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Presidential Stories

An address to JMU and Area Arts Educators and Students

An address to JMU and Area Arts Educators and Students
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Celebrating Differences: Linking Disability, Diversity and Excellence

President Alger discusses disability and diversity, and their contributions to academic excellence.
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Very modern Madison
"James Madison didn't just embody compromise, he built it into our system of governance."

2014-2010 Strategic Plan email
The recent Board of Visitors meeting was the culmination of an 18-month long process of developing JMU's new strategic plan for 2014-2020.

Faculty and Staff Email Update - February 2014
As we prepare for the busy spring season, I want to share some quick updates on events and activities this semester.

Welcome Back Update
Welcome back to a new semester at JMU! I hope that each of you enjoyed a peaceful and safe winter break. I want to share a few updates on recent news and developments.

End of Semester Update
As we approach the end of our first full calendar year together, I want to thank all of you for your extraordinary efforts to make JMU the best possible place to learn, work, and live.

Taking Compliance from Policy to Practice: Managing in a Sea of Change
"Compliance is an area of higher education law and policy that keeps college and university presidents up at night."

President Alger and Dr. Carol Geary Schneider celebrate value of liberal education
Dr. Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, discussed the importance of a liberal education system and JMU's place in it.

Dr. A.E. Dick Howard and President Alger launch Madison Vision Series
As part of the Madison Vision Series, Dr. A.E. Dick Howard spoke extensively about the U.S. Constitution's influence on international law, and provided snapshots of history in order for audiences to visualize American laws role worldwide.

Fall Email Update
It has been an exciting and busy fall at JMU. At this midpoint in the semester, I want to share an update regarding some of our programs, initiatives and accomplishments.

Broad reach of U.S. Constitution
Constitutional law expert Dr. A.E. Dick Howard took a JMU audience around the world on Constitution Day 2013 to illustrate the influence of the U.S. Constitution.

Presenting the Madison Vision Series
The Madison Vision Series will bring scholars, thinkers and leaders of all kinds to campus for lively explorations of issues facing our contemporary society.

President Alger: "JMU is home"
Addressing university staff at the start of academic year 2013, President Alger spoke about the sense of community and family at James Madison University.

President emphasizes intergenerational learning
President Alger encourages more than 300 freshmen students, alumni and parents attending the legacy picnic to embrace a lifetime involvement with JMU.

Academic Year Welcome 2013 Email
I want to welcome you to the new academic year and share an update on activities and developments on campus as we prepare for classes to begin.  There are so many good things to share.

President Alger receives annual accomplishments report
The JMU vice presidents have reported in on the university's accomplishments, and they're impressive.

2013 June Board of Visitors Update
Every June, the James Madison University Board of Visitors holds its Annual Meeting and I would like to share some highlights from our meeting today.

2013 June Salary Increase
The Commonwealth's budget includes a 3 percent salary increase for AP Faculty. The Commonwealth funds 47 percent of the increase and JMU funds the remaining 53 percent.  I'm happy to report that our budget planning includes the 53 percent. 

We did it!
Madison's future just got a whole lot brighter thanks to donors, many of whom had their gifts to the Madison Vision Fund matched by the JMU Alumni Association.

2013 May Semester Recap
As we seek to ensure good communications with all faculty and staff on topics of interest to all of us in the University community, let me share this summary of some key activities and initiatives from this past semester.

Congratulations to "write on!" winners and honorees
I have been reading a lot about James Madison the statesman lately, also known of course as the Father of the Constitution and our country—s fourth president. Like you all, he was an avid scholar, reader and writer.

2013 March Thank You Email
It is with tremendous gratitude that I write this message of thanks to the Madison community. This spring is a momentous time for the university and I want to acknowledge the efforts of several groups working to help take us into a new era.

President's keynote to Mad-Rush Undergraduate Research Center
"Liberal Arts and the Real World: Perfect Together." In line with this title, I believe a liberal arts education is needed more than ever in this age of information and technology. Just over a week ago, a liberal arts graduate who majored in political science and minored at Swathmore College was inaugurated as JMU's president.

Congratulations to Phi Beta Kappa Inductees
I can still remember back when I was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a student in Swarthmore College back in 1986. In fact, I still have my key after all of these years. I hope that yours will stay with you for the rest of your lives as well.

