View from a crane: Perkins addition construction, behind Old Chem. Photo: Les Todd
View from a crane: Perkins addition construction, behind Old Chem. Photo: Les Todd

Paying It Forward

March 31, 2004

December brought the end to the Campaign for Duke--and it was quite an ending. The university announced that it had received the largest gift in its history, $72 million from Peter M. and Ginny Lilly Nicholas of Boston. The Nicholases, both Class of '64, were co-chairs of the campaign.

President Nannerl O. Keohane led the planning and execution of the campaign, which began in 1996 and was publicly announced in 1998 with a goal of $1.5 billion by 2004. The bar was raised to $2 billion in February 2001, when the trustees adopted a strategic plan, "Building on Excellence," that called for, among other things, extending Duke's global reach and influence and strengthening science and technology.Their gift brought the campaign total to $2,361,205,387, the fifth-largest in American higher-education history and the largest ever for a university in the South, according to figures compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Involving a comprehensive planning effort and an overarching reach, the campaign covered all parts of the university, including the medical center, undergraduate programs, graduate and professional schools, the library system, and intercollegiate athletics programs. Each area exceeded its fund-raising goal.

During the campaign, more than $750 million was given for the university's endowment, mostly for financial aid to perpetuate Duke's "need-blind" admissions policy and to support the faculty. More than $200 million was given for undergraduate scholarships and nearly $100 million for graduate and professional-school student fellowships. Two of the scholarship funds established were the University Scholars program and, in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Robertson Scholars program.

One hundred and nineteen faculty professorships were established, many of them through the $25-million Nicholas Faculty Leadership Initiative that the Nicholases created in 2002 and the Bass Program for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, named for trustee Anne Bass and her husband, Robert Bass, begun in 1996.

Totals by Division

Dozens of new facilities were built or renovated, and many more are or soon will be under construction. They include a new children's hospital and eye-research institute, a new engineering facility, a public-policy building, an undergraduate science building, an addition to the Divinity School, two business-school additions, renovation and expansion of the university's main library, two student recreation centers, undergraduate housing, several athletics facilities, a welcome center in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and an art museum. An Ocean Sciences Teaching Center will be built at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort.

The campaign also helped launch or strengthen several key academic programs across the university, including the freshman FOCUS program and a new undergraduate curriculum. It supported the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, along with local medical and legal clinics and pastoral outreach.

Hundreds of millions of dollars raised through the campaign went to support research efforts in the medical center and other parts of the campus. The campaign funded new or existing interdisciplinary study areas, such as the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, the Institute on Care at the End of Life, and the Global Capital Markets Center. During the campaign, the university named two schools in recognition of their benefactors: the Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering and the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences.

Duke has changed measurably as a consequence of the campaign. Intellectually, it is more robust; financially, it is well positioned to realize its ambitions. The Duke of 2004 is a very different place from the Duke of 1996. But the results of the campaign go far beyond cash and construction. The real success story is about the people the campaign touches--students, faculty members, hospital patients, alumni, the entire Duke community--and the possibilities it engenders. What follows puts a face on the campaign and the ripple effect felt within Duke and beyond.

Comparing $2-Billion