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Duke Law receives $5 million from The Duke Endowment

November 16, 2015

Duke Law receives $5 million from The Duke Endowment

DURHAM, N.C. -- A $5 million grant from The Duke Endowment will support an increase in the number of endowed faculty positions at Duke University’s School of Law, President Richard H. Brodhead said Monday.

“The Duke Endowment has a profound understanding of the importance of investing in faculty,” Brodhead said. “We’re grateful for this generous gift, which will ensure Duke Law can continue to attract and retain professors who are scholars and teachers of the highest caliber.”

The grant will create a matching gift fund to encourage donors to endow as many as six new faculty positions in the next two years. The Duke Law Faculty Endowment Challenge will provide $1 for every $1 a donor commits toward establishing a new endowed faculty chair, professor of the practice or clinical professorship position.

“A strong faculty is the foundation of a great law school,” said Dean David F. Levi. “Endowed professorships support and attract distinguished scholars to Duke. Their scholarship generates intellectual excitement and new understandings of our legal system and substantive legal rules. New professor of the practice and clinical professorship positions will help us continue to build our superb professional skills and experiential learning faculty while infusing professional values, including service to the community and access to justice, into the daily life of the law school.”

The commitment will also advance the $3.25 billion Duke Forward fundraising campaign. The campaign, which will conclude in June 2017, supports priorities across Duke's 10 schools, Duke Medicine and a range of university programs and initiatives. To date, Duke Law has raised $90 million in the campaign in support of its faculty, students and programs.

This is the second major commitment by The Duke Endowment to the law school during the campaign. In 2013, the Endowment supported the Law School’s Center for Judicial Studies with a $5 million grant to fund its operations.

“We are pleased that our support is playing a role in Duke Law School’s commitment to excellence,” said Minor Shaw, chair of the Endowment’s board. “Establishing a law school was part of our founder’s hope for Duke University, and we believe this new grant strengthens that legacy for students and scholars today.”

Levi said the commitment comes at a time when legal scholarship and education are making important contributions to public discourse, lawmaking and policy. 

“Almost every challenge facing our society -- from climate change and financial regulation to health care reform and access to justice -- have important legal dimensions,” he said. “Law faculty help shape public conversations through their scholarship, research and counsel. They provide testimony at congressional hearings, comment publicly on policies and legislation, and consult with organizations and government agencies world-wide. This work, in turn, enhances their teaching as they engage students to address real-world problems and develop innovative solutions -- and our professors love to teach.”

Established in 1924, The Duke Endowment in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the largest private foundations in the Southeast. Through its four program areas -- child care, health care, higher education and rural churches -- it distributes grants to organizations across North Carolina and South Carolina. The Endowment’s founder, industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, is the same man behind Duke University and Duke Energy, but they are all separate organizations.

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For information about utilizing matching funds from the Duke Law Faculty Endowment Challenge, contact Jeff Coates at (919) 613-7175 or coates@law.duke.edu.

A digital version of this story is available at http://today.duke.edu/2015/11/keithduke-endowment-law-school-grant-kl.

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