• What does a brighter future mean to you?

    Connect with James Madison University and learn more about how our people and programs are making positive change in the world

    Subscribe to Madison; share your thoughts about the future on the Be the Change blog; or perhaps you'd like to nominate a world changer to be featured on this site.

    Consider this your invitation to
    Be the Change.


Join us to Be the Change


Tom Dingledine

Scholarship Donor and Madison Friend

Photo: Tom Dingledine

To the Madison community, Tom Dingledine's name has a familiar ring. His grandparents literally shaped Madison and the lives of thousands of students. After graduating from Madison, Agness Stribling ('15) married Madison professor Raymond and together they made the first recorded financial gift to JMU. Later she became known affectionately among students as housemother "Mama Ding" and served Madison well into the 1960s. Today grandson Tom continues his grandparents' legacy. He and his family have established the Agness S. Dingledine Memorial Scholarship and Raymond C. Dingledine Sr. Endowment for Leadership Scholarship. Recently, Tom and his wife, Karyn, made an additional gift of $2 million to the Madison Century capital campaign, bringing their campaign giving to $2.6 million. Their latest gift establishes the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Endowed Scholarship for Achievement in Academics and Service to create the university's first privately funded four-year, student-recruitment scholarship. Of course, Tom has heartfelt reasons for creating student scholarships at Madison:

"To me, it's making a difference in the lives of others," he told his scholarship recipients, Megan Bellino ('06), Bethany Elam ('06) and Heather Stewart ('06). "And I think that we need so many people like that. In recognizing and honoring that, I believe that you all will do that with others. It's paying it forward."