The End of the Beginning

Bittersweet. That is the perfect graduation word – although the g-word is banned from my apartment. What’s really the kicker is that it doesn’t just end my time at JMU, but also with the best organization I’ve been a part of in my college years.

Here it is, plain and simple. I love UPB. I have grown with this organization, first as a committee member and then as an executive council member. During my time on the board I have met some of the most memorable people I have come across at this university and I have left with some pretty wonderful best friends.

My favorite part of this experience has been the people. Without them it would not have been the same experience. This job is hard, that’s an understatement, and sometimes you have to stretch to reach your goals. One thing I knew all along was that no matter how far I stretched, my team would never let me fall over. We’ve lugged coolers full of water, been the sole supporters and groupies of our favorite band, carpooled, vented about our stresses, and just plain been there for each other. I have depended on them time and time again and for that, I cannot thank them enough.

It’s the end of this chapter, that’s for sure, but what will never escape me are the meaningful moments I’ve spent with some of the best. I know that I’ve learned so much from them this year, but not all of it has been directly related to event planning. This is why I love UPB. These are the good times. I’m holding on to this until I have to leave, but only if I’m hand-in-hand with my best friends.


~Amy Remmer, Director of Special Events

Dreams Really Can Come True

It’s strange. I don’t feel like just yesterday I was graduating high school as so many Seniors tend to claim. To me, college has not flown by at all.  As “G- Day” is quickly approaching, though I am anxious/ afraid/ worried about my future, I know that it is time for me to leave and start a new chapter in my life as I did four years ago when leaving high school. JMU has taught me a lot and helped my grow as a person and I am thankful for that, but it is now time to take what I have learned and apply it to being a “real person.”

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without JMU but I also wouldn’t be who I am without the University Program Board. I started as a committee member sophomore year and had the opportunity to serve on the Executive Board my Senior year. I can safely say ladies and gentlemen, my experiences with UPB have been what we call a life changer. One of my favorite memories from being on exec this past year was our most recent Convocation show featuring Wiz Khalifa. I had a blast being around my UPBers all day and being delirious with them into the wee hours of the morning. If you have never worked a Convo show you are missing out!  What I love and will miss about UPB is the people and their passion for what they are doing for the University and what a joy they are to be around.

My plans for the future? I am staying in Harrisonburg this summer to work and save money because I am packing my bags and heading to Florida to intern with Disney in late August. Words can not explain how I am excited I am to have this opportunity. I have been interested in doing the internship since my freshmen year, but wanted to graduate on time so I never applied for it. When I found out you could apply as a graduating senior I knew I would regret it if I didn’t apply. Where JMU and UPB has left off is where Disney will pick up in my journey of life. I am excited/ anxious/ scared of what is to come but as everything has at JMU, I know everything will work out in the end. With a bit of passion and determination, dreams really can come true.

~Katelyn Diehl, Executive Assistant

3 1/2 Years and Counting

I have been a part of this amazing organization for about 3 and half years now, so I’ve made a lot of memories. With that being said I guess my greatest UPB memory has to be my first UPB memory. I was hired in February, 2008 as Finance Director of the University Program Board. As a freshman I lived a life of leisure eating, playing sports, and watching way too much Malcolm in the Middle with the suitemates (I can pretty much sing the theme song on command).

I knew I wanted to do something to keep me busy and find my niche at JMU. I thought for weeks about applying for an Exec position and had some confidence going into the interview but not much, especially when I walked into a conference room that is filled with five people on either side of the table. After awkwardly shaking all of their hands I sat down in the hot seat for my interview. Once it was over I finally was able to take a deep breath, and realized, “how many baseball references and sports puns did I just use in that interview?” If you guessed more than ten you’d probably be right.

After a week I got the call, which of course I missed. Then I called back to only leave a message. This went on for about another week (I kid you not).  The coordinator for UPB finally got a hold of me on my drive back up to Northern Virginia for Spring Break. I calmly as possible answered the phone, made a corny joke, and as cool as a cucumber I accepted the job. Ever since my college career has revolved around UPB, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I have made some great friends, learned a heck of a lot, and have memories like this one that I will treasure forever.

~Zach Hamby, VP of Marketing

1 Month Left…

So, I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m a senior. I’ve finally bought my cap and gown (although I am referring to them as my “dress robes” and the g-word is now codename “Yule Ball”). Even with these grown up accoutrements, I feel like a little girl wearing my older sister’s graduation gear. It feels like yesterday that she was graduating from this very place (even though it was 6 years ago…).

Currently, I only have 4 weeks left, but this year has definitely been filled with some of my favorite memories. Being film director has been a wild and crazy ride. I’ve met some absolutely bonkers people, and seen some really not wonderful movies (You Again, I’m looking at you). But I will never forget the people who I spent all those hours in Grafton with. I think that in an organization that remains so constant, it’s really the people in it who make each year so different and special. I’d love to think that I made UPB’s life a bit more interesting this year and added something that no one else could.
I’ve had numerous people reassure me that everything turns out ok in the end, but I think I just don’t want to see the end. Currently, almost everything in my life is in flux; things are changing from one moment to the next. One thing that I can rely on is that I will never forget this year.
~Kelly McKew, Director of Film