While the two institutions have a common heritage, Duke University and The Duke Endowment foundation are separate entities. The Duke Endowment is not the name for the university’s endowment; rather, it is the name of a Charlotte-based charitable foundation established by the university’s founder.
On December 11, 1924, James Buchanan Duke signed the Indenture of Trust, providing $40 million to establish The Duke Endowment as a perpetual trust. The indenture named specifically the institutions that Mr. Duke wanted the organization to support: Duke University, Davidson College, Furman University, Johnson C. Smith University; not-for-profit hospitals and children’s homes in the two Carolinas; and rural United Methodist churches in North Carolina, retired pastors, and their surviving families. To this day the indenture is a flexible and guiding force for The Duke Endowment trustees, setting forth the causes and institutions that are to receive funds, many of the procedures to be followed in administering the trust, and explaining the reasons for those choices.
For more information about The Duke Endowment, visit www.dukeendowment.org.