Without missing a beat

The campus is muted this week. It’s raining and although Maymester classes started today, the campus is quiet. All over town, apartments are vacant, doors locked, shades and blinds are pulled down. Cars stuffed with boxes of clothes and memorabilia and books have driven out of town. Following the celebration of commencement, it feels a little like summer break or like the aftermath of a great party. Time to kick back, catch up and reflect on a successful year.

This year’s commencement marked more than the end of an academic year, but the end of an era. Very soon — only weeks away now — Dr. Linwood Rose will retire and Jonathan Alger, J.D., will become JMU’s sixth president. While the presidency will change hands, a whole lot will not change because JMU understands its mission and purpose — and has a strong and collective sense of self. Former Board of Visitors rector Joe Damico (’76, ’77M) probably said it best. “Lin Rose has led JMU in such a way that JMU will miss him and, frankly, proceed without missing a beat,” he is quoted as saying in the recent Madison magazine.

Without missing a beat indicates an effective and efficient way to accomplish change. Perhaps at JMU it’s because change is part of this university’s DNA. Change is our status quo. We don’t shy from it, fear it, challenge it (unless necessary). We embrace it.

(photo by Guillaume Cattiaux)

Thousands of brand new alumni also are embracing change right now. They are adjusting to new lives, some in new cities, many in new jobs or new schools. As a university we will too, but rather than dreading it, there’s a certain excitement about the future. And for a year and half now, we’ve been gearing up for it. While recent alumni look expectantly toward their futures, the university community looks forward to the next era for JMU.

Rain has a way of pausing our senses, letting us take a breath, clearing the air. Soon, though, the sun will come out, a new day will dawn and JMU will continue on its successful trajectory of changing the world.


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....

One Response to Without missing a beat

  1. Andy Perrine says:



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