American Football Database
James Madison University
MottoKnowledge is Liberty
TypePublic university
Endowment$59.578 million[1]
ChancellorRonald E. Carrier
PresidentJonathan R. Alger
Academic staff1,319
LocationHarrisonburg, Virginia
CampusSmall city, 712 acres (2.88 km2)
ColorsPurple and Gold          
AthleticsNCAA Division I, CAA
NicknameJames Madison Dukes
MascotDuke Dog
James Madison University Logo

James Madison University (also known as JMU, Madison, or James Madison) is a public coeducational research university located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, U.S. Founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, the university has undergone four name changes before settling with James Madison University.[3] The university is situated in the Shenandoah Valley, with the campus quadrangle located on South Main Street in Harrisonburg.


Founded in 1908 as a women's college, James Madison University was established by the Virginia General Assembly. It was originally called The State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg. In 1914, the name of the university was changed to the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg. At first, academic offerings included only today's equivalent of technical training or junior college courses; however authorization to award bachelor's degrees was granted in 1916. During this initial period of development, the campus plan was established and six buildings were constructed.[4]

The university became the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg in 1924 and continued under that name until 1938, when it was named Madison College in honor of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States whose Montpelier estate is located in nearby Orange, Virginia. In 1976, the university's name was changed to James Madison University.[4]

The first president of the university was Julian Ashby Burruss. The university opened its doors to its first student body in 1909 with an enrollment of 209 students and a faculty of 15. Its first 20 graduates received diplomas in 1911.[4]

In 1919, Burruss resigned the presidency to become president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Samuel Page Duke was then chosen as the second president of the university. During Duke's administration, nine major buildings were constructed.[4]

File:JMU aerial photograph, 1937.jpg

Aerial view of campus from 1937, showing the original campus plan, prior to major expansions of the campus.

In 1946, men were first enrolled as regular day students. G. Tyler Miller became the third president of the university in 1949, following the retirement of Duke. During Miller's administration, from 1949 to 1970, the campus was enlarged by 240 acres (0.97 km2) and 19 buildings were constructed. Major curriculum changes were made and the university was authorized to grant master's degrees in 1954.[4]

In 1966, by action of the Virginia General Assembly, the university became a coeducational institution. Ronald E. Carrier, JMU's fourth president, headed the institution from 1971 to 1998. During Carrier's administration, student enrollment and the number of faculty and staff tripled, doctoral programs were authorized, more than twenty major campus buildings were constructed and the university was recognized repeatedly by national publications as one of the finest institutions of its type in America. Carrier Library is named after him.[4]

In the 2000s, the university continued to expand, not only through new construction east of Interstate 81, but also on the west side of campus. In early 2005, JMU purchased the Rockingham Memorial Hospital building north of the main campus. The hospital has since moved to its new location in Harrisonburg, and JMU now occupies the building.[5] Additionally in June 2005, the university expanded across South High Street by leasing the former Harrisonburg High School building from Harrisonburg City. In May 2006, the university offered to purchase the property.[6] The sale was approved in June 2005 for $17 million.[7][8] The university named the old HHS building as Memorial Hall.[9][dead link] Recently completed projects include a second library located on the east side of campus. Rose Library, opened on August 11, 2008, just before students returned for the fall semester. The 175,000-square-foot (16,300 m2) Forbes Center opened in June 2010 and serves as the home to JMU's School of Theatre and Dance. It also provides performance venues and support spaces for the School of Music.

File:Wilson Hall.jpg

Wilson Hall, centerpiece of the JMU quad.


James Madison University is considered "More Selective" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For the Class of 2012, the university received more than 22,349[10] applications, and there were only 4,029 freshman spots available for the 2011-2012 academic year.[11]

Currently, James Madison University offers 108 degree programs on the bachelor's, master's, educational specialist and doctoral levels. The university comprises seven colleges and 78 academic programs.

On October 2, 2009, James Madison University was granted a chapter by the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.[12] Only about 10 percent of the country's colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters.


  • College of Arts and Letters
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Integrated Science and Engineering
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • The Graduate School
  • Outreach and Engagement

On June 24, 2004, the Board of Visitors approved the Madison College Proposal, which created the College of Visual and Performing Arts out of the College of Arts and Letters. The new College of Visual and Performing Arts includes the School of Art, Design and Art History, the School of Music, the School of Theatre and Dance, and the Madison Art Collection.

On January 9, 2007, a new School of Engineering was approved by the Virginia higher education governing body.[13][dead link] The school began accepting undergraduates in Fall 2008. The theme of the program is sustainability with a large focus on the environmental sciences, and will only offer general engineering degrees with no specializations.

