Madison Family Newsletter: March 2021

Madison Family Newsletter: March 2021

Brought to you by the JMU Office of Parent Relations


Back to Top

JMU Parent Relations Logo

The Madison Family Newsletter is created each month by the Office of Parent Relations in partnership with many members of the JMU community. For more family resources, visit our website.

On-campus COVID-19 testing options

COVID-19 testing is available on campus either at the UHC by calling 540-568-6178 or through the free COVID-19 testing clinics on Thursdays in Warren Hall 502. Sign-up is required.

Sign up for testing


A Letter from Dr. Tim Miller

Hello JMU Parents,

We’ve had some snowy days and some sunny days over the past month. I hope your student is having a good semester so far and is enjoying their time back on campus. I know things look different this year but we’re all committed to the success of our students. It’s not always easy for them to find their place their first year (or even later) but there are so many ways for them to get involved. We’ve put together some suggestions you can share with your Duke that should point them in the right direction. Encourage your student to give them a try—maybe even try something new. If they’re not sure what to do, the Find Your Fit form is a great place to start.

College can be stressful, this year probably more so than ever. If you are concerned that your student may be struggling, Madison Cares is a program that may help. It was created to support students who are in distress because of social, emotional, mental health or academic stressors. 

Students, university personnel, community members or family members can submit a Care Referral through this program. If your student is experiencing distress, please refer them by using the referral link on the Madison Cares website. We’ll provide care, outreach, university resources and direct support as needed. 

We know that some of your students are experiencing the Quarantine or Isolation process on campus.  We have a comprehensive list of FAQs to help know what this process is like so I would recommend going there first if you have questions.  One important resource for these students is our liaison program.  Any students who needs to be in quarantine or isolation is contacted by a liaison to offer resources, answer questions and help in other ways. Students just need to answer the email or text message they receive. 

I’d also like to remind everyone that on Friday, March 12 there are no classes and professors have been asked to not have any assignments due on that day. UREC, most dining facilities and campus buildings will be open so we hope students take time to relax and recharge.

We’re just about halfway through the semester and are optimistic about the second half. Thanks for all you’re doing to support your student and the JMU community. 

Go Dukes! 

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President of Student Affairs

JMU Giving Day is just days away!

Submitted by: Nora Sutton, Coordinator of Campus & Parent Philanthropy, Annual Giving

JMU Giving Day 2021 is March 23rd. There are two easy ways to get involved and make an impact on the students and programs you care most about. 

Keep Going Dukes: Increase your impact by participating in the JMU Family Challenge, sponsored by the JMU Parents Council, from 4 to 6 pm on Giving Day. $10,000 will be split between the top 3 funds that receive the most gifts from parents and families during that time.

Share your passion: Sign up at givingday.jmu.edu to be an ambassador and get a personalized link to share your support of the programs you’re passionate about. Get 5 or more friends to give back using your personal link, and you’ll get a Giving Day shirt to wear with Purple Pride.

21st Birthday Program

Submitted by: Mindy Koon, Assistant Director - Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, The Well - Health Promotion and Well-being

A student’s 21st birthday is a time for celebration. As family members, you’re not new to conversations that reinforce your family values and expectations. A 21st birthday is an excellent opportunity to continue talking with your student about the expectations they have for their celebration.

Like you, we want your student to thrive! The 21st birthday program is one example of how, throughout their academic career, we are committed to empowering your student. Alcohol may not be part of their celebration. If it might be, we hope they will consider how to celebrate in a way that aligns with their values and supports their success.

Two weeks prior to turning 21, students receive an email invitation to participate in the JMU 21st Birthday program. Students may choose to complete an online module, or with special precautions, to meet in person with a member of the Health Promotion & Well-Being staff.

In about 10 minutes, students are encouraged to consider the expectations they have for themselves as well as the expectations friends may have for their celebration. Realistic strategies and resources to minimize the risk of drinking may also be discussed.

