James Madison University
|Motto||Knowledge is Liberty|
|Chancellor||Ronald E. Carrier|
|President||Jonathan R. Alger|
|Location||Harrisonburg, Virginia, U.S.|
|Campus||Small city, 721 acres (2.92 km2)|
|Colors||Purple and Gold
|Athletics||NCAA Division I – CAA|
James Madison University (also known as JMU, The U, Madison, or James Madison) is a public coeducational research university located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States. Founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, the institution was renamed Madison College in 1938 in honor of President James Madison and then James Madison University in 1977. The university is situated in the Shenandoah Valley, with the campus quadrangle located on South Main Street in Harrisonburg.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Campus
- 4 Student life
- 5 Clubs and organizations
- 6 Administration
- 7 Athletics
- 8 John C. Wells Planetarium
- 9 Notable alumni
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Founded in 1908 as a women's college, James Madison University was established by the Virginia General Assembly. It was originally called The State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg. In 1914, the name of the university was changed to the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg. At first, academic offerings included only today's equivalent of technical training or junior college courses; however authorization to award bachelor's degrees was granted in 1916. During this initial period of development, the campus plan was established and six buildings were constructed.
The university became the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg in 1924 and continued under that name until 1938, when it was named Madison College in honor of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States whose Montpelier estate is located in nearby Orange, Virginia. In 1976, the university's name was changed to James Madison University.
The first president of the university was Julian Ashby Burruss. The university opened its doors to its first student body in 1909 with an enrollment of 209 students and a faculty of 15. Its first 20 graduates received diplomas in 1911.
In 1919, Julian Burruss resigned the presidency to become president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Samuel Page Duke was then chosen as the second president of the university. During Duke's administration, nine major buildings were constructed. Duke served as president from 1919 to 1949.
In 1946, men were first enrolled as regular day students. G. Tyler Miller became the third president of the university in 1949, following the retirement of Samuel Duke. During Miller's administration, from 1949 to 1970, the campus was enlarged by 240 acres (0.97 km2) and 19 buildings were constructed. Major curriculum changes were made and the university was authorized to grant master's degrees in 1954.
In 1966, by action of the Virginia General Assembly, the university became a coeducational institution. Ronald E. Carrier, JMU's fourth president, headed the institution from 1971 to 1998. During Carrier's administration, student enrollment and the number of faculty and staff tripled, doctoral programs were authorized, more than twenty major campus buildings were constructed and the university was recognized repeatedly by national publications as one of the finest institutions of its type in America. Carrier Library is named after him.
During the first decade of the 21st century, during the administration of JMU's fifth President Linwood H. Rose, the university continued to rapidly expand, not only through new construction east of Interstate 81, but also on the west side of campus. In early 2005, JMU purchased the Rockingham Memorial Hospital campus just north of the main JMU campus for over $40 million. The hospital has since moved to a new location, and JMU now occupies the former hospital site after having made substantial renovations to the previous hospital campus. Additionally in June 2005, the university expanded across South High Street by leasing the former Harrisonburg High School building from the City of Harrisonburg. In May 2006, the university purchased the property. The sale was approved in June 2005 for $17 million. The university named the old HHS building Memorial Hall. Recently completed projects include the Rose Library located on the east side of campus, which opened on August 11, 2008. The John C. Wells Planetarium, first opened in 1974, underwent a $1.5 million renovation in 2008. It is now a state-of-the-art hybrid planetarium, the only one of its kind in the world. The mission of the JMU Planetarium is science education and public outreach. As such, it offers free shows to the public every Saturday afternoon and hosts annual summer space camps in July. The 175,000-square-foot (16,300 m2) Forbes Center for the Performing Arts opened in June 2010, and serves as the home to JMU's School of Theatre and Dance. It also provides major performance venues and support spaces for the School of Music, and the administrative office for the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
The rapid expansion of JMU's campus has at times created tension in the city-university relationship. In 2006, the local ABC affiliate reported that the university had nearly doubled in size in the last 20 years, including purchases of several local properties.
