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Valley Scholars contributions total $475,000

We have been successful in fundraising for Valley Scholars, one of the signature programs of the Madison Plan. To date, six donors—including the Alger Family—have stepped forward to make generous gifts totaling $475,000.

Along with the Algers, Dan (’79, ’86M) and Alyce (’79) Nardi, the Struthers Family, the Daikin Corp., the duPont Foundation and an anonymous local family are supporting this life-changing program.

If you’ll recall, Valley Scholars is a program for economically disadvantaged and academically motivated eighth graders from seven local school districts. Right now the first cohort of 35 is participating in JMU college-bound outreach experiences provided by our academic, athletics and student affairs programs. The participation of these students will continue throughout high school and culminate with a JMU scholarship of full tuition and fees if they are admitted to JMU.

This program is a personal priority of President Alger, who sees it as both an investment in our local youth and an investment in the health and prosperity of the Shenandoah Valley. JMU has ensured a commitment to fund our first three cohorts. After that, the addition of more cohorts and schools depends on additional funding.

As Valley Scholars Director Shaun Mooney is fond of saying, “We want these kids to think about ‘when’ they go to college—not ‘if.’”

The deans deserve thanks for their commitment to the program, as do our faculty and students who are helping to provide these academic and outreach experiences for our first group of eighth-graders. Our second cohort will be chosen this spring.

If you know our donors, please thank them for their investment in the future of our children, the Shenandoah Valley and JMU.

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