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Madison Week

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Schedule of Events


Sunday, March 16

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.                                                                                                                

Tour of Montpelier, the home of the Father of the Constitution, Architect of the Bill of Rights, & America's 1st "First Lady"

Montpelier was home to President James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Architect of the Bill of Rights, and Dolley Madison, America’s first "First Lady." It was here at Montpelier where James Madison shaped the ideas that would become the U.S. Constitution. For six months Madison sat in his upstairs library, where he meticulously studied past forms of governments and organized his thoughts into what he believed were the ideal principles for a representative democracy. Madison’s ideas would become the “Virginia Plan,” and later the framework for the Constitution.

The Montpelier estate features the mansion, garden, historic buildings, exhibits, archaeological sites, and forests trails. Spend an hour or two—or a full day with family and friends—strolling the grounds, picnicking, and learning more about the Constitution, James Madison, and Montpelier. 

Visitors receive a guided tour of the Madison mansion, and may then proceed with a self-guided tour of the mansion's second floor exhibits (including the War of 1812 exhibit), cellars, and grounds. Visit the duPont Formal Garden, South Yard slave quarters, cemeteries, forest trails, Mr. Madison's Temple, and more.

Special tour price of $7 is offer to members of JMU with a JACard. Other guests have a special price of $10. There is a cafe at Montpelier where guests may purchase food, or they are welcome to bring their own meal.

You will need to provide your own transportation.

Click here for Montpelier's website

Click here for news coverage of Montpelier from NBC29


Monday-Friday, March 17-21

Instagram Scavenger Hunt:  all dining locations

Using life-size Madison cut-outs, students takes photos and submit them with the winners receiving a prize through JMU Dining Services.

Madison-themed Retail Promotions:  all a la carte dining locations 

Monday, March 17

8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. 

8th annual Diversity Conference, Festival Student and Conference Center

“Engaging Community:  Creating Change” – includes over 30 sessions, lunch will be provided, registration on MyMadison.

Click here for conference website and registration information

7:00-8:30 p.m.                                                                                  

Exploration of the Night Sky: From Madison to Today, Wells Planetarium in Miller Hall

Our ancestors were adept at decoding the sky to learn their position on the surface of the planet, to tell the passage of time, and to learn when winter was approaching. Today, astrophysics is an academic enterprise in which we have learned our Universe is filled with billions of galaxies, each of which can have more than billions of stars. We are now learning that planets around these stars are common. Is the discovery of life next? Join us for a special presentation at the John C. Wells Planetarium to learn more about these discoveries, to learn more about how our night-time sky has changed since the time of Madison, and to learn how you can use the constellations to find your way around the night sky. If weather permits, there will be a special telescope observing session on the evening of Thursday, March 20 beginning at 8:30pm at Astronomy Park (located behind the Physics/Chem building and just down the hill from Festival Hall).

Click here for Planetarium website

Tuesday, March 18

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.   

Community Service Projects                                                                                  

Working with the United Way, the Institute for Innovative Health and Human Services, and the Community Service Learning office, students will be able to engage in service opportunities on-and off campus while faculty and staff are able to participate in off-campus projects. This event represents JMU’s dedication to serving the Harrisonburg community.

Click HERE for registration information!

Click HERE to visit the website of the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County

9am-5pm off-campus opportunities working with several non-profit groups

10am-3pm for On-campus opportunities


3:30 p.m.                                                                                                                               

Madison Vision SeriesMadison Vision Series Lecture #4, Ms. Kat Imhoff, Montpelier Foundation                                     

Lecture will be held in Grafton-Stovall Theatre.

The Office of the President, in conjunction with the Madison Institutes of JMU’s department of Outreach and Engagement, welcomes Kat Imhoff, President of James Madison’s Montpellier, for the Madison Vision Series: Madison's Shades of Grey.

This Madison Week lecture is free and open to the public.

Click here for Madison Vision Series website


4:30-8:00 p.m.                                                                                                        

"Madison Dinner", E-hall and D-hall

Theme dinner based on a colonial menu. Special pricing for faculty and staff, see below.

Dining Discount, E-hall and D-Hall

Discounts for faculty, staff, and their families for dinner at E-Hall and D-Hall for $6.00 per person.

Faculty and staff will be emailed a voucher which will be accepted in printed or smart phone forms.


Wednesday, March 19

3:00-5:00 p.m.                                                                                  

Colonial Tea Time, Warren Hall, Transitions room                                  

A celebratory tea party coordinated by Mad4U, to recognize and remember the Madisonian Era.  Bring your etiquette and prepare to mingle over flavored tea and scones, a James Madison University favorite! This event is co-sponsored by Aramark.       


Wednesday and Thursday, March 19 and 20

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.                                                                                                              

"Intelligence in the Transition from War to Peace" national conference                                         

Conference featuring the CIA's declassified documents from the War in Bosnia/Balkans in the 90's.  The list of potential speakers is high-level given the importance of the Dayton Peace Accords and individuals involved may include former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright and former President Bill Clinton.  There is also a logical connection to the QEP's ethical reasoning characteristic.  This will be a 2-day conference on Wednesday and Thursday and will include the JMU faculty, students and community as well as national and international dignitaries, scholars and academics.

Click here for conference webpage

8:00-10:00 p.m.

“Sing Out! An a Cappella Concert” at the JMU Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, Concert Hall

A cappella continues its widespread popularity! A sellout in its first two seasons, this event returns for two nights of performances by JMU's amazing a cappella groups!  This third annual Sing out! also features a cappella groups from Harrisonburg High School and Rockingham County Public Schools.  A Forbes Family Fun event.

For tickets, check or call (540) 568-7000.


Thursday, March 20

11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

“Madison Lunch”,  Mrs. Greens                                                                  

 Theme lunch based on a colonial menu.


11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

“Ice Cream 101 lab”,  E-Hall and D-Hall                                                   

Students can create their own flavors of ice cream and will include various toppings.

4:30-5:30 p.m.

"James Madison on the Crisis of Union", Faculty Lecture, Massanutten Regional Library

Howard Lubert will lecture on select documents that Madison wrote between 1786 and 1788 in order to highlight his analysis of the ills then facing the nation, and to trace his groundwork for an approach to repairing those ills.

8:30 p.m., rain date, Saturday, March 22                                          

Star Party, Astronomy Field, behind Festival Center                     

View the nighttime sky and look at planets, binary stars, and the Moon through a telescope at Astronomy Park

Friday, March 21


Faculty, staff, students and the community are encouraged to celebrate Madison Week by wearing purple.

9:00 a.m., Montpelier Room, E-Hall                                                

“A Book for the ‘Burg”

Engaged Students Conference and Community Engagement Workshop

College students are invited to share their experiences related to civic and community engagement with each other and the community. This event will include a showcase of student work and a workshop on community organization led by Jon Shaffer, Community Organizer of Partners In Health. Information regarding attending and presenting will be posted at on February 24.

Click for more information

5:30-7:00 p.m.                                                                                

MadisonFest, Quad        

Spearheaded by SGA, this event will be a celebration of Madison Week and birthday party for James Madison consisting of activities coordinated with student orgs and involvement with UPB, ORL, Young Life College, and others. Will also include performances, games, birthday cake, etc.   

Thank you to those sponsoring MadisonFest!

Student Government Association

Office of Residence Life


Young Life College

University Program Board