New $10 million award from The Duke Endowment to bolster Nicholas School of the Environment

The Duke Endowment has awarded Duke University $10 million to support the university’s school of the environment as it addresses the most complex environmental problems confronting society today.

“I am very grateful to The Duke Endowment for investing in The Nicholas School of the Environment and our extraordinary students and faculty, who are committed to creating the solutions to build a sustainable, flourishing future for all,” said President Vincent E. Price. “This award will allow the Nicholas School to build on its leadership in climate science and engagement at a critical moment for our planet.”

The $10 million award over five years will provide $3.5 million for a professorship challenge focused first on hiring a faculty member working on climate and environmental justice and community-based research; $3.5 million for graduate financial aid, of which $2 million will be used for a donor challenge to create or expand graduate financial aid endowment funds; and $3 million for a dean’s strategic fund to support priorities such as new initiatives with other schools, leveraging local and experiential work, and helping recruit and retain outstanding faculty

“We are proud to partner with Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment as it works to address some of the most important and challenging environmental issues of our time,” said Charles Lucas, chair of The Duke Endowment’s Board of Trustees. “We are hopeful that this support will contribute to the development of solutions that will lead to a healthier, more sustainable planet for generations to come.”

Increasing graduate financial aid will allow the school to attract the highest qualified students from diverse backgrounds that are essential to helping us find innovative solutions to the global challenges we face. This investment of resources helps maintain both accessibility and affordability in our professional and doctoral degrees, Nicholas School Dean Toddi Steelman said. In addition, new faculty positions will help the Nicholas School attract and retain talent while advancing the strategic direction of the school.

“I cannot thank The Duke Endowment enough for their trust in the Nicholas School,” Steelman said. “This vote of confidence positions us to continue to be a leader in environmental education and research in the decades to come at a time when the planet most needs us.”

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4.3 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

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