The university has also experienced tension with local residents with occasional clashes between local police and students at a popular off-campus block party. In 2000, the party with about 2,500 students grew out of hand and required a police presence at the Forest Hills townhouse complex on Village Lane. Ten years later, police equipped with riot gear used force to disperse a group of 8,000 college-aged individuals at the party. Several participants were airlifted to a medical center in Charlottesville to treat their injuries. The university has condemned the behavior of the block party attendees.
James Madison University is considered "More Selective" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For the Class of 2012, the university received more than 22,648 applications, for an entering freshmen class of 4,325 for the 2012–2013 academic year. The retention rate for the 2011–2012 freshman class was 91.4%, and the ratio of female to male students is 60/40. Approximately 28% of all students are from out-of-state, representing all 50 states and 89 foreign countries.
Currently, James Madison University offers 115 degree programs on the bachelor's, master's, educational specialist and doctoral levels. The university comprises seven colleges and 78 academic programs. The university includes the College of Arts and Letters; the College of Business; the College of Education; the College of Health and Behavioral Studies; the College of Integrated Science and Engineering; the College of Science and Mathematics; the College of Visual and Performing Arts; and The Graduate School. Total enrollment beginning the Fall 2012 academic year was 19,927; 18,392 undergraduates and 1,820 graduate students. JMU granted 4,908 degrees in 2012; 4,096 undergraduate degrees, and 812 graduate degrees.
On October 2, 2009, James Madison University was granted a chapter by the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. Only about 10 percent of the country's colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters. James Madison University's Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was the first academic honor society chartered at JMU. The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (or simply Phi Kappa Phi or ΦΚΦ) is an honor society established in 1897 to recognize and encourage superior scholarship without restriction as to area of study and to promote the "unity and democracy of education".
- College of Arts and Letters
- College of Business
- College of Education
- College of Integrated Science and Engineering
- College of Science and Mathematics
- College of Health and Behavioral Studies
- College of Visual and Performing Arts
- The Graduate School
- Outreach and Engagement
On June 24, 2004, the Board of Visitors approved the Madison College Proposal, which created the College of Visual and Performing Arts out of the College of Arts and Letters. The new College of Visual and Performing Arts includes the School of Art, Design and Art History, the School of Music, the School of Theatre and Dance, and the Madison Art Collection. Approximately 1,200 students are enrolled in the college, and the Master of Fine Arts degree offered by the School of Art, Design and Art History is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
On January 9, 2007, a new School of Engineering was approved by the Virginia higher education governing body. The school began accepting undergraduates in Fall 2008. The program's focus is sustainability with a major emphasis on the environmental sciences. The School of Engineering offers general engineering degrees with no specializations.
The school is nationally recognized for its academics. U.S. News & World Report has ranked JMU as the top public masters-level university in the South (3rd overall) for 16 consecutive years, and among public colleges Forbes.com ranks JMU 22nd in the nation.
JMU's College of Business is consistently ranked among the top 40 business programs in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek. The University is also ranked 22nd overall in value for money in the nation amongst public colleges and universities, according to Kiplinger Magazine's 100 Best Values in Public Colleges. According to BusinessWeek in its 2011 ranking of undergraduate colleges of business, JMU's undergraduate business school is ranked 12th in the nation, and 3rd in Virginia. JMU ranked third among public schools in the country and fourth among all public undergraduate business schools in the country for return on investment, according to BusinessWeek. JMU's Master of Accounting Program recently ranked as the top passing rate on the CPA exam in the United States.
Money Magazine, in 1996 ranked JMU 5th in the nation for best value among in-state students. Princeton Review, in its 2007 rankings, called JMU one of "America's Best Value Colleges". For the 17th consecutive year James Madison University was ranked as the top public, master's-level university in the South in the highly regarded annual poll on academic quality conducted by U.S. News & World Report for its guidebook, 2011 America's Best Colleges. JMU also had the highest graduation rate of 81 percent among both public and privates colleges in the South. JMU's College of Business is consistently ranked among the top 40 business programs in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek.
