A Word from the President

Hey JMU!  I hope the summer months are treating you all well. For those brave souls who are still pushing through Junemester… keep your head up it’s almost done!! To the incoming freshman class, summer springboard has begun! This is truly the start your own Madison Experience.  Get pumped!! Your orientation staff is ready and excited to meet you.  Waiting for move-in day is going to feel like FOREVER. But hey, it’s so worth it.

Since class has been out, I’ve been busy planning for the next academic year:

I stayed in Harrisonburg after spring semester to get a leg up on the duties of being a new student body president, and I figured I would take a few classes while I was at it.  It was nice being on campus in the summer when it wasn’t bustling with busy people.  My favorite part was taking evening runs from my house to the quad, where I could enjoy the view from Wilson steps (and the sprinklers).

One of the first things I did was attend a conference at JMU where I had the amazing opportunity to mingle with leaders of other amazing organizations like Student Ambassadors, Panhellenic, International Students Association, Campus Assault Response, Outriggers, and the list goes on.  It was a blast meeting so many influential student leaders, as well as super important for me to learn about their respective organizations.

Maymester for me was also spent making the rounds of the University administration.  Before or after classes I met with great people from Public Safety, Student Affairs, Public Affairs, Orientation, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Substance Abuse Prevention, etc. (shout out to SAP director Paige Hawkins and her new baby Miller Thomas!!)

I carried with me a message to expect a very consistent, involved relationship with the student body next year concerning the decision making process at JMU and it was well received.

This summer I have also made it a side project of mine to become as well versed as I can in not only JMU history, but also of the life and legacy of our namesake- J. Maddy himself.  Right before I left the ‘Burg to return home for the summer, I spent many hours in the Special Collections section of Carrier Library, where I was able to do some really interesting research about the founding and development of our incredible University.  Here is some of my summer reading!

I recently returned home to New Jersey for the better part of the summer.  I’ve resumed my summer job across the lake at Budd Lake Beach where I am the lifeguard supervisor.  It’s no big time internship, or study abroad, but I can swim to work and I never have to wear shoes.

In my free time and days off, I plan on reading the stack of books next to bed, mountain biking with dad, and volunteering with local EMS.

We have such an amazing community here at JMU; everyday you all give meaning to our motto- Be the Change. You guys honestly make me so proud to represent you.  Brennan Trick is a rising junior Justice Studies major.  Here she is, Being the Change this summer by interning at an orphanage in Cusco, Peru! While there, she is also working in a boy’s juvenile home teaching English twice a week and then in the evenings, she spends her time in the children’s library.

Thanks for reading- please feel free to use the communication thingys on this blog by commenting or something! Where are you studying abroad/interning/ working/volunteering this summer? What’s on your summer reading list? What’s the reason you CAN’T WAIT to get back to JMU?

Be the Change,


5 thoughts on “A Word from the President

  1. Katie Fabish

    Can not wait to see what changes you bring to JMU this coming year, you have already done so much. Any new proposals that you are currently working on?

  2. Patrick Watral

    thanks katie!! there’s loads of cool stuff we’re working on for JMU, one interesting project is an initiative for JMU to adopt our proposal for a minor in American Sign Language, additionally we’ll be cooperating with the admins and public safety to make sure students get adjusted to having gates close down commuting through parts of campus this fall

  3. Jacob MOsser

    I’m excited to be coming back to JMU to see where I can be the change. In whatever capacity I can be, I know our school embodies that, and contributing to it is an honor that an collegian could ask for.
    Our school’s name sake was not a flashy person ( though his significant other was a big partier) and worked quietly and methodically to insure change occured in his own era. Change including but not limited to a new form of government, a new country, a new constitution, etc (no biggie, right?). So who knows what the Dukes of JMU will do in 20111-2012. But the students body will be on the forefront, that I can guarantee with every fiber of my being.


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