As you become involved on campus, there is one name you’ll hear a lot: Dr. Mark Warner, the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs and University Planning. In his own words, it is his job to ensure the time you’re here becomes a “transformative experience.” As a long-time, loyal Duke (’79, ’81M, ’85Ed.S.) he is also a jackpot for advice.
What were you like when you were 20?
When I was 20, I loved life and I have always loved life. I wasn’t as worried about the career, I was more worried about where am I going to be in being able to make a difference in the world. So it was a lot of introspection, a lot of soul-searching. The one thing that Madison gave me was the courage, the confidence, and the experiences to discover who I am.
What does it mean to be a JMU student?
To me, it means to be engaged. It means to care about other people. It means to be friendly. It means to be intellectually curious. It means to want to make a difference in the world.
What does a successful first year look like to you?
It’s one in which a student feels like they belong. And feels like they’ve got the tools to be successful in and outside of the classroom for the remainder of their time at Madison.
What should new students take advantage of in their first year?
New students should take advantage of students who have already been here. To use them to help get involved, to ask them questions, to find mentors. The university experience is one where we have the opportunity to get exposed to different ideas, different experiences, and different people. We ought to put ourselves in situations where we learn from people different than ourselves
If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?
I would ensure that I balanced my experience. And that I was diligent in the classroom and also took advantage of the incredible learning opportunities outside of class.
Favorite place to eat?
D-Hall, but part of that is, I’ve been eating at D-Hall since 1975, so it’s just comfort.
Favorite place to hang out?
Favorite place to work?
Favorite thing to do on campus?
To attend a sporting event, I love sports. Actually my favorite thing, I have to back up, my favorite thing is to teach class, that’s my absolute favorite thing to do on campus.