James Madison University (also known as JMU, Madison, or James Madison) is a public coeducational researchuniversity located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, U.S. Founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, the institution was renamed Madison College in 1938, in honor of President James Madison.
On March 22, 1977, Virginia Governor Mills Godwin (whose wife was an Alumna) signed legislation renaming the university James Madison University. The university is situated in the Shenandoah Valley, with the campus quadrangle located on South Main Street in Harrisonburg.
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James Madison University's athletic teams are known as the "Dukes." An English bulldog, with crown and cape, and the Duke Dog, a gray bulldog costume in a purple cape and crown, serve as the school's mascot. The "Dukes" nickname is in honor of Samuel Page Duke, the university's second president. The school colors are royal purple and gold. Madison competes in the NCAA's Division I and Division I (Football Championship Subdivision for football), the Colonial Athletic Association, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference.Over 415 varsity athletes compete in football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, women's swimming and diving, women's volleyball, baseball, women's lacrosse, field hockey, men's and women's golf, women's cross country and track and field, and softball. James Madison's two national championships are tied for third most national titles by a college or university in Virginia. James Madison's baseball team advanced to the College World Series in 1983, becoming the first Virginia school to do so. The JMU women's field hockey team won the university's first national title in 1994. JMU football won the NCAA Division I-AA national title in 2004, with a 13-2 record, and are the only team in history to win the title after playing four straight road playoff games. Since 2004, the JMU football team has appeared in the playoffs in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2011.
James Madison University invested heavily in new athletic facilities throughout the tenure of President Linwood Rose. JMU built a new multi-million dollar baseball and softball field complex that opened in 2010. Additionally, after the last football game of 2009, the university began an expansion of Bridgeforth Stadium that increased seating capacity to approximately 25,000. Construction was completed in time for the 2011 football season.
In 2012, the James Madison Women's Basketball team won a club record 29 games, and advanced to the WNIT National Championship game, where it lost to Oklahoma State University. The Lady Dukes defeated Wake Forest, Davidson College, Virginia, South Florida and Syracuse prior to falling to Oklahoma State. In 2013, head coach Kenny Brooks led his team back to the WNIT defeating NC A&T, NC State, and Fordham before falling to the Florida in the tournament's quarterfinals. This marked the eighth consecutive year that the 'Lady Dukes' participated in postseason play and the program's eight consecutive season with 20 victories, a school record.
In 2013, James Madison University's Men's Basketball team won the CAA championship title for the first time since 1994. The Dukes then won their first NCAA tournament game in 30 years, defeating Long Island University-Brooklyn. The Dukes fell to Indiana in the second round, 83-62, finishing the season with a 21-15 record.
The Princeton Review also recognized James Madison as one of 81 schools in America "with a conscience", and in the latest year ranked JMU second in the nation behind only the University of Virginia in the number of Peace Corps volunteers it sent from its student body among "medium-sized" universities.And in 2010, the food at JMU was ranked third in the United States.In 2011 the student body was ranked 20th happiest in the entire nation by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.In 2009, Playboy ranked JMU as the 22nd Best Party School in the nation. These rankings take into consideration the surrounding area's activities, academics, as well as the social scene on campus.
The school has 35 residence halls, ten of which serve as sorority houses. While most residence halls are only for housing, several halls also provide auxiliary services. For example, Chandler Hall, located in the Lake area, offers a basement dining facility and a computer lab.All freshmen must live on campus, and a large portion of JMU's on-campus housing is set aside for incoming students. Consequently, most upperclassmen and graduate students live off campus. Continuing students who wish to live on campus must re-apply for housing each year. While occasional exceptions are granted, generally freshmen are not granted on-campus parking permits.Some JMU halls are set-aside as specialized living and learning residential communities. Shenandoah Hall is devoted as an Honors residential experience, Chesapeake Hall is for pre-professional health disciplines, Gifford Hall includes the Roop Learning Community for future teachers, and Wayland Hall is reserved for majors in the art disciplines.