Tour Coverage


President Jon Alger speaks to Abingdon guests

Abingdon guests discussed citizenship and ethics, particularly the new university initiative, which we are calling the Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning and Action.
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New York City

President Alger speaks with guests at New York City listening tour event

At this event one of the major themes that alumni brought up was the real-world importance of working in teams and how they were able to hone those skills at JMU.
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College of Education EAC
These educators represent the heart of our JMU mission. They take us back to our roots and help us to think about our central role as educators of the next generations of students.

It was interesting to hear about the importance of the international aspects of our education at a time when we're preparing students for a global economy.

Student Success
Faculty and student apprentices of the Learning Centers increase the learning and caring capacity of the Madison Experience.

The Tampa event made it clear that faculty-student interaction is a time-tested hallmark of the Madison Experience—students get to know faculty and have one-on-one conversations that can change lives.

At the Baltimore event, we heard about faculty members who changed the course of somebody's life because they took the time to get to know them, to listen to their hopes and dreams, and to spend time with them.

The D.C. "Why Madison?" event was a great conversation with JMU alumni and parents who are very involved in politics, the government and several different sectors of the economy.

Diversity Council
Discussion at this listening tour event focused on issues of diversity, access, and inclusion, and how they relate to JMU's core educational mission.

Madison Society Breakfast
A cross-section of JMU students from a wide spectrum of classes, places and majors across campus offer their insights on "Why Madison?"

Leadership U
Leadership U reflects what JMU does best in terms of the student experience. These students are the leaders of our student organizations across campus. They took a Saturday—all day—to think and reflect about leadership.

Student Athlete Advisory Council and Business Students
January was chockful of "Why Madison?" events with student groups. President Alger met with the Student-Athlete Advisory Council and a few days later, a group of business students. Both groups were terrifically engaged and involved.

Student Ambassadors
These students talked about the quality of the JMU faculty and the fact that the faculty who come here want to teach. And they recognize and value their professors.

Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach alumni talked about Madison's supportive educational environment. At JMU, we think all students can succeed, we want them to, and we work hard to make success happen.

College of Science and Mathematics
President Alger meets with a college experiencing the dramatic surge in growth associated with the recent nationwide emphasis in the STEM fields.

2013 January "Why Madison?" Update
We have held 33 "Why Madison?" receptions and meetings, both on and off campus, to come together and reflect collectively on our hopes, dreams and aspirations for JMU.

College of Visual and Performing Arts
Madison is known for the arts, and the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts is a drawing card in the recruitment of students and faculty members.

Graduate School
JMU's top-notch programs show a commitment to quality: We are not adding programs just for the sake of growing, but we are selective and responsive to the needs of the marketplace.

Pat ('92) and Emmitt Smith opened up their home for the "Why Madison?" Listening Tour for Texas alumni who came from Dallas, Austin, Houston and points in between.

College of Health and Behavioral Studies
Fast-growing enrollment in this college's programs highlights the crucial juncture where JMU finds itself today.

Duke Club Board of Directors
These alumni say that athletics should not be separate from the university's academic life, but should be very much a part of the educational experience at JMU.

Research and Public Service
This opportunity to interact with RPS, a vital societal interface for JMU, produced a quite productive interchange.

Faculty Senate
Faculty representatives provide President Alger with their insights on Madison's strengths and challenges.

College of Integrated Science and Engineering
President Alger hears from an innovative and connected group of faculty who structure curriculum that encourages students to apply science and technology to solve human problems.

Liberal Arts Alumni
Alumni and faculty shared the lifelong benefits a liberal arts education provides for our alumni.

Being with Madison alumni and parents in Philadelphia, at the site of the Constitutional Convention at which James Madison was the key player, was a treat.

Libraries and Educational Technologies
This group had specific insights to share as to where some of the university's best engagement opportunities might be.

CoB Executive Advisory Council
Many of these business alumni said they got reengaged with JMU when they had the opportunity to come back to campus and re-experience the energy that exists only on this campus.

College of Business Leadership Council
College of Business faculty has not been afraid to dream big or put in the extra time and effort to make plans work.

Outreach and Engagement
This group is helping JMU to reach some of the true outposts of Virginia that are underserved in terms of education and economic development.

College of Education
A deeply engaged, collaborative and holistic faculty say they prepare future teachers they would want to teach their own children.

Honors Advisory Council
Dedicated alumni groups like the HAC help envision and build an even stronger future.

Faculty Emeriti Association
Retired faculty members offered strong opinions on the live classroom environment at JMU.

Huffman Hall
JMU might seem like a large place to new students, but they soon realize and appreciate it's a very welcoming community.

Steve and Dee Dee Leeolou ('78), staunch supporters of JMU, hosted an involved and engaged group of alumni at the listening tour event in Charlotte, N.C.

Parents Council
Parents say that their students often refer to JMU as home, and that really says something.

Office of International Programs and Academic Programs
Visits with the Office of International Programs and the Office of Academic Programs were a fount of information and ideas for us to study.

University Studies and College of Arts and Letters
President Alger meets with University Studies and the College of Arts and Letters department heads, coordinators and faculty advisory committees

Parents Council
Parents say that their students often refer to JMU as home, and that really says something.

San Francisco
San Francisco Bay area alumni expressed a real longing to be engaged in Madison.

Portola Valley
Our "Why Madison?" reception was a real treat for all of us in Portola Valley, Calif., at the home of 1982 alumnus Paul Holland, who has built what is being called "the greenest house in America."

People told us that JMU's general education program lays a foundation they can use for the rest of their lives.

At the Reston event, President Alger heard alumni credit the good preparation they received at JMU as fundamental to their successful careers.

Virginia Beach
The beautiful home of Dick and Shirley Roberts, a 1956 graduate of Madison, provided a wonderful family feeling for the President's Council members who came from the whole region to share why Madison matters to them.

At our "Why Madison?" listening tour event in Richmond, we heard so many stories tonight about how JMU affected people's lives.

One of many points shared was that people at JMU don't say "no" instead they try to help people get to "yes." They try to help students and colleagues who have ideas they want to explore.

Why Madison?
In the short time leading up to and since I took office as president, I acquired a great deal of the knowledge and made the relationships necessary to successfully lead James Madison University. But still there is much for me to learn. I must acquire a complete 360-degree understanding of the university's strengths as well as its challenges and a deeper understanding of what makes Madison unique.

Speaking the same language
Can higher education meet the demands of the future? In this Q&A, President Jonathan Alger explains why the JMU model of an "engaged university" is vitally important in developing the kind of citizens the 21st century needs.