Reviving the Roney Fountain

If you love the Sarah P. Duke Gardens like I do, then you know the Roney Fountain.  

You’ve probably walked past it dozens of times, rested on its concrete edge, or dipped your fingers in the cool water. This beautiful place of relaxation is one of my favorite spots in Duke Gardens.

But did you know this stunning centerpiece that greets more than 300,000 visitors each year was made possible by a planned gift?

Anne Roney, the sister-in-law of Washington Duke, generously donated the original fountain to Trinity College in 1901. It stood on Duke’s East Campus for more than a century before it fell into disrepair.

But a bequest from the late Dr. J. Robert Teabeaut II (T’ 45, M.D. ’47) brought the fountain back to life. His gift along with additional funding from The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation helped pay for the fountain’s restoration and relocation to the Gardens in 2011.

Now the fountain is enjoyed by students, faculty, Durham residents, and garden visitors alike.

Planned gifts are responsible for many of our campus treasures. We are fortunate to have the support of donors and friends who help keep these valuable places alive. This is just one of thousands of ways people like you can make a difference at Duke today.

Read more about the Roney Fountain here on the Sarah P. Duke Gardens website, or better yet, visit it in person this summer!

And be sure to watch this 1.5 minute video from UNC-TV on the restoration.

TAGS: bequest Duke Gardens

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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