The campus of JMU originally consisted of two buildings, known today as Jackson and Maury Halls. Today, the campus of James Madison University has 148 major buildings on 721 acres (2.92 km2). The campus is divided into five parts: Bluestone, Hillside, Lakeside, Skyline, and the Village. The Skyline area is located on the east side of Interstate 81, while the Bluestone, Hillside, Lakeside, and Village areas of the campus are located on the west side. The two sides of campus are connected both by a bridge over, and a tunnel (Duke Dog Alley) underneath, Interstate 81. Other unique features on the campus include Newman Lake, a 9.7-acre (39,000 m2) body of water located in the Lake Area next to Greek Row and Sonner Hall, and the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, a 125-acre urban botanical preserve located within the city of Harrisonburg and the campus of James Madison University (JMU). The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum combines naturalized botanical gardens (33 acres) and forest (92 acres), and is the only arboretum on a public university campus in Virginia.
The original, historic "Bluestone" side of campus is situated on South Main Street (also known as U.S. Route 11, and historically as "The Valley Pike"). Since the late 1990s the campus has expanded both east and west of the Bluestone area. Towards the east, across Interstate 81, the expansion has included The College of Integrated Science and Technology (CISAT), the University Recreation Center (UREC), the Festival Conference and Student Center, the Leeolou Alumni Center, several residence halls, the Chemistry and Physics Building, and University Park, which opened in 2012 off of Port Republic Road, combining recreational and varsity athletic fields. The Rose Library, completed in August 2008, serves as a repository of science and technical material.
Several new construction projects on the campus of James Madison University were included in Governor Tim Kaine's $1.65 billion higher education bond package. Governor Kaine's proposal designated more than $96 million for JMU projects. Among the projects included were the construction of a new biotechnology building, Centennial Hall ($44.8 million) and the renovation and expansion of Duke Hall ($43.4 million). The proposal also included $8.6 million as the final installment payment for the purchase of Rockingham Memorial Hospital. Beginning in 2002 JMU began receiving state and private funding to construct a state-of-the-art performing arts complex. The facility is located opposite Wilson Hall across South Main Street, and serves to visually complete the Main Quad. It was named "The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts" in honor of Bruce and Lois Forbes who provided a gift of $5 million towards the project. The wing of The Forbes Center dedicated to theater and dance is named the "Dorothy Thomasson Estes Center for Theatre and Dance" in honor of a $2.5 million gift by the husband of Dorothy Estes. The wing dedicated to music is named the "Shirley Hanson Roberts Center for Music Performance" in honor of a multimillion-dollar gift from the husband of Shirley Roberts. The entire PAC was built at a total cost exceeding $92 million, and opened in June 2010 to house academic offices and performances by the Schools of Theatre, Dance and Music, and the administrative offices of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Wilson Hall is the centerpiece of the university's main quadrangle. It contains an auditorium, administrative offices, and the Community Service Learning Office. The building's cupola has been featured on the university logo, letterhead, and other university stationery and postcards. Completed in 1931, the building was named after President Woodrow Wilson, who was born in nearby Staunton, Virginia.
Bus service around campus and the city is provided by the Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation.
The Princeton Review also recognized James Madison as one of 81 schools in America "with a conscience", and in the latest year ranked JMU second in the nation behind only the University of Virginia in the number of Peace Corps volunteers it sent from its student body among "medium-sized" universities. And in 2010, the food at JMU was ranked third in the United States. In 2011 the student body was ranked 20th happiest in the entire nation by Newsweek and The Daily Beast. In 2009, Playboy ranked JMU as the 22nd Best Party School in the nation. These rankings take into consideration the surrounding area's activities, academics, as well as the social scene on campus.
The school has 35 residence halls, ten of which serve as sorority houses. While most residence halls are only for housing, several halls also provide auxiliary services. For example, Chandler Hall, located in the Lake area, offers a basement dining facility and a computer lab. All freshmen must live on campus, and a large portion of JMU's on-campus housing is set aside for incoming students. Consequently, most upperclassmen and graduate students live off campus. Continuing students who wish to live on campus must re-apply for housing each year. While occasional exceptions are granted, generally freshmen are not granted on-campus parking permits. Some JMU halls are set-aside as specialized living and learning residential communities. Shenandoah Hall is devoted as an Honors residential experience, Chesapeake Hall is for pre-professional health disciplines, Gifford Hall includes the Roop Learning Community for future teachers, and Wayland Hall is reserved for majors in the art disciplines.
