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Madison Week

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Schedule of Events

Monday-Friday, March 14-18

James Madison: Madison Institutes Collaborative Exhibit

Lisanby Museum, Festival Center 

Curated by Outreach & Engagement’s Madison Institutes in conjunction with James Madison Week, this exhibit examines the life and work of our university’s namesake and Father of the United States Constitution. The exhibit will include items on loan from James Madison’s Montpelier, as well as artifacts from the university’s own collection.  

Instagram Scavenger Hunt:  all dining locations

Students take photos of themselves (“selfies”) and post on Instagram using the hashtag #JMandMe.  All students who post 6 qualifying photos will receive a JMU tumbler and be entered in a drawing for an iPad Mini.  Featured locations:

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

 “Madison the Man” Cookies – available  Retail food courts

Book Display: The Life and Legacy of James Madison, Carrier Library 

Keep the Madison Week celebration going by learning more about the Father of the Constitution. "The Life and Legacy of James Madison” book display brings together a selection of scholarly materials about the fourth president. Visit the book display in Carrier Library to browse or check out materials through mid-April. 

Monday and Tuesday, March 14 and 15

Two performances: Monday-Tuesday, March 14-15 @ 8 p.m.

Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, Mainstage Theatre 

Experience one of the greatest classical ballets of all time: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Featuring a company of 50 leading dancers from across Russia, exquisite sets and resplendent costumes, this event is a must-see this season!  For tickets and further information, visit the Forbes Center website

Tuesday, March 15 

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.   

Community Service Project                   

Instead of one specific day of service this year during Madison Week, we are encouraging faculty, staff and students to partner with JMU students for the Big Event. Employees are encouraged to use their state-provided community service hours through MyMadison. 

The Big Event is an annual university-wide day of service that happens every April at JMU.  This year’s event is Saturday, April 9th.  This will be an opportunity for JMU students, faculty and staff to show their appreciation for the surrounding Harrisonburg community by participating in service and beautification projects in and around Harrisonburg and fosters connections in our community. 

The Big Event is a collaborative project organized by the Community and Traditions board of the Student Government Association.  To learn more and to register visit the Big Event website.    

12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.                                             

JMU Giving Day

Various locations across campus                      

On March 15, JMU faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends will come together to hold the university’s first Giving Day and kick off Madison Giving. With the help of volunteers across campus, this 24-hour event will combine donors on- and off-campus to focus on the long-term vitality of James Madison University. In one day, we can all show our Duke pride and come together to support the programs we love.

3:00 p.m.

JMU Baseball vs. Monmouth; Veterans Memorial Park

3:30 – 5:30 p.m.                                             

James Madison’s Complex Legacy:  Navigating the Personal and Public Facets of Leadership, Festival Student and Conference Center, Highlands Room     

We owe a great deal to James Madison, not only as our University’s namesake, but as a public leader and father of the Constitution. Shaping and leading our nation required him to grapple with very complex issues, both publicly and privately. The event will start with a conversation among panelists who consider Madison’s choices as a public leader.
Participants will join the conversation and explore, in facilitated small group discussions, Madison’s leadership challenges, contemporary public problems, and consider how the choices we are making today about public issues will become our legacy as leaders.
The event is being facilitated by the 4C Campus Community Civic Collaborative and supported by the JMU Civic Engagement Committee, Center for Multicultural Student Services, the Student Government Association Diversity Committee, DEEP Impact, and the Office of Student Activities and Involvement.

For more information, contact Lori Britt at or 540/568-5028

This event is free and open to the public.

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.                                                

Class of 2017 Ring Premier; Festival Center Ballroom              

The Class of 2017 will be holding the Annual Ring Premiere, a tradition here at James Madison. The class ring design will be unveiled. There will be food, entertainment, and giveaways throughout the night.
*  Must be in the Class of 2017 to attend.

Wednesday, March 16

8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  

Take a trip to Montpelier! Commemorate the 265th birthday of America's fourth president and Father of the Constitution with a field trip to Montpelier in Orange, VA. The United States Marine Corps Band and Color Guard will perform during this annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Madison Family Cemetery at Montpelier. A special tour highlighting Madison's role as Father of the Constitution will be offered at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Cost: $7 per person with JMU Jac Card. Get a group of friends together for a fun road trip to celebrate our Founding Father. For additional information about Montpelier please visit their website.

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.                                                

10th annual Diversity Conference, “ I AM DIVERSITY” at JMU’s Festival Student and Conference Center. 

Keynote Address on Thursday, March 17 Dr. Sylvia Hurtado.  Dr. Hurtado is a Professor, in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, in the Division of Higher Education and Organizational Change. Registration required

12:00-2:00 p.m.

Open House, Carrier Library, Room 203

In honor of Madison Week, Special Collections is hosting an Open House. Stop by and see some books and documents related to James Madison and his work on the Constitution. 

4:00 p.m.                                             

Madison Week “Tea Time and Conversations,” Warren Hall, 3rd Floor                        

A celebratory tea party to recognize and remember the Madisonian Era.  Bring your etiquette and prepare to mingle over flavored tea and scones, a James Madison University favorite!       

 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Visiting Scholars Program Lecture by Steve James; Room 2105, Harrison Hall

 Filmmaker Steve James presents “Journeys of Discovery: A Documentary Filmmaker’s Pursuit.” Sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters. For more information, call 540-568-6472 or visit the College of Arts and Letters website

4:30 – 7:30 p.m.                                                                                                                   

“Colonial Dinner”, E-Hall 

Faculty, staff and their families are invited to celebrate with a colonial-themed “Madison Dinner” at a special price of $7.00 per person.  This special offer will be emailed to faculty and staff, and accepted in printed or smart phone forms.

