JMU Foundation Board of Trustees Fall 2022 Meeting


Highlights from the October 21, 2022, Meeting

Board of Trustees- Fall Meeting

Homecoming weekend is always a very busy weekend and when you add the fall board meeting to the mix, it can be crazy busy for the staff and members. We were fortunate to have nineteen of our twenty-one trustees and five of our six Fellows join us for the beautiful weather and lively committee and board meetings. The foundation is blessed by all the Trustees, Fellows and Advisors who lend their expertise to the operations of the Board.

The full board met in person on October 21, 2022, at the Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center. The board meeting began with our lunch speaker Scooter Renkin, Associate AD for Development at the Duke Club, who answered questions about the move to the Sun Belt conference and shared the results for FY22 which included record-giving $4.1 million and membership which has reached 4,900.

Major news from the committees were:

Executive: Chair Purcell thanked the board members for their participation during FY22 and reported that board and committee meeting attendance exceeded 80% and all committee meetings had quorums.

Administration and Finance: The committee reviewed the results of the FY22 Unrestricted Expenditure Budget and the revised FY23 Unrestricted Budget. CFO Lindsay reported on the FY22 financial statements and noted while the Hotel Madison was not meeting occupancy numbers, the Montpelier Restaurant is performing better, and the town has agreed to advance payments if needed for debt service. The committee also submitted the revised Disbursement of Operating Funds Policy to the board and the changes were unanimously approved.

Development: Dr. Langridge reported on the Unleashed campaign and thanked the committee members for their assistance. He reported that planning for the next major campaign is in the preliminary stages and that he expected a three-year period before any “quiet/silent” fundraising efforts would start. Dr. Langridge discussed with the committee ways they might be involved during this three-year period as prospect “qualifiers”, but no final decision had been made at this point. To ensure the committee is fulfilling its duties outlined in the orientation packet, the committee members have been asked to review the current packet so revisions can be made at the Winter meeting.

ERM/Audit: The committee met with Brown Edwards to review the audited consolidated financial statements ending June 30, 2022. The auditors reported that the Foundation received an unmodified “clean” opinion, and the reports were presented to and approved by the full board. The committee also discussed performance metrics and the need for automation efficiencies through technology.

Governance: Mrs. Cross presented motions to the full board to accept the updated Conflict of Interest Policy and the new Non-Disclosure Agreement which all trustees, fellows, advisors, officers, and Foundation staff will complete and sign. She also informed the board that changes were still needed on the Affiliation Agreement with the University (MOU) after CEO Coleman met with our ex-officio trustees, so the matter will be presented to the board at the Winter meeting. Several updates were made to the JMUF/JMUREF By-Laws to correct the number of terms that could be served by individuals appointed prior to 2019, and to add language about the fellows program.

Real Estate: Updates were provided on the following projects: Peach Grove Avenue property - Lingerfelt is submitting traffic and rezoning applications; the Foundation purchased five properties for JMU and will sell the properties to JMU in early November;  Earlynn Miller House -  three-year lease has been signed with the University to use the property for an “Artist-in-Residence” program. Mr. Kay also discuss the possibility of ground leasing property in Harrisonburg for future use by the University. He described how this may provide a good opportunity to access land needed by the University but owned by individuals who want to maintain ownership of the land.

Investment: Committee Chair Mr. Walden reported that the portfolio was down 20% in FY22 and that rising interest rates, inflation, and the lack of diversity due to the size of our endowment were all major components of the decline. The decline has continued into the first quarter of FY23 with a 2% decline noted for this period. The committee agreed to investigate options to increase investment diversity using third-party firms with expertise in the credit and real estate sectors. The annual review of the manager and our investment model was discussed but no action was taken.

The full board agenda began with Dr. Langridge reporting that FY22 was a record-breaking for giving. He expressed his excitement regarding the $251 million raised during the Unleashed campaign. The Campaign generated $102.6 for scholarships, $83.5 for faculty support, $39.1 for capital projects, $13.9 for renewing civil society, and $11.9 for unrestricted gifts and other needs.

CFO Lindsay shared year-end results and the financial impact of the Unleashed campaign on the endowment. In response to Dr. Langridge’s comments and to help the board better understand the difference between the results she was reporting and what Dr. Langridge reported, she explained the differences in reporting between University Advancement and the JMU Foundation. The Foundation follows accounting standards, recording bequests when the will is probated and recording pledges at the discounted and net realizable value. Advancement uses CASE reporting guidelines including bequest expectancies in campaign totals and recording pledges at face value. Other differences include sponsored program grants, conditional pledges, and sponsorships.

CEO Coleman introduced Dr. Calvin Lawrence Jr., a motivational speaker, mentor, coach, former JMU football player and alum from Granbury, Texas.

Dr. Lawrence advocated trust in mentorship. He noted that mentoring is for everyone - either as a mentor or as an individual being mentored. The people of JMU were what brought him to JMU, including mentors in the classroom and community. Mentors are trusted and experienced advisors that make connections, and connections keep the students engaged and happy. Trust is built by being a role model, having compassion, and developing the relationship.

Building upon Dr. Lawrence’s comments that relationships begin with a conversation, and that investing in people builds trust and encourages engagement, CEO Coleman challenged the board to think about how our relationships and mentorships could impact the Foundation if we are intentional over the next two years. CEO Coleman acknowledged that many of the action items of the strategic plan address areas like collaboration with the University, evaluating engagement opportunities for the board and students through mentorships, and investing in people and technology to grow the Foundation’s impact. He provided an update on the Strategic Plan and challenged the board to bring ideas to our Winter meeting of ways to positively impact the Foundation during the next two years.

Vice-Chair Kay announced that the next meeting would be held the week of February 13, 2023. With no other business to discuss, Board Vice-Chair Kay adjourned the meeting.

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Published: Friday, October 21, 2022

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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