Gift furthers experiential innovation and entrepreneurship learning
Students from the Duke in Silicon Valley program visit PayPal headquarters in San Jose, CA. The first gift to endow the program will rename it to the Ronald and Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program. Photo by Pilar Timpane / Duke I&E.
Duke undergraduate students will further engage in experiential innovation and entrepreneurship learning opportunities, thanks to a gift from Ronald Ludwig ’65 and his wife, Carrie, of San Francisco.
The Ludwigs’ gift will endow Duke in Silicon Valley, a comprehensive one-month summer study-away program for Duke students, hosted through Duke I&E and Global Education Office for Undergraduates (GEO). Their gift will provide immediate and ongoing support for the program — with a preference for student support — and an estate gift is planned to provide significant additional funding.
“We have seen the value that this intensive experience in Silicon Valley provides to students through coursework and mentorship,” said Ron Ludwig. “We are thrilled to be able to make a contribution to directly enhance students’ experience during their time at Duke and, more importantly, provide them with skills and connections that will serve them for the rest of their lives.”
A Duke alumnus, Ron practiced law in San Francisco for three decades and is a retired private investor. The Ludwigs were the initial investors in the Duke in Silicon Valley program, and Ron serves on the advisory board of Duke I&E.
As the first endowment of an undergraduate study-away program in Duke’s GEO, the gift will rename it to the Ronald and Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program.
The program first launched in 2013 in one of the nation’s hubs for innovative enterprise. More than 125 undergraduates have completed Duke in Silicon Valley since then. Students participate in an immersive educational experience that includes classes, guest lectures, alumni engagement and site visits across industries — from startups to large technology companies. This allows the students to gain an understanding of the resources, skills and planning required to launch a new product or service, as well as immersing themselves in the Silicon Valley culture and building a network of support.