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Capturing a Madison era

In the 14-year tenure of President Linwood H. Rose, JMU's growth has been phenomenal. Rose conferred 56,893 degrees as president — a number that represents almost half of all the degrees ever conferred at JMU — 123,486 — since 1911. That's a lot of graduation handshakes, personal stories and JMU successes.

Enrollment has increased exponentially — from 14,414 students in 1998 to 19,722 students today — along with a corresponding growth in academic programs and campus facilities. Through these upward pressures, Madison academic excellence has outpaced growth. Teaching remains the No. 1 priority of the faculty. JMU has reached the top 10 nationally for graduation rates. The student-to-faculty ratio has improved from 19.2:1 to 16.1:1 today. Phi Beta Kappa has been established at JMU. The honors program has intensified. The number of residential learning communities has increased. Traditionally strong faculty scholarship, research and artistry have achieved a new order of magnitude. And so have mentored undergraduate research experiences, hands-on internships, student-teaching placements and service-learning endeavors, which number in the thousands each year.

All the while Madison's intimate atmosphere has remained. JMU students' overall satisfaction with the university has increased from 92 percent to 97 percent, and students who report that they are satisfied with the university's concern for them as individuals has increased from 72 percent in 1998 to 88 percent today.

How do 14 years stack up?

Academics — Excellence and expansion

President Rose discussing IDEA Grant program with professor David Owusu-Ansah While the Madison Experience is still accurately portrayed as a predominantly undergraduate one, it is the graduate level that has experienced the greatest growth in academic programs during the Rose presidency. Graduate students are studying in programs leading to master's, educational specialist, doctor of audiology, doctor of musical arts, doctor of philosophy and doctor of psychology degrees. … Read More

Arts — A time for the arts has dawned

JMU's Forbes Center for the Performing Arts In 2003, President Linwood H. Rose ('12H) declared a "Time for the Arts" would be dawning in Madison's immediate future. In 2005, JMU's arts programs coalesced into the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Later, when the doors opened in 2010 after a successful fundraising campaign, the $91.5 million Forbes Center for the Performing Arts literally provided a world-class stage for JMU's already vibrant and renowned performing arts programs. … Read More

Athletics — JMU Nation takes the Purple Pride everywhere

JMU football coach Mickey Matthews celebrates 2004 national championship win. From a national football championship and more than 30 conference titles to major facility improvements and tremendous upgrades to student-athlete support, intercollegiate athletics have soared during the Rose presidency. Student-athlete success has spiked during the Rose years thanks in part of a multiplicity of factors including the beautiful Robert and Frances Plecker Athletics Center with its first-class study area… Read More.

Business — The rise of the business alum

JMU student presents in Business Plan Competition The College of Business' trajectory has been straight up during the Rose presidency, manifesting most visibly in six straight years rated by BusinessWeek in the nation's top 5 percent of public undergraduate business schools. Shadowing that sustained faculty triumph has been the rise of another phenomenon, that of the involved business alum. … Read More

Engineering — No boundaries, no limits

JMU engineering students working in labIn December 2005, the university set out on a mission to develop a new kind of engineering degree program that combined the best elements from a strong Liberal Arts education with a strong science, technology, engineering, math, and business curriculum. The result of this work is JMU's School of Engineering offering a single, interdisciplinary engineering bachelor's degree designed to meet ABET accreditation standards and prepare graduates for the FE examination.… Read more.

Environment — Stewarding the Natural World

Photo from Kenya's Namawanga community where JMU alums Matt Fenzel ('07) and Colin Wright ('07) implemented an irrigation system. Stemming from a presidential commission of 2007, President Rose announced the formation in 2008 of the Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World to guide the university's engagement with growing environmental concerns of the JMU community and the world. It coordinates and facilitates existing and new pursuits of sustainability, environmental stewardship and a broader sense of citizenship. … Read More

Giving Back — Endowment more than doubles

President Rose and JMU students thank donors to Madison Forever In his 1999 inaugural speech, President Linwood H. Rose called private support "imperative." Three years later the Madison Century — JMU's first comprehensive capital campaign — began. Through the six-year campaign that ended on JMU's Centennial anniversary celebration in 2008, a total of $70 million — $20 million over goal … Read More

Health — A hotbed of innovation

JMU nursing students The Rose presidency saw new and expanded programs in disciplines like counseling, exercise science, gerontology, health services administration, occupational therapy and physician assistant studies at JMU, which are addressing society's growing demand for health and human services professionals … Read More

Humanities and Liberal Arts — The humanities are restless

Freshmen of the Class of 2014 do an Orientation dance on the Quad kicking off a yearlong exploration of how science and art interconnect. Through the growth and change at JMU during the Rose presidency, Madison's traditional liberal arts programs and the Quad around which they array themselves remain together at the heart of JMU. Traditional doesn't mean static, however. In fact the humanities are restless — as is their nature. … Read More

International Education — an expanding notion of campus

The Roses and Alessandro Gentili in Florence With 1,100 JMU students studying in 56 destinations, and scholars and students coming to JMU from 70 countries around the globe, the perspectives informing the Madison Experience are increasingly diverse. JMU students have many options for international destinations including experiences that offer total immersion in the culture of major cities, rural villages and the natural settings of the field. … Read More

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — Great Migrations

Flaming M&Ms offer chemistry lessons During the Rose era, the sciences at JMU have become stronger than ever — anticipating new frontiers, reaching out to interest youth in science, conducting research, mentoring their students — some as early as freshman year — in hands-on research, undergoing constant growth and developing new facilities. … Read More

Student Success — A campuswide philosophy

Students working at Learning Center Student success is at once a phenomenon, an attitude, a philosophy and a conscientious programmatic effort that pervades campus. Madison's formidable scholars push their students to succeed academically, and students also have access to thriving programs — like Orientation, the Learning Centers, Health Center, Community Service-Learning, and Career and Academic Planning. Taken together these programs have already made their mark during the Rose era and today serve as a national model in higher education.… Read More

Teacher Education — A lifeline in an imperfect world

JMU alum Rheannon Sorrells teaching children at Ressie Jeffries Elementary School in Warren County, Va. During the Rose presidency, 3,802 Madison students answered the call to teach, as JMU as a whole and the College of Education in particular prepared them for teacher licensure. With each of those alumni teaching an average of 24 students per year during an average career of 20 years, a little extrapolation reveals that the potential impact of Madison teachers runs toward 2 million children's lives positively affected.… Read More