Local Valley Presidents Meet with Local Community Leaders

By: Brendan Ponton Email
By: Brendan Ponton Email

HARRISONBURG-- Leaders of five of the valley's colleges and universities met with members of the community on Wednesday morning for a breakfast at Spotswood Country Club.

The presidents of JMU, EMU, Bridgewater College, BRCC, and the campus director of National College updated the attendees on new developments from their respective schools.

Several of the presidents said this upcoming school year will bring record levels of attendance, including JMU, EMU, and Bridgewater. All of the presidents wanted the people who were there to know how their colleges fit into the community.

One issue that continues to come up among colleges is affordability. Bridgewater's new president, Dr. David Bushman, said the goal is to make college a worthwhile investment. "The question of access and affordability is something that we wrestle with all the time. The reality is what we offer is expensive to deliver. There's no question. The demands of our markets, the students, have high expectations, and we want to deliver that. It's about delivering value with excellence, but managing that and making it accessible is a focus for all of us," he said.

Bushman said he plans to hold several events and receptions in order to get to know the campus community when the fall semester starts at Bridgewater.

The meeting, held injunction with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, also discussed the economic impact of the colleges. For example, JMU's budget for the upcoming school year is over $470 million.

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