Alumni chapters secure scholarships for future Dukes

Six alumni chapters are going above and beyond sponsoring job fairs, service projects and networking events. These alumni are securing a JMU experience for future Dukes through endowed scholarships.

The first-ever JMU chapter scholarship, sponsored by the Richmond Chapter, began in 1983 with an initial $3,000 gift and quickly reached endowment level. Kristin Lazenby and Stephanie Schuster received the Richmond Chapter’s 2001-02 Scholarships.

The Metro Washington Chapter began its scholarship fund in 1992 with a $2,500 contribution. Through member donations and proceeds from the chapter’s golf tournament, the fund was endowed in 2001.

The Philadelphia Chapter began its fund in 1998 and brought it to endowment level this year. Chapter president Michael Mafodda (’98) says, “By awarding the money to an incoming freshman from our area, we’re attempting to attract quality students, who we hope will remain active alumni. We hope that an award, no matter how small, will sway a student’s decision to attend JMU, and at the same time expose them to the close-knit community we have as alumni.”

The Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship Fund, established in 1995, awarded four 2001-02 scholarships to African-American freshmen, Jacquelyn Alexander of Fairfax, James Cotto of Reston, Tonya Graham of Fairfax and Chelsea Washington of Woodbridge.

The Elizabeth M. Finlayson Scholarship, created by the Bachelor of Individual Studies Program Alumni Chapter in 1999, honors professor Finlayson, who was instrumental in the founding of the Bachelor of General Studies program, [now called BIS].

Via an anonymous alumni challenge gift, the Charlotte Chapter has begun a scholarship project. The donor will match the chapter’s funds up to $5,000. “We want to help increase JMU’s endowment and its national presence,”says chapter president A.J. Fisher.

Endowed scholarships are a permanent legacy to JMU. The principal remains intact, and the fund’s interest is used to create scholarships. The minimum level to endow a new scholarship is $25,000. Learn more by calling Tracey Kellogg, assistant director of alumni relations, at (540) 568-6234.

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