Learn how this year’s Gift Planning Reunion Co-Chairs are making a difference at Duke

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 ’92: Larry Hamelsky

Bequest to support a family scholarship for public policy students

Larry Hamelsky ’92 found his passion for public policy while attending Duke and loved that his courses blended classroom learning with pratical application in the community. He established a scholarship for future public policy students in his parents’ name as a way to give back to Duke. He continues to give annually to the scholarship and has augmented his support with a planned gift to help other students pursue their ambitions.

“Duke gave me a head start at life by helping me get my first job and has led me to where I am today. I hope that our family scholarship will help others grow, develop, and lead a successful and enjoyable life.”

Class of ’87: Michael Rhodes

A bequest to support financial aid scholarships

When Michael Rhodes ’87 and his wife, Maureen, started outlining their estate plans, they also wanted to give back to the people and causes most important to them. Duke was at the top of their list. Michael attended Duke with the support of a financial aid package. He hopes that their gift will provide someone else with that same opportunity and enable the university to continue the successful journey that James B. Duke established more than 100 years ago.

“Leading takes resources. When we make committments to the university, we not only help with the capital we provide, but we also encourage others to offer their support as well.”

Class of ’82: Carol Ensinger

Bequest to endow a professorship in the chemistry department

Carol Ensinger ’82, Ph.D.’88 fell in love with the challenging and engaging academics at Duke. She never forgot that her chemistry education flourished under the mentorship of the late Duke Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Pelham Wilder Jr. Carol made a bequest in her will to endow a chemistry professorship, which will be named after her professor, mentor, and friend. Her gift will enable chemistry faculty to continue to deliver an impactful classroom experience like she had.

“It is my greatest hope that my gift will continue to strengthen chemistry at Duke and foster meaningful relationships between students and faculty.”

Class of ’77: Judy Thorpe

Bequest to establish a scholarship for nursing students

Judy Thorpe ’77 always knew that nursing was her calling. Following graduation from Duke’s School of Nursing, she launched her career as a staff nurse in a nearby hospital and worked her way up through management and operations. She now serves as chief nursing officer/chief operating officer for UMassMemorial Clinton Hospital in Clinton, MA. Judy acknowledges Duke for setting the expectation that all nursing students would become leaders and make a difference in their communities. She established a bequest to create the Judith A. Thorpe Scholarship Fund to provide ongoing support for nursing students at Duke

“The future for all of us is so dependent upon the quality of education available to the generations to come. I wanted to create an opportunity for someone who otherwise might not be able to have the experience I had.”

Class of ’72: Stuart Yarbrough

Charitable remainder unitrust to fund a scholarship for undergraduate student-athletes

Stuart Yarbrough ’72 attended Duke as an ACC Honor Roll performer on an athletic scholarship. After Duke, he started his career at Ernst & Young before founding his own accounting and consulting practice. In gratitude, Stuart and his wife, Mary, established a charitable remainder unitrust that will provide an income stream to them during their lifetimes and then will create a scholarship for undergraduate student-athletes.

“Attending Duke on an athletic scholarship provided the opportunity for me to play for one of the top basketball programs in the country while earning a degree from one of the top academic schools. I’m pleased to provide similar opportunities to others.”

Class of ’67: Paula Phillips Burger

Retirement funds to support need-based financial aid scholarships

Paula Phillips Burger ’67, A.M.’74 has dedicated her entire career to advocating for students. As university trustee emerita and former Dean of Women at Duke’s Woman’s College, Paula believes that all aspiring young people deserve the same kind of educational experience that she had at Duke. She and her husband, Peter, established a gift from their retirement funds to provide needbased financial aid scholarships to promising undergraduates at Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. Their generous contribution will augment an endowed scholarship fund they previously created.

“Without financial aid, the university would be deprived of incredible talent. Moreover, a diverse student body contributes to a better education for all students, in and out of the classroom.”

Class of ’62: Jerry Chappell

Deferred charitable gift annuities to support Duke Libraries

For Jerry Chappell ’62 and her husband, Bruce ’61, Duke Libraries was always a special place where they spent time studying as undergraduates in the Gothic Reading Room. They included Duke in their long-term plans and funded three separate deferred gift annuities using stock. The Chappells will receive a fixed income for life from each annuity, and the remainder will provide unrestricted support to preserve Duke Libraries and to maintain Duke as a top university.

“We are pleased to be able to support the future of Duke. The Library was an important place for us, and we are happy to see it has been restored so future generations can continue to enjoy it.”

If you would like to learn more about making a deferred gift in honor of your reunion, please contact the Office of Gift Planning or visit our website.

TAGS: reunion 2017 Gift planning reunion co-chairs inspiration bios

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.