Valley Scholars
Making the Difference

President Alger challenged JMU with a striking new vision in 2014: become the national model for the engaged university, engaged with ideas and with the world — especially in our own backyard. So he initiated Valley Scholars to create opportunities for people whose real, everyday struggles drive distressing statistics on local poverty rates and first-generation college students.

When you invest in this growing program, you join the president in a personal passion project designed to create pathways to college where none existed before. You will help close the opportunity gap and support them not only in starting but in finishing a college degree, becoming the first in their families to do so.




Who are our Valley Scholars students? They are extraordinary middle and high school students from 25 neighboring public schools, primarily in rural areas.

  • 100 percent can become the first in their families to earn a four-year college degree.
  • Without this program, they would be less likely to attend college, largely because of a lack of academic preparation and other barriers associated with economic hardship.
  • 96 percent are in honors programs, take Advanced Placement classes, or are dual-enrolled in high school and community college.
  • 100 percent have demonstrated financial need: all qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, and 72% receive Medicaid benefits.

 What do they receive?

  • Starting in the eighth grade and continuing through high school graduation, students and their families receive comprehensive academic programming and personal support in school, out of school, and throughout the summer.
  • Students who fulfill all the requirements receive four-year scholarships to JMU, covering tuition and fees — opening doors so they can pursue majors anywhere on campus.

Support these well deserving students today with a gift to the Valley Scholars Scholarship fund.

Valley Scholars Scholarship Fund

Support this exciting collaboration between the university and local schools that mentors smart, economically disadvantaged students in the Shenandoah Valley—and rewards them with a four-year education at JMU when they fulfill all requirements.

2
Match
Night Owl Challenge
The first $250 in gifts made to any funds will be matched dollar for dollar.
$250 MATCHED
Completed
2
Match
Early Bird Challenge
The first $250 in gifts made to any fund will be matched dollar for dollar.
$250 MATCHED
Completed
2
Match
$12,000 Valley Scholars Scholarship Fund 2:1 Match
For every gift to the Valley Scholars Scholarship Fund, an anonymous donor will donate twice that much, up to $12,000. For example, if you donate $25, an anonymous donor will contribute double ($50) to match your gift to the Valley Scholars Scholarship Fund.
$12,000 MATCHED
Completed
2
Match
Race to Midnight Challenge
Congratulations to Furious Flower Poetry Center and The Hart School for winning this challenge!
$1,000 MATCHED
Completed
$25,000
$25,000 Dukes Pay It Forward Challenge
For every gift to a scholarship fund Buddy ’93 and Kathy Gadams will give $100 dollars to the Dukes Pay It Forward Annual Scholarship Fund.
250 / 250 Gifts
Completed
$30,000
$30K Midday Scholarships Challenge
DEADLINE EXTENDED! 3,000 gifts will unlock $30,000 in student scholarships. Brought to you by John Taschek (’86) and an Anonymous Alumna
3,000 / 3,000 Gifts
Completed
Success!
Around the World Challenge
Congratulations to the Center for Global Engagement who received a gift from Australia! G'Day mates!
Completed
Success!
Commuters' Challenge - Good luck finding that parking spot!
Congratulations to African, African American and Diaspora Studies Center on winning the commuter challenge. Hope you found that parking spot!
Completed
Success!
New Day, New Donor Challenge
The Marching Royal Dukes Fund won the new donor challenge, Virginia's Finest indeed!
Completed
Success!
Madison Giving Challenge
Congratulations to the Proud and True Fund for winning the Madison Giving Challenge. Show your colors!
Completed
Success!
JMU Family Challenge
COB Scholarships, Madison Vision and Parents Fund are the winners!
Completed
Success!
Alumni Challenge
Madison For Keeps Scholarships won the alumni challenge!
Completed
Success!
Student Challenge
The Breeze and College of Integrated Science and Engineering has won the Student Challenge!
Completed
Leaderboard
Overall Gifts Leaderboard
Which area can bring in the most gifts for giving day?
Rank Area Gifts
1 Duke Club - Proud and True Fund 637
2 College of Business 460
3 College of Education 339
4 Madison Vision Fund 327
5 College of Arts and Letters 318
6 Madison for Keeps Scholarships 259
7 Furious Flower Poetry Center 259
8 College of Science and Mathematics 215
9 Marching Royal Dukes 203
10 African, African American & Diaspora Studies 201
11 Alumni Chapters 156
12 Valley Scholars 141
13 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 141
14 Across the University 140
15 College of Health and Behavioral Studies 131
16 College of Visual and Performing Arts 130
17 Honors College 127
18 College of Integrated Science and Engineering 93
19 Center for Global Engagement 92
20 Dukes Pay it Forward 69
21 The Breeze 64
22 Scholarships 57
23 Center for Civic Engagement 45
24 University Recreation (UREC) 45
25 JMU Libraries 45
26 Parents Fund 43
27 Duke Club - Young Alumni Program 29
28 Student Aid 28
29 Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression 24
30 Madison Trust 21
31 Student Duke Club 18
32 Graduate School 18
33 JMU X-Labs 13
34 Debate Team 4
Ended
Leaderboard
Overall Dollars Leaderboard
Which area can raise the most dollars?
Rank Area Raised
1 Duke Club - Proud and True Fund $148,605.46
2 College of Business $67,799.96
3 Madison for Keeps Scholarships $47,476.05
4 College of Arts and Letters $41,859.06
5 Madison Vision Fund $36,257.51
6 College of Visual and Performing Arts $17,484.18
7 Marching Royal Dukes $16,592.94
8 African, African American & Diaspora Studies $16,373.00
9 College of Education $15,294.00
10 Alumni Chapters $14,410.00
11 Valley Scholars $14,365.00
12 College of Science and Mathematics $14,303.00
13 Furious Flower Poetry Center $14,225.00
14 College of Integrated Science and Engineering $13,649.00
15 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion $11,712.00
16 Across the University $10,582.00
17 Honors College $9,787.00
18 College of Health and Behavioral Studies $8,705.00
19 Center for Global Engagement $7,925.01
20 Parents Fund $7,729.00
21 The Breeze $6,710.00
22 Dukes Pay it Forward $5,460.00
23 Center for Civic Engagement $4,695.00
24 Scholarships $4,610.00
25 Madison Trust $4,025.00
26 University Recreation (UREC) $3,009.96
27 JMU Libraries $2,695.12
28 Student Aid $2,670.00
29 Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression $1,600.00
30 Duke Club - Young Alumni Program $1,515.00
31 Student Duke Club $940.00
32 JMU X-Labs $745.00
33 Graduate School $553.00
34 Debate Team $80.00
Ended
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Or you can contact us at giving@jmu.edu.