$25 Million Investment from The Duke Endowment Supports Three Hallmarks of Davidson College

Front of Wall Center with Students and Shonibare Statue

The Duke Endowment has committed $25 million to Davidson College to fund scholarships, establish new professorships and create student experiences, such as internships and research, that connect students’ classroom work to where they will effect change in the world.

“We are proud to continue our support of the exceptional students and faculty at Davidson College,” said Minor Shaw, chair of The Duke Endowment Board of Trustees. “Year after year, we see how the college prepares the next generation of leaders, and we believe in the ways this gift will enable continued access and excellence, both through bringing talent to campus and through out-of-classroom engagement and opportunities.”

One half of the $25 million gift will help meet the demonstrated financial need of students, the top fundraising priority of the college. The Duke Endowment funds will be focused on students from the Carolinas, the states where the Endowment’s work is centered. The funds will support The Davidson Trust, which enables the college to meet students’ demonstrated need through grants and work-study jobs.

The Duke Endowment has provided generous and critical support to Davidson since the Endowment’s creation in 1924. Some of that support has helped build and sustain The Davidson Trust, established in partnership with The Duke Endowment in 2007 and a vital source of support for students. The percentage of students receiving need-based aid has climbed from 34 percent to more than 50 percent since that time.

Nearly one third of the gift will support high-impact student experiences that enable students to seamlessly transition from college to impact in their communities. The funds will directly support research opportunities, fellowships, professional development opportunities, summer programs and more. These opportunities are increasingly important for students, as graduate programs and employers have come to expect a high level of hands-on experience from applicants. These funds will also enable research opportunities for students that address diversity, equity and inclusion as the college continues to work toward a more just and humane campus and world.

The final fifth of the gift will endow two Professors of the Practice, a role that brings practitioners, from data analysts to artists to journalists, into the classroom. These positions allow the college to attract distinguished professionals whose work relates the liberal arts curriculum to career paths in areas like public policy, education and law.

“The importance of The Duke Endowment to generations of Davidson students, faculty and staff cannot be overstated,” said Davidson College President Carol E. Quillen. "This most recent extraordinary gift will dramatically enhance our ability to attract exceptional people to campus and will expand experiential learning opportunities for all students. We’re grateful to The Duke Endowment trustees and staff for their partnership, for their ongoing trust in Davidson College and for believing wholeheartedly in our efforts to graduate students who can lead and serve their communities.”

Recent past leadership gifts from The Duke Endowment to Davidson College include:

  • $45 million for the E. Craig Wall Jr. Academic Center, which has accelerated and expanded transdisciplinary learning on campus
  • $24 million to scholarships, expanding the college’s James B. Duke Scholarship Program
  • $12 million gift in support of faculty development in the areas of professional development, curricular innovation and research.


  • April 12, 2022