JMU graduates are ready to make a difference

by Janet Smith


Class of 2014 graduates throw purple and gold streamers in celebration.

May commencement exercises for the James Madison University Class of 2014 combined festivity and tradition to celebrate the accomplishments of approximately 3,525 undergraduate and graduate-level students.

“This has been the best time of my life here. The people are so nice. Everyone is so understanding. I’ve formed lifelong friendships … and it’s also where I discovered my love of teaching.”
~ Tia Mack, ('13, '14M)

JMU President Jonathan Alger addressed approximately 576 graduate-level students Friday morning in the JMU Convocation Center.

“As graduate students, you have gone the extra mile with your education,” Alger said. “You have challenged yourself to go above and beyond traditional boundaries. You have followed your passion and immersed yourself in fields that you love and want to understand more fully. Many of you have engaged in cutting-edge research and scholarships already, and you have equipped yourself with knowledge and skills that will enable you to continue learning and growing for the rest of your lives.”

Class of 2014 graduates celebrate before commencement exercises.

"Completely bittersweet. I've been in love with JMU for the past four years and I can't imagine being anywhere else, however, I'm extremely prepared to go out into the real world. So it's a sad day, but a very exciting one as well."
~ Emily Rupertus ('14)

Friday afternoon in Bridgeforth Stadium, Dr. Matthew Wasniewski, historian of the U.S. House of Representatives and a JMU alumnus, spoke at the University Ceremony to approximately 2,929 undergraduate students receiving degrees. Wasniewski, a “double Duke” who earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1991 and a master’s degree in 1994, offered graduates and their families and guests a history lesson in the often contentious relations in the U.S. House of Representatives, dispelling contemporary thought that incivility among legislators is at an all-time high.

“James Madison would take great pride in this place that bears his name,” Wasniewski said, urging the Class of 2014 to help make democracy work. “JMU has provided you the tools to be an engaged citizen,” he said. “Use the gift of your education to make a difference.”

Commencement exercises continue Saturday as individual College Ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. at various campus locations.

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Published: Friday, May 9, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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