Madison Family Newsletter: June 2023

Madison Family Newsletter: June 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

I hope you’re having a great summer and getting some time to spend with your Duke. This is always an amazing time of the year as we just sent one group of Dukes off into the world at Commencement, and we will welcome the Class of 2027 to JMU in a few short weeks.   


Plans are under way to replace the residence halls in the Village. This will take many years and will be done in phases so we can accommodate all first year students and upper class students who want to live on campus. The first phase is beginning now with the replacement of Ikenberry Hall, which will take two years. We have engaged our students in the designing of this hall and the others that are coming soon so we can exceed their expectations. There are many different innovations in this new building that we expect students will love, and they will set the stage for future buildings. These are bittersweet moments in our community because so many students live in the Village each year, and replacing these will be both exciting and sad. We will keep all of you updated as this construction progresses and we make plans for the rest of campus housing in a Housing Master Plan we will release this fall. 

We are also really excited about the plans for the new Carrier library renovation and expansion. This will impact one of the most popular places to study, so the university has been working to create and identify all the places to study on campus. This interactive map will continue to be updated throughout the summer as we add more locations for students to utilize all across campus. We also created this student spaces page to give a little more information about some of the places students use to hang out around campus. 


Please remind your student to check their JMU email and follow the instructions to access it after the recent Dukes Microsoft 365 migration. This transition will really improve their experience and communication across campus. We use their email addresses for most of our communication with them, so it’s important they are checking this daily. This will also be good training for life after JMU when they will be using email or some other form of regular communication method for work. 

Topics to discuss with your student 

How did you do academically this semester? 

Tip: This is an important conversation to have regularly and especially at the end of every semester.  I often hear from parents who are surprised to find out that their Duke is on academic probation or even academic suspension after a semester that doesn’t go well. If you haven’t gone over your Duke’s semester grades with them yet on Canvas, I would recommend doing that first. If they have a cumulative grade point average below a 2.0, then there is a possibility this could impact their academic standing.  Here is more information on what all of this could mean for them. If their academic standing has changed, they would have received an email notifying them of this and making them aware of the steps they need to take. I share this with all of you because, as noted above, many of our students are not regularly checking their email, so we want to encourage you to have them make this check. Most questions are answered within the letter, so it’s important that you read this fully before calling any university offices. This only impacts a small number of students, but I still wanted you to be aware and to encourage this conversation.   

When do you plan to return to JMU? 

Tip: Now is the time to confirm those dates to be sure they don’t conflict with vacation plans, family celebrations, and summer jobs. Also, I am always concerned about how some of our students are returning earlier and earlier before classes begin without anything constructive to do. While I know the students enjoy “Frog Week” parties, this rarely provides much value to them, and it causes significant disruptions in the local community before classes begin. 

Have you talked to your roommate(s) about who is bringing what for the house/apartment/room this fall? 

Tip: While many students know their roommates well already, they haven’t often planned to furnish and fill up a whole house or apartment before.   

For students living off campus, even if their place is furnished, they will still need a vacuum cleaner, cleaning supplies, and everything for a kitchen like spices, dishes and cooking utensils. Unfurnished places will need even more discussion to identify furniture for a whole place. Make the move-in process easier with some of these early conversations over the summer. 

Finally, enjoy your time with your Dukes this summer if they are with you. I often think back to summers when I stayed at JMU working, and those were some of my favorite times. We always made time to go on vacation as a family each summer, and those weeks in the Outer Banks are memories I will always treasure. Jamie, Duke Dog, and I will just be getting back from the beach when you all get this letter, so I am reminded of those trips as a kid. I hope you all can make time to be together as families this summer and make those memories together.   

For the families of the Class of 2023, congratulations on your shared achievement, and I wish you and your new JMU Alumni luck in the next chapter of their lives. For all of you, enjoy your summer, and we’ll see you soon. 

Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

Vice President for Student Affairs

New Students: One Book Steps & Summer Orientation

Submitted by: Alex Van Meter, Associate Director, Orientation & Transition

For our new Madison families: Encourage your student to keep working through their One Book steps. Some of these steps that assist your student in transitioning to JMU have deadlines that affect ability to make an Orientation reservation and enroll in classes. Both you and your student should be receiving monthly emails from the Office of Orientation and Transition directly with information, upcoming deadlines and tips to be the most prepared for Orientation. Please have your student reach out with any questions along the way. We are here to best support them during this exciting time! We look forward to seeing you and your student at Orientation soon!

Learn More

The Madison Family Handbook is Here!

The Madison Experience is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will shape your student’s life and future. As JMU welcomes your student, the university extends the same warm invitation to you as their family.

To help you find your own place in the Madison Experience, the Office of Parent Relations has assembled this handbook to guide you through this new chapter. In it you’ll find valuable information with which you can support your student.

