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There are many traditions students hear about and engage in during their time at JMU- holding doors for people, the story of the kissing rock, and throwing streamers at the football game are only a few. Students will be excited to hear about a new tradition starting on campus thanks to the Class of 2003 and The Madison Society.

Ashley Privott, Director of Alumni Relations for JMU explained,

“[The idea] actually started 12 years ago, with the Class of 2003 Senior Class Gift.  The class raised money to purchase and install a seal, in a prominent location on campus, and to encourage a tradition that people would not step on it.  There are other universities that have similar traditions, and the class was inspired by that.  Most of the gifts to the campaign were in the amount of $20.03, to commemorate the graduation year of these students.”

The idea was finalized and implemented by the 2003 graduating class and the Madison Society, an organization committed to maintaining traditions on campus. The seal features the JMU Alma Mater, written by Dr. James Riley, a former Professor of Music at JMU. The lyrics of the song reflect our love for and devotion to JMU.

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Privott explained that the Madison Society is encouraging our community not to step on the seal as a sign of respect, passion and loyalty to the alma mater.

The most common time to hear the Alma Mater is at every home football game. You can hear it before kickoff or at the end when the team and coaches sing it in the north end-zone. With this new tradition, more students, faculty and alumni will have the chance to honor the Alma Mater every time they step onto the quad.

Dave Barnes, Director of University Unions, says the seal is “such a wonderful addition to campus and a great example of collaboration where so many different people came together to make this happen.”

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