Madison Family Newsletter: July 2023

Madison Family Newsletter: July 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

Hello JMU families,

I want to first welcome our newest Duke Families to JMU and your first of many newsletters. This is one of the many ways we communicate with all of you each month to provide updates from campus and share some tips and reminders. I hope all of you are enjoying your summer with your Duke and getting ready to send them to the Burg in a few short weeks. The orientation season has already begun, and I always love welcoming all of our newest students and families to the JMU experience.


Many of you know that I try to meet as many students as possible and enjoy meeting their families as well. Please don’t be shy about introducing yourself if you see me around. The rest of the Student Affairs leadership team would also love to meet you and your student, so please check out our website to learn more about us and reach out when you see us around campus! We are here to help you and your students create the best possible JMU experience, and we know that their time at JMU will create an incredible foundation for the rest of their lives. Your partnership with us is essential, and we look forward to how we will work together in support of your student in the coming years.


Parents of incoming students, please remind your student to be sure they’re keeping up with their One Book steps. Pre-entry Health Requirements are due on July 6, which includes immunization records, a TB assessment and health history (both are online forms), and insurance information. They should be checking their JMU email every day to keep up with news and information and staying on top of their many tasks before arriving this Fall.

For students living off campus, if utilities are not included in their rent, we have a great resource called UDAP (Utility Deposit Assistance Program), which will save them from having to pay deposits for water, gas and electricity.

Topics to discuss with your student

What are your goals for this upcoming school year?

Tip: Whether this is your student’s first year or last, setting goals is important. Resources for academics, social life, health and well-being, and planning for their future can all be found on the Student Gateway. I encourage them, and you, to visit this site any time you may need information. Having specific goals about academic achievement, career planning, choosing a major, and other important tasks gives you more to discuss when you talk to each other and helps them plan for their future after JMU. 

I also want to recommend a monthly conversation about their academic progress and grades so there aren’t any surprises at the end of the semester. This also illustrates your shared interest in your student’s academic success. We find this can make a huge difference in how students approach their work throughout the semester and it can provide an intervention before it’s too late to turn around a student who is facing some academic struggles.

When do you plan to come home?

Tip: For new students, we find that it’s easier to make connections when they are around on the weekends for at least the first month and preferably until fall break (which is Oct. 18-22 this year). Of course, everyone is different, and it is important to understand the specific needs of your student. I also recommend that you don’t visit until Family Weekend (Sept. 29-Oct. 1) so they can build community and not miss out on events, football games, auditions, and the many other weekend activities that will help them find their people and places here at JMU. As always, this is only a suggestion, but it’s based on past experience and a desire to help both you and your Duke acclimate to your new lives.

For returning students, especially those living off campus, you may find that they tend to stay here in Harrisonburg and only return home for longer breaks. It may save some misunderstanding later if you have that conversation now and know what to expect.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and I hope to see many of you over the next few weeks.

Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

First-Year Send Offs & Parents Council




Each summer, the JMU Parents Council and the Office of Parent Relations team up to host First-Year Send Offs. These events provide a great opportunity for new members of the JMU family to meet fellow Dukes in their geographic area and ask any last-minute questions prior to move-in. Each event is approximately 2 hours consisting of a meal, a program, Q&A opportunities and a bag full of JMU goodies.

The JMU student may attend at no charge. Guests are $14/person regardless of age.

Registration is now open and RSVP deadlines are soon!

Learn More

If you are a parent or guardian of a freshman entering JMU in Fall 2023, apply online to join the Parents Council. Applications are due August 1, 2023.

Learn More

Join Us for Family Weekend Sept 29-Oct 1

Join us for Family Weekend September 29-October 1, 2023. The website is updated with the events for this year.

Family Weekend tickets are available starting today!

Learn More

Spring 2024 Commencement Schedule

Submitted by: Sarah Ciccone, Director, University Events

Thursday, May 9th
3:00 p.m. - The Graduate School (doors open at 1:30 p.m.)
6:30 p.m. - College of Science and Mathematics (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)

Friday, May 10th
10:00 a.m. - College of Arts and Letters (doors open at 8:30 a.m.)
1:30 p.m. – College of Education, University Studies, and the School of Professional and Continuing Education (doors open at 12:30 p.m.)
4:30 p.m. – College of Business (doors open at 3:00 p.m.)

