Gregory Washington (Courtesy of George Mason University)

George Mason University has named Gregory Washington the institution’s new president, effective July 1.

Washington, who is currently dean of the University of California, Irvine’s engineering school, will also be the Virginia university’s first African American president.

“He showed tremendous vision for the future of our region and how we fit in and displayed the ability to motivate and inspire our community,” GMU Rector Tom Davis of the Board of Visitors said in a press release. “I look forward to working with him and seeing him position Mason as a leader in higher education.”

Washington, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University, said in a statement that he was drawn to the position because of George Mason University’s “reputation for having real impact, providing access and for its commitment to inclusive excellence. I feel really blessed to have been given this opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”

George Mason is one of the most diverse universities in Virginia, with a student body that’s 39 percent first-generation and 33 percent Pell-eligible.

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This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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