As a thank you for participating, students receive a coupon book with offers from five community business partners that may be used up to one month following their birthday. Student feedback from this program is overwhelmingly positive. When your student is about to turn 21, consider reminding them to take advantage of the 21st Birthday Program and its fabulous benefits!

Learn More



Summer 2021 Financial Aid

Submitted by: Jessica Hopkins, Assistant Director of Compliance, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

To receive consideration for financial aid in the summer, students must complete these two applications:

  1. 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. JMU Summer Aid Application (Available March 22)

Note: No FAFSA required if seeking a private loan only.

Students may receive consideration for the following types of funding during the summer:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and/or Parent PLUS)
  • Private Educational Loan (No FAFSA required to borrow a private loan.)

If students anticipate receiving the Federal Pell Grant, they should complete the summer aid application regardless of enrollment level. Receipt of a summer Pell Grant will not reduce eligibility for fall and spring, unless the student has reached their lifetime limit.

Conversely, borrowing a federal student loan during the summer will reduce eligibility for loan assistance in the subsequent fall and spring terms. For example, juniors can borrow up to $7,500 for the academic year, so if $4,000 is used during the summer, that would leave $3,500 to split between fall and spring.

You can learn more by visiting our website and reviewing the Summer Financial Aid Video.

Pickup Service in JMU Libraries

Submitted by: Emily Blake, Communications & Marketing Coordinator, Libraries

While JMU Libraries is open for in-person browsing and studying, we also offer a pickup service so your Duke can request books and DVDs online for pickup at our service desk!

Learn More

JMU Alumni Association Student Committee

Submitted by: Katelyn West, Coordinator of Events and Operations, Alumni Relations

Our office is excited to launch our new JMU Alumni Association Student Committee that will work to represent JMU’s current student population within the JMU Alumni Association. We have several unique ways to serve lined up for those who join the committee including:

  • Help plan and implement JMU’s annual weeklong Homecoming festivities as well as other events that foster JMU pride
  • Represent the student voice in strategic planning and fundraising campaigns for the university
  • Exclusive, direct access to influential alumni across all industries who are always looking to hire and mentor fellow Dukes
  • And much, much more!

We’re thrilled to offer this chance to students to beef up resumes, engage with campus and alumni leaders, and strengthen skills in event planning and strategic communication. The JMUAA Student Committee is now accepting applications! We are looking for inaugural members interested in enhancing the Madison Experience for fellow Dukes and enacting change to jump in and work to represent the student perspective, strengthen JMU pride across campus, and network with prominent alumni and campus leaders. Time commitments are minimal and the rewards are big! Visit the Committee's homepage below to learn more and APPLY! Applications close March 21, 2021.

JMU African, African American, and Diaspora Studies Center


Photo taken before the pandemic began

Submitted by: JMU's AAAD Studies Center

The JMU African, African American, and Diaspora Studies (AAAD) Program is now a Center housed in the College of Arts and Letters and serving all the disciplines and colleges at JMU, and communities and partners regionally, nationally and internationally! This new designation creates an exciting opportunity for more students to engage with the world-opening approaches and unique intellectual contributions of Black Studies, for the faculty to further advance this exciting work, and for the university to play a significant role in promoting the field and its scholars. 

We have many opportunities for you to be involved and learn more about the Center:

Workparent: The Secrets to Successful, Confident Working Parenthood in 2021 and Beyond

Submitted by: Nanfei Liu, Assistant Director of Digital Engagement, Alumni Relations

Have you ever wondered if there was a manual to help you answer those simple but essential parenting questions? Have you ever wished for a guide to help you maneuver through working and parenting at the same time? Most parents haven’t had to figure out working from home and homeschooling their children, but it has become a reality for many in the last year. In this enlightening webinar, author Daisy Dowling will cover techniques and strategies that any working parent can use. You will learn to manage a routine better, communicate effectively as a professional and a parent, build a better “village” of support, maintain personal energy and resilience in the face of working-parent pressures, overcome guilt, and feel more confident and in-control as a hardworking mom or dad.

Learn More

Connect with the JMU Family!

Facebook Instagram

Published: Friday, March 5, 2021

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Related Articles