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Commencement Schedule

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University Ceremony Information

Friday, May 3, 2019

3:00 p.m.

Bridgeforth Stadium

Gates will open at 1:30 p.m.





Presentation of Candidates


University Ceremony Speaker

Jennifer Morgan

President, Cloud Business Group (CBG)
Member, SAP Executive Board


As President of SAP’s Cloud Business Group and a member of the Executive Board, Jennifer is a principal architect of the company’s business and growth strategy and helps steer research and development priorities across SAP’s technology portfolio. Jennifer has end-to-end responsibility for the company’s rapidly growing cloud lines of business, including SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, SAP Fieldglass, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Customer Experience, and Qualtrics. Her portfolio includes product development, research, engineering, operations, and sales and marketing.

Jennifer became the first American woman ever named to the SAP Executive Board when she was appointed in 2017 and named President of the Americas and Asia. In this role, she was responsible for SAP’s revenue, strategy, and customer success in regions encompassing more than 43,000 employees and nearly 230,000 customers. 

Prior to being named to the SAP Executive Board in 2017, Jennifer served as president of SAP North America, where she led the region’s rapid shift to the cloud, sharpened the focus on growth and innovation for more than 155,000 customers, and helped build a culture that earned SAP North America its first ever listing on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. Jennifer was also instrumental in the region securing its place as a leader in the areas of diversity and inclusion through programs like Autism at Work, and particularly the company’s receipt of EDGE certification – a recognition awarded by the World Economic Forum recognizing the company’s commitment to gender equality and equal pay in the workplace.

Jennifer has served in several other leadership roles for SAP since joining the company in 2004. As head of SAP North America’s public sector organization, and later as president of its Regulated Industries business unit, she was a recognized thought-leader on government and public sector technology innovation, represented SAP to the U.S. Government, and testified before the United States Congress on technology and acquisition issues. Earlier in her career, Jennifer served in various management roles at Siebel Systems, and Accenture.

Jennifer has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business and by Forbes as one of the Most Powerful Women in the World and Technology. She is a proud graduate of the James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Jennifer serves on the Board of Directors of the Bank of New York Mellon, a global leader in investment management and investment services, as well as on the non-profit board of the National Academy Foundation (NAF) and the Board of Advisors at James Madison University’s College of Business.

Graduate School Ceremony Speaker

Dr. Edna Reid 



Dr. Reid is Director of JMU Graduate Certificate in Cyber Intelligence (CyInt).  In 2013, she joined the Intelligence Analysis Program, JMU, where she designed and taught courses in CyInt. CyInt is an emerging discipline involving analysis of cybersecurity landscape and cyber adversaries’ (e.g., cybercriminals) motivations, capabilities, and intentions.  

She retired from the FBI where she was an intelligence analyst who designed a project that was nominated for the FBI Director’s Award. Prior to FBI, she held positions at the CIA, private industry, and taught at universities (e.g., Rutgers University).  For ten years, she was in Southeast Asia where she taught at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and worked as an entrepreneur in her start-up company providing executive training in Malaysia.  She started her career as a school media specialist in an elementary school in Wash., D.C.   She has a Doctorate degree from University of Southern California, Master’s degree from University of Maryland, Graduate Certificate in Management Information System from American University, Graduate Certificate in Denial and Deception from National Intelligence University, and a B.S. in Elementary Education from DC Teacher College.

Inclement Weather Procedure

In the case of inclement weather, if weather conditions appear life threatening (lightning, tornado warnings, etc.), the university’s inclement weather plan will be put in place. This will be posted on JMU's website and announced on the radio at AM 1610.

JMU’s public safety department makes this decision and will inform students if a decision has been made through our JMU Emergency Alert System.

All ceremonies will otherwise be held in rain or shine.

The University Ceremony that is to be held on Friday, will be canceled or postponed if the inclement weather plan is enacted. A decision will be made by 12:30 p.m. that day.

If inclement weather is called for Saturday; the decision will be made by 7:00 a.m. The individual college ceremonies will be held later in the day or moved to indoor venues and times will change. The Commencement Home Page will have updated information should this issue occur. 

Grad Requirements

Commencement marks a special day in one's life. We ask that students abide by the Student Conduct Code on Commencement Weekend on the JMU campus where official university ceremonies are taking place. Some of these requirements include refraining from possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages or other controlled substances, being publicly intoxicated, and engaging in disruptive or disorderly conduct.  Possession of alcohol in the stadium, Convocation Center, the Quad and the Alumni Centennial Park is grounds for dismissal.


All attendees are requested to refrain from bringing food and beverages into any ceremony venues – free water will be available. We ask that students refrain from bringing noisemakers, signs, toys, confetti, streamers, or fireworks to any ceremony. Graduates should expect an inspection of person, bags, and clothing capable of concealing prohibited items. 


All college ceremonies will begin on time, so plan for major traffic congestion. There are many graduates and their families headed in the same direction. Delays are possible. Please plan to arrive early so that you don’t miss any of the celebration. Latecomers will be seated by staff when appropriate. Graduates are also expected to stay for the entire ceremony out of respect for those whose names are called later in the program.


For the safety of all, ushers and public safety officers will be present at all ceremonies and reserve the right to refuse seating to any graduate who is visibly intoxicated, and no alcoholic beverages are permitted.


A Special Note on Attire:

All graduates must wear the proper academic regalia to participate in the commencement ceremonies. This includes the JMU gown, cap, tassel and hood. You are expected to wear the academic regalia for the duration of the ceremonies you attend - this includes both the University ceremony on Friday in Bridgeforth Stadium and the individual ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. If you remove your attire, or are not fully clothed underneath it, you will be escorted out.

Dress appropriately for the day and the occasion. Weather in Harrisonburg can be unpredictable, so please be aware of the forecast and plan to dress comfortably under your academic regalia. We recommend that you choose comfortable footwear, and discourage shoes with high or narrow heels, tall platforms or wedges. You also want to wear something that allows you to walk across the stage easily and keep comfortable during the lengthy graduation ceremony. The ceremonies are held rain or shine. Should it be raining when you arrive, a clear poncho will be provided.


While there is no formal dress code, we do ask that all students adhere to these guidelines and suggestions. You will be taking selfies, family photos, group photos with friends — so, you'll want to look sharp.  




Dr. Heather Coltman

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

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