Richly illustrated with historic and contemporary images, this concise, popular history traces James Madison University's growth from a ""normal"" school dedicated to polishing young women for lives as public school teachers and domestic ""helpmates"" to its current status as an outstanding university of regional and national stature. The book's narrative chronicles the achievements of each of the school's first four presidents while providing an intimate portrait of student life during each era, including the reminiscences and recollections of numerous alumni throughout the twentieth century. An epilogue summarizes the agenda that JMU's current and fifth president, Linwood H. Rose, has set for the institution as it approaches its centennial anniversary in 2008. This engaging history will appeal to students and parents, alumni, and readers interested in the history of higher education in Virginia and the nation.
Nancy Bondurant Jones, a former public school teacher of nearly thirty years, is a freelance writer best known to Shenandoah Valley readers for her weekly newspaper column on local history that ran for eleven years in Harrisonburg's Daily News-Record.