On the evening of Thursday, August 31, George Mason University School of Business leaders, faculty, alumni, and friends gathered to celebrate the naming of the Greg and Camille Baroni Center for Government Contracting.
The Baroni Center is the first university center in the nation to address the business, policy, and regulatory issues surrounding government contracting, a $700 billion industry unique to the Washington, D.C., region. The naming gift from Attain Partners founder and CEO Greg Baroni and his wife, Camille, is the largest gift to a School of Business center.
Inside the atrium of Buchanan Hall on Mason’s Fairfax campus, Jerry McGinn, executive director of the Greg and Camille Baroni Center for Government Contracting, was the first to welcome and address the crowd, recognizing the significance of the gift from the Baronis. “They have invested in this center because they believe passionately in our mission: to address the business, policy, and regulatory issues that each of you grapple with every day through research, education and training, and collaboration,” he said. McGinn encouraged the evening’s guests to get involved by attending upcoming events, like the GMU-DAU Government Contracting Conference at Mason Square in Arlington, Virginia on November 9, 2023, and by reading the extensive research produced by the center.
Next to the stage was Trishana Bowden, president of George Mason University Foundation and vice president of Advancement and Alumni Relations. She too expressed gratitude for the transformative gift. “The gift that launched the Greg and Camille Baroni Center for Government Contracting allows Mason to post our green and gold flag as a beacon for students who want to understand the importance of—and best practices within—one of the most important industries in our region: working as a business partner with federal, state, and local governments,” said Bowden. She then introduced George Mason University president Gregory Washington. “The Greg and Camille Baroni Center for Government Contracting will be a pillar of our School of Business, a pillar of George Mason University, and a pillar of the government contracting industry in the Washington, D.C., region,” he said.
Following President Washington was John Hillen, chairman of the Baroni Center advisory board, who said, “Greg and Camille Baroni have literally set the path for innovation, entrepreneurship, and collaboration at the center. Furthermore, their gift, encouragement, and engagement to this mission is the epitome of the individual and business actions necessary for the future of this industry.” Introducing the honored couple of the evening was School of Business dean Ajay Vinzé, who also expressed deep appreciation. “I am grateful to Greg and Camille Baroni for their confidence in us, and for their partnership and investment in this center that bears their names,” he said. “Greg and Camille–your generosity is an inspiration to me, our faculty, and our students. Thank you.”
Greg and Camille Baroni, speaking now as the official namesake of the center, echoed sentiments from the previous speakers about how the contributions of many people in the room made the gift possible, especially the hard work and commitment of close friend Anne Altman, BS ’82, who serves as an incredible leader across the school, university, and region. “Higher education is key to strengthening both government and industry, especially tomorrow’s workforce,” said Greg Baroni. “George Mason University is well positioned to drive innovation and collaboration and we’re proud to be a part of this next chapter.”
Since its founding in 2019, the Greg and Camille Baroni Center for Government Contracting has impacted the industry through its research and support to help it operate more efficiently and effectively. Among the center’s efforts is their support of the Congressional Commission on the Reform of the Pentagon’s Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) process. Additionally, the Baroni Center’s student ambassador program, research assistant and internship opportunities, and government contracting minor are making an impact on the education of School of Business students. The gift from Greg and Camille Baroni empowers the center to increase its influence on the government contracting industry and ensure that its students are prepared to lead it.