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Making ethical champions of free enterprise

She want us to remember the things that James Madison stood for--citizenship and responsibility. 

Business and civic leader Leslie Gilliam and her husband, Richard, spoke of their involvement and investment i JMU at the 2013 Annual Stewardship Luncheon, leading up to the occasion of the inauguration of Jonathan Alger as the sixth president of JMU.Leslie Gilliam

“It has been wonderful, Jon [Alger], to get to know you over the last nine months. It was a special treat for Richard and me to host a “Why Madison?” event in Charlottesville and to hear my fellow alumni speak about what is so special about JMU. The tour has been a valuable forum for identifying the JMU strengths we should preserve and enhance going forward. And I am especially excited about the prospects for JMU’s future. 

I have always been personally very proud of JMU’s emphasis on preparing educated and enlightened citizens. One of the things I was happy to see discussed on the listening tour was our special connection—and, as you have said often, our special responsibility—to James Madison, for whom the university is named. As the Father of the Constitution, his inspiration for citizenship could not be more compelling or more necessary today.

So often the search for solutions to societal problems devolves into political acrimony. But at JMU, I am proud to say we do our part to empower students to become engaged with the world and to make wise decisions in their private lives, in their professional careers and in the public sphere.

I am glad to be a part of JMU projects that will explore the very roots of citizenship, ethics and free enterprise. I was thrilled to be a part of your visit to Montpelier, the home of James Madison, where you stated your intention to elevate JMU’s strong, decades-long partnership with Montpelier to a higher level. Richard and I believe an opportunity like this can do so much to raise awareness about the obligations and benefits of citizenship and demonstrate the continuing relevance of a very brilliant man, the Father of the Constitution.”

What if an emphasis on citizenship and responsibility were staples of all universities?

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