Greeks Invade Harrisonburg! (Intro)
The 1970s is the decade that many will agree made James Madison University a “real college.” But what really makes JMU a “real college”? Some feel that a good football team is required in order to make a college “real”. Other, more studious individuals would proclaim that a strong focus on academics is key. Still others prefer a large enough student body. All of these factors began to excel as the relatively recently amended admittance policy now accepted males in the seventies.
The increase of male enrollment drastically affected another entity at Madison: Greek Life. In the 1970s, Fraternities boomed in memberships. New charters were being created at a rapid rate. So what did this mean to Madison College? What does it mean to the community? Were fraternities truly just stereotypical party animals whose lawns were riddled with beer cans and Solo cups every Sunday morning after a long night of debauchery? Or did they actively give back to the community through hundreds of charitable donations and drives? Was the amount of volunteering and community service overshadowed in the minds of the “Townies” because of all of the negative impacts fraternities may have caused for the residents of Harrisonburg?
The following pages contain various artifacts I have retrieved in order to take a closer look into the significant impacts that Fraternity and Sorority organizations had on Madison College/JMU and the Harrisonburg community.
*Many of the pictures have been edited in order to enhance quality. Originals may be found on through their respective citations
The above image depicts a horde of fraternity members marching together. I chose this picture as my feature image because it seems to symbolize the arrival of Fraternities to Harrisonburg. Regardless of negative opinions some may hold, Fraternities are united and will march on.)
Feature Image Taken from The Bluestone 1975, 224, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.