James Madison University

"Day with the Dukes" Being Held Saturday

By: Brett Seekford
Posted: September 7, 2016

A new, special group of athletes will take the field at Bridgeforth Stadium on Saturday, September 10th.

JMU is hosting Special Olympics for a day devoted to fun and physical activity. This annual event, called “Day with the Dukes,” is in its tenth year. It’s sponsored by the Psychology Service Organization (PSO), a campus club devoted to making positive contributions to the lives of others through service learning.

Partnered with PSO members, roughly seventy Special Olympic athletes will spend a day on the basketball courts and the football field. They will have the chance to meet with JMU cheerleaders, football players, and athletes from both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. These interactions, including the one-on-one experiences with Psychology students, will provide the Special Olympic athletes opportunities to learn new skills from JMU athletes while allowing the JMU students to learn from them. The Duke Dog plans to make a special appearance, too.

This year also sees the return of Jesse Tarr (’08), a Psychology alum who helped found “Day with the Dukes.” JMU Athletics will honor him for his contributions to the campus community in fostering the connection between the university and Special Olympics. At the same time, he has a chance to meet the athletes who benefit from his work.

When the football team kicks off against Central Connecticut State University at 4:00 p.m. the Special Olympic Athletes and PSO students will be in the stands to cheer on the Dukes. As both groups look forward to a fun day, they are likely to find new friends and reap great rewards as well.