2014 Campaign Impact Report | Giving to Duke

2014 Campaign Impact Report


As of June 30, 2014, we reached $2.17 billion in contributions to Duke Forward, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in university history. This record-breaking year yielded $441.8 million in cash to Duke University. From scholarships and civic engagement to athletics and professorships, gifts to Duke from alumni and friends are empowering bright, passionate people to do groundbreaking work.

Four years into the campaign, these gifts are making a difference by advancing the university’s mission to provide a superior educational experience and by giving students and faculty knowledge and support to address global challenges. And although our overall $3.25 billion campaign goal seemed formidable a few years ago, donors have responded so positively that we are now eagerly anticipating reaching our goal.

Overall Campaign Goal


A Sharp Focus on Priorities

Financial aid and faculty support are key priorities of Duke Forward. Gifts to support professors and students shape thought leaders, who then use their knowledge to address societal challenges and improve lives worldwide.

Progress Toward Financial Aid Goal


Opening Doors at Duke Law

In their hometown of Chicago, John ’69 and Rita Canning are renowned for the transformative impact of their philanthropy. They help women escape domestic abuse, they provide parochial scholarships for inner-city children, and they fund college scholarships for students with socioeconomic hardships.

The Cannings’ recent $1 million gift to Duke Law School gives students who have faced early challenges a chance to go to law school. Their gift funds need-based scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid for deserving students and recent graduates. And an additional generous bequest ensures that the program will continue beyond their lives.

“Their approach in different areas of need is to try to help individuals surmount immediate challenges and build independent lives,” said David F. Levi, dean of the law school. “With this gift to Duke Law School, they will be opening doors to future leaders with the vision and the tools to effect lasting change.”

Duke Students Share Thoughts on Financial Aid


Progress Toward Faculty Goal


Bringing the Arts to Life: Performance and Technology


Honing Communication Skills in a Technical Age

Winston ’93 and Brett Berry gave $5 million through their family’s Bacca Foundation to form the Language Arts and Media Program (LAMP), including two new communications professorships to lead interdisciplinary programs, research, and civic engagement. “We are honored to partner with Duke in pioneering an academic environment in which undergraduate students will acquire and hone skills of deliberate speech, civil discourse, and effective interpersonal communication,” said Brett Berry.

Building on the established strengths of Duke’s Thompson Writing Program, LAMP will introduce every fist-year student to a broad range of communications skills in traditional and new media. The goal will be for them to develop the ability to express opinions clearly and compellingly across all platforms.

Laurie Patton, dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, said that LAMP “combines the best educational values such as the rhetorical traditions of ancient cultures and yet emphasizes contemporary environments in which effective communication and expression is essential.”

A Year of Lasting Support

  • From famous …

    Duke basketball legend Grant Hill ’94 and his wife, Tamia, gave $1 million for Duke Athletics facility upgrades and $250,000 to the Duke Annual Fund to support Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. His gift encourages wide support from other former athletes for building champions at Duke today. “I am certain that the academic environment, the coaches and staff, and every facet of being a student at Duke contributed to make me a better person,” Hill said. “We want to help Duke students pursue their dreams in all endeavors.”

  • To flexible …

    Chip Newton and Liz Smith gave $250,000, matched by $125,000 from the Bass Challenge, to support Bass Connections research teams. Their gift is especially useful because it can be used at the provost’s discretion to give students opportunities to work on groundbreaking interdisciplinary research in any Bass Connections theme.

  • To foundational …

    The Howard Hughes Medical Institute gave $1.5 million to improve introductory science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses to increase students’ likelihood of success and continuing in these fields. “This grant will enable Duke to reimagine science education by creating new models for teaching and learning that are grounded in better sources of quantitative and qualitative data,” said Laurie Patton, dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. “STEM students from all fields and backgrounds can then be truly motivated by curiosity; they will learn better because we are teaching them better.”


Bass Connections research addresses complex societal challenges through interdisciplinary teams composed of faculty and students of all levels.

Donor Spotlight

Transforming Collaborative Science Education

A landmark $30 million gift from J. Michael ’81 and Christine Pearson ’84 will support interdisciplinary programs, courses, and research at the Pratt School of Engineering, including major initiatives in collaboration with Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. President Richard H. Brodhead said that the gift will broaden and deepen collaborative science education, enabling Duke to “reimagine how training in the sciences, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can be integrated with, and enriched by, a liberal arts curriculum.”

“Duke students have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the world,” Michael Pearson said. “I’ve especially seen that happening through the growth of the engineering school and its visionary leadership in preparing students to address complex, real-world challenges facing our global society.

New Hope for Patients with Brain Disorders

Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg and Geraldine Dawson are pioneers in their respective fields of umbilical cord blood stem cell therapy and autism treatment. Thanks to a $15 million gift from The Marcus Foundation, Kurtzberg and Dawson will team up on a five-year project to research using cord blood to treat brain disorders such as autism, stroke, cerebral palsy, and others.

“Autism, stroke, and cerebral palsy are all neurologic conditions that impair function and quality of life,” Kurtzberg said. “If we can make that better, it will have a huge personal and societal impact.” Kurtzberg and Dawson hope to develop therapies that can potentially restore brain function in people with the disorders, for which there currently are no cures. If successful, the study could identify therapies to potentially decrease disabilities and improve the quality of life for millions of children and adults.

The Marcus Foundation established the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta and has donated heavily to other autism research efforts.

