Campaign Update: Because of you, great things are happening


The following communication was sent to Unleashed: The Campaign for James Madison University donors on Jan. 16, 2021, from Russ (JMU '94) and Kathryn Reeder.

Dear Unleashed Donor,

Happy New Year! Along with all the other members of the steering committee for Unleashed: The Campaign for James Madison University, we send our best wishes that 2021 will be a safe and productive year for you and your loved ones. Thank you for your support of James Madison University!

While 2020 was an unusual year to say the least, we saw meaningful progress for private giving to JMU. The James Madison University Foundation recently issued its 2019-2020 Annual Report, which shows that JMU’s endowment gained 4.5 percent by the close of the fiscal year on June 30, 2020. The report provides a great deal of information about the JMU Foundation’s asset management and stewardship of your gifts to the university. The strong growth of JMU’s endowment should be a source of pride: As of November, foundation CEO Warren Coleman (’79, ’81M, ’07P) told us that the endowment had grown to a value of $129.5 million — an 11 percent increase since July 1. You may remember that the JMU Foundation achieved an important goal by growing the endowment past $100 million before the foundation’s 50th anniversary in 2019. This sustained growth is a beacon of hope for the university’s future.

We were also excited for Russ to join Hannah Robinson ('18) to host the UnleashedCampaign Virtual Event on Dec. 16. If you didn’t see it live, be sure to watch the replay. It was fun to cover all the latest news at JMU — there are so many great things happening! We saw many of the gems from the spectacular Peter L. Via Collection, and we took a virtual tour of the new Hartman Hall. My favorite part was talking to three scholarship students: senior Matt Lewis from the JMU basketball team, Valley Scholars graduate (and current JMU sophomore) Amy Cortés, and honors student and December grad Isabella Bukovich, who impressed us with her research about reptiles. All three have achieved great things because donors like you helped with scholarship gifts.

President Jonathan Alger helped recognize some of the JMU heroes who assisted the university through the fall semester. And he had some compelling words about JMU’s need to focus on student financial aid even as the Unleashedcampaign nears its $200 million goal. As the university continues its ascent to becoming a truly national university, he said we face stronger competition for student recruitment. In fact, JMU not only competes with the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech for in-state students, but JMU also competes with the likes of Alabama, Clemson, South Carolina, and Penn State for non-Virginia students.

One thing that becomes clear to us is that once this pandemic is over, JMU’s immersive, in-person, student-focused “Madison Experience” will be more impactful than ever for high school students who have spent the better part of two years in front of Zoom screens. We are excited that JMU and the Unleashed campaign will be focused so strongly on opening the doors of opportunity as wide as possible for these students.

Thank you for your support of James Madison University!

Go Dukes!!

Russ Reeder ('94)
Kathryn Reeder

Steering Committee, Unleashed: The Campaign for James Madison University

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Published: Saturday, January 16, 2021

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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