Port & Main, where JMU and Harrisonburg intersect

I-81 looking southbound near milepost 245 in H...

Not quite Port & Main, but close! Image by Ben Schumin via Wikipedia

You know the place. Now take another look

Yesterday, a colleague in JMU Communications, Bill Gentry, stopped by with a question. “Have you heard about a new magazine called Port & Main?” Bill loved the name — as did I.  Anyone familiar with Harrisonburg knows the intersection so near JMU’s campus. Curious, I started looking. Within minutes I found it. In fact, within minutes I had found the magazine on Facebook, contacted the editor and learned a few things about the new venture. (You gotta love the Internet!)

Here’s what I found. Enterprising JMU students have started a new print magazine with the clever and spot-on title Port & Main.  According to editor-in-chief Rachel Dozier (’12), the new  magazine offers an in-depth look at Harrisonburg and JMU through features on “entertainment, health, dining, fashion, career and human interest.” Port & Main is the “first and only student-run magazine at JMU.”  Their goal is to help their fellow students make the most of their Madison Experience.

As Rachel points out in a letter to readers, “the majority of off-campus life branches from Port Republic, and the school’s address, as well as the downtown area, are located on South Main.” She’s right. What makes the magazine’s title so interesting and appropriate is that for more than a century, Harrisonburg and JMU have grown together.  Some growth has been wonderful (think about the new Forbes Center for the Performing Arts) and some, not so good (think Springfest).  On balance though, it’s been symbiotic, one benefiting the other.

Now Rachel and friends, who include copy editor Elizabeth Baugh (’11) and photo editor Seth Binsted (’11), have started a venture that will further enhance the entire community. With their very slick magazine that is visually appealing, professional and interesting, they are changing perceptions about JMU and exploring where it intersects with Harrisonburg.  Not surprisingly, Rachel, Elizabeth and Seth are students in the School of Media Arts and Design, better known as SMAD.  Frankly, it shows.  They’ve done a great job. They’ve produced a magazine that says a lot about the close relationship JMU has with the valley — and a whole lot about the talent pool at JMU.  Port & Main is for students, by students.  Student editors, photographers, designers, writers, even student models. But it will appeal to a much broader audience, and I, for one, wish them luck. This is change I can subscribe to.

To check out Port & Main, go to their FB page.  From there you can link to the magazine.



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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