Furious Flower Poetry Center
Honoring an Icon

Toi Derricotte calls her “the soul of Furious Flower.” Jericho Brown considers her “a bone in the vertebrae of life.” Evie Shockley professes a “great awe” of what she has accomplished in her 37 years at James Madison University. And this summer, beloved teacher and scholar Joanne V. Gabbin will retire. A professor of English at JMU since 1985, Dr. Gabbin has served as Furious Flower’s visionary leader since it all began with a historic first conference in 1994, which she presented while she was director of the JMU Honors program. The success of that event and Dr. Gabbin’s tireless dedication led to the formal charter of the Furious Flower Poetry Center at JMU, the nation’s first academic center devoted to Black poetry.

In 2021, Furious Flower named the Carmen R. Gillespie Fellowship after one of Dr. Gabbin’s former students. Please make your gift of any amount to this fund, and you’ll be supporting students studying Black literature and culture and honoring an icon as she reaches a new milestone in her professional life. 

Watch the video to see Latorial Faison, a poet and instructor of English at Virginia State University, tell the story of how she came to receive a special item that connects her to Furious Flower and, more especially, to Dr. Gabbin and the late Dr. Gillespie (1965-2019). And then we hope you’ll join us on this Giving Day to honor Dr. Gabbin in the most “Joanne” way we know how: with generosity and in tribute to someone you love.

Furious Flower Poetry Center 

Provide general support for the nation's first academic center for Black poetry. Preserve the power of the American literary experience by supporting the study of poetry and encouraging new talent.

