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Madison to inaugurate sixth president, Jonathan R. Alger

James Madison University will take a momentous step in its young, vibrant and storied history when it inaugurates Jonathan R. Alger as its sixth president on March 15, 2013.

For Madison, the presidential inauguration is not about heralding a single individual. It is instead an occasion to celebrate the history, mission, achievements and distinctive educational culture that have been nurtured and shared by the entire James Madison University family.

Established as a normal school in 1908 as the fruit of the Progressive Era, Madison has traveled a lightening trajectory. It has grown and constantly transformed itself in anticipation of an ever-changing American society, looking always to the intellectual and civic legacy of the Father of the U.S. Constitution for which it is named. As it has evolved from a teacher’s college to a liberal arts college to a highly respected comprehensive university, JMU has held fast to core values.

And it is those core values—faculty-student interaction, teaching and scholarship, interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation, and a strong tradition of public service—that have made JMU a unique institution of higher learning. Madison boasts many of the qualities of a small liberal arts college and many of the qualities of a research-intensive university. And, yet, it is tantalizingly neither. 

On inauguration day, these signature strengths will beckon the Madison community forward, as President Alger prepares to lead James Madison University into its next great era of promise and opportunity.

Faculty and staff members, students, alumni, parents and donors are invited to participate in a weeklong exploration and celebration of a James Madison University that continues to engage with ideas and with the world.