Enriching the Duke Experience | Duke Forward Archive | See the Impact | Giving to Duke

Enriching the Duke Experience

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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 expand horizons for Duke students?

The Duke experience is extraordinary. Part magic. Part hard work. Part boundless opportunity. These forces combine to create fuel for thought, propelling students on personal and professional trajectories that are unparalleled. At Duke we have no greater purpose—or joy—than developing an enduring passion for inquiry and creativity among our 6,500 undergraduates and nearly 7,800 graduate and professional students. We help students dream, discover, and dare to act in ways that last forever.

Experiential Learning

Through the campaign, we’re seeking support to strengthen curricular and co-curricular programs that give students throughout Duke’s 10 schools the opportunity to develop their talents by solving real problems.The most exciting educational offerings at Duke are interactive: law students working in a clinic to help real clients, undergraduates conducting tests in the labs of world-renowned scientists, and young engineers piloting designs to address the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges for the 21st Century. Each summer, DukeEngage, our flagship civic engagement program, gives hundreds of undergraduates a chance to apply what they’ve learned in Duke’s classrooms to assist communities in Durham and around the world.

Because new pathways for teaching often require innovative spaces, we’re also seeking support for projects like a new learning center for the School of Medicine, which will feature advanced patient simulators and state-of-the-art classrooms with moveable walls to accommodate team-based activities. 

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Start-up activity is blossoming in Durham and in the Duke community. We have the potential to join regions like Boston and Silicon Valley as a driver of innovation. 

Few things are more exciting than unleashed potential, unbridled optimism, and the feeling that creative solutions can be realized. That’s why in 2010 the university announced a campus-wide initiative in innovation and entrepreneurship. Through the campaign, we’ll expand educational opportunities that encourage innovative thinking and add new teachers and mentors who are serial entrepreneurs. We’re also seeking philanthropic investments to provide student and faculty innovators with the expertise and seed funding they need to transform great ideas into commercial and social enterprises.

The Residential Experience

In recent years the university has been working on ways to connect students’ intellectual, social, and residential lives in ways that inspire organic and meaningful interactions. From construction and renovation efforts to the launch of a new Duke house system, we’re making it easier for every student to identify with and be a part of a community. These connections will enhance students’ experiences at Duke—both socially and academically.

Through the campaign, we’re creating new spaces for dining and interaction in the West Union and surrounding neighborhood. We’re also seeking support for two new residence halls, one on East Campus and another on West. Their addition will allow us to renovate older campus housing without decreasing the number of beds. Ultimately, the new facilities will expand campus housing so more seniors can enjoy the benefts of living and learning together.


With new majors in dance and visual studies, the launch of our first master of fine arts degree, and about 70 student organizations focused on arts and media, it’s safe to say that the arts have taken center stage at Duke. Students have visited the Nasher Museum of Art more than 80,000 times since it opened in 2005, and undergraduate admission applications accompanied by arts-related portfolios have more than doubled in recent years.

To continue to advance the arts as an integral part of the Duke experience, we’re seeking investments in curricular offerings, museum exhibitions and acquisitions, performances, and visiting artist programs. We’ll create new learning opportunities and showcases for undergraduates, build fellowships for graduate students, and recruit faculty with expertise in both traditional and new artistic media.


About two-thirds of students participate in club sports or take advantage of recreational facilities, and about 90 percent attend at least one athletic event before they graduate.

Our nationally ranked athletics programs have been a vital part of Duke for generations. In fact, James B. Duke said he wanted his university to have both a hospital and “a good football team,” and the first facility to go into service on West Campus was a football stadium. Today, Duke Athletics remains a major connecting point for our students and alumni, fostering a community spirit and helping to drive our reputation.

Through the campaign, we are seeking support for operating resources to sustain our commitment to athletics and to recruit and support the very best student-athletes and coaches. We are also embarking on a major renovation project that will bring key facilities, including Wallace Wade and Cameron Indoor Stadium, up to the modern standards of an elite athletics program without compromising our history and tradition.

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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.