File:Keezell Hall (JMU).jpg

Keezell Hall, home of the university's English and Foreign Language departments


The school is nationally recognized for its academics. U.S. News & World Report has ranked JMU as the top public masters-level university in the South (3rd overall) for 16 consecutive years,[14][15] and among public colleges ranks JMU 22nd in the nation.[16]

The University is also ranked 22nd overall in value for money in the nation amongst public colleges and universities, according to Kiplinger Magazine's 100 Best Values in Public Colleges.[17] According to BusinessWeek Magazine in its 2011 ranking of undergraduate colleges of business, JMU's undergraduate business school is ranked 12th in the nation, and 3rd in Virginia.[18] JMU ranked third among public schools in the country and fourth among all public undergraduate business schools in the country for return on investment, according to BusinessWeek Magazine.[19] JMU's Master of Accounting Program recently ranked as the top passing rate on the CPA exam in the United States.[20]

Money Magazine, in 1996 ranked JMU 5th in the nation for best value among in-state students.[21] Princeton Review, in its 2007 rankings, called JMU one of "America's Best Value Colleges".[22] For the 17th consecutive year James Madison University was ranked as the top public, master's-level university in the South in the highly regarded annual poll on academic quality conducted by U.S. News & World Report for its guidebook, 2011 America's Best Colleges. JMU also had the highest graduation rate of 81 percent among both public and privates colleges in the South.


File:JMU Newman lake.jpg

Newman Lake

The campus of JMU originally consisted of two buildings, known today as Jackson and Maury Halls. Today, the campus of James Madison University has 111 major buildings on 712 acres (2.88 km2).[23] The campus is divided into five parts: Bluestone, Hillside, Lakeside, Skyline, and the Village.[24] The Skyline area is located on the east side of Interstate 81, while the Bluestone, Hillside, Lakeside, and Village areas of the campus are located on the west side. The two sides of campus are connected both by a bridge and a tunnel underneath the highway (Duke Dog Alley).[25] Other unique features on the campus include Newman Lake, a 9.7-acre (39,000 m2) pond located in the Lake Area next to Greek Row and Sonner Hall,[26] the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, and one set of railroad tracks passing directly through the campus.

The original portion of campus is situated on South Main Street and has, since the late 1990s, expanded east across the Interstate 81. The expansion included the addition of The College of Integrated Science and Technology (CISAT), the University Recreation Center (UREC), the Festival Conference and Student Center, the Leeolou Alumni Center, several residence halls, the Chemistry and Physics Building, which houses the chemistry department as well as the department of Physics and Astronomy, and athletic fields. The East Campus Library, completed in the August 2008,[27] is one of the most recently added building to the east side of JMU's campus.

Several new construction projects on the campus of James Madison University have been included in Governor Tim Kaine's $1.65 billion higher education bond package. Governor Kaine's proposal designates more than $96 million for JMU projects. Among the projects included in the proposal are the construction of a new biotechnology building, Centennial Hall ($44.8 million) and the renovation and expansion of Duke Hall ($43.4 million). The proposal also includes $8.6 million as the final installment payment for Rockingham Memorial Hospital.[28] Beginning in 2002 JMU began receiving state and private funding to construct a state of the art Performing Arts Complex. The facility is located opposite Wilson Hall on U.S. 11, and completes the Quad. It was named "The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts" in honor of Bruce and Lois Forbes who provided a gift of $5 million towards the project. The Forbes Center was built at a total cost exceeding of $92 million, and opened in June 2010 to house performances by the Schools of Theatre, Dance and Music, and the administrative offices of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.[29]

Wilson Hall is the centerpiece of the University quadrangle. It contains an auditorium, administrative offices and, the Community Service Learning Office. The building's cupola has been featured on the university logo, letterhead, and other university stationery and postcards. Completed in 1931, the building was named after President Woodrow Wilson, who was born in nearby Staunton, Virginia

Bus service around campus and the city is provided by the Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation.

Student life

File:Students on JMU Quad.jpg

Students on the James Madison University quad

The Princeton Review also recognized James Madison as one of 81 schools in America "with a conscience", and in the latest year ranked second in the nation behind only the University of Virginia in the number of Peace Corps volunteers it sent from its student body among "medium-sized" universities.[30] And in 2010, the food at JMU was ranked third in the United States.[31] In 2011 the student body was ranked 20th happiest in the entire nation by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.[32] In 2009, Playboy ranked JMU as the 22nd Best Party School in the nation. These rankings take into consideration the surrounding area's activities, academics, as well as the social scene on campus.[33][dead link]

