Benson's legacy reflected in JMU's soaring reputation


SUMMARY: In a video interview, the retiring administrator reflects upon his passion for teaching, the role of the provost, his favorite spot on campus and his signature bow tie collection.

from the June 2017 digital issue of Madison

For 37 years and in multiple roles, A. Jerry Benson has shaped the Madison Experience cherished by students, parents and alumni. Benson retires this month, leaving behind a legacy that is reflected in a university whose academic reputation is soaring.

Jerry Benson retirement
Benson at his farewell reception in April

Joining the faculty of the Department of Psychology in 1980, Benson directed the Shenandoah Valley Child Development Center and the JMU Human Development Center. He later became dean of the College of Education and Psychology, and then dean of the College of Integrated Science and Technology. As provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, Benson has been advocate-in-chief for JMU’s hallmark faculty-student relationship, which simultaneously supports student success and academic achievement. He has led and supported a stellar faculty whose members would be qualified to work at any university—but who chose JMU, where their pursuit of scholarship, research and discovery is matched by their passion for teaching.

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So many distinctive achievements bear his imprimatur: the Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services, the engineering program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, the College of Integrated Science and Engineering, the College of Health and Behavioral Studies, international master’s programs in Spain and Malta, the Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action—and many more.

We're grateful for his leadership over the years, and we wish him well in retirement.

Jerry Benson retirement - cake
The reception featured a familiar motif — a bow tie cake.

Content courtesy of Madison magazine

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Published: Thursday, June 8, 2017

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2020

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