Saturday, May 11th
10:00 a.m. - College of Integrated Science and Engineering (doors open at 9:00 a.m.)
12:30 p.m. - College of Visual and Performing Arts (doors open at 11:30 a.m.)
3:30 p.m. – College of Health and Behavioral Studies (doors open at 2:00 p.m.)

Learn More

Continuity of Clinical Care

Submitted by: Nina H. Critz, LPC, Associate Director for Administration, Counseling Center

It is important to know that the Counseling Center services offered at JMU are short term in nature. To that end, if your student is currently receiving treatment from a mental health provider, including for mediation management, please make plans now for continued care.

If possible, your student should continue treatment with their current provider. If the provider is not licensed in Virginia, or there are other reasons to connect with a provider in the Harrisonburg area, please schedule the intake now. The Counseling Center website has helpful resources regarding using insurance and finding providers in the Harrisonburg area. It is also important to verify Insurance benefits for medical and mental health services. You may need to apply for away from home benefits.

If you are not sure what the best option is for your student, please use Counseling Connections, a program that is designed to assist students with previous or existing mental health concerns in connecting with mental health resources. You or your student can simply call the Counseling Center to schedule a 30-minute consultation to discuss the best option for your student’s care.

Learn More

Dukes Eat Like Royalty


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

Whether your Duke is living on or off campus, we have something for everyone and meal plans with flexibility in mind. If you’re not sure how to help them through the meal plan selection process or they just need to make changes, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website for complete details.



JMU Dining has an exclusive offer for students living off campus! Dukes that sign up by Monday, August 7th will get a Foodie Fam coupon book filled with free food and beverages, valued at $60, plus a chance to win a FREE PARKING PASS. Perks can be picked up the week of September 4th. Emails will be sent out to students with details.



  • Students living on campus sign up for a meal plan as part of their housing contract
  • Need to make a change? No problem
  • Changes before the start of the fall semester must be made by 8/11
  • Last chance to make changes after the semester starts 8/28 – 9/8
  • For changes, contact Card Services via phone at 540.568.6446 or emailing cardsrvc@jmu.edu from your Dukes account. Please note a change fee does apply.

At JMU Dining, we have a nationally recognized dining program for best campus food and more than 28 locations to choose from. To learn how your Duke can access menus, mobile ordering, delivery options, job opportunities or to get in touch with our culinary and nutrition teams, visit jmu.campusdish.com. To contact us, email dining@jmu.edu or call 540.568.6751.

Learn More


Community Federal Work Study & Dukes Making a Difference (DMAD)

Submitted by: Lindsey Richards, Assistant Director, Engagement, Communication and Innovation, Community Engagement & Volunteer Center

Is your student looking for a job? Were they offered Federal Work Study through financial aid?? If the answer is yes to both of those questions, then keep reading!

Your student must have been offered Federal Work Study through the financial aid process to be eligible to apply. If they are uncertain about their Financial Aid Award, they may contact JMU’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 540.568.7820 for additional information.

We offer five unique opportunities in the community and hire roughly 65+ students annually. To learn more about each position, click the links below.

Off-Campus Art Gallery Assistant

Off-Campus Marketing Assistant

Off-Campus Office & Administration Support

Off-Campus Program Assistant

Off-Campus Elementary Learning Assistant

If you have questions, contact us at cevc@jmu.edu or 540.568.6366.

Learn More

Go Inside JMU Residence Halls!


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

Have you ever wanted to go inside each and every residence hall to explore all your student's options? Has your Duke picked their Residence hall, and now you want to look at how to move their furniture? Want to measure a piece of furniture or see if something you found on Amazon is going to fit? YOU CAN! Residence Life now offers you fully interactive and virtual tours of all our residence halls, room types, and even bathrooms!

Learn More

A New Temporary Library Location


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

It’s official! JMU Libraries Express is open and ready for visitors! Located at 1050 S. Main Street near the quad, this new Express location will offer library services on the Bluestone side of campus throughout the Carrier Library renovation and expansion. 

At JMU Libraries Express, your Duke can:

  • Pick up and check out books and other library items
  • Return books and other library items
  • Study, read, or work with a group
  • Print and scan documents
  • Use a computer workstation
  • Ask our friendly staff general questions about the Libraries

Learn about all four library locations at JMU.

Learn More

Join 9,000+ 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 »


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Published: Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2024

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