You, too, are a part of JMU. You, as well as students, faculty, staff and alumni, together, enrich your student’s Madison Experience.

Learn More

First-Year Send Offs

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!

Learn More

Save the Date for Family Weekend Sept 29-Oct 1, 2023

Join us for Family Weekend September 29-October 1, 2023 Check the website for the schedule coming later in June.

Family Weekend tickets will be available July 5!

Learn More

2023-2024 Financial Aid Offers

Submitted by: Brice Hostetler, Assistant Director for Grants, Financial Aid and Scholarships

Your student's JMU official financial aid offers will be available towards the end of June. In order to receive federal aid, make sure your student has filled out a 2023-2024 FAFSA. When offers are created, an email will be sent to your student's JMU Dukes email account letting them know their financial aid is available to view. Your student will be able to review their financial aid offer on My Madison and accept their aid at that time. If they don’t receive an offer, they need to check their To Do list on My Madison for any missing documents we require. Our summer office hours are Monday - Thursday, 8:00 - 5:00 and Friday, 8:00 - 12:00. We are available all summer to help you and your student navigate financial aid at JMU.

For more information about JMU’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, including helpful links and videos, visit the website.

Learn More

Dukes Making a Difference (DMAD) Registration is Open!

Submitted by: Lindsey RichardsAssistant Director, Engagement, Communication & Innovation, Community Service-Learning

DMAD brings over 100 New Dukes together before Weeks of Welcome. Your student can connect with other new students by volunteering together, getting educated about the community, and meeting the leaders that make Harrisonburg such a unique community. From service projects, to tours, to eating delicious, local food, DMAD is an unforgettable way to kick off your student's JMU career.

DMAD takes place August 16-18, 2023. Registration is now open! The $50 fee includes housing, meals, and transportation. Need-based scholarships are available.

If you have questions, contact us at csl@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

Student Travel Home on Breaks to NY, NJ & PA

Submitted by: Amy (‘98) & Jason (‘96) Sfaelos, President, CollegeTransit LTD

Welcome to the JMU Family! For those of you from NY, NJ and PA areas, be aware that dedicated bus service exists for the school breaks between the JMU campus and specific out-of-state drop-off locations. Typical locations include Allentown, Morris Plains, Teterboro, Huntington and even King of Prussia and Howell. Those trip options will be posted on July 1st.

CollegeTransit has been providing holiday transportation for college students for over 30 years. You can find all of these trips on CollegeTransit.com where you can also find more specific address information. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Go Dukes! 

Learn More

Capture Campus Photo Contest

Submitted by: Karen Risch Mott, Director, Annual Giving

Every year, our photo calendar features the best views of JMU in every season. Submit your own pictures of campus for a chance to be included! Winners receive a complimentary copy of the 2024 calendar. The contest begins on June 15, 2023. No entry fee! All submissions must be received by midnight on July 31, 2023 to be considered.

Exciting New Images of the Future Carrier Library


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

Construction is underway for the renovation and expansion of Carrier Library! Get a sneak peek at new images of the future Carrier Library, expected to reopen in Fall 2026.  

Learn More


ERiA and JMU Libraries Partner to Move It's Complicated Online

Submitted by: Kacey DamatyAssistant Director, Ethical Reasoning in Action

Ethical Reasoning in Action (ERiA) plans to deliver It’s Complicated virtually to nearly five thousand incoming JMU students beginning this fall. Data from the past ten years of facilitating It's Complicated in person demonstrates that it is an effective intervention in a student's ability to reason ethically. What effect will an online delivery have? Working with a team of instructional designers from JMU Libraries, ERiA will use this high-impact project to find answers to that question. Over the next six months, both teams will work together to:

  • develop the online course infrastructure,
  • re-design It's Complicated content and assessments,
  • map online learning objectives to ERiA's Student Learning Outcomes and
  • ensure that It's Complicated remains engaging and effective.

JMU's instructional design experts are training the ERiA team to use tools in Canvas, with right design, to help students reflect on the ethics of AI-Care in more accessible and engaging ways, with longer academic think time built into asynchronous instruction. What better scenario to introduce in a new online format than one that asks: When should technology be used to replace authentic human interactions?

Learn More

Celebrate Your JMU Student, Grad, Alum or Fan!


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

Looking for a unique and lasting gift to celebrate a JMU student, grad, alum or fan? JMU 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. Get your personalized brick ordered today.

Learn More

Help Us Stay Connected with You!

Submitted by: Office of Parent Relations

As a JMU parent, family member or guardian, you're an important part of the JMU family! We want to make sure we have your most up-to-date contact information so we can keep in touch with you.
Fill out this form if:

  • You have recently updated your home address, phone number, or email address.
  • You would like to ensure JMU has your correct contact information.

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, June 7, 2023

Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2024

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