May 22, 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the JMU Foundation.  The Foundation has continued over these years to fulfill its vital mission and vision to support and serve the JMU community through philanthropy, asset management, and stewardship.  The Foundation manages and grows a sustainable source of private support to supplement the public support provided by federal, state, and local governments and the tuition, as well as fees provided by students and their families.  Dating all the way back to 1947, the Truman Commission Report notes that “improving college access” is one of the primary means to providing for an educated society.  “There must be developed in this country the widespread realization that money expended for education is the wisest and soundest of investments in the national interest.” (Vol. II p. 23).

In 2019, the Virginia General Assembly provided additional funding so that for the first time in 18 years Virginia public colleges did not have to increase tuition making college a little more affordable and accessible to Virginia students. What a fabulous investment by our legislators! Yet affordability is still a barrier to so many graduating high school students.  Although this year’s additional funding was encouraging, donations for scholarships are critical to help ensure that economics is not a factor preventing a student from enrolling at JMU.

Access is just one aspect of providing for an educated society.  Equity is yet another. The JMU Foundation and James Madison University work collaboratively to ensure that the funds provided by donors to the Foundation are used in accordance with the donors’ intentions and equitably as they benefit the JMU community.  In FY 2019, the University launched “Unleashed:  The Campaign for James Madison University.”  The themes of the Campaign are:

  • Renewing our civil society
  • Opening our doors
  • Advancing our understanding
  • Building our success
  • Realizing our vision

The target goals of the Campaign are to engage 65,000+ donors and reach $200+ million and to unleash the promise of James Madison University becoming the national model for the engaged university.  We thank you if you have already joined our Campaign and if you haven’t yet, we welcome you to join the excitement and become a part of it. (

Go Dukes!


Picture of Linda Cross
Linda W. Cross
Chair, Board of Trustees
James Madison University Foundation

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