Innovation ignites in Madison Trust and grows in service to the world.

Every year, Madison Trust fuels JMU innovations through contributions from philanthropic investors. Think of a certain TV show but without “sharks” and instead JMU alumni and friends who believe in and are ready to invest in fellow Dukes.

Our philanthropic investors are discerning donors who foresee the local, regional, national and/or global impact of the faculty and staff projects they choose to support—and who do not receive any financial return on their contributions to Madison Trust. These are people with imagination and insight. They are savvy visionaries who consider innovation the key to tackling the toughest problems.


Since it began in 2014, donors to Madison Trust have provided $835,275 to 67 worthy projects. 

Think you’d like to join the panel of philanthropic investors for a front-row seat when this year’s top 10 innovations are revealed? See if you qualify.


Professor’s animal monitoring innovation earns patent with donor assist

Winter 2022 — Biology professor Katrina Gobetz received a U.S. patent for her Animal Monitoring Data Station, a novel idea developed at JMU and supported by donors from Madison Trust. Read more

Students contribute to FDA salmonella research

Nov. 11, 2021 — JMU students are looking to understand the Harrisonburg community in a unique way. Read more

Dukes in space! JMU Team test launches their high-altitude balloon, “Hi-SAT One”

Nov. 7, 2021 (VINTON, Va.) — The JMU DukeSAT team took its first steps toward space on Sunday. Read more

2021 Madison Trust Projects

Last spring, for the first time ever, the Madison Trust live-streamed 10 unique project presentations. Take a peek into the experience normally reserved exclusively for Madison Trust’s philanthropic investors:

Watch to learn about this unique program where philanthropists and entrepreneurial thinkers meet to discuss funding the visionary and innovative ideas presented by JMU faculty and staff.

You can also see a table of all of the projects presented at Madison Trust in the past, 2014 to present.

Madison Trust is an initiative of University Advancement managed by the office of Corporate & Foundation Relations in collaboration with colleagues and campus partners from across JMU.

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