Founders Day (75th Anniversary), March 14, 1983
* Charles S. Robb. Governor of Commonwealth of Virginia. Former Lieutenant Governor of Commonwealth of Virginia. Decorated veteran of Vietnam War. Doctor of Laws.
* Wallace L. Chandler. Executive Vice President of Universal Leaf Tobacco Company. Member of JMU Board of Visitors, 1964-1974. Rector of Board, 1972-1974. Doctor of Laws.
* A.E. Dick Howard. White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia School of Law. Doctor of Laws.
John O. Marsh Jr.
1985 - Doctor of Laws
Founders Day, March 20, 1985
* John O. Marsh Jr. Secretary of the Army. Former Counselor to President Gerold Ford. Former Assistant to Vice President Ford. Former 7th District Congressman. Doctor of Laws.
* Dr. Jessie L. Brown. Retired Professor of the Old Dominion Chair in the Humanities at Hampton University. Doctor of Humanities.
Commencement, May 10, 1986
* E. Bruce Heilman. President of the University of Richmond. Chancellor of University of Richmond. Former President of Meredith College. Doctor of Humanities.
Founders Day, March 18, 1987
* John W. Warner. U.S. Senator from Virginia. Former Secretary of the Navy. Former head of the American Bicentennial Commission. Doctor of Laws.
* Dr. James H. Taylor Jr. Retired Assistant Superintendent of Lynchburg Public Schools. Member, JMU Board of Visitors, 1978-1986. Vice Rector of Board, 1980-1982. Rector of Board, 1982-1986. Doctor of Humanities.
Commencement, May 9, 1987
* Gerald F. Baliles. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Former Attorney General of Commonwealth of Virginia. Former member of Virginia House of Delegates. Doctor of Laws.
Lewis F. Powell Jr.
1988 - Doctor of Laws
Founders Day, March 16, 1988
* Lewis F. Powell Jr. Former U. S. Supreme Court Justice. Former President of Virginia State Board of Education, American Bar Association, and American College of Trial Lawyers. Doctor of Laws.
Commencement, August 5, 1988
* Kirby L. Cramer. Chairman of Hazleton Laboratories Corporation. Member of JMU Board of Visitors, 1984-1988. Doctor of Laws.
Commencement, May 7, 1989
* Michael G. Gartner. President of NBC News. Former editor of The Des Moines Register and Tribune, The Louisville Courier-Journal and Times, and general news executive of the Gannett Company. Doctor of Laws.
Founders Day, April 21, 1990
* Mary Sue Terry. Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Former member of Virginia House of Delegates. President of the National Association of Attorneys General. Doctor of Laws.
Commencement, May 6, 1990
* Dr. Lauro F. Cavazos. U.S. Secretary of Education. Former President of Texas Tech University. Former Dean of Tufts University School of Medicine. Doctor of Humanities
L. Leotus Morrison
1990 - Doctor of Humanities
Commencement, August 5, 1990
* Dr. L. Leotus Morrison. Member of JMU faculty, 1954-1989. Professor Emerita of Physical Education and Health Science at JMU. Associate Director Emerita of Athletics. Instrumental in founding Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, former president of AIAW. Doctor of Humanities.
Founders Day, April 20, 1991
* George M. Cochran. Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. Member of Virginia House of Delegates, 1948-66; member, State Senate, 1966-68. Doctor of Laws.
Commencement, December 18, 1992
* Dr. Wayne F. Geisert. President of Bridgewater College, 1964-1994. Former dean of McPherson College in Kansas. Doctor of Humanities.
Founders Day, March 15, 1995
* Dr. Ernest L. Boyer. President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1979-Present. Former U.S. Commissioner of Education. Doctor of Humanities.
Hunter B. Andrews
1996 - Doctor of Law
Founders Day, March 13, 1996
* Dr. George W. Johnson. President of George Mason University, 1978-1996. Doctor of Humanities.
* Hunter B. Andrews. Member of State Senate of Virginia, 1964-1995. Doctor of Laws.
Commencement, July 26, 1996
* Robert E. LaRose. Rector of James Madison University Board of Visitors, 1994-1996; Vice Rector, 1992-1994; Board member, 1988-1996. Doctor of Laws.
Commencement, July 30, 1999
* Dr. Harold J. McGee. President of Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Former Vice President for Administrative Affairs and Vice President for Student Affairs at James Madison University. Founding President of Piedmont Virginia Community College. Doctor of Humanities.
Commencement, May 6, 2000
* Richard H. Brown. Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Electronic Data Systems. Doctor of Humanities.
Marcia E. Angell
2003 - Doctor of Science
Commencement, December 12, 2003
* Dr. Marcia E. Angell. Member of the Harvard University Medical School faculty and former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. 1960 graduate (B.S.) of Madison College. Doctor of Science.
Commencement, May 7, 2005
* Dr. John W. Snow. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Former chairman and chief executive officer of the CSX Corp. Former economics professor at the University of Maryland and the University Virginia and former law professor at George Washington University. Doctor of Laws.
James Madison Day, March 15, 2006
* Harry F. Byrd Jr. Former U.S. Senator and former Virginia State Senator. Doctor of Laws.
JMU International Day of Peace, September 21, 2007
*The Most Rev. Desmond M. Tutu. Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, and recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize. Doctor of Humanities.
Commencement, December 15, 2007
* Senator Graziano Cioni. Councillor for Health and Social Welfare, Florence, Italy, and advocate of JMU's Semester in Florence program. Doctor of Laws.
Centennial Convocation, March 14, 2008
* Timothy M. Kaine. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Former Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Former Mayor, City of Richmond. Doctor of Laws.
* Thomas A. Dingledine. Fourth generation member of a family that has played a major role in developing JMU for more than 100 years. Major benefactor to the University. Doctor of Humanities.
JMU International Day of Peace, September 21, 2009
*Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter. Former President and First Lady of the United States. Doctors of Humanities.