“When he’s in a conversation with you, he’s really intentional and is paying attention,” says one of his students. “He’s not just working to get a salary. He’s working because he likes it, and he values education and values his students.”

If you’ve ever met Maddie Pfaff, you probably see her as the life of any party. What most of her fellow JMU students may not know is that for the past eight years, she has dedicated the majority of her free time to helping those with special needs.

Art Dean's philosophy is straight-forward: “Every faculty member or student, no matter who you are, you should feel safe. At JMU, you should be comfortable to be who you are.”

Compassionate. Devoted. Selfless. These three words were used to describe Lauren Hughes, the President of CARE (Campus Assault ResponsE), and offer an accurate and appropriate sketch of the woman that she has grown into within her community at James Madison University.

“I’ve really done my best and put my best foot forward in terms of creating a space for people who are on the margins,” Mike Dolzer said. “People of different races, religions and sexual orientations, which is the one that I align with. I’ve really tried to tell stories of people who otherwise, their stories wouldn’t get told.”

Exclamations of “Good morning!” and “I like your outfit!” greet JMU students as they enter the Center for Multicultural Student Services on any given weekday. Plum-colored leather couches are littered with students catching a break between classes, getting in last-minute studying for exams, …

“Football in my life represents my dad,” Trai Sharp said. “All the effort and the time that I’ve put in — I’ve created bonds that will last forever.”

A lifelong entrepreneur, Sina Shah began his journey selling anything from lemonade to computer software until his brother helped him find his passion for selling apparel.

"First down: JMU Dukes!" Curt Dudley is the voice behind those crowd-exciting words, and also the voice of many of JMU's athletics teams. He's also a coach to aspiring broadcasters, passing along his skill and encouragement to each new class of JMU Dukes.