Madison Family Newsletter: April 2023

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

Dear JMU families,

We are in the last 6 weeks of the semester and it’s an exciting time – the weather is getting warmer, campus is blooming, and everyone is looking forward to summer. I love this time of year because there are more opportunities for me to connect with our students and enjoy time with them all across campus and at their end of year events.

Many find this time of year exciting, but it can also be challenging for some. Getting motivated to go to class (or work), stressing about certain classes, and trying to plan for summer can be a lot to handle. You can help by talking with your students and helping them find resources that may help.


For parents of graduating seniors, commencement information has been sent to your student so please remind them to check their JMU email to be sure they don’t miss any key dates. Also, the fountain in front of Carrier library is now on! We know it’s a popular spot for grad photos, so we wanted to have it ready as early as possible this year. Thanks to Facilities for making this happen, and I hope everyone will respect the fountain so it can stay available for all students. I also want to ask you to remind your students that we have free quad bricks for them at the top of the Quad so they don’t need to remove them from the walkways. 😉


Whether your student lives on campus or off, moving out at the end of the semester will look different than moving in. If you are visiting or if your student is coming home before move out, I recommend you start bringing some things home. This will make moving out at the end of the semester much easier for everyone. Many families work together to share a storage unit for the summer if it’s too hard to get everything home this summer. This is often a worthwhile investment for a few families to share. 

Questions to ask your student

  • Are you ready to register for fall classes?

Tip: Remind your student to check MyMadison to check for holds that will keep them from registering. Also, they should plan out their schedule ahead of time and have backups in case the classes they want are filled when they register. This can be a stressful time, try to reassure them that it will be okay even if they don’t get their first choice of classes. Also, while many students use Rate My Professor in picking their classes, please help them remember that it’s usually best to talk with other students about professors instead of only using this resource.

  • It’s time to check in about current classes again.

Tip: I recently met with a student who was worried about how they were doing with classes and we found that they still had three assignments, attendance, and two tests left in the semester. In many cases, students still have time to turn things around, but they need to start now. If they’re feeling the pressure from a class that isn’t going well, it’s not too late to get help. Learning Centers, Learning Strategies Instruction, Peer Assisted Study Sessions and attending all classes are some good places to start.


There is so much happening this month. As always, the JMU Event Calendar has a more comprehensive list but here are a few suggestions:

I hope you get a chance to stop by campus and experience some of what we enjoy every day. If you can’t make it, take a minute to check out the QuadCam. I’ll make a point to wave when I’m walking by.

Take care and Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

Save the Date for Family Weekend

Join us for Family Weekend September 29-October 1, 2023 Accommodations in the Harrisonburg area fill up fast, so be sure to book a place to stay soon. Check back for the schedule coming later this summer.

Family Weekend tickets will be available July 5!

Learn More

2023 Spring Commencement Information


Submitted by: Sarah Ciccone, Associate Director, University Events 

2023 Spring Commencement Information is available on the website.

Important Notes:

  • Tickets are required for entry into the Atlantic Union Bank Center.
  • All college ceremonies will be ticketed events, up to a maximum of six tickets per graduate.
  • All ceremonies will be streamed virtually on JMU's website and social media platforms. We will not provide overflow seating areas on campus.
  • Ticketing will close on May 1st at noon.

For commencement questions, email jmugrad@jmu.edu.

Learn More

Loan Repayment and End of Year Deadlines

Submitted by: Colleen McAvoy, Associate Director of Loans, Financial Aid & Scholarships

End of Semester/Year Deadlines

The 2022-23 financial aid year ends at the end of the spring 2023 semester. For parents and students interested in receiving loans, please keep the following in mind:

Federal Direct Loans
Per federal regulations, Direct Loans for the 22-23 year must be created by the end of the last day of the spring 2023 semester. To allow sufficient processing time, the last days to apply for a 2022-23 loan are:

  • Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans- students must accept via MyMadison by May 10
  • Parent and Graduate PLUS Loans- submit applications on studentaid.gov by May 9

Loans accepted/applied for after these dates cannot be guaranteed processing. Direct Loans accepted after May 11 will not be processed.

Private Education Loans
Private loans can take several weeks to process so applications should be submitted immediately to allow sufficient processing time by the lender and JMU. Applications received after May 11th will be considered paying a past due balance. Please review lender requirements carefully to ensure your student qualifies.