A Crowning Gift for the Hub of West Campus

When total renovations to West Union are complete in 2016, the building will regain its place as the social, dining, and meeting hub of West Campus. To ensure the amenities and spaces within West Union are most accommodating to students and other members of the university community, the Crown family gave $10 million to support the spirit of community.

“We wanted to give the Duke community a sense of place, a memorable space that belongs to everyone, especially the students," said Paula Hannaway Crown ’80. Other donors included her husband, Jim, his brother A. Steven Crown, and Steven’s wife, Nancy Crown.

Unwavering Support for Graduate Students

Graduate students are a critical component of a strong research university—they conduct research while learning skills in teaching, professional development, and leadership. Duke’s largest and oldest donor, The Duke Endowment (TDE), recognized the university’s ongoing need to recruit the best graduate students and donated $7.5 million for Graduate School fellowships.

The gift increases support and expands year-round funding for graduate students, enabling Duke to draw from among the best of the best. It also has a challenge component in which TDE will match other donors’ gifts, encouraging them to further add to the pool of graduate financial aid available.

“Year-round funding enhances the quality of our graduate students’ lives,” said Paula D. McClain, dean of The Graduate School. “In particular, the additional summer research funding opportunities made possible by this gift will allow more students to spend those crucial months focusing on their research instead of working to make ends meet.”

Moving Duke Forward One Gift at a Time

  • The Fortin Foundation’s $5 million naming gift for DukeEngage Academy funds the highly regarded civic engagement preparatory program in perpetuity. DukeEngage is a national leader in readying and placing students for service work in all types of settings worldwide. The program is also cited frequently by Duke applicants as a top reason for applying.
  • Gary L. Wilson ’62 and his son, Derek ’86, M.B.A.’90, gave $2 million to enhance and support athletic facility upgrades, including renovations to Wallace Wade Stadium. Another $1 million from the family will fund an endowment at the Nasher Museum of Art, allowing the museum to continue curating original exhibitions and to showcase the best of its collection in one space.
  • Todd and Karen Ruppert P’15 gave $2.5 million to support The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration at Bostock Library. The Edge will position the Libraries to better support interdisciplinary and team-based teaching and learning with project team rooms, tools and workspaces for digital scholarship, and expanded technology and training facilities. Todd is a member of the Duke University Library Advisory Board. The Rupperts also gave $125,000 to support professional development for library staff and are Class of 2015 co-chairs of the Duke Parents Committee, part of the Duke Annual Fund.
  • Jack ’67, M.H.A.’69 and Barbara Bovender donated $1.5 million to Duke Divinity School to endow a professorship for the director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies (AEHS). President Richard H. Brodhead said that AEHS’ “work of preparing students for service and ministry is a compelling example of Duke’s commitment to knowledge in service to society.”
  • Graham Goldsmith M.B.A.’94 saw a need for unrestricted operating funds at The Fuqua School of Business, so he started a $1 million endowment. Flexible funding for day-to-day needs is a critical part of the Duke Forward campaign. Fuqua will be able to use the gift to support scholarships, faculty research, new programs such as Energy Finance, and other work.
  • Fred ’50 and Alice Stanback ’53 are longtime donors whose previous gifts established a successful and highly regarded internship program at the Nicholas School of the Environment. For a number of years, the Stanbacks have also given $1-2 million annually to the school to fund ongoing collaborative research on health and the environment between Nicholas and the Duke Cancer Institute.


Progress Report
(as of June 30, 2014)

Progress by Area


Progress by Purpose


Further Forward: 1,200 Strong

Smart charitable planning can help donors make more of an impact than they thought possible, while honoring the places, memories, and people they care about most. A goal of 1,200 new planned gifts during Duke Forward will help ensure that priorities important to donors and to the university are supported well into the future.

Progress Toward Annual Fund Goal

Goal: $215M

Gifts to the Annual Fund support all of Duke’s priorities, sustaining faculty, financial aid, and both curricular and co-curricular offerings. These flexible resources also give Duke the ability to seize extraordinary opportunities as they arise, such as recruiting a sought-after professor or seeding a new idea.


Progress of Initiatives

Duke Forward On the Road


Ideas that Move the World Forward: New York at a Glance

Duke Forward continued to visit major cities across the nation, engaging audiences through forums and discussions featuring some of Duke’s most innovative and inspiring faculty and students. Alumni and friends heard from a Nobel Prize winner, bestselling authors, coaches and athletes, musicians, brain researchers, environmental scientists, finance gurus, and many more fascinating Duke experts.


Record Attendance in All Cities

97 PERCENT of attendees would    Duke Forward events to a friend


Nobel Prize winner and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Dr. Robert Lefkowitz chats with President Brodhead about his groundbreaking research.


Los Angeles

Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, wows the crowd with a behavioral economics experiment.



Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe wins over attendees by talking about transforming the Blue Devils program.



The Duke Jazz Ensemble, led by director John Brown, brings music theory to life in a swinging way.


New York

Breast cancer researcher and professor of medicine Dr. Kimberly L. Blackwell ’89 discusses her groundbreaking work on the deadly disease.


Thank You

Duke’s meteoric rise has been made possible by financial contributions from passionate, engaged alumni and friends. This generosity allows us to recruit the best students and the finest faculty, and give them the resources and space to work on issues of societal importance. As the campaign continues, we invite you to join us and help move Duke Forward.

Visit dukeforward.duke.edu to learn more about the campaign or to make a gift.


We’re more than a campus in Durham; we are each of you. Only through your support can we continue to save lives, discover treatments and cures, reinvent education, and anchor communities around the world. Our fiscal year ends on June 30 – please make your gift today.