Bass Connections | Giving to Duke

Bass Connections Stories

  • The Student Experience

    The Student Experience

    Emily’s Bass Connections project team, led by faculty members Deborah Hicks (Social Science Research Institute) and Robert Korstad (Sanford School of Public Policy) researched the educational challenges and opportunities in the region and launched the pilot program, Education and Rural Entrepreneurship in Appalachia (EREA).

  • Transforming Child Mental Health

    Transforming Child Mental Health

    What if we could detect mental health and developmental problems in very young children, treat them early, and improve their chances of developing to their full potential and prospering in society?

  • Donors Who are Making a Difference

    Donors Who are Making a Difference

    Michael Rhodes B.S.E.’87 witnesses the impact of big data every day at financial services company TD Bank Group. “I think the emergence of information and big data will be as transformational for our economy as the Industrial Revolution was during its time,” said Rhodes.

Make a Gift

Your expendable or endowed gift of $100,000 or more for a Bass Connections Project Team Fund, matched by the Bass Challenge, can help teams solve real-world problems.


In this problem-focused, campus-wide initiative, students are gaining a rich, multifaceted understanding of global issues through innovative courses and other cross-disciplinary learning opportunities that represent the best of Duke. This enhances their work in project teams, the keystone of Bass Connections. In these small teams, students of all levels—from undergraduates to postdoctoral fellows—are working with faculty and outside experts to conduct cutting-edge research and create outcomes that make a difference in the world.

Your expendable or endowed gift of $100,000 or more

for a Bass Connections Project Team Fund, matched by the Bass Challenge, can help one or more teams conduct research that solves real-world problems.

Year One: The Launch

In 2013-2014, Bass Connections grew quickly and engaged faculty and students from every corner of the university in project teams, gateway courses, seminars, boot camps, and more. The initiative leveraged Duke’s popular programs by connecting to FOCUS, DukeEngage, DukeImmerse, and others. It also spurred new, high-impact collaborations across Duke’s schools. Last year, more than 300 members of the Duke community participated in 37 project teams. This year, these numbers have grown significantly.

Project teams are making an impact outside of the university by:

  • Creating and running needed service projects in several communities;
  • Furthering technological and medical advancements;
  • Enhancing how we interact with the arts; and
  • Providing energy, cost-savings, and other recommendations to industry and nonprofit partners. 

Bass Connections Growth Report

Supporting Bass Connections

Anne and Robert Bass are the visionary philanthropists who launched Bass Connections through a $50 million gift, including a generous $25 million matching gift challenge to encourage other Duke friends and alumni to help shape this transformational program.

Bass Connections has seen a steep rise in demand and is fast becoming a cornerstone of the Duke experience. We need more donors to help us sustain the initiative’s momentum and build it to its full potential—setting Duke apart among top universities. The Basses will match one dollar for every two dollars you contribute (a 1:2 match) in endowment or expendable gifts starting at $100,000. This is an extraordinary opportunity to multiply the impact of your generosity.

Your investment will help Duke educate a new generation of versatile leaders who are adept at working in diverse teams to solve today’s—and tomorrow’s—global problems.

Want to learn more?

Explore the many ways Duke students are making a difference locally and globally through Bass Connections.