The incubator

I was thinking about James Madison University’s campus this morning. Spread across a knoll in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, running down a hill, extending across an interstate and straddling Harrisonburg’s main street to the west, it’s a beautiful campus.

It’s an incubator of sorts, as well.

We think, create, formulate and design ideas here that will ultimately make the world a better place for many who will never set foot on campus.

I started thinking THIS is a place where change is created — but I like the idea of an incubator better. When people come to the university, many bring with them fresh ideas, like this year’s freshman class and the newest members of the faculty. Many ideas are created here, of course, but no matter how the ideas arrive, this is a place where they can simmer and heat up, a place where they can be poked and watched and examined and prodded. A place where ideas for changing the world can hatch, take flight — and eventually fly.

I thought it might be a great idea to showcase some of the physical campus, so I’ve added a new category called View JMU. You’ll find it in the top bar. Occasionally, I’ll post photographs of the campus. Especially for foreign and faraway readers of this blog (there are many!), it will give you a view of the place the James Madison University students, faculty, staff and alumni call “home.”

Today’s picture looks westward across the campus. The cupola of Wilson Hall and JMU’s distinctive red tile roofs of the original bluestone campus  are visible against the blue of Virginia’s westernmost mountains, the Allegheny range. This morning the campus is lush and green after a summer of abundant rains. Soon, though, it will begin to display autumn colors.

Any readers who also have great JMU campus shots that you’d like posted on this blog, send them to And students, I’d love your help in populating this category. What image best conveys JMU’s campus?


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