JMU’s Unleashed campaign makes first tour stop in Richmond

It’s time to work together to raise James Madison University to the place of prominence it deserves

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney ('04) encourages fellow alumni to come together to support JMU.

SUMMARY: The Unleashed campaign hits the road for the first of several regional events.

By Khalil Garriott (’04)

RICHMOND, Va. —  The first tour stop for Unleashed: The Campaign for James Madison University came to Virginia’s capital on Dec. 5, kicking off a seven-city circuit over the next few months to help JMU rise to greater prominence.

In the rotunda of the Science Museum of Virginia, members of the JMU community gathered to continue the momentum of the university’s recently launched $200 million comprehensive fundraising campaign.


“We are excited about the spirit of possibility that Unleashed represents for JMU’s future,” said Robin Goodman (’83), a member of the Unleashed Campaign Steering Committee.

Levar Stoney (’04), the youngest mayor in Richmond’s history, expressed his thanks to the approximately 200 attendees for supporting his alma mater and encouraged them to continue to be a part of the campaign.

“We have to not only challenge ourselves but then challenge others not just to participate in the Unleashed campaign, but also to go back to our circles of friends and advocates for this campaign,” Stoney told the crowd. "When every Duke, every single one of us, supports the campaign every year, there’s no limit to how much JMU can be Unleashed to the entire world.”

With plans to raise $200 million and engage 65,000 donors by 2022, the Unleashed campaign aspires to fund scholarships for students, support for faculty and student research, support for capital projects, strategic support for rapidly seizing opportunity and support to elevate the university’s commitment to prepare educated and enlightened citizens. JMU President Jonathan R. Alger pointed out the uniqueness of the Madison Experience, adding that the Unleashed campaign is perfectly timed to help elevate the university’s public profile.

Mary Margaret Hawkins (’18) was a featured speaker. Her Madison Experience was shaped by generosity from her mentors, professors and academic scholarship donors.

“I could not ever adequately articulate how much the guidance and generosity of the Honors Advisory Council, the Honors College and James Madison University changed my life,” Hawkins said. “I know that because of the experiences that I had at JMU and within the Honors College, I will be successful no matter which path I choose to forge for myself.”

Hawkins, a first-year law student at the University of Richmond, credited the JMU community for helping her thrive inside and outside the classroom.

“I would not be the woman I am today if it wasn’t for the support of the transformative scholarships and experiences with which I was blessed and the folks who made those possible,” Hawkins told attendees.

Vice President for University Advancement Nick Langridge (’00, ’07M, ’14Ph.D.) provided campaign updates. The campaign stands at $126.9 million with contributions from 45,219 members of the JMU community. Highlights include 26,793 donors giving more than $51 million toward the “Opening Our Doors” campaign goal and 11,268 donors giving more than $40 million toward the “Advancing Our Understanding” campaign goal.

“But JMU, at its heart, is not about numbers; it’s about people,” Langridge said.


The next regional event will be Jan. 24, 2019, at New Realm Brewing Company in Atlanta. For future tour dates and more information, visit jmu.edu/unleashed.


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Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Last Updated: Monday, October 18, 2021

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