My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.
The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.
In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.
I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.
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Name of University: James Madison University
Location: Harrisonburg VA
May Day is a holiday that many Americans have celebrated, but relatively few can explain. Photo below from 1911 on the campus of Ohio State.
May Day is an ancient spring festival in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s an astronomical holiday, one of the year’s four cross-quarter days, or day that falls more or less midway between an equinox and solstice – in this case the March equinox and June solstice. The other cross-quarter days are Groundhog Day on February 2, Lammas on August 1 and Halloween on October 31.
At dozens of colleges in the early 20th Century, May Day was an important spring custom. Between 1910 and the entry of the United States into World War I, Elizabethan May Day celebrations were very popular, especially at women’s colleges including what is now known as James Madison University.
Founded in 1908 as a women’s college, James Madison University was established by the Virginia General Assembly. It was originally called The State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg. In 1914, the name of the university was changed to the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg.
In 1938, the school was named Madison College in honor of our country’s 4th President James Madison
In 1966, by action of the Virginia General Assembly, the university became a coeducational institution.
In 1976, the university’s name was changed to James Madison University. Today the campus includes 20,000 students and a campus encompassing 720 acres. One notable JMU Alum is Steve Buckhantz is a television play-by-play announcer for the Washington Wizards.
May Day was a treasured part of JMU’s life for some six decades, spanning the days from the State Normal and Industrial School for Women to the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg to Madison College.
Found a great link talking about the school’s history as it relates to May Day.