Centennial Duke Adam Schilpp ('08) at age 5 near Wilson Hall, and today on campus and with his parents, Peggy and Bob Schilpp. (Center): a Schilpp trio of Dukes on campus in Nov. 1997 (l-r) Megan ('99), Craig ('95) and Adam ('08).
Story by Erin Pettit ('05)
Design by Kristen Daniel ('05)
Photos submitted by Peggy Schilpp
For Peggy and Bob Schilpp, trips to JMU have been a family affair since 1991. All three of their three children are Dukes; so are two alumni and one Centennial Duke who will graduate in 2008 when the university celebrates its 100th anniversary.
"The first memory I have of JMU," says freshman Adam Schilpp ('08), "is helping my brother [Craig ('95)] move in his freshman year. I was only 5, so I could only do so much, but it was just a whole new world seeing all these people moving in at one time. It was hard for me to understand people leaving home to go to school, and now I'm one of them. … I always loved coming and visiting Craig because it was awesome seeing how older kids acted when they were on their own. I loved going to football games. I used to always bring my best friend to the games and we would sit in the end-zone bleachers. … Whenever [the Dukes] kicked a field goal we would try to catch the ball."
Peggy and Bob Schilpp are impressed with much more than the football team and extracurricular activities JMU has to offer. "JMU offers a wide range of academic opportunities," says Bob. "Compared to our own college experiences, the number of fields of study is incredible. Combined with the quality of faculty, the size of the library, and the facilities available to students today, JMU provides an all-encompassing experience. … Peggy and I believe JMU is a truly excellent school, so the fact all three of our children will have degrees from the university makes us very proud. It also gives us a sense of confidence they were and will be prepared to face the future."
Adam's sister, Megan ('99), graduated with a degree in finance and agrees that JMU fosters real-world preparation. "The classes were great, and I learned a lot from my professors, but I also received a lot of on-the-job training," she says. After graduation Megan worked at Sallie Mae. She joined Acsys Inc. in September of 2004 as an accounting and finance recruiter.
Though older brother, Craig, played a part in her decision to come to JMU, there was no denying that JMU was the place for Megan. "I loved the campus," she says. "I had spent a lot of time there throughout high school since Craig attended JMU. I just felt at home [at JMU]. I loved the people I met at JMU. I always really appreciated the size. Everywhere I went, I would run into someone I knew, but I could also always meet new people. For some reason, JMU just attracts really great people!"
Craig says, "I fell in love with JMU's campus the first time I visited. I also applied to UVA, Mary Washington, George Mason and Longwood, but none of them grabbed me like JMU."
The Schilpp trio all agree that no other school they applied to attracted them like JMU did. They each say that they made the right choice. Craig used his degree in mass communications and minor in general business administration to land a job with Lockheed Martin, for whom he's worked for about two years. He also met his current wife, Maureen Daily ('95), while at JMU.
For Peggy and Bob Schilpp involvement with the JMU community does not end with their trio of Dukes. The couple are members of JMU's Parents Council, which meets twice a year to aid the university in better serving JMU parents and students. "While Peggy and I are new to the council, we understand its purpose is to assist the university with a variety of tasks such as fund raising, and meeting with prospective students and their parents to offer any advice and information they may need," says Bob.
Peggy sees the council as a means to share her experiences and knowledge as a parent, as well as help her transition to not having children at home. "When we sent Adam off to school in August, we were coming up on 31 years of parenting," she explains. "We have become very accustomed to being involved with our children's education and other activities. We saw the Parents Council as an opportunity to be involved on another level. We weren't necessarily looking forward to the 'empty nest.' Being a part of the JMU Parents Council helps us make that transition."
Peggy says her "children also came away from their experience at Madison well prepared to face life after college. I think the total community at JMU contributed to this. We continue to be amazed with the students. They are bright, fun-loving, well-rounded young adults. And, we've always found everyone on campus to be genuinely interested in doing everything they can to make the college experiences for our students a positive one."