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Oct 8, 2012

Making a memorable senior year possible

Jeremy Hashiguchi says Madison Forever saved his JMU career
By Kelley Freund ('07)

Jeremy Hashiguchi in front of Hillcrest House
Highlights of his senior year include InterVarsity activities: every Friday night in Wilson Hall, Hashiguchi leads students in worship.

Jeremy Hashiguchi was all set to return to JMU for his senior year—in fact he was already in the 'Burg. A fan of Harrisonburg's small-town feel, Hashiguchi spent the summer in town working at Bravo's. He was excited for the semester to start and to continue his leadership with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an organization he has been involved with since his freshman year. Hashiguchi is also a member of the band Skyward. The band started playing at church, but the members decided it was something they really wanted to pursue and began playing at local churches and clubs. On a whim, Skyward entered a competition and won a trip to Florida to record a full-length album over the upcoming winter break.

It was looking to be a memorable senior year.

But a few weeks before it started, the loans Hashiguchi had been relying on to pay for school were denied. To make things more difficult, his sister had just graduated from high school and was headed to college in Pennsylvania. "With the added burden that came along, my parents were faced with the option of, 'Well, we can maybe pay for one of you to go.'"

"I was faced with the possibility of not coming back to school this semester, having to work a job in order to be able to pay and then come back in a couple semesters. I wouldn't have been able to finish on time."

Madison Forever saved Jeremy's senior year. "The opportunity I have now to return to school with financial aid and not worry about finances is an extreme burden lifted," he says.

Because of Madison Forever, Hashiguchi was able to embark on the unforgettable senior year he had envisioned. As part of his InterVarsity activities, every Friday night in Wilson Hall, Hashiguchi leads students in worship. "It's an amazing experience to be part of that community. To be in fellowship with all these students that come from all over the place and to lead them in singing in worship is just awesome."

Hashiguchi is an international affairs major with a minor in Arabic. He began Arabic classes because he wanted to do something different. "I took the 100 level and really enjoyed it, and I've taken it all the way up to the 400 level. I love learning about a different culture, and I love learning the language."

Hashiguchi is also involved in JMU's Honors Program and is currently working on his thesis—the connection between media and Islam. He is researching in what ways movies and media have encouraged a fear of the culture in the post-9/11 environment. Hashiguchi hopes to work in homeland security someday.

Madison Forever has motivated Hashiguchi to excel and finish his senior year strong. "I was faced with the possibility of not coming back to school," says Hashiguchi. "The fact that there are people out there willing to give and donate to students like me is just amazing. The generosity they've shown does not go unappreciated; it really does go to changing people's lives."

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