Well-Being University Initiative

At Mason, we believe that "we thrive together" - shared success is one of our core values. We want to become the first well-being university, providing a place for all members of our Mason community in an environment where they can personally thrive while contributing to the overall mission. The university-wide Center for the Advancement of Well-Being provides a focal point for our efforts to promote positive change. To learn more, view this video spearheaded by Mason’s Well-Being Learning Community and produced by The Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.


What is a Well-Being University?

As a model well-being university, Mason helps students, faculty and staff build a life of vitality, purpose, resilience, and engagement.

A well-being university intentionally cultivates in its community members the knowledge and skills necessary for thriving together. As a well-being university, George Mason University is promoting and supporting an environment providing students, faculty, and staff with educational, co-curricular, and professional development experiences, helping individuals assess quality of life and values with the goal of cultivating a well-lived life.

Defining Well-Being

At Mason, we define well-being as building a life of vitality, purpose, resilience, and engagement.

This includes thriving across a range of domains (physical, career, social, community, psychological and financial) and being satisfied with one’s life while experiencing curiosity, hope, meaning and joy.

We will help build vitality through the development of positive relationships and physical well-being through:

  • Creating and sustaining positive relationships and social support networks
  • Treating one another with civility and respect
  • Demonstrating leadership abilities that promote well-being and positive change
  • Pursuing a balanced life of healthy nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep

We will help develop purpose through values, and work engagement by:

  • Clarifying personal, professional, and community values
  • Pursuing and engaging in behaviors that are congruent with values
  • Striving for a life of purpose and meaning
  • Preparing to thrive and make meaningful contributions in future careers

We will help develop resilience through:

  • Increasing self-awareness through honest and continuous self-reflection
  • Increasing psychological flexibility
  • Recognizing and adapting to various situational demands that enable and promote values-driven behavior
  • Finding and fostering resiliency to overcome stress and adversity
  • Responding to stressful situations and managing stress in healthier ways

We will help develop engagement through:

  • Identifying, developing and applying strengths in daily activities
  • Opportunities for individuals to do what they are best at on a regular basis
  • Deepening one’s sense of belonging and connections with others
  • Finding opportunities to make connections with others in meaningful ways
  • Pursuing community service, service-learning, and collective action toward a common good as ways to contribute to others’ well-being

All disciplines and fields at Mason can contribute to a deeper understanding of the science and application of well-being and we believe that nearly every unit and program at Mason can identify pathways for students and employees to engage in their learning and growth.

Our goal is to engage all units in contributing to the goal of creating a nurturing and caring environment that supports all members of our community in realizing their potential.

To learn more about the initiative, watch this presentation by the center’s executive director, Nance Lucas, to over 100 students, faculty and staff.