Activating Duke's Power for the World | Duke Forward Archive | See the Impact | Giving to Duke

Activating Duke’s Power for the World

The Duke Forward campaign launched in September 2012 and concluded June 2017.
The campaign raised $3.85 billion, empowering Duke's service to society.

How will you help Duke blaze new paths?

In our increasingly complex world, the challenges and opportunities in global health, energy, the environment, patient care, and other fields are both vast and exhilarating. We have developed and will create the types of interdisciplinary educational programs needed to train the leaders our world needs. Building on these investments, we will continue to push the boundaries of possibility and bring sustainable, scalable solutions to the Durham community and the world stage.

Global Health

In 2006, Duke took a critical leap forward with the establishment of the Duke Global Health Institute. Today, we’re on our way to realizing several ambitious goals, including making Duke a world-recognized authority in global health, training the next generation of global health leaders, and helping reduce health disparities in underserved populations around the world through research and policy engagement. We have partner sites in six locations around the world and offer educational opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students from across the campus, including one-third of entering medical students.

Our path forward is clear. To advance our leadership in global health, we’re seeking philanthropic support to add global health faculty throughout the university, increase the number of international partners and global health sites across the world, bolster our cross-campus research collaborations, and expand educational opportunities for students. Collectively, these investments will extend our capacity to address global health challenges. 

Medical Discovery and Patient Care

Duke Medicine is world-renowned for bringing fresh insights to medical science and providing the highest level of care available to our patients. Our researchers and clinicians are moving medicine forward—working side by side to translate breakthrough discoveries into better methods of disease treatment and prevention. Duke is one of the largest biomedical research enterprises in the nation. We are a leader in cord-blood transplantation and a pioneer in conquering childhood diseases. Our researchers have made fundamental discoveries about stem cells that pave the way to a new era of regenerative medicine. And our scientists are pioneering targeted vaccines for brain, breast, and other cancers—developing innovative genomic profiling techniques to predict and prevent disease.

Through the campaign, we are advancing our research and service missions by seeking support for basic and translational research, as well as promising early-stage research. These funds will fuel the next generation of discoveries that will improve the lives of people worldwide. We are also seeking philanthropic investments in an expansion of Duke’s patient care facilities to support personalized care, take advantage of new technologies, and meet the growing needs of families across our region.


Within a decade, we can make Duke a recognized national leader in the field of energy — bridging the gap between theory and practice, and producing graduates who are some of the most sought-after thinkers and innovators in the field. 

Across the globe, the demand for energy resources is growing. Both emerging and established economies are feeling the pressure on their political systems and on the environment. To help address these interconnected challenges, Duke is launching a campus-wide energy initiative that will draw upon our strengths in policy, business, law, environment, engineering, and the physical and life sciences to make Duke a recognized center for addressing energy problems, offering solutions to decision-makers, and educating the kinds of energy leaders our world needs.

Through the campaign, we’re raising support for new faculty positions, funds for research activities and policy engagement, and resources to bring top experts to campus. We’re developing a shared energy curriculum across multiple schools, creating multi-school research teams, expanding engagement opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and examining complex policy issues. 

The Environment

Our world’s myriad, daunting environmental challenges require a new breed of leader: passionate individuals skilled at working in teams and thinking across industry lines. Duke is committed to training these leaders and carrying forward the fundamental research and policy work that will inform their efforts.

Over the past two decades, we have made significant investments across the campus, building strength in environmental policy, energy education, engineering, the sciences, corporate sustainability, and environmental law. We have also taken many steps to “walk the walk” of sustainability. These include a Climate Action Plan to reduce emissions from campus energy use, a pledge to achieve LEED certification on all new construction, and an innovative waste-to-energy project for the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative—all supporting our commitment to become carbon-neutral by 2024.

Through the campaign, we’re seeking philanthropic support for environmental education and research activities, including efforts relating to environmental health, water, climate change, environmental genomics, corporate sustainability, and campus sustainability. 

Interdisciplinary Research 

Over the past decade, Duke’s research expenditures have more than doubled. The university is now among the top 10 research institutions in the U.S., according to data from the National Science Foundation. 
Elite research universities like Duke produce some of our culture’s most significant research—research that solves problems, advances knowledge, and changes the way people see the world. While Duke’s planned initiatives in global health, energy, and the environment will be among our most visible campus-wide efforts during the campaign, we will continue to seek significant support for important faculty-led research efforts across Duke’s ten schools and seven interdisciplinary institutes, in topics ranging from education and human development to the brain sciences. 

Durham and the Region

At Duke, we believe that our mission to tackle the world’s biggest challenges starts at home. That’s why we continue to broaden the university’s role as an advocate and partner for economic development and quality health care in Durham and the region. We also give students countless opportunities to make a difference in Durham schools and neighborhoods, preparing them to become tomorrow’s leaders in their own communities.  A remarkable 80 percent of Duke students volunteer to work in at least one local service project, ranging from Habitat for Humanity to SAT preparation to reading assistance for elementary school students. 

Through the campaign, we will sustain and grow the Duke programs that serve Durham and the region, and will continue to awaken in Duke students the joys and rewards of service to the community. 

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In a year like none other, help support the people and programs that make Duke great this spring semester. Give to the Annual Fund now.