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Distinguished Achievement Award - 2017

Early in January 1909, President Julian A. Burruss received approval from the Board of “Persons” of his recommendation to appoint Heatwole to hold one of the three key positions on the faculty: Head of the Department of Education. Prior to his appointment, Heatwole—a native of Rockingham County—served as dean of the Department of Education at Florida State College for Women. Aside from President Burruss, there were only two men on the first faculty of the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg: Cornelius Heatwole and John W. Wayland. As the first head of educator preparation, Heatwole oversaw the hiring, mentoring, and evaluation of faculty, advised students, developed course curricula, conceptualized program structure and delivery processes, ensured licensure compliance, established first-of-their-kind partnerships with local schools (including collaborating with school officials on the nature and locale of clinical placements), served as confidant to President Burruss, and many other duties.

In his book Madison College: The First Fifty Years, Raymond Dingledine, Jr. noted that Heatwole was very popular with students and that he was “the kind of man one could talk with about numerous matters.” Dingledine noted further that the Junior Class of 1915 selected Heatwole as its honorary member and that he remained with them through their senior year. Previously, Heatwole had been selected as an honorary member by the 1912 graduating class.

Heatwole left the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg in 1917 to accept a position at the University of Georgia. Heatwole returned to Virginia in 1922 to become Executive Secretary of the Virginia Education Association.

The Cornelius J. Heatwole Scholarship was established in March 1999 by Donald and Madeline Stewart ‘47. This scholarship was established to benefit a James Madison University student in the Department of Education from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The recipient must demonstrate financial need as determined by the James Madison University Office of Financial Aid. The student may continue to receive this scholarship as long as he or she remains an active, full-time education major at JMU and continues to meet the requirements or when the student graduates.

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