Are you coming “home” this year?

For parents sending their children off to college, one of the earliest “swallow hard and smile” moments is the first time they hear them refer to college as “home.”  Although there’s a brief sadness watching freshmen adapt to a new home on campus, it’s also a prelude to a wonderful kinship with professors and friends who very often become lifelong friends.  It’s a sentiment that JMU graduates understand immediately, and it’s a change they celebrate every year during the annual Homecoming festivities.

So are you coming “home” to JMU this year?

Enjoy a carriage ride through the arboretum.

Homecoming offers you the opportunity to see and experience some extraordinary new changes to campus this year. For football fans, there’s the new and improved Bridgeforth Stadium, which is a third of the way through a three-stage, three-year-expansion.  Despite extreme snow and ice and cold this past winter, contractors working on the expansion pressed through, and the stadium was ready in time for this year’s football season to begin.  For Homecoming, it will welcome even more fans to watch the Dukes — some 10,000 more.  Check out a timelapse video of the stadium transformation, along with information about the new seating, at

The new East Campus Dining Hall

While football tickets are already sold out, there’s still plenty to see and do.  The weekend offers soccer, volleyball, golf and UREC’s annual 5K race.  You can also take a carriage ride in the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, cheer on the Dukes during the parade or visit with friends during one of many reunions.  While you’re here, don’t miss a tour of the spectacular new Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at the far end of the Quad, opposite Wilson Hall.  The Forbes Center is simply stunning.  To get the full effect, grab tickets (early!!) to a performance.

Depending on when you made your last trip home to JMU, there are some beautiful new buildings, including the new East Campus Dining Hall (open for business with seven buffet stations and no reservations needed!) and the new East Campus Library (one of my favorites.) If you venture to the new and improved downtown Harrisonburg, you’ll find lots of new shops and restaurants.

So when you plan your Homecoming trip, pack your walking shoes to explore your old haunts, as well as all the new spaces that students are now calling their “home.”

Who says you can’t go home? You certainly can come home to James Madison University.

Homecoming Weekend begins October 15. You’ll find all the details here:

Go Dukes!!


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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