Of pennies and ponds, Pulitzer and physics

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum in fall; photo courtesy of Frank J. Doherty

Think of a pebble tossed in a still pond. You know what happens. The tiny pebble breaks the water and sinks, but as it disappears a tiny ripple begins to roll out across the pond.  By the time the ripple reaches shore, it may be invisible, but any physicist will tell you that it has reached far beyond the small “hole” in the water that the pebble first made.

Now think about the Statue of Liberty.  Did you know that part of the base to hold the statue was funded by pennies collected by school children?  Publisher Joseph Pulitzer, in an effort to encourage funding for the platform on which the statue  would stand, put out a call for school children to contribute and they did. One penny at a time.

So what’s the point?  There is strength in numbers.  If you’re an alumnus of JMU and you think your annual donation — small or large — is just a pebble in a pond or that your JMU Dukes personalized license plate is only decoration remember that small acts, small gifts, added together become huge.

Next year, JMU’s Alumni Association will celebrate a century of giving back to the university. And for all their wonderful work, the organization has been nominated for Be the Change. For nearly 100 years, the association has helped move Madison toward its exciting future. This year, with the opening of the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, the Alumni Association has been front and center in the making one long-held university dream come true. The Alumni Association was first in line to contribute to the not-yet-built center for the arts.  The association’s gift of $500,000 laid the foundation — tossed the first pebble, if you will — to begin the process.

If you have any doubt of what the strength of JMU’s alumni pulling together can accomplish, visit the new Forbes Center and take a walk from the quad through the new tunnel to the beautiful Alumni Courtyard ...and think….this is MY contribution, added to those of my Duke friends.  Together, we’ve done something great.

We applaud JMU’s faithful alumni and second the Alumni Association’s nomination to Be the Change.

To learn more about how you can be an active part of the Alumni Association, check out their website: http://www.jmu.edu/alumni/

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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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