Ceremonies celebrate JMU's newest graduates

by Janet Smith

 JMU graduates clad in purple academic robes and mortarboard caps

The nearly 3,600 students who will receive undergraduate, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degrees in James Madison University’s spring commencement ceremonies are preparing for a full schedule of festivities May 2-4.

About 3,005 students will officially earn their undergraduate degrees. Sixteen students will earn doctoral degrees, five will earn educational specialist degrees and 568 will earn master’s degrees.

Many of the university’s students who will complete degree requirements in the summer will participate in the May ceremonies. About 522 undergraduate, 41 master’s, six educational specialist and 13 doctoral degrees are expected to be awarded to summer graduates once they complete their programs of study.

The university will award undergraduate degrees at college ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at the following locations:

  • College of Arts and Letters, JMU Quadrangle
  • College of Business, JMU Convocation Center
  • College of Education and University Studies, Godwin Hall
  • College of Health and Behavioral Studies, Bridgeforth Stadium
  • College of Integrated Science and Engineering, UREC East Campus Fields across from the Festival Conference and Student Center
  • College of Science and Mathematics, Rose Library Lawn
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts, Memorial Hall Auditorium

On Friday, May 3, JMU President Jonathan Alger will offer brief remarks at the 7 p.m. Graduate Commencement ceremony in the JMU Convocation Center.

Lt. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence, the Army chief information officer, will speak at the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4, in Memorial Hall Auditorium when 32 cadets become the Army’s newest second lieutenants. Lawrence reports directly to the Secretary of the Army for setting strategic direction and objectives and supervises all Army command, control, communications and computers and IT functions.

Eight JMU cadets will be commissioned as Air Force second lieutenants during a ceremony at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 4, in Grafton-Stovall Theatre. Col. Steven T. Hiss, commander of Detachment 890, which is based at the University of Virginia and includes cadets from JMU, Liberty University and Piedmont Virginia Community College, will speak at the commissioning event.

A private pinning ceremony and reception for 57 nursing program graduate and their guests will be held Friday, May 3, in the Grand Ballroom of the Festival Conference and Student Center as part of JMU’s commencement tradition.

Mike Rayburn, a 1986 JMU alumnus who is widely known as "The World’s Funniest Guitar Virtuoso," is the guest speaker for the Senior Convocation at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2, in the JMU Convocation Center. The program is open to graduating seniors only.

For more information, including inclement weather plans for undergraduate ceremonies, check the commencement website at

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April 24, 2013

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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