Montpelier: James Madison University Magazine

Alumni Association president is altogether one energetic guy
Montpelier Winter 2000

Pat Julius, ('87) is altogether one energetic guy. For the past four years, he has served as director of sales support for COMTEX Scientific Corporation of Alexandria, Va., and he is a founding member and manager of the D.C.-based band Blue Calamari. In the true JMU all together oneTM spirit, Julius has also carved time out of his full schedule to serve as president of the JMU Alumni Board of Directors.

Purple and Gold

Julius began his tenure on the JMU Alumni Association Board as a chapter representative in 1991. "Back then, the board was made up of reps from each chapter, and serving both my chapter and the university was appealing to me," says Julius. "I got to report what was going on in our neck of the woods and convey to everyone in D.C. what was happening on campus."

Julius spends 20 or more hours a month promoting JMU. "If my contributions help make resources available for the JMU community to create the best undergraduate experience, it will not only enhance the value of the degree I hold, but it will improve the JMU experience for everyone. All alumni can be involved, as there are many ways to contribute. Alumni can help coordinate chapter events, offer themselves as mentors to a student or come back to a classroom and talk about their careers. The list is unending, and the beauty of alumni involvement is that we can design what is right for us."

Rhythm and Blues

When he's not promoting JMU or performing and recording with Blue Calamari, Julius spends much of his time promoting and booking the band. He juggles duties as band manager, keyboardist, vocalist and band webmaster. The band, founded in 1995, has recorded more than 10 original songs and plays covers from the 70s, 80s, and 90s to round out its high energy, bluesy, R&B and funk sound. "We plan to keep writing and performing for at least a year before we return to the studio," says Julius.

Blue Calamari was conceived at and inspired by a New Orleans Jazz Festival and released a studio demo tape in March 1997. The group has grown to six members and released its debut full-length CD, Caught Fresh Daily, in May 1999, when they performed in New York City's Bryant Park.

Julius revealed his devotion to music at an early age when he took up the trombone in fourth grade. While he was completing his accounting major and economics minor at JMU, he didn't study music, but he started working on keyboards about six months before Blue Calamari formed. "It's a lot of fun, a lot of hard work and a great way to release tension and forget about your troubles" says Julius. "I'm not a well-studied musician, but I do basic things with chords to help out the band's sound," he adds modestly.

Corporate Threads

When Julius takes off his dusty blue Sushi Fool T-shirt (an original cut from their CD) and dons a corporate three-piece suit, he's headed to his office at COMTEX Scientific Corporation. The Northern Virginia-based COMTEX aggregates and distributes electronic news-feeds to financial, online and Internet markets. As director of sales support, Julius is responsible for resolving all customer service issues, especially delivery and integration. "My favorite part of the job is helping my staff grow professionally and watching them resolve customer issues using their past experiences."

Gold Records

According to JMU sports information officer Curtiss Dudley, "Julius holds JMU track and field records in the outdoor decathlon, with 6,693 points set in 1987, and in the indoor pentathlon, with 3,565 points in 1987."

He ran track three years as a walk-on and earned a scholarship in his senior year. Upon learning that his records were intact, he joked, "Wow, I wasn't sure they were still records."

For six years after graduating, Julius regularly participated in 10Ks and triathlons. Last year he tore his Achilles tendon playing football and has settled on an occasional 5K runs, volleyball, swimming and rock-climbing.

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