Montpelier cuts loom, letters make debut

It has always been the philosophy of JMU to include everyone in the life of the university. Now, however, with the condition of the Virginia state budget, severe cuts are pending as we go to the printer with this issue of Montpelier. We won’t know about the specific cuts until later this semester, but they will affect JMU, including Montpelier.

While we have mailed Montpelier to all alumni and parents in the past, the magazine will not be able to maintain its current circulation of 80,000. Unfortunately, you might not receive the next issue of Montpelier in February 2003.

That’s because, as the JMU administration decides how to implement cuts, it will, of course, preserve teaching as its No. 1 priority. What is most important, as you’ll agree, and what Montpelier has always tried to show, is the learning that occurs at JMU when students team with professors in the classroom, in the lab and in the field and when they take part in the university’s vibrant student life.

There is a way to continue to receive Montpelier and help JMU educate students. If you are a donor to JMU in this or the past fiscal year you will receive Montpelier. A gift to JMU by Dec. 31 of this year will ensure that the next issue arrives in your mailbox. You will continue to receive four issues of Montpelier as long as you make a gift each year.

Gifts to the Madison Fund, the Duke Club, a planned gift or an endowment qualify. To learn how to make a gift, please call (800) 296-6162 or send a check to JMU, Office of Development, MSC 2603, JMU, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.

Your gift will help JMU continue its mission to prepare educated and enlightened citizens. This is, after all, why we’re here.
In addition, Montpelier will help you stay in touch with your alma mater and offer new features and departments that give you a voice and continue to make JMU feel like home.

You’re reading our newest addition now — our new letters to the editor forum. We’re calling it “22807” — the ZIP code exclusive to JMU. We have long looked forward to this department, which is one of the hallmarks of a top-quality university magazine and traditionally one of its most popular sections. It offers you, the reader, the opportunity to respond to stories and issues raised in the magazine, and provides us, the staff, with valuable feedback about how we can continually improve the magazine.
We always look forward to hearing from you and pay close attention to your comments.

Keep those great story ideas coming.

Pam Brock

I am writing to thank you and all your colleagues for the wonderful job you did with the Montpelier cover story about my disaster work. One of the nicest consequences of this project is that I have heard from so many former students who have read the article. It has been great catching up with them and learning how our work together has influenced their lives. My relatives also enjoyed reading the article. I should mention that my brothers were delighted to point out that “Disaster” was plastered across my chest on the cover.

Lennie Echterling
JMU psychology professor

I received my issue of Montpelier today, and turned to it with the same interest I have had in every previous issue. After a stunned pause to ponder the photographic praise of rich, white men on Pages 30 and 31, I did a double take through the entire issue with disappointment. It’s not bad enough as a misrepresentation of the JMU community that people of color are missing from almost every page of the current issue (exceptions are a brief mention of Sports Illustrated and a last-page sidebar, “American Dreamers”). I found it especially telling and disturbing that the feature article, “The Cost of Money,” visually drives home the point that in the aggregate, financial success knows no diversity — a hefty cost, indeed, as much to those with the money as to those without. As much as I have enjoyed Montpelier in the past, and even appreciate the theme of entrepreneurship as an appropriate one in the spirit of James Madison, my belief that JMU is so much more than this issue conveys compels me to point out the glaring absence of non-white races and ethnicities, and women, among the entrepreneurs chosen. I daresay this issue will fail to capture the attention of the more than half the readership it fails to represent, except those among that group who, like me, are disenchanted by its narrowness.

Amy Leary (’93)
Charlotte, N.C.

• The Summer 2002 Montpelier magazine article “The Cost of Money” is a shameful embarrassment. Edie Jeffer’s article does not focus on gender perspective but on “top-rung JMU entrepreneurs.” Not one woman entrepreneur out of 10 profiles! This is a most serious reflection on JMU. Surely JMU must have some successful alumni female entrepreneurs?

Pat Anderson (’99P)
Rye, N.H.

EDITOR’S RESPONSE: We were surprised too. The magazine staff scoured the alumni base and exhausted contacts looking for female and minority entrepreneurs and found none who operate on the scale of those individuals in the “Cost of Money” story. That said, it is always possible that there are some of you out there about whom we don’t know. If so, please get in touch. Nothing would please our (predominantly female) staff more.

