As stated in the George Mason University Board of Visitors’ resolution in his honor, Dwight Schar is a “renowned businessman and philanthropist [and] has been a long-time benefactor of George Mason University and its public policy programs.” Few are aware, however, that Mr. Schar’s commitment to education began while still in college, where he was an education major at what is now Ashland University. While he started his professional life as a junior high school teacher, he also was selling homes on the weekends. This sideline eventually led to his work at Ryan Homes and becoming a home builder himself when he founded his first company, NVHomes. Nearly 30 years ago, he bought Ryan Homes and began NVR, Inc. - now a Fortune 500 company, and the nation’s third-largest home builder. Dwight currently serves as the company’s Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Executive Committee. He is also part-owner of the Washington Redskins football team.
Over the past decade, Dwight has turned his attention to philanthropy, where his focus has been on three distinct areas: children, education, and health. He began by providing support to both his high school and college alma maters, as well as the alma mater of his children, Elon University. In addition, he and his wife, Martha, have made a major commitment to support cancer research at the INOVA Center for Personalized Health, which will provide a platform for the development and application of advances in cancer treatment and personalized medicine through genomics.
Over the years, Dwight has been a generous supporter of George Mason University. This has included endowing a chair, supporting the Center for Regional Analysis, and now leading an effort to support the new Fuller Institute for Research on the Washington Region’s Future Economy. In May 2016, it was announced that the George Mason University School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs had received a $10 million gift from Dwight. In recognition of this gift, and Mr. Schar’s many prior contributions to the school, the Board of Visitors approved the naming of the school in his honor. We continue to thank Dwight Schar for all he has done for the school, for the university, and for the region as a whole.