The school has 35 residence halls, ten of which serve as sorority houses.[34] While most residence halls are only for housing, several halls are used for multiple purposes. For example, Chandler Hall, located in the Lake area, has a basement dining facility and a computer lab, in addition to upperclass housing.[35] As freshmen must live on campus, a large portion of JMU's housing availability is set aside for incoming students. Consequently, most upperclassmen and graduate students live off campus; those who wish to live on campus must apply for housing each year. While occasional exceptions are granted, generally freshmen are not granted parking permits.[36]

Clubs and organizations

James Madison University has over 350 clubs and organizations for students to choose from. The goal is to provide students with a unique experience while creating a giving community throughout the university.[37]

Speech Team

The James Madison Speech Team has been recognized by AFA-NIET as one of the top 20 intercollegiate speech teams in the nation. JMU Forensics is the only program in the nation directed by two recipients of AFA’s most respected coaching awards: Distinguished Service and Outstanding New Coach.[38]


File:JMU ISAT-CS Building.jpg

ISAT/CS Building, on the east side of campus.

Board of Visitors

Like all public universities in Virginia, James Madison is governed by a Board of Visitors appointed by the Governor of Virginia.[39] In addition to the 15 members appointed by the governor, the speaker of the Faculty Senate and an elected student representative serve as representatives for the faculty and the student body respectively. The appointed members serve for a maximum of two consecutive 4 year terms, while the student representative is limited to two one-year terms. The faculty representative serves for as long as he or she remains the speaker of the JMU Faculty Senate.[39]


Mr. Jonathan R. Alger is the sixth and current president of the university. Before being named president, Alger served as the senior vice president and counsel at Rutgers University.[40]

Past presidents

  • Julian Ashby Burruss (1908–1919)
  • Samuel Page Duke (1919–1949)
  • G. Tyler Miller (1949–1971)
  • Ronald E. Carrier (1971–1998)
  • Linwood H. Rose (1998-2012)



Duke Dog Athletics Identity.

James Madison University's athletic teams use the name "Dukes" in competition, with the Duke Dog, a gray bulldog dressed in a purple cape and crown, as the school's mascot. "Dukes" is in honor of Samuel Page Duke, the university's second president. Madison competes in the NCAA's Division I (Football Championship Subdivision for football), the Colonial Athletic Association, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference. The Dukes played football in the Atlantic 10 Football Conference until it disbanded after the 2006 season and currently play in the Colonial Athletic Association, which picked up the Atlantic 10's football operations beginning fall 2007[41] Students compete in football, basketball, soccer, women's swimming, diving, women's volleyball, baseball, women's lacrosse, field hockey, golf, cross country, track and field, and softball. James Madison's two national championships ranks them tied for third most national titles in Virginia. James Madison's baseball team advanced to the 1983 College World Series, the only Division I institution in Virginia to do so besides the University of Virginia in 2009. The JMU women's field hockey gave the university their first national title in 1994. JMU football also won the NCAA Division I-AA national title in 2004, with a 13-2 record, and are the only team in history to win the title after playing four straight road playoff games. Since then they have appeared in the playoffs in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2011. In 2006, considerable controversy arose after the decision to cut 10 varsity teams (including both men's and women's teams) was deemed necessary by the Board of Visitors to comply with Title IX restrictions.[citation needed]

Most recently, James Madison University has used funds to create a new baseball and softball field complex by Memorial Hall. Additionally, after the last football game of 2009, the university began an expansion of Bridgeforth Stadium that increased seating to a capacity of over 25,000. Construction on the stadium was completed in time for the Dukes to start their 2011 football season.[42]

Community relations

The University's rapid expansion has created tension in the city-university relationship with issues such as growth planning.[43] In 2006, the Board of Visitors approved the invocation of eminent domain against a neighboring business, a funeral parlor, to make way for the school's new Performing Arts Center. Before eminent domain was exercised, the property owner accepted a purchase offer from the University.[44] In the May 2006 city election, incumbent mayor Larry Rogers, who also serves on JMU's Board of Visitors, lost his bid for reelection to a JMU graduate.[45] JMU has nearly doubled in size in the last 20 years.[46] JMU purchased the former Harrisonburg High School building, now known as Memorial Hall, and promised to keep some of the important features intact for the benefit of the community.[47]

Association with civil disturbances

A riot took place in August 2000, when about 2,500 students clashed with police at a block party at the Forest Hills townhouse complex on Village Lane.[48]

On April 10, 2010, during the annual (non-university sanctioned) block party, police equipped with riot gear used force to disperse a group of 8,000 college-aged individuals were gathered in the townhouse development on Village Lane, just off campus.[49][50][51] Several injuries were severe enough to warrant the need for patients to be airlifted to a Medical Center in Charlottesville.[52]

