Madison Family Newsletter: September 2021

Madison Family Newsletter: September 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.

Family Weekend

Planning your trip to Harrisonburg for Family Weekend? Be sure to check out all campus has to offer throughout the weekend! Join us for our traditional dining events, College of Business Open House and Tours, Family Game Night at X-Labs and more! The Atlantic Union and Bank Center will host the Marching Royal Dukes and other JMU ensembles for the annual JMU POPS! concert. Saturday includes JMU Football, Men's soccer, dining events, a show in Wilson Hall - Broadway's Next Hit Musical - and a variety of other experiences!

Find more information

A Letter from Dr. Tim Miller

Hello JMU Families,

I hope these first few weeks have been going well for your student. We are all adjusting to being back together but I have seen some really great signs of the JMU we all love. Students are gathering together on the Quad to hang out, study, throw the football, and enjoy the great weather. Classes are gathering both inside and out and the dining halls are full of students trying the many amazing options on campus. Finally, students are enjoying sporting events including Football and the amazing Marching Royal Dukes at halftime. This has been a long time coming and while I realize the pandemic is still part of our daily lives, your students are living those lives and the full JMU experience. 

We have added a lot of new faces in Student Affairs the last year or so and we recently did a video to introduce our leadership team members to all of you. If you didn’t see it yet, the video can be found here. View the Organizational Chart for Student Affairs and if you want to connect with any of the staff please go to this link where you can access our website and find all of our contact information.

Many students are starting to find their place here at JMU, and we recognize the big (and very brave) step this is for all students. If your student hasn’t found their place yet, please encourage them to take opportunities to be involved, try new things and keep an open mind. A great first step is the Find Your Fit program. This will match your student with organizations around campus that they may find interesting. Also, Student Activities and Involvement as well as the University Program Board coordinate on-campus events and activities of all kinds for students looking to meet new people, make friends and have fun. They post up-to-date information about their events on their Instagram pages. Some students may also be interested in joining fraternities or sororities for a chance to make friends and give back to the community. 

If your student is struggling, the Counseling Center is a helpful resource for students who may feel overwhelmed right now. They provide one-on-one and also group sessions depending upon the student’s situation. If you are concerned that your student needs additional support, I want to recommend Madison Cares and the Rebound program through the Dean of Students office as great resources and support systems.

Last but not least, Family Weekend is right around the corner so be sure to come visit our beautiful campus and enjoy the events that are planned. The local community also has a lot to offer so this is a great opportunity to visit many of the small businesses and sites that help make this place so special.  I will be around all weekend and can’t wait to see families reuniting to celebrate.

Thanks for a great beginning to the semester and I hope to see many of you during Family Weekend. Go Dukes!

Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

Sport Clubs and Intramural Sports

Submitted by: Kaitlin Pomerleau, Assistant Director for Marketing and Social Media, University Recreation

Every year, over 5,000 JMU students participate in Intramural Sports and over 2,000 students participate in Sport Clubs. Each are a great way to get involved but require varying levels of commitment.

Intramural Sports allow students to socialize, play the sports they love and workout at the same time! They are competitions played between teams or individuals within JMU. There are three seasons (fall, winter and spring) throughout the year with competitive and recreational leagues. The fall Intramural Sports registration period is taking place now for the following leagues: flag football, sand volleyball, kickball, ultimate Frisbee, outdoor soccer, floor hockey and 3v3 basketball. UREC will also host the following tournaments this fall: cornhole, pickleball, wheelchair basketball, spikeball, teqball, table tennis and goalball. For more information on Intramural Sports, please visit UREC’s website.

In contrast, Sport Clubs are led by students and often compete with sport clubs from other universities. Clubs have dedicated practice times, longer seasons, and dues. There are over 50 sport clubs to try, each emphasizing recreation, competition and leadership! Students can learn more about getting involved in Sport Clubs by visiting the Sport Club Directory.

Learn More

What would you tell a future Duke?

Tell us what you want future Dukes to know about the Madison Experience. Your words of wisdom may be shared with future students and other members of our community. Submit your advice and view what others are saying at j.mu/advice.


Submit Advice »


Financial Aid Disbursements and Starting Classes

Submitted by: Brad Barnett, Financial Aid Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Fall Financial Aid Disbursements: Financial aid disbursements generally occur during the first week of each semester if all paperwork has been submitted in a timely fashion and the student is registered for the amount of hours used to determine financial aid eligibility. If you want to learn more about the disbursement process, timeframe, and financial aid refunds, you can read Section 8: Financial Aid, Disbursements, Your Bill, and Refunds of the Financial Aid: Terms and Conditions – Consumer Information document on our website.

Beginning Enrollment: It’s important to note that students must begin attendance in the classes for which they receive financial aid. Reading the “Beginning Enrollment” portion of Section 1: How Financial Aid is Awarded at JMU and General Eligibility Requirements of the Financial Aid: Terms and Conditions – Consumer Information document at www.jmu.edu/financialaid will explain what constitutes “attendance” for the purposes of meeting this eligibility criterion. Students who do not begin attendance in classes for which financial aid is awarded may be subject to a reduction or cancellation to their financial aid package.

