Service garners presidential award

JMU in the Community

by Janet Smith

Logo of the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

James Madison University has been named to the President’s 2014 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the extraordinary and exemplary community service contributions of its students, faculty, and staff in meeting critical community and national needs.

JMU was recognized in the General Community Service focus area. In the university’s application for the honor roll, JMU officials highlighted three projects to exemplify JMU’s commitment to service.

  • Purple & Gold Connections, an outreach program of the Department of Social Work and the Waynesboro, Va., Public Schools, involves JMU students trained as mentors working with high-school students to gain a sense of empowerment toward making positive life decisions.
  • The School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication Service-Learning Partnerships matched JMU students who took specialized courses, Writing for Nonprofits or Writing in the Community, with Harrisonburg and Rockingham County agencies. Students developed multimedia messages for the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance website and also created print materials to promote events in downtown Harrisonburg. Other community partners, including Massanutten Regional Library, Harrisonburg Refugee Resettlement Office, Valley Migrant Education, Bridgewater Retirement Community, Mountain View Elementary School, Cat’s Cradle and Our Community Place, benefited from students working in an agency-like structure as they developed communication strategies. 
  • The School of Nursing Kenya Healthcare Partnership gave nursing students and faculty the opportunity to study, practice and have an impact on the health of Kenyan citizens in Nairobi and Nyeri and at the Ngoswani Community Health Centre. The JMU group helped conduct physical examinations, administer immunizations and deliver two babies during their rounds. The students also visited a school to teach 200 children how to brush their teeth properly and gave them toothbrushes.

JMU has been named to the honor roll annually since 2006, when the recognition was established. The honor roll, inspired by the thousands of college students who supported relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina devastated portions of the Gulf Coast, highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community challenges.

JMU is one of 766 higher education institutions named to the 2014 honor roll.

The Corporation for National & Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering and service, administers the award in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact and the Interfaith Youth Core.

More information about the CNCS is available at

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Published: Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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