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JMU celebrates 2021 graduates this weekend during in-person ceremonies

jmuSpring 2021 Commencement ceremonies will be held over the weekend at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field on the campus of James Madison University to honor a total of 4,647 graduates.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a host of challenges in celebrating graduates’ successes, and the Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 represent a significant milestone.

Each academic college and The Graduate School will hold in-person ceremonies so that all graduates can be individually recognized.

On Thursday, May 6, at 6 p.m. a virtual universitywide ceremony will be held, with Dr. Joanne Gabbin as the keynote speaker and Carter Bowman as the senior class speaker and 2021 valedictorian.

A professor of English at JMU, Dr. Gabbin is founder and executive director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center, the nation’s first academic center for Black poetry. She hosted the inaugural Furious Flower Poetry Conference at JMU in 1994. Since that time, Furious Flower has become a recognized leader in supporting and promoting Black poets at all stages of their careers and preserving the history of Black poets for future generations. The center celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019. Dr. Gabbin has been a visionary leader in the field, building key relationships with scholars, poets and corporate partners, as well as overseeing and fundraising for special projects and events. She is also a former director of the JMU Honors Program.

Bowman, a political science major and Chinese language minor, said, “It is an honor to address my classmates, their families and our faculty and staff during the commencement address this week. During my time at JMU, I learned the importance of dedication. Simply wanting to do something great is not enough. Much hard work goes into anything worthwhile.”

Congratulations to the graduates of the Class of 2021!

For a complete list of commencement ceremonies and for links to virtual components of each ceremony, please visit the website.

Traffic alert: Traffic will be heavy in and around the stadium during the ceremonies on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Local traffic should use alternate routes and avoid the area if possible.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press