Madison Family Newsletter: December 2022

Madison Family Newsletter: December 2022

Brought to you by the JMU Office of Parent Relations


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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.

A Letter from Dr. Tim Miller

Hello families,

As we come to the end of the Fall semester, I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your partnership in support of your children, our Dukes. Every day I have the opportunity to interact with your incredible kids and see the amazing foundation you have built in each of them that has allowed them to get to JMU and this next stage of their lives.

I also want to personally extend my thanks and gratitude for the relationship I am honored to have with all of you. This Fall I have been overwhelmed by the interactions I have had with so many of you. Whether it’s at Mom’s Apple Pie in Round Hill, Sunday mornings at Magpie, at a 5K race in the Outer Banks, during Parents’ Council, or every weekend at football games, I always appreciate getting to know all of you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this important stage in your family’s lives. The JMU experience is truly a group effort and I’m thankful for all of you that I get to meet along the way.

Winter Break

I hope you get to spend quality time with your student over Winter Break. As many of you know, it can be an adjustment for everyone when you’re all under one roof again after they have been on their own all semester. While many of you got a taste of this during Thanksgiving, this longer break will require more adjustments and setting of expectations than that one-week break. 

If you think your student may need some support during break, TimelyCare is a resource that is available to all students 24/7, even over break. I want to ask that all of you talk about this with your students when they are home and encourage them to download the app and register for the free service.

Checking in about grades

A while back I posted some thoughts about grades on the parent Facebook page so I wanted to share them here as well. Some of you may not ask about grades and your student may be doing fine. Others may be shocked to find out things didn’t go so well, and your student didn’t know how to tell you they were struggling. I want to encourage all of you to sit down with your student and look at their final grades during the break and also take a look at how they earned those grades by walking through each class on Canvas with them. Missed assignments, late assignments and missed classes can often be signs of some concerns that are worth talking about before they return to campus. 

In addition, some of your students may have struggled a great deal and a letter could come to them over break about either academic probation or suspension. These usually come as a shock to families, so I want you to have resources in hand if this occurs. If your student receives a notification of probation or suspension over the break, please read the whole letter together and follow the steps outlined there and go to this site for more information. University offices will be closed when you receive this letter and I realize this can be stressful. This site is a great resource for you all and the letters provide clear directions on next steps. Again, I hope you don’t receive this news, but some will, and I want you to be prepared. 

No matter how well your Duke did this semester, they can always improve, and you can make a plan for next semester. I recommend monthly Zoom calls to look at their Canvas or MyMadison pages together to see how classes are going. This can open up valuable conversations about what classes they enjoy, any concerns they have and their plans for the future. And it gives you a chance to actually talk face to face!

Leaving for break

If your student lives on campus, here is information from Residence Life about moving out for Winter Break. Also, these safety tips are sent to students each year whether they live on or off campus. Please share with your student just in case they miss the email.

Please encourage your students to clean up and leave their spaces in good shape. We always have a few students who inadvertently conduct a science experiment in their room/fridge by leaving trash, food or other items lying around for a month. I also worry about students locking their doors and windows and taking home valuables. Helpful reminders from family can go a long way.

I wish all of you and your Dukes safe travels and a wonderful holiday season!

Take care, and Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

Winter Break Hall Closing
Financial Aid Disbursements and Starting Classes

Submitted by: Brad Barnett, Associate Vice President of Access & Enrollment Management/Financial Aid Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Spring 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 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

Spring Meal Plans


Submitted by: Jenna Maroney Gray, Director of Student Engagement, JMU Dining

Whether your Duke is currently part of JMU Dining’s Foodie Fam or considering a spring meal plan, there are several important reminders and dates to keep in mind.


  • Fall Meal Plans automatically roll over to the spring semester and are billed with tuition in December. Contact Card Services for graduation exemptions.
  • Need to make a change, no problem!
  • Changes can be made through February 3rd by contacting Card Services via email cardsrvc@jmu.edu from your Dukes account. Please note a $15 fee will be applied


JMU Dining has an exclusive offer for new meal plan holders! Dukes that sign up by 2/4 will get a Foodie Fam coupon book filled with free food and beverages, valued at $60, plus a chance to win one of 50 FREE Starship Delivery Plans. 