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.                                                                                                                   

“Senior Night”, D-Hall  

In partnership with JMU Alumni Relations, D-Hall is featuring the favorites voted on by the senior class.  The first 400 Seniors get in free!  

Thursday, March 17                   

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

“Ice Cream 101 lab” at D-Hall                                                                                

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

3:30-5:00 p.m.

Madison Vision Series: Dr. Sylvia Hurtado, Grafton Stovall Theatre

The Office of the President, in conjunction with the Madison Institutes of JMU’s department of Outreach and Engagement, welcomes Dr. Sylvia Hurtado.  Dr. Hurtado is a Professor, in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, in the Division of Higher Education and Organizational Change.

Dr. Hurtado is currently Director of the Higher Education Research Institute, which houses the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). CIRP is the longest-running empirical study of higher education involving data collection on students and faculty.  Her numerous publications focus on undergraduate education, student development in college, and diversity in higher education.  She is past President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and served on the boards of the Higher Learning Commission and initiatives of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Recent national projects include research on how colleges are preparing students to participate in a diverse democracy (U.S. Department of Education), the pathways of underrepresented students’ in scientific research and professional careers (National Institutes of Health/National Science Foundation), and student and institutional outcomes of diverse and broad access institutions in higher education (Ford Foundation).

Dr. Hurtado will serve as the year's final speaker for the Madison Vision Series. This event is free and open to the public.

4:00 p.m.

Dr. Blaire Van Valkenburgh, Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Other Worlds: the view from the Pleistocene ,” BioScience 1007

Dr. Blaire Van Valkenburgh will explore the late Pleistocene period, approximately 10 to 50 thousand years ago. This is a time of huge herbivores, such as mammoths, mastodons, woolly rhinos, and giant ground sloths, accompanied by over-sized predators including short-faced bears, sabertooth cats, giant spotted hyenas and lions. Moreover, this is the interval in which modern humans, Homo sapiens, first appear and acquire more sophisticated weapons.  She is professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCLA and Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the life sciences, as well as a research associate with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

This event is free and open to the public.

5:30-6:15 p.m.

St. Patrick's Day Highland Strains; Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

Dress for the forecast and bring lawn chairs or a blanket and a carry-on, nonalcoholic picnic dinner for a free public live performance of Highland Celtic music performed by JMU music students.

For information, visit the Arboretum website or call 540-568-3194.

8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Danú - A St. Patrick's Day Celebration; Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, Concert Hall

One of the leading ensembles of traditional music in Ireland, Danú returns to the Forbes Center for a high-energy St. Patrick's Day celebration featuring a mix of ancient Irish music and fresh, new songs. JMU’s Madison Singers will sing a few select numbers with Danú in this concert. Contact the Forbes Center Box Office for tickets and further information.

Friday, March 18

 “PURPLE OUT” DAY!!! Show your school spirit. All JMU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to wear purple and post photos on social media (#MadisonWeek).

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

“Madison Lunch”, Mrs. Greens: Theme lunch (Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans with Bacon and a side of Cornbread).  

11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Annual Stewardship Luncheon, Festival Ballroom, private event, invitation only                                             

3:00 p.m.

Men’s Baseball vs. St. Bonaventure; Veterans Memorial Park

6:30 p.m., dinner at 7:15 p.m.
Alumni Awards Banquet, Festival Center, Grand Ballroom

James Madison University alumni and faculty are extraordinary, and their accomplishments benefit both society and our campus.  To celebrate their accomplishments, the JMU Alumni Association will present awards to the individuals who were nominated to recognize career achievement and service to the university.
 You can find additional details on the Alumni website.

This event is private and invitation only.

Friday-Sunday, March 18-20

BizBlitz 2016, JMU Ice House, 127 West Bruce Street            
Friday, 5:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, all day
Sunday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
BizBlitz 2016 supports new ventures and entrepreneurs in a fast-paced, inspirational, and hands-on weekend where developers, marketers, designers, and dreamers join efforts to generate ideas, build prototypes and launch businesses! We start with open-to-all pitches on Friday evening. Teams come together around the best ideas and spend the weekend in market research and product development. We end on Sunday in front of the judges, but everyone wins the valuable feedback. Cash prizes plus other valuable prizes will be awarded.
More information and registration link can be found on the Shenandoah Valley Innovation Council website
Sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition and open to the public!

Saturday, March 19

Round out your Madison Week with a few more unique Planetarium shows, which are always FREE, and family friendly! If it is sunny, we will also have our solar telescopes set-up outside! See the Sun as the active, dynamic star that it is instead of the pale yellow dot drawn by kids! Don't miss out on seeing our STAR in a safe way that will leave you mesmerized! ALL FREE! 

11 a.m. AND 1 p.m.

Magic Tree House: Space Mission, JMU Planetarium

Travel with the brother-sister duo, Jack and Annie, in their Magic Tree House as they discover a note that asks them to answer a series of six questions about space. With the help of the astronomer, the Internet, an astronaut, books and the writer of the mysterious note, Jack and Annie are taken on a wondrous journey of adventure and learning. This exciting voyage will carry visitors to the planets and far out into the Universe where Jack and Annie nearly get… Well, we don’t want to give it away. The adventure is just beginning! 

2:15 AND 3:30 p.m.

Sunstruck: Exploring the Sun, JMU Planetarium

Explore the sun in all its glory in this fulldome show. Sunstruck! takes us on a journey to discover the wonders of our magnificent star and investigate how it has supported life on Earth for millennia. This program includes information on the structure of the sun, the source of its energy, and how solar activity impacts our world. Located in the center of our solar system, our Sun is an average star. Learn about its mass, gases, temperatures and energy… and its fate in the far distant future. 

View Trailer

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