If you bleed purple, then you…..

The Dukes take the field; photo by Ashley Grisham ('13) for The Breeze (reprinted with permission)

If you are a Duke and you bleed purple, this photo is bound to raise your heart rate.  It does mine — and I’m not even a great football fan.  There’s just something about the photo that says J-M-U- Dooooooookes.  Can you hear the crowd roar, feel the fall air? Does it take you back?

Homecoming is next week, and this one is going to be spectacular. Not only is phase two of Bridgeforth Stadium open and ready for kickoff, this year’s Homecoming theme celebrates Madison’s Alumni and their essential role in the university’s success.

For a century, Madison’s alumni have looked back, given back and come back to JMU. Their support has helped build the campus, funded scholarships, championed programs and spread the word about JMU. The Alumni Association, for instance, was first in line to contribute to the new Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.  The association’s gift of $500,000 laid the foundation.

What more evidence? Earlier this month, when the Alumni office launched JMU LOVE, alumni responded in droves. JMU LOVE — the acronym for Leaders of Volunteer Engagement — makes it even easier for Alumni to stay connected to JMU and to remain active members of the Madison community.

“JMU LOVE is another opportunity to give back to the institution that made us who we are today,” says Stephanie Marino (’08).  “JMU encourages everyone to ‘Be the Change’ and this is our chance as alumni. We have always been able to support the university, but now we can easily connect with and support specific academic departments, student organizations, and administrative functions that made Madison such an enjoyable experience.

“We graduate with so much pride and love for our school; staying involved is a great outlet to do something with that JMU spirit,” says Kathryn Delli-Colli (’09). “Staying connected with JMU is a constant reminder of how special the Madison experience, students and alumni are in our lives. Business majors are always hearing about the importance of networking.  Who better to network and build relationships with than fellow Dukes who has shared similar experiences with you at JMU?  I can honestly say the connections I have made through volunteering and meeting fellow JMU alumni have helped to develop me both personally and professionally,” she says.

Jon McNamara (’05) agrees: “Staying involved with JMU is rewarding because not only do I get to help the community, but it also allows me to reconnect with an institution that has given me more than I ever thought was possible.”

If numbers from the rollout of JMU LOVE are any indication, JMU’s Alumni — in their customary style — responded in a big way. According to James Irwin (’06), assistant director of Alumni Relations, “during a 48-hour window on Tuesday, Sept. 6 and Wednesday, Sept. 7, we had 2,442 page views for the JMU LOVE page. The eBlast we sent that Tuesday morning introducing the program to 23,500 people garnered 813 clicks. As of Sunday evening (four days after the launch) we had 142 event sign ups — and 51 percent of those took place during the first seven hours. We had more than 70 people sign up for a JMU LOVE event in the first seven hours the site was live.”

It’s not surprising for those who bleed purple.

So in honor of this special Alumni Centennial year, we’ve added Madison Alumni from 1911 through 2011 to our Be the Change website. Together JMU’s Alumni have helped shaped a university that grows more exceptional every day, that continually inspires and that successfully grooms students to change the world.
See the Alumni Association’s profile here:  http://www.jmu.edu/bethechange/people/JMUalumni.shtml


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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