Mail Services Mission

The mission of University Mail Services is to provide the University community with timely and accurate handling, distribution and processing of all mail, and utilizing staff and resources effectively and efficiently with accountability. 

University Mail Services is managed by Ricoh-USA Managed Services.  Mail Services is a department under the Director of Business Services who reports to the Associate Vice President of Business Services.

The Mail Service Guide is for private circulation only.  It has been prepared for the use and benefit of the University.  This Guide provides useful mail service information and has been structured to assist you in using our mail services to their fullest advantage.

The guide focuses on general topics such as proper addresses, addressing of envelopes and Interdepartmental Mail specific information regarding U.S. mail classification and special deliveries.

Much of the information included in this guide has been compiled from the U.S. Postal Domestic Mail Manual.  Please review and use this information as applicable to your mail service needs.

University Mail Services mailroom has trained personnel who are experienced and conversant with various mailing requirements and regulations.  For special large mailings and for sending out large packages, please inform us at the Processing Center in advance.  This will allow us to coordinate with you and plan effectively to meet your deadlines and at the same time, continue to service the regular needs of the University community without disruption.

University Mail Services is alert to all changes in mail rates and reviews continuously the various classes of mail being mailed from the University in order to ensure that the lowest rates are used and that all possible savings are being affected for the University.

++Remember – Mail Services is no better than the address on the article of mail++

General Information

University Mail Services Processing Center which intakes, processes and sorts all campus USPS mail is located at 1070-A Virginia Avenue.

The Student Services Window is located in Madison Union, Room 280-282.  

The Student Services Window offers the following services:

Sales of Postage Stamps

Certified and Express Mail

Student Mail Boxes

International Mail

Mailing of all classes mail

UPS mailing

Receipt of FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc…

Incoming and Outgoing Fax Service

Purchases may be paid using cash, check, or FLEX account

Student Services - 568-6257

Manager 568-7869 

Accounting/Billing 568-6042

Mail Processing 568-1706

University Mail Services operates from 7:30am to 4:00pm, Monday thru Friday, excluding JMU holidays. 

The Student Services Window operates from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday thru Friday and from 10:00am until 2:00pm on Saturday.  This excludes any JMU holidays.  The summer operational hours are 9:00am to 4:00pm, Monday thru Thursday and from 9:00am until 12:00pm on Friday. 

Only resident undergraduate students are assigned JMU mail boxes.  Mail to students living in University Residence Halls must be addressed in the following manner to prevent delays.                                          

                                          800 South Main Street
                                          JMU Box ####
                                          Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Please do not use your residence hall assignment.  Make sure to use your proper name, no nicknames, as we are not always aware of a student’s nickname.  Please allow an additional 1-2 days for the JMU Post Office to receive mail or packages from the Harrisonburg Post Office.

Mailbox assignments and combinations can be found in MyMadison.

To open your mailbox:

  • Turn LEFT at least 4 turns
  • Turn RIGHT passing 1st number once
  • Turn LEFT            
  • Turn RIGHT until dial stops
  • stop at ______
  • stop at ______
  • stop at ______
  • pull open the door

After closing the door, turn dial to the LEFT to assure locking.

We receive packages from all types of carriers, such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc…  When shipping with these companies, the street address will need to be used as well as the box number.  Once the package is processed, an email will be sent to the email address for notification.  Students are required to present a photo ID and sign for receipt of packages from our Student Services Window.  There is a 2-hour wait period between receiving a notification email and availability of the package due to the processing procedures.

At the end of the year you must change or forward your address if you are not going to be living on campus.  

To forward your address:

  • Sign into MyMadison with your student ID and password
  • Click on Student Tab
  • Click on Student Center, scroll to the bottom of the page
  • Under Personal Information, click on address
  • Add a new address, click ok
  • Click on forward address
  • Once finished, click save

If you are not returning or are not going to be living on campus:

  • Sign into MyMadison with your student ID and password
  • Click on Student Tab
  • Click on Student Center, scroll to the bottom of the page
  • Under Personal Information, click on address
  • Click on Edit Local
  • Save once you have completed your address information
Mail Services

University Mail Services has scheduled runs for pickup and delivery of USPS and Interdepartmental Mail throughout the University community.  If your out-going mail is not ready by the scheduled pick up time for your department, your staff must bring it to the Processing Center by 3:00pm for same day processing.  Mail received at the Processing Center after the 3:00 deadline may be processed for next day delivery to the Post Office.

