George Mason University Case Study

As the commonwealth of Virginia’s largest public university, George Mason University has a population of more than 35,000 students, faculty members and contractors. The university needed a cost-effective migration plan to replace its outdated and vulnerable ID card system.


For over a decade, the university has issued magstripe ID cards that not only wore out quickly, but rely on older security technology that lacked the cryptographic capabilities of smart cards, making them susceptible to cloning and counterfeiting. It was also difficult to update and manage old campus door locks and cards.

Greater campus security could be achieved by moving to a new contactless smart card technology, but the greatest efficiency and convenience would come from leveraging the power of a flexible, “one card” solution that enabled the Mason ID to be used with not only access control systems, but other value-added applications and services on and off campus.

The Solution

By working with HID Global and its parent company ASSA ABLOY, George Mason was able to design a cost-effective and comprehensive ID solution that would enable university administrators to migrate their existing card system. Simultaneously compatible with the legacy student ID cards and the existing hardware on campus, this new solution would be deployed slowly and consist of the following:

  • HID Global multiCLASS SE® readers, as well as PERSONA Campus™ Software, and SARGENT Passport locks from HID Global’s parent company ASSA ABLOY – Provide built-in encryption and enhanced security.
  • Seos® smart cards from HID Global – Deliver advanced security, interoperability between the new locks and readers, and multiple card applications enabled by its breakthrough technology leveraging HID Global OMNIKEY® desktop readers to extend the Seos card’s use.
  • HID Global FARGO® DTC4500e ID card printers and encoders along with Asure ID® card personalization software – Reduction in issuance time and higher quality printing with more durable lamination.

Powered by Seos smart card technology, the new Mason ID cards are initially being used for accessing facilities, residence halls, library and cafeteria services. To date, George Mason has installed approximately 3,500 new locks and readers and has issued more than 12,000 new ID cards to incoming freshmen.

Key Benefits


The university now has state-of-the-art facility security as well as real-time control when a lock-down or other changes are needed. They also can quickly and easily modify their access control system, including updating card privileges, revoking and replacing lost or stolen cards, and adding or removing applications, while the new ID card also frees the students to easily access so many aspects of campus life.

The move to a Seos-based technology solution has provided the university with more freedom of choice and the ability to add more applications as it scales in the future, while providing the confidence that the university is receiving the best-in-class security and privacy protection for its students and staff. The university expects to complete its card migration by 2017 with more readers and locks to follow.

I think Seos goes beyond just door access; it allows us to manage the credentials better and put the destiny of the department back into their own hands."

Danny Anthes

Senior Manager of Information Technology , George Mason University

Supports multiple credential technologies

  • Adaptable
  • Powerfully secure
  • Standardized Communications (OSDP)
High performance, large volume card printing
Single credential solution
HID Seos Card

HID Seos Card

  • Versatile strong authentication
  • Increased interoperability
  • Comprehensive support