Joanne Gabbin Receives Lifetime Achievement Award


Joanne Gabbin (Sept. 2, 2016) by Besi Muhonjaby Karen Risch Mott

On 2 Sept. 2016, James Madison University’s Office of Sponsored Programs honored Dr. Joanne Gabbin with a lifetime achievement award at its first-ever recognition reception. Provost Dr. Jerry Benson recounted Gabbin’s considerable scholarly and pedagogical contributions, including her work as executive director of JMU’s Furious Flower Poetry Center since 2005, and her previous 19 years as the director of the Honors Program. Building on many of the plans Gabbin envisioned and implemented while working with honors students between 1985 and 2004, the program was promoted to an Honors College this July. Shortly thereafter, the new College was gifted its first named professorship—the Dr. Joanne Gabbin Professorship—which was endowed by Gabbin’s former student and JMU alum Sean Tobin (’92), his wife Michelle, and their family.

The reception was held in tribute to “all involved in the pursuit of external funding at James Madison University during the Fiscal Year 2016,” and during her tenure at Furious Flower Gabbin has secured more than $130,000 in grants to support programming, in addition to tens of thousands more from private donors. While the sciences tend to attract larger awards, Gabbin has steadfastly pursued grantors that support the humanities with more modest sums. Notably, between 2005 and 2016, Furious Flower received 22 grants and large gifts, including repeated funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

In her remarks at the ceremony, Gabbin thanked JMU for providing an environment in which creativity and scholarship are not only supported but encouraged to thrive. 

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Published: Friday, September 9, 2016

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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