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Giving Societies | Annual Fund | Ways to Give | Giving to Duke

Annual Fund

Giving Societies

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Cornerstone Society

Just as the Annual Fund is critical to the success of Duke University, its most loyal donors are the key to a healthy and robust Annual Fund. To honor the many devoted donors who support the Annual Fund year in and year out, Duke created the Cornerstone Society. This past year, Duke was proud to have more than 29,000 members of the Cornerstone Society.  Gifts from members of the Cornerstone Society represented  65% of the overall total.

Membership in the Cornerstone Society is renewable annually. Donors who have supported the Annual Fund for five or more consecutive years are recognized as members. Undergraduate alumni who have supported the Annual Fund every year since graduation (or since our computerized records began) are further recognized as lifetime donors. Cornerstone Society members are acknowledged in appropriate donor honor rolls.*

Leadership Giving Societies

Each year, leadership contributions represent more than 85 percent of the Annual Fund's cash total. These gifts provide flexible resources to support the immediate needs of the University, both in the classroom and across campus.

  • $1,000 can send a student to a professional conference in his/her field to present research, helping new scholars launch their careers and cultivate valuable networks
  • $5,000 can support a summer internship overseas for a student interested in working for nonprofits or governmental organizations
  • $10,000 can support the development of one new courses to meet student demand—like those in the recently launched innovation and entrepreneurship certificate
  • $25,000 could help a school launch a new academic interdisciplinary venture, such as the International Human Rights Clinic at Duke Law
  • $50,000 can provide financial aid to fully fund tuition for one undergraduate who may not otherwise be able to attend Duke

In recognition of its most generous donors, Duke has established a number of leadership giving societies. Membership in Annual Fund giving societies is renewable annually and is based on unrestricted gifts made or facilitated by an individual and his/her spouse. Corporate matching gifts count toward membership if received or verified within the fiscal year.

Duke Annual Fund Leadership Giving Societies

Society Gift Level
President's Society
  • Executive Cabinet - $100,000+
  • Cabinet Member - $50,000-$99,999
  • Executive Council - $25,000-$49,999
  • Council - $10,000-$24,999
Washington Duke Society
  • Partner - $5,000-$9,999
  • Fellow - $2,500-$4,999
  • Member - $1,000-$2,499
Young Alumni Leadership Society
  • $500-$999 for undergraduates 5-9 years out
  • $250-$999 for undergraduates 1-4 years out
Student Leadership Society
  • $100+ for current undergraduate students

Benefits of Membership

  • Invitations to special leadership events
  • Donor may opt in to receive special edition 18-month desktop calendar
  • Recognition in appropriate honor rolls (Note that the criteria for inclusion in a particular honor roll varies by school and unit; not all schools and units produce donor honor rolls.)
  • For personal assistance with Duke matters or information about gift clubs, please contact:
  • President’s Society members who give $25,000 or more are offered a book of their choice from a selection of Duke titles.
  • President’s Society members at the $10,000-24,999 level and Young Alumni Leadership donors may choose to receive an e-book from a Duke author (selection will change each year)
  • Members who give $10,000 or more receive a 10 percent discount to the Duke Executive Health Program. For more information about the program, visit http://www.dukeexechealth.org/ or contact Renee Currin at (919) 660-6823 to sign up.

For questions or information about joining any of our gift clubs, please contact Pam Jones, the Annual Fund's director of donor relations, at pam.a.jones@duke.edu or (919) 681-0414.

Recognizing Giving by School/Unit

Six of Duke's schools, along with the Nasher Museum of Art and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, have established their own giving societies to further recognize annual supporters. Follow the links below to each school or unit's website for further information about these giving societies and the benefits of membership.


Divinity School
Divinity Benefactor $25,000+
Divinity Patron $10,000 - $24,999
Divinity Sponsor $5,000 - $9,999
Divinity Fellow $2,500 - $4,999
York Society $1,000 - $2,499
Dean's Club $500 - $999
1926 Club $250 - $499
Century Club $100 - $249

Fuqua School of Business
James B. Duke Society $100,000 +
Rex D. Adams Society
Cumulative giving to Fuqua
$50,000 +
Thomas F. Keller Leadership Donor Society $1,000+

Nicholas School of the Environment
Blue Sky
Vanguard $25,000+
Members $10,000 - $24,999
The Summit Society $1,000 - $9,999

School of Nursing
The Bessie Baker Society, named for the Duke University School of Nursing's first dean, Bessie Baker, BS, RN, recognizes the Duke University School of Nursing's most dedicated supporters who have made an annual fund gift of $1,000 or more ($500 for recent nursing school graduates (2012-2017)) to the Duke University School of Nursing.
Bessie Baker Society
Innovators Society $25,000
Leadership Society $10,000
Dean's Circle $5,000
Fellow $2,500
Member $1,000
Member (2012-2017 graduates; first degree only) $500

School of Law
The School of Law's giving societies recognize all annual giving to the school, not only unrestricted gifts to the school's annual fund.
Barrister Donor Society*
The Latty Circle $100,000+
The Everett Circle $50,000 - $99,999
The Shimm Circle $25,000 - $49,999
The Dean's Circle $10,000 - $24,999
Partner $5,000 - $9,999
Member $2,500 - $4,999
* Recent graduates of 1-5 years, judges, educators, and those who work for the government or in public service are members at $1,000 annually.

School of Medicine
Davison Club
Innovators Society $25,000+
Leadership Society $10,000 - $24,999
Dean's Circle $5,000 - $9,999
Davison Fellow $2,500 - $4,999
Family Member $1,500 - $2,499
Member $1,000 - $1,499
Alumni 1-10 years after graduation $500 - $999

Other Annual Giving

Nasher Museum of Art
Brummer Society
Gold $5000+
Silver $2,500 - $4,999
Bronze $1,500 - $2,499
Other Supporting Member Categories
Benefactor $1,000 - $1,499
Sustainer $500 - $999
Patron $250 - $499
Sponsor $100 - $249
Young Friends $90+

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Friends of Duke Gardens
Mary Duke Biddle Society $5,000+
Directors Society $2,500 - $4,999
Pergola Society $1,000 - $2,499
Terraces Society $250 - $999
Groundbreakers Society $50 - $249
Current Duke students $15
Corporate Friends $5,000+

Many Faces. One Duke.

At Duke, the Annual Fund directly benefits our students and faculty. This season, join us by giving to support Duke's many faces.