JMU to recognize December 2023 graduates

JMU News
2023 winter commencement graphic

HARRISONBURG, Va. — James Madison University will hold Winter Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, in the Atlantic Union Bank Center. The event will also be live streamed. 

This year’s commencement speaker is Jennifer Park Stout, a 1998 JMU graduate and vice president of global public policy for Snap Inc., the maker of the technology application, Snapchat.  

At Snap, Stout oversees internal policy development, policy engagement with governments, safety outreach and social impact partnerships. 

Stout spent more than 20 years in the U.S. government serving in a variety of roles including as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State, John F. Kerry, special assistant to President Barack Obama in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, chief of staff to the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and deputy assistant secretary in the bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the State Department. 

In addition to her bachelor’s degree from JMU, Stout holds a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University. 

Undergraduate degrees will be awarded to 850 students, while 174 students will receive graduate degrees.   

The top three most popular undergraduate majors were nursing, health sciences and biology. Business administration, physician assistant studies and occupational therapy were the top three graduate programs. 

The commencement ceremony is a ticketed event. Other general information on the December 2023 commencement is available at  

Reporters should contact Mary-Hope Vass ( by 10 a.m. Friday to obtain credentials. 


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Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2023

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