"Return to Madison" remarks at Montpelier's birthday celebration
Good afternoon. Honored guests, members of the Montpelier Board of Directors, President Imhoff and Montpelier staff, members of the James Madison University Board of Visitors, faculty, students and alumni, family, friends and fellow Madison enthusiasts, it is my great honor to speak at this hallowed place.

President Jonathan R. Alger's inaugural address
Governor McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bolling, public servants from state and local government, Rector Funkhouser, members of the Board of Visitors, special greeters, presidents and delegates from other institutions, faculty, faculty emeriti, staff, students, alumni, parents, community members, and special friends and family - good afternoon!

Keys to the University at Court Square
The university's founding was welcomed as an important milestone in the town's history. A group of local citizens lobbied the General Assembly with the same gusto that is still evident in our community's work ethic today.

Greater Madison Inauguration Week Breakfast
Greater Madison has undergone a metamorphosis over the last few years, and those changes continue. Now the role of Greater Madison will grow even more central to many of our efforts moving forward.

2013 March QEP Email Series
Here's a fascinating look at how The Madison Collaborative can make its way into nearly every discipline across the curriculum. You will enjoy hearing from your colleagues and your professors about how this intriguing and rigorous approach will work across the curriculum and co-curriculum.

President Alger's speech to the Student Diversity Council
I am delighted to see this turnout of JMU business students. All of you from the business community and from across the university, we welcome you and we are glad that you are here to talk about something that I think is really important.

2013 January "Why Madison?" Update
We have held 33 "Why Madison?" receptions and meetings, both on and off campus, to come together and reflect collectively on our hopes, dreams and aspirations for JMU.

2013 Winter Madison Letter
So, you may be wondering, how? How do we elevate James Madison University to the status of a national model? The excellent leadership of the past, decades of thoughtful and dedicated work by faculty and staff members, and achievements of students and graduates year after year allow us to enter into a new phase.

Greetings to the Class of 2012's Winter Commencement
Good morning, JMU family, and congratulations to all of our December 2012 graduates. It is a special honor and privilege for my wife, Mary Ann, and me to participate with you today in our very first graduation ceremony here at James Madison University.

2012 Fall Semester Review Email
Thank you for a wonderful first semester. We spent our time together productively. While a multitude of activities occurring on and off campus represent real advances for JMU, I want to review nine specific items that I believe are among the most noteworthy from our first semester together.

Remarks on president's Election Day visit to Montpelier
Good morning. What an exciting day. And thank you for the wonderful tour of Montpelier this morning. One of the things that I really appreciate and am excited about today is the interdisciplinary nature of conversation. We have people who understand the science and the archaeology and anthropology and political science and history.

2012 Fall Madison Letter
As freshmen and the rest of Madison's student body dedicate themselves to learning in their courses this semester, I will dedicate myself to learning about James Madison University. Already, I know a great deal about this wonderful university. I can say with the objectivity of an outsider that the world has taken notice of JMU.

Opening staff meeting remarks
Good morning, everybody! I want to thank the Employee Advisory Committee for hosting this event. I thought, "Oh, this will just be a small group. We'll get together and have a nice conversation." And, here we are with a full auditorium. It is great to see the enthusiasm and energy here in this room.

Forbes Center Presidential Listening Tour Event
The JMU Alumni Association, Greater Madison and the Shenandoah Valley Duke Club welcomed invited guests to the Presidential Listening Tour event at the Forbes Center, Thursday, Aug. 16.

Acceptance speech of JMU's sixth president
The James Madison University Board of Visitors unanimously selected Mr. Jonathan R. Alger to serve as the next president of James Madison University. "We desire a leader who values our student-centered focus, emphasis on teaching and is committed to the full development of the individual. We needed someone with an appreciation for the historical strengths of the University and one willing to invest time to understand our distinct institutional culture." said Rector Jim Hartman.

Why Madison?
In the short time leading up to and since I took office as president, I acquired a great deal of the knowledge and made the relationships necessary to successfully lead James Madison University. But still there is much for me to learn. I must acquire a complete 360-degree understanding of the university's strengths as well as its challenges and a deeper understanding of what makes Madison unique.