Any mail or packages received by JMU Mail Services for which a recipient is undetermined may be opened by JMU Mail Services employee to identify the recipient.

All available means such as the campus directory and PeopleSoft will be used before opening the mail or package.  Once opened, the mail or package will be closed securely and tagged to indicate it was opened by JMU Mail Services personnel and will be delivered to the recipient.  If the recipient is still undetermined, the mail or package will be returned to the sender. 

Incoming USPS mail from the Post Office is picked up daily at 6:30am and 11:00am Monday thru Friday, excluding USPS holidays.  The mail is sorted and delivered throughout the University according to daily scheduled runs. 

University Mail Services is responsible for the pick up and delivery of all classes of mail, parcel post and accountable U.S. mail to various offices and departments. 

Departments should utilize their street address along with their MSC code for all incoming mail.

We do not redeliver overnight carrier that is delivered to us either inadvertently or due to incorrect addressing.  We do address correct and return to the carrier so that delivery can be completed by the originating carrier.

Outgoing mail is picked up from University departments at the same time the incoming mail is delivered unless other arrangements have been made. 

Departments need to separate International Mail, First Class Domestic Mail, Mail Requiring Special Attention and Interdepartmental Mail.  The different categories of mail should be put in separate trays or should be bundled and marked accordingly.

All outgoing mail should have the department’s return address.  We encourage the use of Interdepartmental mail envelopes to include correct department and mail stop codes in the appropriate areas.  Those departments that use the envelopes should have the return department’s information as well.  Interdepartmental mail missing the delivery MSC information can be delayed.

All postage to be metered is charged to the initiating department through the University’s Chargeback system using an organization number (Org#).  Departments are responsible for ensuring that University Mail Services is provided with the correct organization account number to be charged for all outgoing mail.  Mail Services is not authorized to process outgoing mail without an org. code. 

Federal Mail that needs to be metered and sealed should be presented to University Mail Services with the FLAPS OUT (not down or tucked) in a stacked form, rubber banded together.  Individual pieces and odd or bulky sized mail should be pre-sealed.

The use of staples to secure or seal a letter, flyer or package is not preferred by the Post Office and unacceptable for mail applying for an automation discount.  In place of staples, “tabs” are now used.  A tab is a small separate paper/plastic piece with an adhesive side that folds over to secure the pages together.  Envelopes, besides the conventional means of sealing, may be sealed using cellophane tape as long as the flap is adequately covered.  Additionally, do not use tape to affix a stamp to an envelope because it is against postal regulations.

University Mail Services is authorized to meter mail for all University correspondence reflecting a University return address.  Any mail lacking this address may not be metered.

You may deposit your personal mail in your outgoing box.  Personal mail will be dropped off to the Postal Service at 2:00pm every working day along with the University’s mail.  Outgoing personal mail must be sealed and have the appropriate postage affixed.  University Mail Services does not and cannot meter any personal mail. 

We have several drop boxes throughout campus from which mail is picked up each day around 2:00.  This mail is then taken to the Post Office for same day processing.  USPS is picked up at our Student Service Window at 3:00pm and 4:00pm each day. 

Separate self- stamped mail and Interdepartmental mail from mail to be metered.  All letters should be bundled neatly with rubber bands and should be facing the same way. 

International Mail, to Canada and Mexico, and mail requiring SPECIAL HANDLING such as “Certified and Insured” mail must be separated and marked with clear instructions.

Mail submitted with a typed label or envelope will be mailed at a discounted presorted first class mailing rate.

If you require University Mail Services to seal envelopes for you, please ensure that they are bundled, facing the same way with their flaps open.  Unsealed envelopes must be wrapped with a rubber band to keep their contents intact and to ensure smooth handling. 

If you use “window envelopes”, please ensure that the entire address shows through the window.  Do not staple enclosures to window of envelope.  If address does not properly fit the window, please use an envelope without a window.

University Mail Services does forward your mail for a period of 90 days.  Individuals are responsible to notify correspondents of their change of address.  If you receive mail for individuals who are no longer with your department, cross out the JMU address completely and list the forwarding address under the words: “Please Forward”.  If you do not have a forwarding address, cross out the JMU address and BARCODE completely and mark the envelope: “Return to Sender, No Forwarding Address”.  Place these envelopes with your mail for pick up.  If you receive unwanted mail, do not open it.  Cross-out the JMU address completely along with the bar-coding at the bottom of the address and mark the envelope: “Refused, Return to Sender”. 

