JMU Students Staying in Shenandoah Valley

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The pressure of finding the perfect job can be stressful, especially when it comes to picking the perfect place to live. For graduates of James Madison University, the top spot may not be far from their campus.

The Alumni Relations Center at James Madison University said out of 113,000 total graduates, 10,000 of those alumni choose to live within thirty miles of Harrisonburg.

This happens for a lot of reasons. Two-thirds of the graduates are from Virginia to begin with and staying close is a reflection of where they came from. Interstate 81 has also opened a lot of jobs in the area.

The community of Harrisonburg has a close relationship with the school. The Alumni Center explained there are currently about 1,000 full-time, part-time, and graduate students who are James Madison University alumni.

Many students will also leave and come back to the Shenandoah Valley. One student who started his journey in New York City, found himself back in Harrisonburg to begin his own business.

Erik Pitzer is an alumni of James Madison University and the founder of Sam's Cornhole Bags. He said cost was a major factor in coming back to Harrisonburg.

"Harrisonburg is a great town. I mean, you talk to anyone who went here and they loved their time here. I think a lot of it is the area. I mean, I think it is called 'the friendly city' for a reason. There is really not much to dislike about it. There is no stress, pressure or traffic like you have in a lot of the bigger cities," said Pitzer.


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