Loan Repayment

As the end of the year approaches, so does loan repayment for many borrowers. Student borrowers remaining in school for the 2023-24 year will not enter repayment until they drop below half-time enrollment or graduate. Private loan borrowers selected their repayment plan at time of application. For information about repayment, contact your lender directly. Currently, all federal Direct Loan payments are paused until June 30, 2023, pending litigation around student debt relief. During this payment pause, borrowers should prepare for repayment by logging in to studentaid.gov to find their loan servicer and loan balances. If you have not already done so, set up an account with your loan servicer so that you may begin payments and receive all necessary communications regarding your loan balances and repayment. Log in to studentaid.gov for the most up-to-date information regarding the payment pause.

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Dining Dollars: Use It or Lose It

Submitted by: Jenna (Maroney) Gray, Director of Student Engagement & Marketing, Dining

For those that have Dukes on a meal plan, just a friendly reminder that any unused Dining Dollars at the end of the spring semester will not roll over. Our chart will help meal plan holders stay on track for the remainder of the semester. For questions, contact JMU Dining at 540.568.6751 or email dining@jmu.edu.

Learn More




Fall 2023 Early Meal Plan Sign-Up

Submitted by: Jenna (Maroney) Gray, Director of Student Engagement & Marketing, Dining

Your Duke can lock-in their Fall 2023 Meal Plan during Early Meal Plan Sign Up, April 10th – 28th. Anyone that signs up in person with Team Eats will get free merchandise. Stay connected on social for our schedule of pop-up events; follow us @jmudining.

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Move Out 2023 Information!

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

Residence Halls will be closing on Friday, May 12, 2023, at noon for the end of the school year. Graduating seniors will receive information via email from Residence Life about checking out after graduation. We ask that all other students plan to move out of your residence hall within 24 hours after your last final exam; May 12 at noon is the final day.

Visit our Move Out webpage for more details, FAQs, and move-out parking info/directions! Happy Summer!

Learn More

Leave a Lasting Legacy on Campus!


Submitted by: Kate Burke, Director of Internal Development, Duke Club, Athletics

With spring in full bloom and graduation season on the horizon, now is the time to start making plans for gifts to recognize and celebrate your student Duke! James Madison University Athletics and the Duke Club are proud to continue the Duke Dog Paver tradition - a legacy brick campaign that offers the JMU community the opportunity to personalize and memorialize the people, places, and experiences most important to them with a custom engraved brick on campus. Learn more about the Duke Dog Paver Program and get your personalized brick ordered today. Parents and families can also join the fun this fall by becoming members of the Duke Club. Visit JMUDukeClub.com to learn more about how you can access coveted game day parking lots, receive 10% off your fan gear at the JMU Bookstore, and gain access to away game and post season tickets.

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Dukes Email & OneDrive Down May 19-22 for Exciting Changes!

Submitted by: Greg Hackbarth, Senior Director, IT-Computing Support

Parents and families, exciting changes are coming to JMU’s Microsoft 365 services! Starting on May 19 at Noon until May 22, all @dukes.jmu.edu Microsoft 365 accounts will be migrated into the same Microsoft 365 environment as @jmu.edu accounts. By sharing one environment, everyone’s ability to communicate, collaborate and share information will improve dramatically.

During this period, Microsoft 365 services will be unavailable. The migration will not change student email addresses, which will remain in the format eID@dukes.jmu.edu. Email passwords after the migration will match the password that students use for all other services that require an eID login. Students will continue to receive email communications about this migration, and they should also check the migration website for more information and steps to perform before and after the migration.

Primarily, students need to log out of their accounts and stop using any email/Office applications on or before 5/19, and they will need to log back in and reconfigure some of those applications on 5/22. To get help or ask questions, please contact the IT Help Desk at (540) 568-3555 or helpdesk@jmu.edu.

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Women for Madison 2023 Summit


Submitted by: Sarah Brodie, Asst. Director of Content Development & Strategy, Advancement Marketing

Registration is open for the Women Who Amaze Summit at JMU on May 19-20, 2023. Join us on Friday afternoon for a JMU Hidden History Tour, Madison Mingle and other activities in and around the Quad before our One Ama-ZING! Evening Celebration at Brix and Columns Vineyard. On Saturday you’ll be treated to a powerhouse of women leaders speaking about everything from networking to intercultural competence to personal health and wellness. Visit our website to see the full schedule and register. Sign now and bring a friend, your daughter or a niece!

Learn More

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Published: Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2024

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