In a statement to students, JMU President Linwood H. Rose aggressively condemned the behavior of the block party attendees while recognizing the influx of non-students and visitors from outside of the area. He also noted the effect of the weekend's events on the university's reputation.[53]

Notable alumni


  1. "NACUBO Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-02-01.
  2. "JMU Facts & Figures". James Madison University. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
  3. "JMU - JMU Historical Timeline". JMU Centennial Office. Retrieved 2006-12-05.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "History of James Madison University". Office of the President. 2005-03-31. Archived from the original on 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
  5. Shahmoradian, Sarah (2005-03-31). "Legislature approves hospital purchase". The Breeze. Retrieved 2006-10-19.
  6. Mellott, Jeff (2006-05-24). "Old School's Price Tag: $17 Million Proposals From JMU Go Before Council". Daily News-Record. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
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  8. Creswell, Kelly (Posted: 1:30 AM Jun 14, 2006; Last Updated: 7:27 AM Jun 15, 2006). "Harrisonburg High School Sale". WHSV TV 3 (Gray Television). Retrieved 2009-07-05.
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  12. "JMU Awarded Prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Chapter". James Madison University. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  13. "SCHEV Gives Green Light To Engineering Program At JMU" (Press release). James Madison University. 2007-01-11. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
  14. "National Recognitions". JMU Office of Media Relations. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  15. "Top Public Schools Regional Universities (South)". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2011-06-11.
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  17. "100 Best Values in Public Colleges". Kiplinger. Retrieved 2008-06-06.
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  19. Return on Investment: Public Business Schools Rock "Return on Investment: Public Business Schools Rock". Bloomberg Businessweek. Return on Investment: Public Business Schools Rock. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  20. "Statistics Book on 2010 Data Ready". National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Retrieved 2012-04-11.[dead link]
  21. "James Madison University's Best 361 College Rankings". Money Magazine. 1996-09-01. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
  22. "James Madison University's Best 361 College Rankings". The Princeton Review. Retrieved 2006-12-05.
  23. "JMU - JMU Today". JMU Centennial Office. Retrieved 2006-11-12.
  24. "James Madison University - Campus Map - Buildings". University Communications & Marketing. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
  25. "Visit Guide - Walking Tour - Ridge Area". Office of Admissions. Archived from the original on 2006-11-01. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
  26. "Newman Lake". Centennial Office. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
  27. "Book Club." Bowser, Heather. The Daily News-Record. May, 2008.
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  32. "Happiest Schools". The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. Retrieved 2012-04-11.[dead link]
  33. Top Party Schools 2009 The Works. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
  34. "Office of Residence Life - Hall Descriptions". Office of Residence Life. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
  35. "Off-Campus Housing Guide - Page 5". Off-Campus Life. Retrieved 2006-12-23.
  36. "Freshman Parking - Index of Parking Regulations". JMU Office of Parking Services. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  37. [1] Retrieved on 27 February 2011.
  38. "JMU Speech Team" Retrieved on 21 December 2011.
  39. 39.0 39.1 "JMU - Institutional Governance". JMU Centennial Office. Retrieved 2006-11-12.
  40. "Jonathan R. Alger". Retrieved August 19 2012.
  41. "Quick Facts about JMU's Division of Athletics". JMU Athletics. Archived from the original on 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2006-12-08.
  42. "Bridgeforth Stadium". James Madison University. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
  43. Mellott, Jeff (2006-04-26). "Harrisonburg City Council Candidates Hear Concerns About Growth". The Daily News Record. Retrieved 2006-10-19.
  44. Mellott, Jeff (2006-04-25). "Kyger Contributes To Candidates Challenging Rogers, Who Aided University Effort to Gain Property". The Daily News Record. Retrieved 2006-10-19.
  45. Mellott, Jeff (2006-05-03). "Frank, Byrd Oust Rogers". The Daily News Record. Retrieved 2006-10-19.
  46. Symolon, Shane. "James Madison Expansion". WHSV-TV. Retrieved 2006-10-19.
  47. Trice, Calvin (2006-06-16). "Harrisonburg to sell school site to JMU". Richmond Times-Dispatch.!news&s=1045855934842. Retrieved 2006-10-19.
  48. "Increased Patrols for JMU Students". 2008-08-23. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
  49. "Police reportedly use tear gas and pepper spray to disperse block party". 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
  50. "Party Escalates Into Riot". Daily News Record. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
  51. "Harrisonburg Block Party Near JMU Turns To Civil Disturbance". Retrieved 2010-04-11.
  52. "Police Use Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets to Disperse More Than 8,000". The Breeze. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  53. James Madison University - Public Affairs. "James Madison University - Springfest: Message from President Rose". Retrieved 2012-05-15.

External links