If you walk around GMU campus these days, you will see similar signs announcing that US News & World Report named GMU the #1 univeristy to watch. After the Final 4 appearance, GMU invested in a giant electronic board on Braddock Rd, right outside of the campus to alert passers-by of events on the campus at the Center for the Arts or at the Patriot Center, or proudly announcing such distinctions bestowed by US News & World Report.
GMU is the largest university in the state of Virginia I believe, and the campus is currently building an amazing number of new dorms, a conference center, and new academic buildings.
For a relatively young university (still under 50 years of age), to have been able to distinguish itself in the realms of research in the natural sciences, social sciences andl law, work in the humanities, in particularly literature, the arts, and athletics is something very unique. Back in the 1980s, GMU was often referred to as an "upstart" university, but at the time there was barely 10,000 students all but roughly 1,000 commuted, athletic accomplishments were mainly in women's soccer and track and field, and James Buchanan was putting the school on the map with his Nobel Prize, Henry Manne was building the law school basically from scratch, and Robinson Professors such as Carlos Fuentes were bringing attention to GMU as potential Nobel Prize winners in literature.
Today we have well over 30,000 students, Vernon Smith won another Nobel Prize in economics, the Law School is one of the best in the world for law and economics, the basketball program is highlighted on EA Sports games and plays on ESPN and consistently posts 20+ wins per season and draws close to 7,000 to home games on average (this year the team was undefeated at home, lost in the finals of the CAA tournament to a very strong VCU team, and lost in the NIT to Penn State in overtime -- Penn State was the eventual champions), our baseball team is among the top 25 teams in the country, swimming team has Olympic level performers, Track and Field has Olympic level athletes, women's lacrosse is among the best, etc., etc. In short, GMU is a world-class institution in the US style of academia (which includes not just pure academics, but also cultural events, athletic events, living arrangements, etc.).
When George Johnson became President of GMU, he announced that he wanted to make GMU the Stanford of the East Coast. We obviously aren't there yet, but who would have believed the progress that was made across the board at this school since 1980? It is an amazing achievement in academic entrepreneurship.