James Madison University is a public, comprehensive university and is the only university in America named for James Madison. The university offers programs on the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels with its primary emphasis on the undergraduate student. JMU provides a total education to students – one that has a broad range of the liberal arts as its foundation and encompasses an extensive variety of professional and pre-professional programs, augmented by a multitude of learning experiences outside the classroom. The quality of the JMU experience has been recognized repeatedly in many national publications.
We are committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who will lead productive and meaningful lives.
Since its establishment in 1908, James Madison University has grown from a small state normal and industrial school for women to today’s coeducational comprehensive university with a fall 2003 enrollment of 15,769.
The university was founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, with Julian Ashby Burruss as its first president. The school 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 1914, the name of the school was changed to the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg. The school received authorization to award bachelor’s degrees in 1916. During this initial period of development, Burruss’ administration established the campus plan and constructed six buildings.
After Burruss resigned in 1919, Dr. Samuel Page Duke became the second president. Duke’s administration erected nine major buildings. In 1924, the university became the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg 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. In 1946, the Duke administration admitted men as regular day students.
Following the retirement of Duke, Dr. G. Tyler Miller became the third president of the university in 1949 and remained until 1970. Miller’s administration enlarged the campus by 240 acres and constructed 19 buildings. The administration also revamped the curriculum. In 1954, the expanding school received authority to grant master’s degrees. The university became a coeducational institution in 1966.
Dr. Ronald E. Carrier became JMU’s fourth president in 1971. His administration changed Madison College into a university. In 1977, the university adopted its current name, James Madison University. The Carrier administration nearly tripled the number of students and university faculty members and constructed some 30 major campus buildings. Doctoral degrees were authorized in 1994.
Dr. Linwood H. Rose was named JMU’s fifth president in September, 1998. Under his leadership, JMU has continually been recognized in national publications as one of the nation’s finest institutions of its type. Before being named president, Rose had served as a member of the institution’s administration for 23 years, including service as executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The general responsibility for the administration of the university has been assigned to the president, who is appointed by the JMU Board of Visitors. When the board is in recess, its executive committee may exercise the power of the board. Assisting the president in the administration of the university are the provost and vice president for academic affairs, the senior vice president for administration and finance, the senior vice president for student affairs, university planning and analysis, the vice president for university advancement, and the executive assistant to the president. Appointment to these positions, to other administrative offices and to the university’s faculty and staff are made by the JMU Board of Visitors upon the recommendation of the president. JMU consists of a College of Graduate and Professional Programs and five undergraduate colleges:
Office of Alumni Relations
JMU benefits from an active, enthusiastic and supportive alumni association. With more than 83,000 graduates, the JMU Alumni Association strives to develop a continuing interest in the university by providing opportunities for service, fellowship, networking and loyalty for JMU alumni, parents of current students and friends of the university. Alumni chapters across the country sponsor events, programs, services and various forms of communication for a diverse constituency. In addition to the celebrated Homecoming festivities, class reunions are hosted annually for alumni commemorating their 40th, 45th, 50th, 55th and 60th reunions. Appointed volunteers on the JMU Alumni Association Board of Directors advise the alumni office in the implementation and management of the association's affairs. JMU's quarterly magazine, Montpelier, provides information about the university to all alumni, parents of currently enrolled students, friends and businesses, corporations, and foundations associated with JMU. The email newsletter, Brightening the Lights of Madison, is increasingly popular as a way for alumni to stay informed about alumni and campus activities. An international alumni travel program provides both leisure and educational travel opportunities to alumni. Further information about all of these programs, products and services is available at www.jmu.edu/alumni
The James Madison University Foundation, Inc., a 501(c) 3 organization was established in 1969 to promote the welfare, efficiency, service to the public, and objectives of James Madison University and to encourage private gifts of money, securities, land, or other property of whatever character for such purposes, and to that end to take, hold, receive, and enjoy any gift, grant, devise or bequest, for the benefit of James Madison University in the manner designated, for the general purposes and improvement of James Madison University, and to accept, execute and administer any trust in which it may have an interest under the terms of the instrument creating the trust.
JMU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Deactur, Georgia 30033-4097; Telephone Number 404-679-4501) to award the bachelor's, master's, Educational Specialist, Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Psychology degrees.