Clubs and organizations
James Madison University has over 350 clubs and organizations for students to choose from. The goal is to provide students with a unique experience while creating a giving community throughout the university.
The James Madison Speech Team has been recognized by AFA-NIET as one of the top 20 intercollegiate speech teams in the nation. JMU Forensics is the only program in the nation directed by two recipients of AFA's most respected coaching awards: Distinguished Service and Outstanding New Coach.
The Breeze is a student-run newspaper serving James Madison University since 1922. Since then, the newspaper has provided news and information to the university community. The Breeze publishes 9,500 copies every Monday and Thursday and maintains an online website, mobile app and a Twitter and Facebook page. The Breeze publishes local news, a life section, sports and an opinion section during the academic year. The Breeze has been nominated and won numerous awards during its existence including a 2012 Online Pacemaker Award, 2012 VPA award for Best in Show for a Non-Daily News Presentation, and a 2012 VPA sweepstakes award. The Breeze is also known to all JMU alumni and current students for having the long-standing tradition of publishing Darts & Pats.
Board of Visitors
Like all public universities in Virginia, James Madison is governed by a Board of Visitors appointed by the Governor of Virginia. In addition to the 15 members appointed by the governor, the speaker of the Faculty Senate and an elected student representative serve as representatives for the faculty and the student body respectively. The appointed members serve for a maximum of two consecutive four-year terms, while the student representative is limited to two one-year terms. The faculty representative serves for as long as he or she remains the speaker of the JMU Faculty Senate.
- Julian Ashby Burruss (1908–1919)
- Samuel Page Duke (1919–1949)
- G. Tyler Miller (1949–1971)
- Ronald E. Carrier (1971–1998)
- Linwood H. Rose (1999–2012)
James Madison University's athletic teams are known as the "Dukes." An English bulldog, with crown and cape, and the Duke Dog, a gray bulldog costume in a purple cape and crown, serve as the school's mascot. The "Dukes" nickname is in honor of Samuel Page Duke, the university's second president. The school colors are royal purple and gold. Madison competes in the NCAA's Division I (Football Championship Subdivision for football), the Colonial Athletic Association, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference. Over 415 varsity athletes compete in football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, women's swimming and diving, women's volleyball, baseball, women's lacrosse, field hockey, men's and women's golf, women's cross country and track and field, and softball. James Madison's two national championships are tied for third most national titles by a college or university in Virginia. James Madison's baseball team advanced to the College World Series in 1983, becoming the first Virginia school to do so. The JMU women's field hockey team won the university's first national title in 1994. JMU football won the NCAA Division I-AA national title in 2004, with a 13–2 record, and are the only team in history to win the title after playing four straight road playoff games. Since 2004, the JMU football team has appeared in the playoffs in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2015.
James Madison University invested heavily in new athletic facilities throughout the tenure of President Linwood Rose. JMU built a new multimillion-dollar baseball and softball field complex that opened in 2010. Additionally, after the last football game of 2009, the university began an expansion of Bridgeforth Stadium that increased seating capacity to approximately 25,000. Construction was completed in time for the 2011 football season.
In 2012, the James Madison Women's Basketball team won a club record 29 games, and advanced to the WNIT National Championship game, where it lost to Oklahoma State University. The Lady Dukes defeated Wake Forest, Davidson College, Virginia, South Florida and Syracuse prior to falling to Oklahoma State. In 2013, head coach Kenny Brooks led his team back to the WNIT defeating NC A&T, NC State, and Fordham before falling to the Florida in the tournament's quarterfinals. In 2014, the Lady Dukes posted an overall 29–6 record that culminated with a 85–69 loss to Texas A&M University in the NCAA Championship Round of 32. This marked the ninth consecutive year that the Lady Dukes participated in postseason play and the program's ninth consecutive season with 20 victories, a school record.
