipurpose sports and entertainment venue opened its doors Oct. 4, 1985.

Currently managed by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the soon-to-be-renamed arena—located near the school’s arts education complex, which includes GMU’s Center for the Arts—is home base for the Mason men’s and women’s basketball teams and hosts sporting events, concerts and family shows.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17