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Madison Week

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Schedule of Events

Sunday, March 15

2:00-3:30 pm AND 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. 

All are welcome to attend this FREE function: Faculty, staff, students and family and friends!


Monday-Friday, March 16-20

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:

  • D-Hall – Selfie with James Madison (cardboard cutout)
  • E-Hall – Be part of the Constitutional Convention (backdrop)
  • Mrs. Greens – Selfie with James Madison (cardboard cutout)
  • Dog Pound – Snap a pic of the Father of the Constitution (employee with cutout of James Madison’s face)
  • Bistro 1908 – Take a photo with a big replica of the Constitution
  • School spirit! Take a picture with your favorite JMU items (clothes, accessories, or even at the Bookstore!)
  • Statuesque! Grab a snapshot with any James Madison statue on campus
  • Wilson Hall – Capture the glory of Wilson Hall

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

“Madison the Man” Cookies – available at retail food courts 


Monday, March 16

8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.                                                                                                                

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

Celebrate James Madison's birthday with a unique field trip!!! Travel on your own to Montpelier, home to President James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Architect of the Bill of Rights, and Dolley Madison, America’s first "First Lady" and enjoy a day immersed in history. Guests will 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. In addition, you'll have the opportunity to meet "Mr. Madison" as well as participate in a wreath-laying ceremony.

Cost: $7 per person with JMU Jac Card. There is a cafe at Montpelier where guests may purchase food, or bring their own meal. 

Montpelier's website

News coverage of Montpelier from NBC29

8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. 

9th Annual Diversity Conference, Festival Student and Conference Center

“Engaging Community:  Creating Change” – Registration required.


10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Lisanby Museum will be showcasing the Dolley Madison: The First First Lady exhibit open from March 16-May 8.

Dolley Madison: The First First Lady Sponsored by The Madison Institutes

Curated by Outreach & Engagement's Madison Institutes in conjunction with James Madison Week, this exhibit examines the life of Dolley Madison. The exhibit will include items on loan from James Madison's Montpelier, such as Dolley's Bible and hand-written biography of James Madison, as well as artifacts from the university's own collection.

Tuesday, March 17                                                                          

Community Service Projects                     

Instead of one specific day of service this year during Madison Week, we are encouraging faculty, staff and students to partner with an organization of their choice to support the Harrisonburg community.  Employees are encouraged to use their state-provided community service hours through MyMadison.

Two service opportunities that are suggested are:

The United Way:  Join forces with the United Way and “Get Connected” with volunteer service in the Harrisonburg area. 

The Big Event is an annual university-wide day of service that happens every April at JMU.  This year’s event is Saturday, April 11th.  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.

Registration required

Blacks Run CleanUp now in it's 18th year will be held on Saturday, April 11. Cleaning up the creek helps the willdlife and habitat in our area. If you would like to volunteer or learn more please visit the Blacks Run CleanUp website.

Make sure to take photos of your community service and send them to the James Madison University Facebook page.


10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Lisanby Museum will be showcasing the Dolley Madison: The First First Lady exhibit open from March 16-May 8.

Dolley Madison: The First First Lady Sponsored by The Madison Institutes

Curated by Outreach & Engagement's Madison Institutes in conjunction with James Madison Week, this exhibit examines the life of Dolley Madison. The exhibit will include items on loan from James Madison's Montpelier, such as Dolley's Bible and hand-written biography of James Madison, as well as artifacts from the university's own collection.

4:30-8:00 p.m.

"Madison Dinner", E-Hall and D-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. 


6:00-7:30 p.m.

Annual Ring Premier, Festival 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. NOTE: Must be in the Class of 2017 to attend.


Wednesday, March 18

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Lisanby Museum will be showcasing the Dolley Madison: The First First Lady exhibit open from March 16-May 8.

Dolley Madison: The First First Lady Sponsored by The Madison Institutes

Curated by Outreach & Engagement's Madison Institutes in conjunction with James Madison Week, this exhibit examines the life of Dolley Madison. The exhibit will include items on loan from James Madison's Montpelier, such as Dolley's Bible and hand-written biography of James Madison, as well as artifacts from the university's own collection.

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!     


7:00 p.m.                                                                                  

JMU Women's Lacrosse will take on #6 Virginia, University Park

Come cheer on the Lady Dukes as they take on an in-state rival. The first 250 fans (Jac Card required) will receive a FREE JMU T-shirt.


Thursday, March 19

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Lisanby Museum will be showcasing the Dolley Madison: The First First Lady exhibit open from March 16-May 8.

Dolley Madison: The First First Lady Sponsored by The Madison Institutes

Curated by Outreach & Engagement's Madison Institutes in conjunction with James Madison Week, this exhibit examines the life of Dolley Madison. The exhibit will include items on loan from James Madison's Montpelier, such as Dolley's Bible and hand-written biography of James Madison, as well as artifacts from the university's own collection.

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

“Ice Cream 101 lab”,  E-Hall                                                 

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


Friday, March 20 

PURPLE OUT DAY!!!-JMU faculty, staff and students wear PURPLE!!!

8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Snap a picture of yourself, your friends and/or coworkers and post this image to the James Madison University Facebook page for a chance to win a JMU Prize pack. Winners will be notified via email by 4 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Stop by the Festival or the Student Success Center and show us your Purple Out spirit!! Anyone showing their Purple Spirit will have a chance to win LOTS of prizes.


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

“Madison Lunch”,  Mrs. Greens                                                                  

 Theme lunch based on a colonial menu (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


6:30 p.m.

JMU Gallery Crawl

Exhibition tours, curated talks, reception in each gallery: Duke Hall Gallery, Lisanby Museum and IVS.

Lisanby Museum will be showcasing the Dolley Madison: The First First Lady exhibit open from March 16-May 8.

Dolley Madison: The First First Lady Sponsored by The Madison Institutes

Curated by Outreach & Engagement's Madison Institutes in conjunction with James Madison Week, this exhibit examines the life of Dolley Madison. The exhibit will include items on loan from James Madison's Montpelier, such as Dolley's Bible and hand-written biography of James Madison, as well as artifacts from the university's own collection.

Saturday, March 21

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!  

11:00 a.m. AND 1:00 p.m.

Planetary Visions Family Show, Wells Planetarium in Miller Hall

Planetary Visions is a fantastic, interactive program that is best described as an adventurous tour of the Solar System. With its whimsical, flying robot main character, Toggle, and the interactivity of the operator with the show and the audience, this is a treat for all who attend. (36 minutes) View Trailer

2:15 AND 3:30 p.m.

Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity, Wells Planetarium in Miller Hall

There's a place from which nothing escapes, not even light, where time and space literally come to end. It's at this point, inside this fantastic riddle, that black holes exert their sway over the cosmos ... and our imaginations. Zip through other-worldly wormholes, experience the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy, and witness the violent death of a star and subsequent birth of a black hole. Mathematical equations, cutting-edge science, and Einstein's theories fill in holes along the way, providing the most complete picture yet on this mysterious phenomenon. Can you feel the pull? (25 minutes) View Trailer 

Madison Week Home Page