$6 Million Gift from The Duke Endowment Supports Educational Excellence and Access

A $6 million gift from The Duke Endowment to Davidson College will support scholarships to assist the college in recruiting and enrolling the most talented students from across the nation, regardless of their financial background. This gift will provide $2 million in scholarship funding each year for the next three years.

"We're deeply grateful for The Duke Endowment's continuing generosity, "said Davidson College President Carol Quillen. "At Davidson, we know that even as we work to control costs, demand for financial aid will continue to grow. In an economy where wealth is increasingly concentrated and access to a highly selective college remains a powerful driver of economic opportunity, we must ensure that all admitted students can seize the opportunity Davidson provides. This gift from The Duke Endowment is a tremendous vote of confidence as we strive to lead in exemplifying a dual commitment to educational excellence and access for all talented students. "

"The scholarships made possible by The Duke Endowment's contribution will strengthen the college's ability to attract students who contribute to the overall Davidson community," said Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Chris Gruber. "These students may be first-generation, socioeconomically and ethnically diverse, community bridge-builders, artists, advocates or scientists. Excellence is only achieved in concert with access, and we want the best and brightest students to come to Davidson so they can learn from one another and grow because of their differences."

Davidson's long-standing commitment to educational access was strengthened by the establishment of The Davidson Trust in 2007, which meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need of accepted students through a combination of grants and campus employment, without relying on loans. The Duke Endowment supported this initiative at the time it was announced with a grant of $15 million.

"Our founder had very limited formal schooling, but he believed that education enhanced lives and communities," said Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, the Trustee who chairs the Endowment's Committee on Educational Institutions. "Increasing educational access and supporting an environment that promotes achievement remains an important focus of Mr. Duke's legacy today."

The Duke Endowment has long supported Davidson College, and in 2012, awarded the largest gift in college history – $45 million – toward the college's Academic Neighborhood, a 10-year plan that builds on Davidson's history and strengths to reimagine liberal arts education. The first phase of the transformation is a new academic building, currently underway. In addition, The Duke Endowment has generously supported the college's ongoing student resilience study, a collaboration among the three other Duke Endowment-supported institutions; the Davidson Research Initiative; and sustainability programs as well as facilities including the Duke Residence Hall and the Duke Family Performance Hall.

About The Duke Endowment

Since 1924, The Duke Endowment has worked to help people and strengthen communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Through its Higher Education program area, the Endowment provides funding to Davidson College, Duke University, Furman University and Johnson C. Smith University to support undergraduate programs, scholarships, professorships and faculty with the goal of educating people whose future contributions will benefit society. Learn more about The Duke Endowment.

Media Coverage

The Charlotte Business Journal


  • October 9, 2014