Montpelier: James Madison University Magazine



Ca-ching For Mama Ding
Montpelier Fall 1999

In less than three months, JMU alumni and friends met a fund-raising challenge that honors one of the university's most well known figures - Mama Ding.

Last spring, Tom Dingledine challenged alumni and friends to increase the endowment of a scholarship honoring his grandmother, Agness Stribling Dingledine ('17), affectionately known as "Mama Ding."

In the Spring 1999 issue of Montpelier, Dingledine challenged alumni and friends to carry on Mama Ding's legacy by volunteering to match up to $10,000 in new gifts made to the scholarship fund by June 30, 1999.

"Alumni and friends met the challenge by donating more than $9,500 to this scholarship," says Lisa Horsch, assistant director of Annual Giving. "Our goal was to raise enough money to bring the scholarship endowment to $25,000 so that JMU can increase this annual award to $1,250 for a deserving student. We were able to reach this goal because so many members of the JMU community were influenced by the Dingledines."

After a story on James Madison University's generations-long connection to the Dingledine family appeared in the Winter 1998 issue of Montpelier, gifts in memory of "Mama Ding" began trickling into JMU's mailbox.

Then came the grandson's challenge. Gifts began pouring in from alumni whose lives were touched by Agness Stribling Dingledine, the Normal School graduate, alumnae secretary and Sigma Sigma Sigma housemother. In 1913, she enrolled in the Normal School. After graduating in 1917, she became the youngest member of the faculty. Her marriage to Professor Raymond Dingledine Sr. produced JMU History Department head Raymond Dingledine Jr., himself revered among later alumni. His sisters, Jane and Agness, both graduated from Madison College. In all, 10 Dingledine relatives have attended JMU during an 85-year family tradition.

Mama Ding remained a part of the JMU community until her death in 1973, and her family endowed a scholarship in her memory in 1983.

To make a gift to the Mama Ding Scholarship fund, call (800) 296-6162 or mail your check, made payable to the JMU Foundation, to: Agness S. Dingledine Scholarship, MSC 8701, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807


  • Home This Issue

  • © Copyright. Official publication of James Madison University