Learn More

JMU At the Park

Submitted by: Ryan Boals, Coordinator, Alumni Relations

Join the JMU Alumni Association and the Williamsburg Alumni Chapter at Busch Gardens for JMU at the Park! Tickets include admission to the park, a parking pass and all-you-can-eat JMU lunch. The deadline to reserve your tickets is October 7, 2021 at midnight.

Tips from the University Health Center

Submitted by: Angela Ritchie, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing, Student Affairs

The University Health Center is here to take care of our students and provide guidance as they navigate healthcare (many for the first time).

Here are some tips for students when they’re not feeling well:

  1. They can go to the Health Center website and check out the self-care guides. They cover a variety of conditions including nausea and vomiting, sore throat, pink eye, seasonal allergies, constipation and others. They may be able to get better without even needing a visit.
  2. If they feel they need more than the self-care guides, they can call our “Talk to a Nurse” line to speak with a registered nurse. After discussing their symptoms we will advise them of what type of appointment or treatment they should have.
  3. Most appointments can be scheduled online through MyJMUChart.
  4. The UHC pharmacy fills prescriptions written on campus and can fill some outside prescriptions. It also has a variety of over-the-counter items like ibuprofen, cough syrup, vitamins, allergy medicine, thermometers and masks.
  5. Our Urgent Care Center is available for more urgent needs like stiches, sprains, minor fractures or allergic reactions. Students are encouraged to call first when possible.
  6. COVID-19 testing is available at the University Health Center by appointment. The out-of-pocket cost is $55 (maximum, depending upon the type of test) or can be billed to insurance. Please let your student know they can schedule an appointment by calling 540-568-6178.

Being sick is no fun, but the University Health Center is here to help our students feel better soon.

Learn More

Hotel Madison's Family Weekend Winner Announced

Submitted by: Kimberly Rhodes, Senior Marketing Manager, Hotel Madison

We are looking forward to Family Weekend October 8-10, 2021, and are excited to be hosting JMU families. We are delighted to share the news of our freshman Parent Loyalty winner, Tamara. Tamara is the lucky freshman parent that won a free stay at Hotel Madison during family weekend simply by joining our Parent Loyalty Program. Congratulations to Tamara and her family - Go, Dukes! During Family Weekend, Montpelier Restaurant & Bar will be taking reservations for dinner from 5 – 9 pm. Montpelier will also be serving brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 2 pm. Hotel Madison's onsite coffee shop, grace+main, is open daily and serves locally roasted coffee and several quick grab-n-go breakfast options. Please note parking in the Mason St. parking deck is complimentary while dining at Hotel Madison. Please be sure to enroll in our Parent Loyalty Program – enrollment is free and will enable access to reservations for JMU's Family Weekend and Homecoming 2022.

Learn More

JMU Libraries – More Than Just Books!

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

Oh yes, we have books! Lots of them! But there’s so much more that we do at JMU Libraries. Our facilities draw 1.5 million visitors per year – they come to study, grab a coffee, learn new skills, work on group projects, make art, get help with their research, try out cutting edge technologies, and have fun! Here is a small sample of the services we provide.

JMU Libraries supports your Duke with:

  • a designated librarian for your Duke’s major
  • one-on-one appointments to help with research, managing citations, and more
  • a 24/7 swipe-in study space (in Rose Library)
  • free access to 3D printers, sewing machines, laser cutters, virtual reality rooms, and art supplies
  • cameras, microphones, and music equipment to borrow
  • a vast DVD and CD collection, as well as access to streaming video
  • subscriptions to academic journals and newspapers like the New York Times
  • and so much more!

Learn more by visiting our Services for Students page. Want to see how we support faculty with online teaching and teaching with technology? Visit our Services for Faculty page to learn more.

Now available: 2022 JMU Calendar

Submitted by: Nora Sutton, Assistant Director, Annual Giving Campaigns, Office of Annual Giving

Make your $25 gift to the Parents & Families Fund before October 31 to reserve your 2022 JMU calendar, filled with images taken by alumni, families, and friends. And just for parents, the Office of Parent Relations is throwing in a sheet of custom stickers to help you mark important dates and special events throughout the school year!

