Fall 2000 Issue Online Now
Six JMU alumni have found their
niche inside the sprawling $200 million-a-year media giant, Black Entertainment
Television, the first black-owned media enterprise aimed at black consumers,
which now reaches more than 55 million cable households.
Alvin V. Baird Jr. knows what it's
like to grow up with a learning disability. Now he and his wife, Nancy
Chappelear Baird ('40), have made JMU's largest gift ever to help others
overcome similar learning challenges. Their $1.5 million contribution
also challenges others to help create a $2 million endowment for the
university's new Attention and Learning Disabilities Center.
When a promising new show about
a divorced mother and juvenile court judge wasn't going to make the
CBS lineup, Barbara Hall ('82) got a call. The veteran TV writer and
producer revamped it from a woman's perspective and turned it into Judging
Amy, a network hit.
and Dirty in Paradise
Ten virtual strangers share a house
on a rugged Caribbean island, beautifying the streets and creating trash
disposal remedies for natives. No, it's not Survivor or another "reality
TV show." It's 10 JMU alumni in the first-ever Alumni Alternative
Service Break project in Dominica.
In 1979-80, anthropology students
and professors tackled the largest archaeological dig in VirginiaŐs
history. Uncovering thou-sands of artifacts via hard labor and camping
out in austere conditions bound professors and students in a closeness
beyond any classroom.
To prepare students to lead productive and meaningful lives requires that we reach beyond traditional classroom to equip graduates with the strength of character and self-confidence to know that they can be agents of positive change.
a National Identity
As James Madison ascended the presidency
of the government he had helped create, an identity based on genuine
nationhood and pride had yet to be built. Not until the final days of
Madison's second term would there be a Star Spangled Banner and the
popular inclination to sing it. In between there would come repeated
tests to the national resolve behind the idealistic piece of parchment
known as the Constitution.
Cook ('97) didn't win the Miss America crown on Oct. 14, just competing
was a fairy tale. The reigning Miss Virginia vied among 51 young women
for the national title that represents the pinnacle of all-American
beauty, brains, talent and ambition.