Graduation beckons JMU students

by Janet Smith


Two full days of celebration to honor the accomplishments of the approximately 3,525 spring graduates of James Madison University are planned for Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10.

Commencement exercises begin with the Graduate School Ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday in the JMU Convocation Center. Graduate students will officially receive degrees – 576 at the master’s level, eight educational specialists and 12 doctoral degrees.

Later in the day, the University Ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. in Bridgeforth Stadium. Dr. Matthew Wasniewski, historian of the U.S. House of Representatives and a JMU alumnus, will speak at the ceremony in which approximately 2,929 undergraduate students will receive their degrees. JMU President Jonathan Alger will offer congratulatory remarks and confer degrees.

In his current role, which in its full form is the historian for the Office of History and Preservation under the Clerk of the House from the U.S. House of Representatives, Wasniewski is responsible for researching questions from House members and staff and directing major print publications and a significant oral history program.

Wasniewski earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1991 with double majors in history and media arts and design. He returned to JMU and completed studies for a master’s degree in U.S. history in 1994. His doctoral degree is from the University of Maryland. In 2012, Wasniewski was inducted into the JMU Phi Beta Kappa Chapter as an alumni member.

On Saturday, individual College Ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. at these locations:

  • College of Arts and Letters, Quadrangle
  • College of Business, Convocation Center
  • College of Education and University Studies, Godwin Hall
  • College of Health and Behavioral Studies, Bridgeforth Stadium
  • College of Integrated Science and Engineering, UREC East Campus Fields
  • College of Science and Mathematics, Alumni Centennial Park
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts, Duke Hall Lawn

More intimate commencement ceremonies include the Nursing Convocation, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday in the Festival Conference and Student Center Ballroom. The private ceremony for 60 undergraduate nursing program graduates and their guests will be held as part of JMU’s commencement tradition.

Two military commissioning ceremonies are slated for Saturday. Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, Department of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G4 and a JMU alumnus, will speak at the Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday in Memorial Hall Auditorium. Nineteen cadets will be commissioned as second lieutenants. Mason, a 1978 graduate of JMU, was instrumental in the Duke Battalion’s creation. In his current role, which he assumed in November 2011, Mason oversees the policies and procedures used by a quarter million U.S. Army logisticians throughout the world.

An Air Force Commissioning Ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday in Room 1101 of Miller Hall. Air Force ROTC’s Detachment 890 will commission four JMU cadets to Air Force officers. The University of Virginia is the host school for students from U.Va., JMU, Liberty University and Piedmont Community College who join Air Force ROTC.

For more information, check the commencement website at

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April 30, 2014

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Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, June 25, 2020

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