James Madison University’s mission statement, approved by the Board of Visitors on January 14, 2000, reaffirms the university’s long-time commitment to meeting the needs of its students and, in one simple sentence, also states JMU’s commitment to the country ando society: We are committed to preparing students to become educated and enlightened citizens who will lead productive and meaningful lives.The William R. Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs is one of the manifestations of the university’s solicitude for both the educational requirements of its students in a changing world and its own need to respond to the “real world” challenges faced by society today. Cont'd.