In 2013, James Madison University's Men's Basketball team won the CAA championship title for the first time since 1994. The Dukes then won their first NCAA tournament game in 30 years, defeating Long Island University-Brooklyn. The Dukes fell to Indiana in the second round, 83-62, finishing the season with a 21–15 record.
John C. Wells Planetarium
James Madison University is home to the John C. Wells Planetarium. The planetarium first opened at JMU in 1956 under the direction of Dr. John C. Wells, head of the Physics Department. The facility was then moved to Miller Hall and renovated in 1975, later named in honor of Wells on the occasion of his retirement in 1980.
The planetarium seats 72 individuals within a 30-ft dome. It features a GOTO Chronos star projector together with Evans & Sutherland Digistar 5 digital projectors. The John C. Wells Planetarium also employs students enrolled at James Madison University to operate the system and host shows to the public.
- Late 1940’s: James Madison University, then Madison College, purchased its first planetarium to be installed in the attic of Burruss Hall
- 1956: Planetarium first installed on JMU’s campus by Dr. John C. Wells, who was a professor in the JMU Physics Department (1947-1988), Department Head (1956-1974), and Planetarium Curator (1979-1988)). It was placed in the attic of Burruss Hall during the fall semester. The cost of the installation was $500 for the Spitz Model A star projector, and about $850 for the 20-ft fabric dome. Dr. John C. Wells built the console at the cost of approximately $100. Usage was mainly for school groups and college classes.
- 1975: Moved to Miller Hall, where it is still currently located. A Goto II star projector replaced the obsolete equipment in Burruss, manufactured in Japan and installed at a cost of $47,000 by Planetariums Unlimited, a branch of Viewlex Audio-Visual, Inc. The cost of $47,000 was considerably lower than the other two bids offered by Minolta and Spitz because Viewlex was preparing to cease marketing Goto planetarium projectors in the country. Spitz is now the U.S. Goto representative. The old Spitz Model A, the dome, and console were given to the Augusta County School Division in hopes that it would be installed at the county educational center at Fishersville, VA.
- 1979: Dr. John Wells retired from the Physics Department June 30, 1979, continuing to work at the Planetarium until 1980.
- 1980: Planetarium is officially named after Dr. Wells
- 2005: Renovations made to the Planetarium; closed to the public for the following three years (3-year Hiatus)
- 2008: Renovations complete; Planetarium opened to the public, Rededicated to Dr. Wells due to his death in 2005. A Digistar 3 full-dome projector system was installed alongside GOTO, which allowed for full-dome movies in conjunction with a traditional star talk about the constellations.
- Summer 2013: Evans & Sutherland Digistar 5 ultra-high definition digital projection system is added to the Planetarium.
In the early years of the Miller Hall Planetarium, not yet named after Dr. John Wells, all laboratories in the General Studies astronomy course meet in the planetarium as well as other astronomy classes such as “Controversies in Astronomy” and “Planetary Astronomy”. As the Planetarium grew older, the planetarium soon began scheduling astronomy instruction for off-campus groups ranging from preschool children to senior citizens. Other groups included scout troops, camp groups, classes from the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, and alumni groups. Public programs also formed, changing shows about every six weeks on Thursday nights. By August 31, 1979, records showed that a total of 786 groups representing 28, 861 persons attended planetarium programs, not including students from normally scheduled university astronomy classes.
In 1979, there had also been an observation deck maintained on the top of Burruss Hall. Observing instruments included two Celestron telescopes, one Newtonian refracting telescope, one 25x100 binocular, and two 7x50 binoculars. The observation deck no longer exists, however Astronomy Park was created on James Madison University's East Campus in 2006 for Public Star Parties and telescope viewings.
Currently, the Planetarium has expanded considerably, catering to four public shows every Saturday at 11am, 1pm, 2:15pm. and 3:30pm, rotating different shows every month. The Planetarium continues to entertain field-trips from local schools of all grade levels and age ranges, as well as University courses at JMU. Birthday parties, private showings, and monthly star parties are also accommodated by the John C. Wells Planetarium, hosting special events such as Starry Nights Harrisonburg, Space Explorers Camp, and Bad Science Movie Nights as well.
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