In the spirit of our fast-approaching #JMUGivingDay, we’re continuing to bring you stories about giving at JMU and the impact donors make.

When you think of donors, you probably think of university alumni. But giving isn’t limited to graduates… current students give to JMU too!




The Student Alumni Association (SAA) is an organization that allows students to interact with alumni in order to form meaningful, lasting relationships long after graduation. SAA also encourages the philanthropic spirit on campus that helps to advance the development and growth of JMU.

Sam Roth, SAA Member and Co-Chair of Madison Giving

In addition to SAA, Madison Giving – an internal fundraising program – is another way current students get involved in giving back to JMU. Senior Sam Roth is a member of SAA and serves as Co-Chair of Madison Giving. In her ‘Why I Give’ statement, she said, “I give to give back to all the opportunities JMU has provided me with. I give to help in continuing to foster and develop the culture of our university. JMU has been my home away from home for the past four years; the students, faculty and staff who thrive on our campus deserve all the experiences our university can offer.”


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Taleia Barksdale, SAA Member and Co-Chair of Madison Giving

Taleia Barksdale, also Co-Chair of Madison Giving in SAA, realizes that tuition can be a financial burden to many families, and donations can make a big impact on students’ ability to succeed here. “I make the choice to give because I see it as a way to ensure that the students who come after me get to have as an exciting, fulfilling and transformative experience as myself. For students and parents, tuition can certainly be a financial burden, but what I think we fail to realize is that so much that happens at JMU cannot be and is not funded by tuition alone.”


Why give back when I’m already paying tuition?

Many students don’t realize that our university doesn’t run on tuition alone. JMU relies on the generosity of alumni, parents, students, and faculty to give back and allow future Dukes to get the same opportunities we are given as current students. On Giving Day, your donations can go directly to scholarships or funds to help your fellow peers succeed.

Dana Eyers, SAA Member

There also are misconceptions when it comes to where your donation money is going exactly. Some have the mindset that if they donate, the money will just go to athletics or somewhere higher up in the school where they will never get to see their gift make a difference. However, JMU offers a multitude of funds that you can choose to donate to. This gives you the ability to choose to donate to what you are passionate about or interested in. Another giving misconception is that donations have to be over a certain amount to make a difference, but in reality, a $5 donation can have a lasting impact. SAA member Dana Eyers, chooses to give specifically to benefit those in her major here at JMU. “I donated specifically to my major, the Overcoming Barriers program, and the Arboretum. These donations do make a difference. For example, many of the new buildings on campus are built mostly on a donation-basis – such as the Student Success Center.”

Thank you to all of the above SAA members for sharing their story! Click here to learn more about Giving Day and how YOU can make an impact.

Go Dukes!

One thought on “JMU Students Give Back

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