Foundation Board of Trustees Spring 2020 Meeting

June 5, 2020


Highlights from the June 5, 2020 Board Meeting

Board of Trustees Spring Board Meeting

The JMU Foundation committee and board meetings were held via WebEx for the first time in its 51 year history during the first week of June. To accommodate this new technology, the assistance of the X-Lab staff and their technology in Lakeview Hall was utilized by the Foundation’s staff. While we much prefer the in person meetings and the time for relationship building, this new venue allowed us to keep everyone informed and engaged with the activities of the Foundation. The X-Lab is an amazing asset of JMU and will definitely be on our tour list for the Board during FY 2021.

The meeting began with a report from President Alger on the current state of the University as it reacts to the new world created by COVID 19. He congratulated the 3,600 plus new graduates and shared that the new incoming freshman class would exceed its goal of 4,750. Other key highlights of his comments centered on the University being categorized as a R2 National University and the numerous awards earned by our students and staff

Administration and Finance Committee – The committee reviewed interim financial statements, approved the unrestricted budget and heard reports on licensing to better understand the Foundation’s financial position. The committee was updated on the Hotel Madison by Paul Gladd and it was noted that the hotel was on track for very good years in 2020 and 2021 before the pandemic. Paul and his team have been working very hard to give the Hotel a better financial outlook after the catastrophic effect the pandemic had on its business for 2020.

Audit Committee – The committee reviewed the recent IT Audit results and discussed action items to address the areas of concern. The financial results for March along with the recent NACUBO study were reviewed as well. It was noted that the FY 20 Audit fieldwork begins on June 24.

Governance Committee – The committee recommended two new Trustees for FY21 to the Board along with the slate of officers for the year. The Board approved the slate of officers, returning trustees, and Robin Reifsnider and Jarl Bliss as the new Trustees for FY21. The committee presented two changes to the By-Laws to the full Board for approval. Trustees are to serve a maximum of three, three-year terms, and the majority of Trustees on the Board must be alums or relatives of alums. Both resolutions were unanimously approved.

Real Estate Committee – The committee discussed the impact of Covid-19 on the real estate holdings of the Foundation as well as its impact on Hotel Madison. Paul Gladd of Hotel Madison discussed the current financial status of the Hotel and the work both the Foundation and University are doing to help the Hotel. The support to the Hotel will continue until it resumes a more normal pattern of conventions and room rentals.

Investment Committee – The committee met several times between the Winter and Spring board meetings and will meet again on June 17. The committee was happy to report that the endowment has recovered nicely from the March sell offer but it still has much room to grow if we are to reach a return that matched our normal spend rate.

Campaign and Scholarships – Dr. Nick Langridge updated the Board on the success of the recent campaign of Madison for Keeps.  The Madison for Keeps fund, which awarded many scholarships during the great recession, was revived as a result of the pandemic with a goal of $500,000.  This goal was surpassed and the goal was increased to $750,000.  Over 1,300 gifts were received, exceeding the second goal to assist with the over 200 appeals for emergency aid which will continue to grow.  Dr. Langridge concluded by noting that JMU has over 140,000 alumni with a 6.3% giving participation rate compared to 4% participation nationally.

CEO Report

CEO Coleman thanked his staff for being flexible and dedicated as they moved all of their equipment home the week of March 23 and continued to perform at a very high level of efficiency. The following is Mr. Coleman’s view on COVID 19:

  • Challenging times - Most of the Foundation staff has been working remotely. Foundation Hall is still on target for occupancy of late summer.  A PPP loan was secured early in the pandemic with a local bank.  There have been many conversations with (and regarding) the Hotel Madison.
  • Opportunities – There are many opportunities for teamwork both internally and with the university, and the Foundation has been proactively pursuing those opportunities.
  • Vision – The Foundation strives to earn and keep the trust of the donors and constituents.
  • Information Technology – The Foundation recently went through an IT audit, is currently implementing Fundriver, is endorsing the Round-up app, and implemented Docusign for gift agreements.
  • Determination – The team continues to attain goals and has shown flexibility during these unprecedented times.


  • 1 - The one goal of the Foundation is to support the JMU community, faculty/staff, and donors.
  • 9 – The Foundation has nine focused and committed team members.

Strategic Planning Committee- The committee held its second meeting on Monday, April 27 to discuss possible changes to the Mission and Vision statement to reflect our current plans to better serve the University and donors. The committee identified several possible changes along with five key areas of focus for the SPC. These ideas and concepts will be shared with the full Board in the upcoming months as we prepare for a late fall plan.

The Meeting adjourned at 12:14 pm. The Fall meeting is scheduled for October 2, 2020.





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Published: Friday, June 5, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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