Express Mail and Certified Mail comprise the accountable mail category.  This mail is tracked and accounted for throughout the mail system.  University Mail Services assumes responsibility for this mail when we receive it on your behalf and this responsibility is released only when the item is properly signed for by the recipient or department designee.  To ensure proof and record of receipt, we ask the recipient to print his/her name legibly, sign and date the handheld electronic device or “Accountable Mail Manifest”. 

The Express Mail is picked up from the USPS everyday at 6:30am and 11:00am.  The 6:30am packages will be delivered on that days scheduled run for your department.  The Express Mail received during the 11:00am run will be delivered to you on the next scheduled run for your department. 

USPS mail stating delivered to 22801 only means that the package has arrived at the Harrisonburg Post Office.  It will show delivered to 22807 once received by JMU Mail Services.

If your department is closed when the delivery is being made or if there is no one available at your department to sign for receipt of mail, it will be returned to the Processing Center and it will be delivered on the next scheduled run.

Interdepartmental Mail is mail/correspondence sent out by JMU departments or students for delivery to address within the University System.  All mail must be official University business.  This mail can be a non-specific memo for general distribution or items addressed to a specific individual or position within the University.  Specific addressee mail, if not in an envelope, should be folded and marked with the individual name or title and that person’s MSC and department.  We strongly encourage you to use Interdepartmental Mail Envelopes for Interdepartmental Mail.  If you use stationary envelopes for Interdepartmental Mail, please ensure that “Interdepartmental Mail” is printed prominently on the envelope.  All personal correspondence to anyone within the University System requires appropriate U.S. postage.  Interdepartmental envelopes can be obtained by contacting Mail Services. 

The University Mail Services staff sorts over 1000 pieces of mail per day.  To expedite the process, letters are quickly scanned.  [We sort mail by Mail Stop Codes (MSC) and not by a person’s name, building or room number.]   Failure to list the MSC may result in delay or misdirection of your mail.  Envelopes lacking a MSC are automatically put aside for letter research and will result in delivery delays.  Do not abbreviate names of people and departments.  Abbreviating may cause delays in sorting, besides leading to wrong deliveries.  Properly addressed mail is usually delivered the same business day. 

A current MSC list can be found on the Mail Services website, listed either numerically or alphabetically.

When addressing Interdepartmental Mail or stationary, the one line format is preferred.  We request you avoid three or more lines since such mail can be mistaken for mail requiring metering. 

If a new member is added to your department or if a staff or faculty member changes departments or buildings, a change of address notice needs to be sent to the Processing Center in the form of a memo so that future mail may be delivered accordingly. 

We also need to be notified of changes in delivery location of mail so the most up to date information can be kept on the MSC list.

Employees and Students residing off-grounds should not receive any incoming personal mail or packages (including UPS) at a University address.

General Mailing Instructions

Some items such as metal pieces, glass parts, product samples, chemicals, etc…, may not be mailed.  These items, besides jamming and/ or damaging mailing machines, can cause serious injury to Mailroom employees.  These articles may be returned to sender. 

Envelopes and Post Cards of less than: 3 ½” in height or 5” in length or .007 in thickness are considered non-standard and additional charges are levied towards their postage.  For more information regarding standard sizes, please contact University Mail Services; we will be glad to provide you with more detailed information.

Please determine the proper size and strength of the envelope in accordance with the size of enclosure.  Overly large envelopes fail to firmly hold their contents.  The enclosures tend to move around and there is a risk of tearing the envelope and losing the contents.  A snug fit keeps the enclosure firm in the envelope. 

Overstuffing can cause an envelope to burst at the seams and may lead to loss of enclosure.

The size of the envelope should be selected to properly accommodate the contents.  For the U.S. Postal System, the two main categories of envelopes are “letter size” and “flats”.  Flats are envelopes larger than the maximum letter size, but no larger that 12” high by 15” long and ¾” thick.

To qualify for automated processing (postage savings for your department) by USPS:

Letter size mail must be rectangular.  For a letter to be considered as standard size, the following dimensions must be met: 3 ½”min., 6 1/8”max.  Length: 5”min., 11 ½” max.  Thickness: .007”min., to ¼”max.  Contact University Mail Services for envelope template if not sure of sizing. 

