Honoring Athletes and a President

June 1, 2004

Duke athletics has established a new scholarship endowment honoring outgoing university president Nan Keohane with an endowment fund to provide scholarships for female athletes.

The Nannerl O. Keohane Women's Athletic Scholarship will be awarded for the first time in the fall of 2004. Distributions from the endowment fund will provide scholarships for undergraduate female varsity athletes who demonstrate excellence in athletics and a commitment to Duke and the broader community.

A group of donors, inspired by an initial gift of $100,000 from Duke trustee and former field-hockey player Kimberly Jenkins '76, M.Ed. '77, Ph.D. '80, launched the scholarship in the hope that it eventually would become fully funded, with a principal of at least $750,000. The fund was opened as part of the Strength in Numbers Campaign, chaired by Karl Sheffield '54. The campaign seeks to raise $5 million for women's athletics scholarship endowment.

Keohane has been a devoted supporter of all Duke athletic teams during her tenure, but especially the thirteen varsity women's teams. Duke has added thirty-four women's scholarships over the past four years as part of its effort to become compliant with Title IX.

"Nan is such an avid sports fan for all of the athletic endeavors at Duke, including those sports that don't often get the big publicity," says Jenkins, a trustee since 2001. "She showed up on the sidelines and cheered with genuine school spirit for all the women's sports. She also took great pride in publicly recognizing their remarkable accomplishments. At the last meeting of the board of trustees, she opened the meeting with remarks about the incredible victories of the field-hockey team and the women's golf team. Nan's support means a great deal not only to the coaches and the athletes, but to all of the women at Duke who strive for excellence in so many endeavors. She is a significant role model and an inspiration. I'm pleased to help honor her in a way that is meaningful to so many people."

Jenkins was among the first group of varsity field-hockey players at Duke in the early 1970s, competing at a time when the players had to buy all of their own equipment and pay for their travel to games. She has spent her career in the information technology sector, most recently serving as the president of the Internet Policy Institute, a Washington think tank. She served on the presidential search committee for Keohane's successor, Richard Brodhead.

Among other early donors to the Nan Keohane scholarship fund are several trustees and former presidents of the Duke Alumni Association.