JMU to mark December graduation this weekend

james madison university jmuNearly 900 students will receive their academic degrees at James Madison University’s Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 commencement ceremonies.

The Graduate School will host its ceremony on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, at 7 p.m. at Wilson Hall Auditorium. The Undergraduate Ceremony will take place on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, at 10 a.m. at the Convocation Center. Tickets are not required for either event and seating is available first-come first-served.

The commencement address at both ceremonies will be delivered by A. Jerry Benson, JMU’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. After 36 years of service to JMU, and serving as provost for the last six years, Benson is preparing to retire in summer 2017.

From roles as assistant professor of psychology and director of the Shenandoah Valley Child Development Clinic and JMU Human Development Center to JMU’s chief academic officer, Benson has always put students’ education and best interests at the forefront. Some of the many initiatives that Benson has guided include the formation of the engineering program, doctorate of nursing practice program and The Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action.

The College of Integrated Science and Engineering and the College of Health and Behavioral Studies were formed on Benson’s watch, as were international master’s programs – Spanish Language and Culture for Educators in Salamanca, Spain, and Environmental Management and Sustainability in Malta.

JMU President Jonathan Alger will confer degrees to approximately 745 undergraduate students and 125 graduate students – 115 master’s, one educational specialist and nine doctoral.

The ceremony will also be streamed live online on JMU’s Facebook page. For more details and parking information, check

As part of the commencement celebrations, 100 nursing students will receive pins signifying their entrance into the nursing profession at the Nursing Convocation in Wilson Hall at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 16.

Six ROTC cadets will receive commissions as Army second lieutenants at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, during a ceremony in Memorial Hall Auditorium.

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