Skip to Main Content
You are in the main content

Presidential Stories

Lessig encourages a return to Madison's vision of a representative democracy

In a nation where private funding from wealthy donors fuels political campaigns, Lawrence Lessig told a Madison Vision Series audience on April 13 that equality--the kind that James Madison idealized--has now been forgotten.
More >

Partnership instead of domination for a new way forward

Dr. Riane Eisler tells a Madison Vision Series audience that they can play a part in shaping the future she hopes for.
More >

More Stories

April 2015 Board of Visitors Update
I'd like to share with you some of the information that senior leadership presented to the Board of Visitors today as well as news from that meeting. Chief among this news are the achievements of our exceptional faculty, staff, students and donors.

Spring Update - March 2015
As we get back into gear after a much needed Spring Break, I want to take a few moments to share news and achievements from a very busy semester to date.

Spring Update - March 2015
As we start Spring Break on campus after some challenging winter weather, I want to take a few moments to share news and achievements from a very busy semester to date.

Mastering the passions, leading for the common good
Michael Signer tells a Madison Vision Series audience that the country James Madison built was one based on mastering the "passions."

Spring Semester Welcome 2015
Happy New Year and welcome to another Spring semester. Let me share notable upcoming events and exciting developments.

Winter Message and Fall Semester Review
As we close another wonderful academic semester, we would like to share some news and events.

Reconciliation through debate
The iDebate Rwanda team share how debate as a communication can achieve reconciliation, make an impact, and engage in civil discourse.

Bill of Rights: 'What would Madison do?'
National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen told a Madison Vision Series audience on Oct. 16 that James Madison would have been a national leader in today's discussions on the U.S. Constitution, privacy and 21st century technology.

Budget and Fall Semester Update
Well into the academic year, we wanted to share some budget updates as well as some highlights from exciting programs and events around campus.

The virtue of individual justice
Justice William C. Mims explains that justice is something we can strive for each on an individual level to improve our society.

Welcome - August 2014
As the end of summer nears, we welcome you to a new academic year and share news on developments across campus.

Update Regarding State Budget - July 2014
As we approach the start of a new fiscal year, we wanted to provide you with a brief update on the state budget and its impact on JMU.

Summer Update - June 2014
As we approach orientation and the start of the fall semester, we wanted to share an update with you on recent developments at JMU.

Harrisonburg downtown redevelopment benefits community and JMU.

Cast a giant shadow
President Alger asks alumni, donors and volunteers to help Madison live up to James Madison's legacy.

From liberal arts to business: Fiorina shares life lessons
Given Fiorina's long list of accomplishments, it is easy to assume that she's always been successful and always had a plan. But, Fiorina debunked that myth by saying, "No success story is without its setbacks. No one who has experienced triumphs has done so without tragedies."

Spring Update - April 2014
As the academic year draws rapidly to a close, we wanted to share an update with you on recent developments at JMU.

Celebrating Differences: Linking Disability, Diversity and Excellence
President Alger discusses disability and diversity, and their contributions to academic excellence.

An address to JMU and Area Arts Educators and Students
An address to JMU and Area Arts Educators and Students

Very modern Madison
"James Madison didn't just embody compromise, he built it into our system of governance."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 "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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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!

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.