Visit our website

Jobs and Internships for JMU Students

Submitted by: Tam Nguyen, Marketing and Communication Coordinator, University Career Center

To bring job and internship opportunities to all JMU students across all majors, the University Career Center (UCC) collaborates with various academic departments and offices to organize many career fairs throughout the semester:

  • JMU Campus-Wide Career Fair
  • Meet the Firms (for Accounting, Finance, Information Systems majors)
  • CISE Career and Internship Fair (for majors within the College of Integrated Science and Engineering)
  • Nurse Recruitment Day
  • Teacher Recruitment Day
  • SMAD Day
  • Hart School Career and Internship Fair

Our UCC office encourages all JMU students to prepare for their career journeys early and regularly by taking advantage of many free resources and programs that we offer:

  • Resume Workshops
  • Interview Practices
  • Professional Headshots
  • Career Exploration: understanding the connection between students’ academic majors with potential jobs and career paths
  • 1-on-1 career advising appointment with a Career Advisor for any career-related needs
  • Using Handshake to find jobs & internships

If you haven’t heard about Handshake, it is “the #1 way college students find jobs & internships”. This powerful and popular platform/app allows employers and recruiters to connect with talent across different universities and colleges whenever they have job postings or upcoming internship programs. At JMU, our UCC office looks through every single job/internship opportunity before approving and allowing each post to be visible to students to eliminate spam and even scam/fraudulent postings. Just this past week (7 calendar days), there were:

  • 3,126 jobs and internships posted
  • 62 employers who created new job/internship postings

And these numbers are totally not uncommon. Every week, there are many opportunities for all JMU students and recent graduates across all majors and areas of study – these opportunities spread across many cities and states around the US, and some are even abroad. That is precisely why our UCC team constantly encourages all JMU students to be active and proactive on Handshake: not only will students be exposed to such great number of high-quality career opportunities, but they will also be able to register for career fairs, sign up for career workshop, make an appointment with Career Advisor at UCC.

If we can only share one thing with students’ parents and families, we would ask this great network of support to help us remind students to activate or update their Handshake account today – simply because “a complete, updated Handshake profile makes it 5x more likely for a student to be messaged by an employer who is hiring”. Simply put, just by being on Handshake allow opportunities to come knocking on the student’s door.

Visit our website

Dukes Weekly

Submitted by: Angela Ritchie, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing, Student Affairs

Does your student want to get involved? The beginning of the school year means new opportunities for students to join clubs, find jobs and take on responsibilities outside of classes. Dukes Weekly is a great resource for both on-campus and off-campus students—completely free and automatically available.

Let your student know to keep an eye on their Dukes email inbox every Monday at 1 p.m. for the newest edition of Dukes Weekly. Each email acts as a funnel for the communications of on-campus organizations and departments and allows students to find out what’s going on in the JMU community. We encourage organizations and departments to use Dukes Weekly to promote their events via this broadly circulated email.

Within Dukes Weekly, students can expect to find up-to-date campus job opportunities, academic and entertainment-based events, timely announcements and deadlines. Right now it also features a “Stop the Spread” section for important information about COVID-19 policies and changes around campus. Dukes Weekly offers so many ways for your students to get involved and is a hidden gem of a resource for students seeking new opportunities and experiences on campus.

View past editions of Dukes Weekly

Celebrate Homecoming with your Duke!

Submitted by: Katelyn Galbraith, Coordinator of Events & Operations, Alumni Relations

The schedule of events is LIVE for Homecoming 2021. Join events on campus or in your hometown as we celebrate all the reasons that JMU is home! Some highlight events for the week of November 1-7 include QuadFest, the Duke Dog Dash, and the Bagels & Beer morning tailgate. Email alumni@jmu.edu with questions!

Friday Night Flights

Submitted by: McKenna Kendrick, Director of Special Events & Donor Stewardship, Duke Club

JMU Nation, the Duke Club's premier event of the fall is right around the corner! Join us for Friday Night Flights on the field under the lights of Bridgeforth Stadium. You are invited to a beer and wine tasting on Friday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person. Each ticket includes one full-pour drink ticket, five tasting tickets, heavy o'dourves, live music, games, and more! Additional drink tickets are available for purchase at the event. Must be 21 or older to attend. Advanced registration is required. There are discounted tickets for Young Alumni and Designated Drivers (no alcohol). If you have any questions, call the Athletic Ticket Office at (540) 568-3853.

Learn more

Thanksgiving & Winter bus home

Submitted by: Amy Sfaelos, President, CollegeTransit LTD

For those families from the NY, NJ, CT, PA areas - if you haven't already made travel plans for your student to come home for Thanksgiving and Winter Break, it's time to start planning! As of September 1st, we are close to selling out a 3rd Thanksgiving bus and have only just opened our Winter Break bus for reservations. The bus departs directly from the JMU Bookstore parking lot and drops off in Allentown (PA), Morris Plains (NJ), Teterboro (NJ) and Huntington (NY). This travel option has served out of state JMU families for almost 30 years and counting. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Go Dukes!

Amy ('98)

Visit collegetransit.com

More transportation options

Join 5,400+ fellow JMU parents and guardians in the official Facebook group! This group was created by the Office of Parent Relations in an effort to provide a safe online environment for parents to engage with one another. Request to join the group here »


Connect with the JMU Family!

Facebook Instagram

Published: Friday, September 17, 2021

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Related Articles