George Mason University: A History

1957-1964: The Little Red Schoolhouse

George Mason College, Bailey's Crossroads, 1963

While the site selection controversy between the committee representing the Northern Virginia jurisdictions and the University of Virginia Board of Visitors played out during 1956 and 1957, and with classes at the new branch set to begin in the fall of 1957, President Darden announced the temporary leasing of an old elementary school building in Bailey's Crossroads at the intersection of Va. Route 7 and Columbia Pike (Va, Route 244). This building would house the newly created University College of the University of Virginia until a permanent location could be chosen and suitable facilities constructed. In early August of 1957, the Bailey's Crossroads location was occupied by University staff, and classes began on September 23 with an initial enrollment of seventeen. With John Norville Gibson Finley as its director (he oversaw both the Northern Virginia Center at Arlington and the University College at Bailey’s Crossroads from 1957 to 1960), Bailey’s served as the home of the college while the search for a permanent site continued, and for several years after until construction of the new campus was finished.

The Little Red Schoolhouse: The Bailey's Crossroads Campus | John Norville Gibson Finley | Naming George Mason | Planning for George Mason College's New Home | Helen Momsen and the Gunston Ledger

1957-1964: The Little Red Schoolhouse