Dream Big As JMU Writes Its Next Chapter!

JMU News

Dear JMU Family,

When I became president of James Madison University in 2012, I encouraged the university community to “dream big together.” We then spent many months listening to you and our constituents around the world on the “Why Madison?” Listening Tour to learn more directly about your collective hopes for JMU. What we heard was a deep affection for the university and our emphasis on human relationships in the context of an academic mission. What we heard also informed the university’s strategic plan, The Madison Plan 2014-2020.

The Madison Plan set out five bold initiatives—and we accomplished most major objectives in all five. In a very real sense, we did what we said we would do. Now it is time for us to look forward as we build upon those successes and embrace JMU’s role as a nationally recognized university.

JMU is indeed now recognized on a national and an international level for its academic excellence, world-class faculty, vibrant co-curriculum and superior outcomes for our graduates. Just in the past few months, JMU ranked among the top 100 institutions in Forbes’ “America’s Top Colleges.” JMU also was included in Newsweek’s list of “The Best Maker Schools,” 200 schools internationally with “curricula that encourage learning by doing.” Such recognitions are not happenstance, and they provide incontrovertible evidence that we’ve accomplished our vision to be the model of the engaged university.

Of course, our work is not done. We are emerging from a lengthy pandemic that represents one of the most challenging periods in our history, and we have witnessed the strength and resilience of our community like never before. Our human connections have never been more important. Now is the time to build on our shared vision for JMU, while renewing the role of higher education within our civil society. It is time to dream big again.

In the coming months, I, along with other senior leaders, look forward to meeting with you in person and listening to your renewed hopes and dreams for JMU. Collectively, we made our bold vision a reality together, and together we will now write a new and exciting chapter of learning, growing and collaborating.


Jonathan R. Alger

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Published: Thursday, October 7, 2021

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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