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JMU Technology Alumni Group answers Why Madison?
For decades many alumni have answered the questions, “Why Madison?” and “How might JMU improve?” by rolling up their sleeves and volunteering as mentors, guest lecturers and advisers to hundreds of JMU students. One of the most successful alumni/university partnerships in this endeavor is the JMU Technology Alumni Group. Founding members and leaders of the Technology Alumni Group have provided JMU students with scholarships, in-classroom learning and mentorship, internships, networking opportunities, resumé building and career advice. On the following pages TAG alumni — and faculty members and other alumni — explain why it is important to be connected to Madison and JMU students.
‘When college friends start to fade away, you look for other connections to the university. I read an article in a 1999 issue of Madison magazine that JMU’s endowment was below schools like Longwood, Mary Washington and Radford. I was looking for a reason to come back and an alumni technology group for the College of Business seemed like a good reason. Since 2000 our group has been in 163 classrooms and given away 21 scholarships. TAG donated wireless capabilities in 2004 and JMU has gone from no wireless to being named most wireless campus. TAG has really become a self-sustaining organization driven by its members. Mentoring students is more important now than ever. Find an area of the university that can sustain your interest. Look at the gaps that need to be filled. It’s a rewarding opportunity to have a good experience, deliver guidance and make a difference with your friends.’
— Tom Carr (’84), JMU Technology Alumni Group
‘JMU’s Centennial Scholars Program gave me the opportunity to not be so stressed out and worried about how I was going to pay for tuition each semester. It allowed me to really immerse myself in the college experience. It’s so easy for me to say ‘Why Madison?’ JMU gave me the opportunity to really flourish and be where I am today. Thank you, Madison!’
— Chiquita King (’09, ’11M), senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton and Centennial Scholar, Manassas, Va.
‘My brother came to JMU before me, and my niece came after me. JMU is family for us, it’s a huge part of our lives. It’s our responsibility to give back in any way we can. Coming back and networking sends a message to students that they have these channels when they leave college. As alumni we have a responsibility to do that, and to show students how we are taking advantage of what we learned in college and how we’re applying it in the real world. It’s just plain rewarding to give back. It makes you feel like a student again and it keeps you connected to the university. And an alumni tailgate at a football game doesn’t hurt.’
— Bryan Bostic (’83), JMU Technology Alumni Group
Read more reactions to Why Madison? in the digital edition of the Special Report.