Dear Alumni and Friends,

My second year as president of the James Madison University Foundation has been marked by many exciting new developments. The foundation is in the beginning stages of implementing the new strategic plan. In working toward fulfilling that plan, we are making progress on new initiatives and projects. I must give a huge thank you to Ms. Nancy Lantz, Dr. Linwood Rose, and our strategic planning committee for leading the board through the planning process and creating a plan that will guide the foundation for years to come. I would like to take a few minutes to share some of the highlights of our year with you.

Establishment of New Advisory Council

JMU alumnus Michael Walden ('97), an equity manager for the Ford Foundation, and Ellen Meyer ('01), a client relations manager at Investure, provided advisory services to the foundation’s investment committee. The collaboration was very successful, and the investment committee decided to establish an advisory council to continue to provide support to the foundation’s investment committee.  

Make Your Mark on Madison

JMU and the JMU Foundation created the Madison Trust this year to stimulate imaginative thinking, foster innovation and transform philanthropic support for James Madison University. Much like the popular television program “Shark Tank,” the Madison Trust will give investors an opportunity to back groundbreaking ideas at JMU. Our hope is that the creation of a new, flexible endowment will enhance the vitality of JMU’s mission, develop visionary leaders and create a community of thoughtful stewards. The Madison Trust will include a board of 20 trustees and three ex officio, non-voting members who will make strategic decisions about what innovations JMU pursues. Not only will the Madison Trust give donors the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy at JMU, but it will also give donors the chance to give input on how the university moves forward.

You can learn more about the Madison Trust at

Real Estate Acquisitions

Expanding and growing JMU is always a priority for the foundation, and this year we made two major acquisitions. The foundation purchased the building that housed the Public Broadcasting Station WVPT near the campus’ entrance on Port Republic Road. The foundation plans to lease the building to JMU, providing some much needed space for rapidly growing programs.

Our second acquisition came in the form of a 37.5-acre parcel located at Bluff Point in Northumberland County, Va., gifted by Thomas and Karyn Dingledine. The Dingledine family has provided numerous gifts to the foundation over the years, including the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarship Endowment for Achievement in Academics and Service to students. The land is located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and is connected to an 860-acre parcel conservation easement held by the North American Land Trust, providing students with a unique opportunity to conduct scholarly research. The outdoor classroom will allow faculty members and students to study water quality, marsh ecology systems, archaeology, geology, engineering and shore land mapping, and explore public history and environmental writing.

As always, thank you for your support of the work of the James Madison University Foundation and James Madison University. You, our donors, mold the future of the students here at JMU and play a vital role in the success of our university as a whole.

Thomas H. Schaeffer, President of the James Madison University FoundationThomas Schaeffer
James Madison University Foundation President

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