Point of View History and Vision

A place for peace just outside Washington, D.C.

In 2000, Edwin and Helen Lynch gave the Carter School their family home and 120 acres of surrounding property overlooking Belmont Bay in Mason Neck, Virginia, to build a retreat and research center that creates positive change for the world.

Point of View School of Conflict Resolution and Analysis in Virginia

Point of View is a space for peacebuilding, practice, teaching, and research. It serves as a resource for everyone in the Carter School, Mason, our partners, and the world community. 

The Lynches spent their lives in Northern Virginia; Edwin had a career in real-estate development and farming. Helen was an artist and active volunteer. They were married for 68 years, and had four children and many grandchildren.

The Lynches were the Carter School's earliest champions, establishing our first endowed chair in honor of Edwin's parents Minnie and Vernon Lynch and a scholarship endowment named for distinguished professor John Burton. In 1995, Edwin was awarded the Mason Medal, the highest honor conferred by the university. We are grateful for their belief in the Carter School and the potential for more resilient societies.

Our vision is to provide space and support to groups and communities to transform destructive conflicts, heal, and reconcile.

Elected leaders of the Commonwealth of Virginia recognized the Carter School as the pre-eminent leader of the academic field and invested in the construction of a day facility at POV. Becoming a reality through a shared vision between the Carter School, philanthropic partners, community leaders and elected officials, the next phase of POV's development includes capital construction for residential cottages. Overnight accommodations will give groups and participants the opportunity to intensively work together and immerse in the tranquil, serene space. Our plans include three cottages with a total of 27 bedrooms, shared living room spaces, and kitchens.

Philanthropy allows us to expand our programming and bring groups that may not have the resources to visit POV. It is how we will grow the physical space of this campus. Philanthropy supports fellowships for students and visiting scholar-practitioners, programming, and faculty research.

Today, our state-of-the-art facility hosts domestic and international dialogues, conferences, problem-solving workshops, and skills training all guided by Carter School professionals. Contact the Carter School’s Director of Development, Maria Seniw, at 703-993-8763 to arrange a visit to POV and explore all our giving and naming opportunities.