Winchester native makes largest cash donation in JMU history

A Winchester native and John Handley High School alum made the largest cash gift in James Madison University of nearly $6 million dollars in March.

The gift was made from the estate of Frances “Tina” Weir, a 1949 graduate of then Madison College, and will support approximately $240,000 annually in scholarship funds in perpetuity.

After graduation, she joined the Army and made history with her service in the Women’s Army Corps.

She was the first woman to lead an all-male unit and is credited for paving the way for women military commanders of the future.

Weir reached the rank of Colonel in 1971 and was awarded numerous medals and stars including the Bronze Star for her achievement in ground operations against hostile forces in Vietnam in 1969 and two Legion of Merit Awards.

She passed away in September of 2023.

Her remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

To view JMU’s announcement on the donation, click here.

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