Alger Looks Beyond ’Burg
JMU President Wants To Bolster Presence In Outlying Counties
Posted: October 9, 2012
MOUNT JACKSON — James Madison University President Jonathan Alger says he wants the university to have a stronger presence in the surrounding communities, particularly Shenandoah County.
Alger was the featured speaker at last week’s town and county dinner hosted by the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors at the Mount Jackson Town Hall.
JMU already has a number of partnership programs that get students out of the classroom and into the communities, Alger said. Several of those programs serve Shenandoah County.
The university’s Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services has Healthy Family-Shenandoah County, which serves first-time parents, and the Child Development Clinic, serving children with behavioral, developmental and emotional issues.
JMU students also participate in Volunteer Tutoring for Migrant Education, which serves the county.
Alger said Wednesday that he wants to continue the growth of such programs.
“We really do want to be that kind of positive presence in the community,” he said.
Right now, Alger said, 85 students from the county attend the university, with biology the most popular major.
“Encourage your students to come to JMU,” he told those in attendance at the dinner.
Alger specifically mentioned students from families with little or no college experience.
“We really want those students to dream big,” he said.
Mike Dorman, principal at Stonewall Jackson High School in Quicksburg, asked if JMU is considering any new financial options for the student who becomes the first in his or her family to attend college.
“I was one of those students from our community,” Dorman said. “Is there anything you are doing to help those students who normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to go to school?”
Alger said he is interested in expanding financial aid opportunities for students who need it, but that the revenue needed likely will have to come from alumni donations.
“We have this alumni base that is now maturing,” he said. “We have people that have been successful and they are ready to be engaged.”
Contact Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org