Be sealed or secured on all four edges so they can be fed through a machine.

Note:  Maximum thickness for automated processing is 1/4”.  Mail that does not meet automated processing size may not qualify for discounted rates.

The mailroom has provisions for automatic sealing of standard sized gummed envelopes.  Please leave the envelope flaps open, nesting into each other and then secure the bundle of envelopes with a rubber band or ask for a letter tray for your envelopes.  The contents of the envelope must fit to allow for a proper seal of the flap.  If forwarded to the Processing Center, in this manner, the envelopes bypass sorting and are directly moved to the sealing and metering machines.          

The following address formats are recommended to ensure efficient handling and delivery by the U.S. Postal Service. 

The complete mailing address should be located within the lower right half of the envelope whenever possible.  Extraneous printing or markings should appear as far away from the address as possible.  Sender’s address should appear in the upper left-hand corner and should be no lower than 1/3 of the height of mail piece from the top.

The following suggestions will help make your mail user friendly to the Post Office and speed up delivery:

  • Type or machine- print complete address
  • Ensure print is clear and sharp
  • Use standard business fonts.  Address characters should not touch or overlap
  • Print addresses in 10 or 12 point type (14  is ok) in san serif
  • Black ink on a white background is best
  • Maintain a uniform left margin
  • Use upper-case letters
  • Omit all punctuation
  • Include floor, suite and apartment numbers
  • Include name of city, state and zip code in that order on the same line
  • Use standard two- letter state abbreviations
  • For International mail print the country’s name in capital letters without abbreviations
  • If using window envelopes, ensure that the entire address is always visible

Address labels if used on parcels, packages, letters or large envelopes must also be addressed accordingly to the above- recommended format.  Labels must be applied parallel to the bottom edge of the envelope to be processed by the Post Office on automation equipment.

Other Mail Services

In the absence of alternative instructions, all international mail from the University is sent through the USPS.  Large quantities we use a commercial mail service.  This mail bypasses the U.S. Postal Service and is flown directly to the foreign country of destination and placed into that country’s postal system.  This service offers significant reduction in mailing costs over the USPS system and arrives faster. 

All first class mail that weighs more than 11 ounces and not more than 70 pounds and any other mailable material weighing 13 ounces or less is considered Priority Mail.  This option can also be chosen by the mailer, 

Priority Mail can be sent to all fifty states and Puerto Rico.  This service has a two- four day delivery objective (not guaranteed) to large metropolitan areas within the United States.

Priority Mail envelopes and labels must be used when using this service.  All University Mail Services locations can provide these supplies.  Envelopes with the university’s emblem can be obtained from Mail Services.

This is an extremely reliable and fast delivery service available from the U.S. Postal Service.  This service is available for all major zones in the US and 84 countries. 

Express mail labels (which must accompany the shipment) and large express envelopes can be obtained in advance by calling any of the University Mail Services locations.

It is the responsibility of the sending department to complete the “ship to” and “from” address blocks located on the bottom portion of the express label.  After completion, you may place in your department’s outbound mail or take it to one of the University Mail Services locations.  The U.S. Post Office will send a copy of the express label back to the originating department.  Be sure to remove the patch (Express Mail ID Number) from the back page.  This is your means for tracking your mail.

Certified mail should be used when proof of mailing is required.  This service is available only when sending an item 1stclass within the United States.  Examples of use include sending legal papers, diplomas or materials that are deemed important but have no intrinsic value in and of themselves.

A return receipt indicating the date of delivery and signature can be requested for an additional fee.  A receipt of the mailing, which is detached from the label and has the official postal postmark, is your record of the mailing and should be retained by the sender.  Labels and Return Receipts can be obtained from University Mail Services locations.

A return receipt offers proof of delivery.  This is optional service and is available for insured, certified registered and domestic express mail shipments.  The return receipt identifies the article number of the mailing, the person who signed the receipt for the letter and the date of delivery to the addressee.  It is not necessary to use return receipts with all certified or registered mailings.  Be sure to identify your department on the address portion of the return receipts so that we can route them back to you.