The JMU community lost a truly wonderful professor on July 13, 2001, with the death of Dr. Marion Doss of the political science department. Dr. Doss was extremely intelligent and always had an interesting story to share from his vast life experiences. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, received a master’s in public administration from Harvard and a juris doctor and master’s in law and taxation from William and Mary. You could always count on him to be available for help outside of class. I learned a lot about criminal justice from his classes. His lectures were informative and supplemented with projects, such as attending local court hearings that broaden the scope of learning. He also gave his time as the faculty adviser for our criminal justice fraternity, Lambda Alpha Epsilon. I may not always remember all the criminal law statutes he taught me, but in addition to textbook knowledge, Dr. Doss also taught his students life lessons. I will always be thankful for his approach to helping students. He never imposed his opinion; he always encouraged us to think for ourselves. Dr. Doss was on sabbatical during the semester I was debating which field I should get my master’s in, and he came in to help me with my decisions and wrote letters of recommendations for me. I’m now in a wonderful criminal justice program at Eastern Kentucky University. I would have never found this place without his direction and support. I am very appreciative for everything I learned from him, and he will be greatly missed.

Lauren Tucker (’00)
Richmond, Ky.

• I recently read your spring edition of Montpelier. I especially enjoyed reading about Dr. Paul Cline. I had Dr. Cline for numerous political science classes in 1978-79. He was an excellent professor and a great guy.

Fred Bean (’79)
Carlisle, Pa.

• I particularly enjoyed this issue [Spring 2002] because it featured a favorite teacher, Dr. Ralph Cohen, who teaches Shakespeare, although I studied it with Dr. Louis Locke. The C-SPAN feature of alumni that are successful, the feature after 9-11, and the broadcasting fellow was interesting too. Where is Kissing Rock? I would like to see more articles about alumni, profiles of their business success; and I like the “how they met” stories in the Class Notes, too.

Jane Wesley (’76)
San Francisco, Calif.

I just read about Leigh Buckley [“Can-do Kid,” Summer 2002]. I’d like to confer with her in reference to the kids they have mentored. I have a child with a visual learning disability. I wonder how many children they work with have this too, perhaps undiagnosed. Children with 20/20 vision have visual problems and can be labeled as ADHD and slow learners, etc. This need not be the case. Help is out there.

Sue Jeffrey Reese (’82)
Chesterfield, Va.

Several people we know have mentioned seeing our photo on the back cover [“Who Gives?” Winter 2002] and said it was a good idea. Now I hope you’ll hear from more folks about the message of making a gift to JMU. Maybe more teachers might express that idea and carry it out, too.

Alpha Spitzer (’37)
Bridgewater, Va.

I student-taught for Mary Etter in 1963 and have stayed in touch with her over the years since then. Last month, while visiting in Northern Virginia, I planned to make my usual stop to see her on my way back to North Carolina. I tried calling, but got no answer. Upon reading Montpelier and seeing the “In Memoriam” column, I was saddened to read about Mrs. Etter’s passing. I know she was very active with JMU until fairly recently, and we had visited many times in her lovely home on West Market Street. She was a treasure and an inspiration to me in many ways, not only in her teaching, but in the way she lived her life and served her community.

Carol B. Wootton (’63)
Leicester, N.C.

I am pleased to inform you that James Madison University ranks No. 18 nationally on the list of colleges and universities with alumni currently serving as Peace Corps [“Feel the Power,” Winter 2002] volunteers. Throughout the years, your institution has made a tremendous contribution to this agency’s global legacy of public service. This ranking certainly reflects the high caliber of the students who attend your institution. Today, 39 of your talented students are representing our country abroad by serving the people of the developing world as Peace Corps volunteers. The Peace Corps and JMU have developed a significant relationship over the years. My son goes to JMU and really likes being there. Thanks for your recent story about the

Peace Corps.
Lloyd P. Pierson
Peace Corps chief of staff
Washington, D.C.

What an amazing insight into our friendship you garnered and were able to express in the Montpelier article [“Reflections of the class of 1959”] in the Winter 2002 issue. There should be no doubt that we enjoyed our year together at Madison College. When I was a student, getting an education that would prepare me for employment seemed of utmost importance. Madison College did a good job with this. I didn’t realize that what I would remember most was the relationships that were encouraged. Who can I go back and thank for the placement of six girls (five transfer students and one exchange student) in that suite? A tribute to the unsung heroes who do this job! Thank you for being so generous with your time, for your good humor and for helping six ladies of the “old school” relive some fond memories.

Judy Grove Kinter (’59)
White Post, Va.

I look forward eagerly to receiving Montpelier. It’s a beautiful statement of JMU’s outstanding progress.

Jean Chenoweth (’44)
Taneytown, Md.

Your letters to the editor are welcome
Montpelier welcomes your letters about stories and issues raised in the magazine. Letters are subject to editing, and not all letters can be published, nor can they be returned. Letters must include your name, address, daytime phone number or e-mail address. So that we may properly identify you to readers, please tell us your class year or whether you are a parent, professor or student. Anonymous letters will not be published. Send your letters to:
22807, Montpelier, Medical Arts West, MSC 5718, JMU, Harrisonburg, VA, 22807 or e-mail us at

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