Sign Up Here

At JMU Dining, we have more than 28 locations on campus to choose from and a meal plan to fit every need.

Learn More

Regular RA Process is Now Live!

Submitted by: Sydney Wood, Social Media & Marketing Manager, Residence Life

The RA Application for 2023-24 is live December 2 – January 29! Check out the ResLife Student Employment Hub for information on benefits, timelines, interview skills with our partners at the Career Center, and more! Apply now!

Learn More

Study Abroad Applications Reopened

Submitted by: Erin Smith, Study Abroad Outreach & Partnerships Coordinator, Center for Global Engagement

It's not too late for your student to study abroad in 2023! Programs with available spots are now accepting applications on a rolling basis. Students can use the link below to browse open programs and apply on individual program pages.

Learn More

Visit the EJC Arboretum this Winter

Submitted by: Brittany Clem-Hott, Marketing & PR Specialist, EJC Arboretum

This winter, visit the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU, take a stroll on one of our trails, and breathe in the fresh air! Do you have a nature-loving family member or friend? Drop by the Arboretum Gift shop and pick up a small nature-themed treat for your loved ones this holiday season.

Our gift shop is located in the Frances Plecker Education Center and is open Monday - Thursday 8am - 4pm and Friday 8am - 3pm.

Learn More

Warm a Winter Wish

Submitted by: Stephanie Nielsen, Assistant Director for Member Services, University Recreation (UREC)

Each year, UREC partners with local non-profits to help wishes come true for families in need within the Harrisonburg community. There are over 500 wishes to fulfill this year to support First Step, Mercy House and Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley.

If you and your Duke are interested in giving back (even from a distance), you can shop the Amazon Wish List from home! All gifts are shipped directly to UREC for wrapping and delivery to the families. Learn more about Warm a Winter Wish. Thank you for your considerations in support of this program!

Learn More

The Carrier Library of the Future
Artists’ rendering of the interior of the library expansion,
including the large windows (on the left) that will face Grace Street
Overhead view of the site plan for the renovation, expansion, and surrounding area

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

After graduation this May, JMU will begin renovating and expanding Carrier Library, thanks to funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Check out our new "Carrier Library of the Future" page for a sneak peek of the plans for the new building.

Here are a few key features:

  • the new building centers accessibility and universal design, exceeding the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • 24-hour student study space - quiet, inspiring reading rooms and browseable book collections
  • terraces and outdoor spaces
  • consultation and group study rooms
  • universal restrooms on every floor
  • lactation space and relaxation room
  • makerspace and experimental technology classroom
  • video and audio/podcasting studios
  • a new home for the Furious Flower Poetry Center
  • new facilities for Special Collections and a lab for the conservation of books and manuscripts
  • a café and social space
  • a student kitchenette and vending machines
  • new library and educational technology service desks
  • new spaces for library instruction, innovative educational technology, digital scholarship, and distinctive collections.

Learn More

Intramural Sports Registration

Submitted by: Kaitlin PomerleauAssistant Director for Marketing and Social Media, University Recreation (UREC)

Every year, over 25% of JMU students participate in Intramural Sports! Intramural Sports are competitions played between teams or individuals within JMU. They allow students to socialize, play the sports they love and have fun with friends!

There are three seasons (fall, winter and spring) throughout the year with competitive and recreational leagues. The winter and spring Intramural Sports registration period opens on Mon, Dec. 5 for the following leagues: basketball, dodgeball, indoor soccer, indoor volleyball, ultimate frisbee, disc golf, field hockey, flag football, outdoor soccer, softball and street hockey. UREC will also host the following tournaments this spring: pickleball, badminton, March Madness, pool battleship, world cup, tennis and sand volleyball.

We appreciate you passing on the registration reminder to your Duke! For more information on Intramural Sports, please visit UREC’s website.

Learn More

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Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Last Updated: Monday, December 5, 2022

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