Page from the first commencement program (1912) for the State Normal and Industrial School for Women with lyrics to the original school songs that reflect the founders’ attitudes about race, class, and gender.

This website provides resources related to the work of JMU’s History and Context Committee. As part of a larger Task Force on Inclusion, this committee was charged by President Alger with examining this institution’s history as a segregated women’s school, sharing accurate information about that history with the public, and considering how the past influences our efforts to create an inclusive community in the present.

JMU is a member of Universities Studying Slavery, a multi-institutional collaboration that encourages participants “to work together as they address both historical and contemporary issues dealing with race and inequality in higher education and in university communities as well as the complicated legacies of slavery in modern American society.”

The current Exhibits page showcases digital projects by students enrolled in Dr. Meg Mulrooney’s Spring 2019 class, HIST396: Introduction to Public History. That course used JMU campus history as a unifying theme to explore different subfields in public history, such as oral history, historic preservation, archives and collection management, digital history, and monuments/memorials. Each exhibit intentionally incorporates unfamiliar, untold, and unacknowledged aspects of this institution’s past. 

For more information about this website contact:
Dr. Meg Mulrooney, Associate Vice Provost for University Programs and Professor of History



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