It has been an eventful year in which we have boldly stepped into the future. From awe-inspiring gifts to exciting new building endeavors, we have many things to celebrate and share with you. 

New Leaders

In October of 2014, we celebrated the retirement of Winston Weaver (‘77) who served the board devotedly for twelve years. His leadership as chairman of the board helped to establish a five year strategic plan and lay the groundwork for enhancing financial support to the university. We thank Winston for his commitment and service to the foundation and the university.

Also leaving the board were Nancy Lantz (‘71), who served as chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and Phil Updike (‘73) who served as chair of the Real Estate Committee. Lantz and Updike, like many of our board members, gave back financially by establishing endowments.

A. Wesley Graves, VI, was elected to fill the office of chairman of the board along with Warren K. Coleman (‘79, ‘81) as vice chair. Three new trustees were also elected to the board. Longtime supporters of the university and participants on various JMU boards, the new trustees include Ms. Linda W. Cross (‘77) from Boynton Beach, FL; Dr. James L. Riley from Midlothian, VA; and Mr. Jeffrey E. Tickle (‘90) from Bristol, TN. The new trustees were elected at the May board meeting and began service on July 1, 2015.

Madison Trust

Your response to the call to fund the Madison Trust for Innovation in Higher Education was outstanding. Leading the way in designing a fund to inspire future innovators and entrepreneurs were two of JMU’s most steadfast and visionary donors, Leslie Gilliam (‘92) and Don Rainey (‘82). In its inaugural year, the trust received 55 submissions, which were narrowed down to 12 finalists, all of which received various levels of funding from your generous gifts. You can see the progress these projects have made here.

Strategic Plan Progress

As we continue to follow our strategic plan, we focused on the investment of gifts of real estate, increased visibility, and active participation in the Annual Stewardship Luncheon. We also made efforts to more fully engage with the university's Board of Visitors, attended different vision tour events and revamped the foundation’s website.

Lastly, I want to take a moment to thank our accounting staff—through their hard work the foundation received a clean audit opinion.

And as always, thank you for your support of the work of James Madison University and the James Madison University Foundation. Every achievement, accomplishment and success was due to you, our donors, who provide not just financial gifts, but resources of time and passion. You play a vital role in the success and progress of the university, and we thank you. 

Thomas H. Schaeffer
Thomas H. Schaeffer
James Madison University Foundation President

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