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Dingledine Scholarships


  • The Dingledine Scholarships are awarded based on demonstrated excellence in academic achievement, leadership, and community service.
  • Scholarships are given annually by the Dingledine Scholarship Selection Committee.
  • All eligible in-state and out-of-state students may apply.
  • Top scholarship candidates will be notified no later than February 1 and will be invited to campus for an interview in mid-February.
  • Students who apply by the November 1 deadline for the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarships will remain in the pool to be considered for the Madison Achievement Scholarships.
  • The following three scholarships may not be combined: Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarship, Madison Achievement Scholarship and Second Century Scholarship. If you are offered more than one, you may choose the scholarship you wish to accept.

About Tom and Karyn Dingledine

Watch: Dingledine scholar Josh Kelaher ('11) describes his Madison Experience

Tom and Karyn Dingledine are part of a JMU dynasty beginning in the early 1900's. After graduating from Madison, Tom's grandmother, Agness Stribling ('15) married Madison professor Raymond and together they made the first recorded financial gift to Madison — a $10 award for an essay contest, equivalent to one week's pay for a teacher during the time. Later she became known affectionately among students as housemother "Mama Ding" and served Madison well into the 1960s. Today grandson Tom continues his grandparents' legacy. He and his family have established the Agness S. Dingledine Memorial Scholarship and Raymond C. Dingledine Sr. Endowment for Leadership Scholarship. Tom and his wife, Karyn, established the Dingledine Endowed Scholarship for Achievement in Academics and Service to create the university's first privately funded four-year, student-recruitment scholarship. Of course, Tom has heartfelt reasons for creating student scholarships at Madison:

"To me, it's making a difference in the lives of others," he told his scholarship recipients, Megan Bellino ('06), Bethany Elam ('06) and Heather Stewart ('06). "And I think that we need so many people like that. In recognizing and honoring that, I believe that you all will do that with others. It's paying it forward."

Tom and Karyn want to recognize and encourage JMU students with a demonstrated vision to impact others. The recipients of the scholarship should exemplify excellence in academic achievement, leadership, and community service.


Competitive applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria:
  1. 1200 SAT (out of 1600 – we do not consider the writing portion of the SAT) or a 27 ACT score (composite only)
  2. 3.5 GPA (unweighted)
  3. Ranked in upper 25% of your high school class

Download the application (PDF)Application Requirements

  • Apply to JMU and complete your freshman application by the November 1 early action deadline.
  • Submit a Dingledine Scholarship Application with the following materials:
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Two 500-word essays. All essays must be 500 words or less, typed, double-spaced and single-sided. DO NOT include any additional photos, art work, etc. Any essays not meeting these criteria may be ineligible for consideration. 
    • Official high school transcript
    • Dingledine Scholarship Counselor Report (page 5 of the scholarship application)
  • All scholarship application materials (scholarship application, 2 letters of recommendation, 2 essays, official high school transcript and Dingledine Scholarship Counselor Report) must be mailed in ONE envelope and postmarked no later than November 1, 2014. Applications missing any of the required materials will be ineligible for consideration.

Mail to:
Dingledine Scholarship
James Madison University
MSC 0109
481 Bluestone Dr.
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Postmark deadline: November 1, 2014


Maintaining Eligibility

  • Dingledine scholarship recipients must participate in a leadership program under the mentorship of Associate Director of Alumni Relations, Kevin Gibson.
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA must be maintained each year.
  • Recipients must volunteer at annual Dingledine Scholarship interviews and banquet.
  • Criteria for Maintaining Scholarship Eligibility

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about the Dingledine Scholarships »