$50,000
Ken (’90) and Amy (’92) Kiser $50K Scholarships Challenge
We did it - $50,000 has been unlocked for College of Business student scholarships.
1,000 / 1,000 Donors
Completed
$200,000
The Maxine Jobst Memorial Scholarship Challenge
$200,000 has been unlocked for new student scholarships.
3,250 / 3,250 Donors
Completed
Leaderboard
Giving Day Dollar Leaderboard
Which fund will raise the most dollars?
Rank Fund Raised
1 Proud and True Fund $159,518.41
2 College of Business Scholarships $55,419.80
3 Madison Vision Fund $36,137.02
4 Dr. George E. Sparks College of Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship $22,625.44
5 Madison For Keeps $19,618.00
6 JMU Washington Semester Fund $16,686.00
7 Marching Royal Dukes Fund $16,296.13
8 Women for Madison Fund $15,584.22
9 Counseling and Student Development Center $15,353.66
10 Valley Scholars Scholarship Fund $12,762.00
11 Honors College Fund $11,122.00
12 College of Education Fund $11,085.00
13 Arts and Letters Opportunity Fund $11,020.22
14 College of Science and Mathematics Fund $9,753.41
15 AAAD Studies Center Fund $9,102.22
16 The Breeze $8,661.00
17 Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship $8,326.75
18 Arts & Letters Legacy Fund $8,069.22
19 Furious Flower Poetry Center $7,859.22
20 CHBS Dean's Innovative Development Fund $7,786.44
21 College of Integrated Science and Engineering Fund $6,438.00
22 Center for Global Engagement Scholarship Endowment $5,324.00
23 Dukes Pay It Forward Annual Scholarship Fund $5,259.22
24 Parents & Families Fund $4,155.00
25 School of Communication Studies Fund $3,335.22
26 Integrated Sciences (ISAT, GS, IA and Biotech) Student Projects $3,040.00
27 Edith J. Carrier Arboretum $2,890.00
28 School of Strategic Leadership Studies $2,350.00
29 Lifelong Learning Institute $2,180.22
30 Brakke Mason Endowment $2,120.00
31 Center for Multicultural Student Services Fund $1,984.22
32 UREC Scholarship Endowment $1,805.22
33 Libraries Endowment $1,483.00
34 Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) $1,467.00
35 Computer Science Diversity Support Fund $1,400.00
36 JMU Campus Pantry $1,342.00
37 James Madison Center for Civic Engagement $1,300.00
38 Centennial Scholars Endowment $1,199.00
39 Center for International Stabilization and Recovery $1,097.22
40 Graduate School Fund $1,042.00
41 Debate Team $1,010.00
42 Duke Club Young Alumni $980.00
43 Counseling and Student Development Center $850.00
44 JMU X-Labs $730.00
45 Harrisonburg Alumni Chapter Scholarship $675.00
46 Youth Programs Fund $650.00
47 Division of Student Affairs $530.00
48 Division of Admin. & Finance Scholarship Fund $495.22
49 Richmond Alumni Chapter Scholarship $475.00
50 Peggy Brooks Burruss Endowment (Special Collections) $412.22
51 JMI Startup Fund $375.00
52 Veteran and Military Affairs Engagement $350.00
53 Student Duke Club $300.00
54 Military Science (ROTC) Fund $280.00
55 Vice Provost, Research and Scholarship Fund $255.00
56 JMU Rebound Program $200.00
57 Metro-Washington Alumni Chapter Scholarship $197.00
58 Adult Degree Program / BIS Fund $180.00
59 Engineering Student Projects $125.00
60 Charlotte Alumni Chapter Scholarship $60.00
61 Tidewater Area Alumni Chapter Scholarship $55.00
62 Philadelphia Area Alumni Chapter Scholarship $5.00
Ended
Success!
Around the World Challenge
Madison Vision Fund wins this challenge!
Completed
Success!
Commuters Challenge
The Duke Club took this challenge!
Completed
Success!
Madison Giving Challenge
Mad giving to African, African American Diaspora Studies Center won this challenge for them.
Completed
Success!
All 2gether Challenge
The JMU Counseling Center won our All 2gether Challenge!
Completed
Success!
Alumni Challenge
During the challenge, the fund with the most alumni donors will unlock an additional $500. Marching Royal Dukes won!
Completed
Success!
Race to Midnight Challenge
Women for Madison won the race to midnight!
Completed
$50,000
Alisa (’93) and Gregory Mitchell (’93) 2,220 Donor Challenge
When we reach 2,220 donors $50,000 will be unlocked, releasing support for new Dukes Pay It Forward student scholarships.
2,220 / 2,220 Donors
Completed
Leaderboard
Giving Day Donor Leaderboard
Which fund will attain the most donors?
Rank Fund Donors
1 Proud and True Fund 518
2 Madison Vision Fund 359
3 Marching Royal Dukes Fund 279
4 College of Business Scholarships 257
5 Counseling and Student Development Center 183
6 Madison For Keeps 162
7 Dr. George E. Sparks College of Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship 149
8 College of Education Fund 124
9 JMU Washington Semester Fund 123
10 CHBS Dean's Innovative Development Fund 113
11 College of Science and Mathematics Fund 106
12 Women for Madison Fund 105
13 Honors College Fund 99
14 Valley Scholars Scholarship Fund 96
15 Arts and Letters Opportunity Fund 96
16 AAAD Studies Center Fund 94
17 Furious Flower Poetry Center 83
18 The Breeze 79
19 School of Communication Studies Fund 76
20 Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship 73
21 Center for Global Engagement Scholarship Endowment 69
22 Dukes Pay It Forward Annual Scholarship Fund 54
23 Arts & Letters Legacy Fund 46
24 Edith J. Carrier Arboretum 44
25 College of Integrated Science and Engineering Fund 43
26 Brakke Mason Endowment 33
27 Parents & Families Fund 29
28 Libraries Endowment 28
29 Lifelong Learning Institute 26
30 Center for Multicultural Student Services Fund 26
31 Integrated Sciences (ISAT, GS, IA and Biotech) Student Projects 23
32 School of Strategic Leadership Studies 23
33 Graduate School Fund 23
34 UREC Scholarship Endowment 22
35 James Madison Center for Civic Engagement 22
36 Duke Club Young Alumni 21
37 Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) 18
38 JMU Campus Pantry 18
39 Center for International Stabilization and Recovery 17
40 JMU X-Labs 14
41 Centennial Scholars Endowment 13
42 Peggy Brooks Burruss Endowment (Special Collections) 13
43 Computer Science Diversity Support Fund 11
44 Debate Team 10
45 Youth Programs Fund 9
46 Richmond Alumni Chapter Scholarship 9
47 Student Duke Club 9
48 Counseling and Student Development Center 8
49 Division of Student Affairs 8
50 Division of Admin. & Finance Scholarship Fund 8
51 Military Science (ROTC) Fund 5
52 Metro-Washington Alumni Chapter Scholarship 5
53 Adult Degree Program / BIS Fund 5
54 Harrisonburg Alumni Chapter Scholarship 4
55 JMI Startup Fund 4
56 Veteran and Military Affairs Engagement 4
57 Vice Provost, Research and Scholarship Fund 4
58 JMU Rebound Program 4
59 Charlotte Alumni Chapter Scholarship 3
60 Tidewater Area Alumni Chapter Scholarship 3
61 Engineering Student Projects 2
62 Philadelphia Area Alumni Chapter Scholarship 1
Ended
Success!
Night Owl Challenge
Congratulations to JMU Washington Semester Fund for winning this challenge!
Completed
Success!
Early Bird Challenge
Center For Global Engagement got the worm during our Early Bird Challenge!
Completed
Success!
New Day, New Donor Challenge
The winning fund for this challenge was College of Business Scholarships!
Completed
Success!
Seeing Double Challenge
All gifts made during this challenge to either Madison Vision Fund or the Parents & Families Fund will be matched $:$ up to a total of $444.
Completed
Success!
JMU Family Challenge
CVPA won $2,500; Madison For Keeps $1,500; and Parents & Families Fund $1,000
Completed
Success!
Student Challenge
The Breeze won the Student Challenge!
Completed
Success!
2.22 Challenge
Madison Vision Fund won this challenge.
Completed
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