The changing campus

Blue Ridge and Bluestone from ISAT at JMU

Image by taberandrew via Flickr

This week represents an annual change on campus that is unquestionably more significant than any other change.  This week, some 3,900 new students arrive with suitcases, lamps, books — and perhaps most important, dreams.  How these dreams play out, how each of these individuals changes JMU over the next four years is significant.  You see, change doesn’t happen without people.  At JMU, we watch and wait excitedly as this new crop of students settle in to pursue dreams that we know will change the world.

I think I’ve written “change the world” a thousand times.  But it always seems fresh and full of excitement because of the potential that exists on our campus and on college campuses throughout the world.  It’s excitement, passion and drive that move us forward.  Often I am amazed at what our Madison community accomplishes.  It NEVER gets old.  Every morning, I turn on my computer to learn about new and notable JMU people doing great things.  And small things that are great.

The culture of JMU has never been the status quo, and while we tip our hats to our past, we watch the future with anticipation.

This year, the new engineering program will welcome in the third class of engineering students to study sustainable systems.  This year new students will join the amazing Liz Lerman dance troupe to perform The Dance of Art and Science.  Coupled with a freshman reading on a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning articles on the DNA age written by Amy Harmon for The New York Times, these freshmen will begin their Madison Experience with thoughtful conversations about genetics and the future as part of JMU’s lauded First Year Experience. (Read more here: and you can watch a video on the exciting event here: )

Bridgeforth Stadium expanding

This year’s students, especially those in the performing arts, will be awestruck (I promise!) when they venture into the new Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.  (Take a look here: )   Football fans will be equally awed by the completed first stage of the enlargement of Bridgeforth Stadium. Returning students will see Huffman Hall’s ongoing renovation — one of, if not THE, largest renovation project to incorporate geothermal energy in the country right now.

So change is in the air. And the potential is mindboggling.  JMU’s current students, faculty, staff, alumni and our incoming freshmen are poised to Become the Change.


About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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