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The big news in Harrisonburg in 1908 was the opening of the State Normal and Industrial School for Women there. That school - now known as James Madison University - today is a coeducational comprehensive university with an enrollment of more than 17,500 students, which is committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.
The institution opened its doors to its first student body in 1909 with a total enrollment of 209 students, 15 faculty members and Julian Ashby Burruss serving as president. Twenty graduates received diplomas in 1911.
A name change - to the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg - came in 1914. The authority to award bachelor's degrees came shortly after in 1916. It was also during these exciting days that the campus plan was established and six buildings were built on the Quad.
Another name change - State Teachers College at Harrisonburg - came in 1924. The college continued under that name until 1938, when it was renamed Madison College to honor the Father of the Constitution and fourth U.S. President James Madison. The final name change to James Madison University came in 1977.
Samuel Page Duke became second president in 1919 after Burruss left for another position. Nine major buildings were built on campus during his administration.
Men were first enrolled as regular day students in 1946. After Duke retired, G. Tyler Miller was named the institution's third president in 1949. From 1949 to 1970, campus grew by 240 acres and 19 new buildings. Major curriculum changes were also made and, in 1954, Madison received authorization to grant master's degrees.
By action of the Virginia General Assembly in 1966, Madison became a coeducational institution. Fourth president Ronald E. Carrier headed the institution from 1971 to 1998. During Carrier's administration, student enrollment and the number of faculty and staff members tripled, doctoral programs were authorized, more than 20 major campus buildings were constructed, and national publications repeatedly recognized James Madison University as one of the finest institutions of its type in America.
As the institution celebrates its centennial, Linwood H. Rose marks 10 years as Madison's fifth president. Since September 1998 he has successfully led James Madison University into a position of national prominence.
Special thanks to Elaine Stroupe
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