Business Reply Mail

Business reply mail is a service by which correctly formatted mail can be forwarded back to the original sender, free of cost to the party responding.  All fees are assessed to the permit holder for actual mail received, and thereafter internally charged to the initiating department.  Business Reply Mail should be used for mailings over 500 pieces in a single mailing or over a year. 

For example, if you sent out 1,000 stamped envelopes and 500 are returned, you have paid postage on 1,000 pieces.  Whereas, if you sent the mailing out as Business Reply Mail, you pay for only the pieces that are mailed back to the sender.

The permit holder for James Madison University is University Mail Services.  All University departments as well as bonafide student or faculty organizations can use our permit #16.  All Business Reply Mail must utilize the Intelligent Mail Barcode.  Mail Service can assist you in ordering your Business Reply envelopes and obtaining any needed artwork.

Various postal fees have been paid in order for the University to gain maximum discounts if the business reply envelope or postcard format is correctly prepared.  A correct format includes a valid nine digit ZIP, FIM markings and bar code reflecting the ZIP, as well as an acceptable address and placement of the address.  In order to verify that you are using a valid number as well as following the other requirements it is necessary that you review them with University Mail Services before presenting your order to the printer.

Failure to follow these guidelines could result in penalty fees from the Post Office.

Postage Due Account

Postage due mail is handled and accepted by University Mail Services for all University departments and bonafide student and faculty organizations.

A University prepaid account is registered with the Post Office to facilitate charges for inbound mail that either lacks the proper amount of postage or mail that has been requested for return.  When doing a large mailing (over 200 pieces), ensure your mailing list is current; otherwise postage has been paid for undeliverable mail and a postage fee has been paid for returned mail.

Standard Mail (Bulk Mailings)

Standard mail describes a service that has no promised delivery standards but is usually delivered in a week or two within the continental United States and usually not more than 5 days within a radius of 500 miles. 

The University has a permit #4 with in the Post Office to prepare bulk mailings.  This provides the University with the ability to process large mailings at a cost of about 1/3 that of 1st class mailing.  University departments as well as bonafide student and faculty organizations can use the permit.  You cannot use the bulk permit for international mailings.  Mail Service can assist you from design to print for all mailings.  We are also capable of “cleansing” your list via USPS linked software to assure your mailing list contains the most current information and data.

In order to take advantage of these savings, the following is required by the Post Office:

  • Minimum of 200 pieces
  • All pieces must be the same size and weight
  • Pieces must be less than 16oz.
  • Must be SEALED- cannot use staples to seal
  • The return address must state on the top line the permit holder’s name, “James Madison University”
  • The address list must be verified utilizing a USPS approved software
  • Must have indicia (permit number included) in the upper right hand corner of the envelope in place of postage, for example:

                                          Non-Profit Organization
                                          U.S. Postage Paid
                                          Permit No. 4
                                          Harrisonburg, VA 22807

An authorization form MUST be obtained from the University Mail Services before you mail under Permit #4.  The Post Office Bulk Mail Acceptance Unit will not accept your mailing without the form.

All mail bearing permit #4 must be presented to the bulk mail entry unit (BMEU) at the Harrisonburg Post Office.  Permit mail cannot be dropped in a blue collection box.

Internal Mass Mailings

University Mail Services will accept mass mailing for internal delivery with a date no older than one day before distribution.  Mail that requires posting must be delivered to the Processing Center before 10:00am for next day delivery.  All other mail with an older printed date will need to be revised to allow for a more accurate posting time.

Mass mailings must be sorted by department or MSC number and by box number if going to students.  Failure to do so will cause a delay in the posting of your mail or refusal by the Processing Center.

Undeliverable Mail Policy

The U.S. Postal Service delivers all mail identified for Zip Code 22807 or this James Madison University in the address to the University, regardless of its content or completeness of address.  It will not take back most types of Standard Mail for return to sender, for forwarding, or for address correction.  Disposition is at the Processing Centers discretion.

The following types of Standard Mail will be delivered if the Departments Name and/or MSC # is listed within the address or can be otherwise identified:

  • Book clubs and book catalogues
  • Communications from other colleges and universities
  • Educational Seminars
  • Medical Journals
  • Medical Catalogs
  • Other business related catalogs
  • Periodicals

Standard mail that will be discarded:

  • Advertisements marked “FREE”
  • Gift catalogs of all types
  • Leisure travel brochures
  • Lottery offerings
  • Other non-educational catalogs

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