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JMU grads ready to soar

by Janet Smith

Graphic with breakdown of JMU's 3,028 May 2015 graduating students

May commencement at James Madison University features several ceremonies, all with the aim of honoring the 3,600 students who are completing degree requirements at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Approximately 3,028 undergraduate students will graduate Friday, May 8, at the 3 p.m. University Ceremony in Bridgeforth Stadium. JMU alumna Lindsay Czarniak, an ESPN SportsCenter co-anchor will speak at the ceremony.

Czarniak graduated from JMU in 2000 with a major in journalism and a minor in studio art. Prior to joining ESPN, she worked as a sports anchor and reporter at WRC-TV (NBC4) in Washington, D.C., where she was a protégé of the late George Michael, the primary sports anchor at WRC from 1980 to 2007. At NBC, Czarniak covered everything from regional professional teams to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, and the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

A total of 569 graduate students will officially receive their respective degrees – 22 doctoral, six educational specialist and 541 master’s – at The Graduate School’s 7 p.m. ceremony on Thursday, May 7, in the JMU Convocation Center.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, members of the College of Business’ undergraduate graduating class will participate in a college ceremony in Bridgeforth Stadium.

The following day, on Saturday, May 9, six colleges will hold their respective ceremonies at 9 a.m. The campus locations for the ceremonies are:

College of Arts and Letters – The Quad

College of Education and University Studies – Convocation Center

College of Health and Behavioral Studies – Bridgeforth Stadium

College of Integrated Science and Engineering – UREC East Campus Field

College of Science and Mathematics – Alumni Centennial Park

College of Visual and Performing Arts – Duke Lawn

Commencement weekend will include the Nursing Convocation in which 130 undergraduate and graduate students commemorate completions of their respective degrees. The private ceremony for graduates and their guests will begin at 10 a.m. Friday in the Grand Ballroom of the Festival Conference and Student Center.

Twenty-one Army ROTC cadets will receive their commissions as second lieutenants during a 4 p.m. Saturday, ceremony in the auditorium of Memorial Hall. Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., commanding general of the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM), will speak at the commissioning ceremony. Morrison received his commission through ROTC at JMU, where he graduated in 1986 with a bachelor of business administration degree, majoring in marketing. A highly decorated officer, Morrison’s awards include two Distinguished Service Medals, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals and Defense Meritorious Service Medal. He holds a master of science degree in telecommunications management from Webster University and a master of strategic resourcing from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces as well as numerous other military education credentials.

Also on Saturday, three Air Force ROTC cadets will receive their commissions at 3 p.m. in the Madison Union Ballroom. Dr. William F. Evans, a professor of psychology at JMU and a brigadier general who advises the JMU cadets, will speak at the commissioning ceremony. Detachment 890 at 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.

Visit for complete details about JMU commencement ceremonies.

Use #JMUGrad to share your pictures, check out photos and videos from graduation and keep up with all the latest commencement news. Use #JMUGrad on your social media posts and you may even see yourself on the big screens during the University Ceremony. 

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April 29, 2015

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Published: Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Last Updated: Friday, February 12, 2021

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