Filed Under Places

The Hub

Formerly known as Student Union II

The Hub is one of three student centers on campus which bring students together and support them during their time at Mason with helpful programs, services, and facilities. The Hub hosts the Student Involvement Office, Student Media, Off Campus Student and Mail Services, and New Student and Family Programs. It opened in the fall of 1982 as Student Union II.

By the fall of 1980, enrollment at George Mason University reached 13,293. In the six years since Mason opened the original Student Union, its student population had more than doubled from 6,134, and the size and design limitations of the original Student Union had begun to manifest themselves. Put plainly, university growth was too much and too fast for the Student Union to keep up. 

The Hub opened its doors to Mason students at the beginning of the Fall Semester in 1982. Originally named Student Union Building II (SUB II), it was built into a small hillside and was the building furthest south on the Fairfax Campus at that time. With the exception of a parking lot to its south and the Patriot Center construction site, the entire rest of the campus was covered by trees.

SUB II was a departure from other buildings on campus, which were mostly rectangular buildings constructed mainly of red brick and concrete slab. It was tan in color, shaped like a "V", and constructed of precast textured concrete panels. Its "front" doors on Rivanna Lane opened on the building's third floor. The university bragged about its energy efficiency in a story in the Mason Gazette in August 1982, boasting that its concrete beams helped provide shade for its windows during the summer.

Once open, SUB II's impact was immediately felt by students, faculty, and staff. The new campus bookstore in the building was twice the size of the former in SUB I, and the long checkout lines due to lack of room for cashiers were alleviated. A new larger dining hall added more food choices for the student body, particularly the 944 residents that fall. The large ballroom featured a stage, theatrical lighting, a sound system, and could hold 700 guests. There were several smaller meeting rooms that serve faculty, student, or staff meetings. 

While most of the student services offices remained in SUB I, the move of the bookstore and the expanded dining facilities made SUB II a welcome addition for a university whose enrollment was growing by about eight percent each year. 

During the 1980s and 90s the SUB II Ballroom was host to speaking engagements by special guest visitors to George Mason. Among them were the Reverend Jessie Jackson, long-time Washington news anchor, Maureen Bunyan, and Senator Joe Biden. This new venue gave students and the entire university community a modern facility in which to experience well-known individuals, up close.   

In 2011 an addition was added to the west side of the building, creating the two-story windowed space which houses the Corner Pocket game room. SUB II was renamed The Hub in 2013.

Images

Student Union II, view from the west
Student Union II, view from the west The southwest side of Student Union II from the vantage point of today's Planetary Hall Source: George Mason University photograph collection, #R0120, Box 27, Folder 35 Creator: George mason University Creative Services Date: December 1, 1983
Student Union II, southwest elevation
Student Union II, southwest elevation Photograph of Student Union II taken during the summer of 1982, about one month before it officially opened Source: George Mason University photograph collection, #R0120, Box 25, Folder 25 Creator: George Mason University Creative Services Date: July 20, 1982
North entrance to Student Union II
North entrance to Student Union II Photograph of the north entrance to Student Union II on Rivanna Lane Source: George Mason University photograph collection, #R0120, Box 25, Folder 25 Creator: George Mason University Creative Services Date: July 20, 1982
Student Union II, as seen from the southeast
Student Union II, as seen from the southeast Photograph of the south elevation of Student Union II Source: George Mason University photograph collection, #R0120, Box 39, Folder 2
Creator: Carl Zitzman Date: circa 1985
Student Union II, as seen from the southeast
Student Union II, as seen from the southeast Photograph of the southeast elevation of Student Union II Source: George Mason University photograph collection, #R0120, Box 40, Folder 2 Creator: George Mason University Creative Services Date: circa 1995
Dining Hall, Student Union II
Dining Hall, Student Union II Students are served in the Student Union II Dining Hall Source: George Mason University photograph collection, #C0120, Box 25, Folder 34 Creator: George Mason University Creative Services Date: August 31, 1982
A student shops in the Student Union II Bookstore
A student shops in the Student Union II Bookstore A student bends down to find books in the Student Union II Bookstore. Source: George Mason University photograph collection, #R0120, Box 84, Folder 3 Creator: George Mason University Creative Services Date: February 1988
Second Floor foyer, Student Union II
Second Floor foyer, Student Union II Two visitors to Student Union II examine "George's Light Sides" an art installation suspended from the ceiling. The work was created by George Mason University School of Art faculty member, Walter Kravitz. Source: George Mason University photograph collection, #R0120, Box 39, Folder 2 Creator: Neil Adams Date: circa 1985
The Reverend Jessie Jackson speaks in the Student Union Building Ballroom.
The Reverend Jessie Jackson speaks in the Student Union Building Ballroom. The Reverend Jessie Jackson speaks as part of an African American History Month program held in the Ballroom of Student Union II. Source: George Mason University photograph collection, #R0120, Box 84, Folder 3 Creator: George Mason University Creative Services Date: February 23, 1988
The Hub, as seen from the west
The Hub, as seen from the west The southwest side of The Hub from vantage point of Planetary Hall Source: George Mason University Creative Services Creator: Evan Cantwell Date: 2020

Location

Metadata

George Mason University Past and Present Team, “The Hub,” The Mason Experience: Past and Present, accessed April 21, 2024, https://pastandpresent.gmu.edu/items/show/11.