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Levar Stoney ('04)

Former executive director, Democratic Party of Virginia

Photo: Levar Stoney

Levar Stoney's life symbolizes one of the most important changes in American history. The descendant of slaves from Africa's Rice Coast, Levar served as the executive director of Virginia's Democratic Party. Leading a political system that once enslaved his ancestors, his success is a historic paradox that defines positive change. With a moral foundation taught by his grandmother and a strong work ethic from his father, Levar, a natural leader, brought change to JMU during two terms as president of the Student Government Association, the first African-American man to so lead. He also advocated for diversity in the student body joining the Diversity Affairs Committee. In 2009, Levar stepped down to serve as political director of Creigh Deeds Virginia gubernatorial campaign. When he's not working, you'll find Levar tutoring in a Richmond school. This young politico continues to change the world — one vote at a time.

"I came to JMU knowing that I wanted to get involved in politics. I just didn't know whether or not JMU was going to provide me the launch pad. It has done that more than I ever thought it would."