Duke Gift Planning Reunions Co-Chairs leave lasting legacies

No matter who or what inspires you to give back, a planned gift can provide meaningful support to Duke University. Learn how this year’s Gift Planning Reunion Co-Chairs are helping to support future generations while leaving a lasting legacy at Duke.


Class of ’93: Holly Morris Espy

Bequest to establish a family scholarship for engineering students

Holly Morris Espy B.S.E.’93 is grateful for her Duke experiences and believes in paying it forward. Though she is not a traditional engineer by trade, Holly knows that her engineering degree sets her apart in her field. In appreciation, Holly and her husband, Thomas ’94, included a gift in their estate plan to establish a family scholarship for future engineering students to have the same life-changing opportunities they had at Duke.

“Someone supported Duke to help make it one of the best universities in the country for me. It’s now my responsibility to do the same for others.”


Class of ’88: Manlio Valdes

Bequest to establish a family scholarship for engineering students

Manlio Valdes B.S.E.’88 understands the value of educational opportunities. His parents relied on scholarships to pay for their undergraduate educations, and they recognized that the generosity of others paved a path for their lives and futures. Manlio established a family scholarship for engineering students to honor his parents and grandparents, and to ensure Duke engineering students are able to pursue their ambitions far into the future.

“My hope for Duke is that we never stray from our ethos, our pursuit of excellence or from having outrageous ambitions.”


Class of ’83: Steven Rosner

Bequest and charitable remainder unitrust to support the Pratt School of Engineering

Steven Rosner B.S.E.’83 was undecided on a major until he transferred into Pratt late during his sophomore year and immediately felt he was welcomed into a new family. Steve and his wife, Carol, wanted to give back to Pratt and created two planned gifts: naming Pratt as a beneficiary in their estate plans and creating a charitable remainder unitrust to provide the Rosners with an income after retirement.

“I want to make available to others the great experience that I had at Duke. I also want to ensure that Duke continues to provide an excellent education to its students and improve its position among its peer schools.”


Class of ’78: Stephanie Elbers-Donaho

An unrestricted bequest to support Duke University

Stephanie Elbers-Donaho ’78 and her husband, Robert B.S.E.’76, met at a fraternity social as undergraduates and could not have predicted that they would marry and have two children who would join them as Duke alumni. The Donahos support

many worthy charities, but none has made an impact on their personal lives like Duke. In gratitude, they established an unrestricted bequest to support the university. Their children, Tom ’08 and Emma ’11, will decide which programs will benefit from the Donahos’ gift in the future.

“My hope is that Duke can continue to push the envelope academically but also remain focused on creating an environment where it is still fun to go to college.”


Class of ’73: Dara DeHaven

Charitable remainder unitrust for unrestricted support to Duke Law, and a bequest to support the Katharine T. Bartlett Professorship, Duke Law and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Dara DeHaven ’73, A.M.’74, J.D.’80 has a long history with Duke that stems from three Duke degrees and continued active volunteerism. Dara, an attorney specializing in employment discrimination litigation, assists both local and national nonprofits, and serves on the Duke Law Board of Visitors. Dara’s charitable remainder unitrust will provide unrestricted support to the law school and her bequest will support various priorities at Duke Law and Trinity College.

“Duke provided a supportive and encouraging community for learning and a foundation for the future, and has helped shape who I am as a person and a professional.”


Class of ’68: Judy Woodruff

An unrestricted bequest to support Duke University

Judy Woodruff ’68, Hon.’98 has spent her career covering public policy and politics. She believes that now, more than ever, it is important to support great research and ensure that the best and brightest students go on to serve in roles in which they can shape the policies and politics of the future. With this in mind, Judy established a bequest to support Duke with plans to support political science and the Sanford School of Public Policy.

“My hope is that Duke continues to encourage young men and women to do good in the world and to give back to others what they’ve been given by their Duke education.”


Class of ’63: James A. Marsh Jr.

Charitable gift annuities to support the Duke Marine Lab

Jim Marsh ’63 has fond memories of his time spent at the Duke Marine Lab. Following graduation and Air National Guard active duty, Jim joined the Marine Lab to work as a lab technician alongside his mentor, John Costlow. He credits his lab experiences as foundational to his career as a marine biologist. Jim funded nine separate gift annuities and will receive a fixed income for life from each annuity. The remainder will support the Friends of the Marine Lab Endowment Fund.

“I want to encourage Duke’s pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and service and help provide opportunities for students who might not otherwise benefit from the mind-expanding experience I appreciated as an undergraduate.”

Visit our website to learn how you too can leave a legacy at Duke by making a deferred gift.

If you would like to make a gift in honor of your reunion, please contact our Office of Gift Planning.


About the author

Gift Planning


Duke University’s Office of Gift Planning specializes in charitable gift planning for estates, charitable trusts and annuities, and other complex current and future gift plans.

For more information, please contact the Duke University Office of Gift Planning at 919-681-0464 or giftplanning@duke.edu.