With 100 years under its belt, Duke University is celebrating the university’s largest donation ever. It was announced on Thursday that Duke Endowment, an independent philanthropic foundation, has awarded the university $100 million to fund various student programs. Duke President Vincent Price believes those donations will contribute to the university’s growth for 100 years.

“This is a wonderful moment for Duke as we head into our centennial, a centennial that we share with the Duke Endowment,” Price said. “They have been an important philanthropic partner to Duke University throughout our history, and this marks just a wonderful moment for our future growth and development as we look forward to the next 100 years.”

According to News and Observer, funding will support the university’s initiative to offer free tuition to North Carolina and South Carolina students whose families earn $150,000 or less annually. This semester, over 340 undergraduate students from the Carolinas are receiving support through that program, which covers additional housing, meals, and other expenses for family incomes of $65,000 or less. The university will continue to raise money for the program as its demand increases.

As part of the gift, Duke will support graduate and professional students who hold bachelor’s degrees from HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions — likely through direct financial assistance and outreach, Price said. The support will be given to graduates of HBCUs and MSIs in the Carolinas. In doing so, Price said, they hope to ensure that graduate and professional students have a diversity of talents.

“We have a firm institutional commitment to creating access and opportunity for students, particularly students who haven’t had the resources of an institution like Duke University,” Price said. “So, making sure that we bring into Duke, a class that is socioeconomically diverse, racially and ethnically diverse, geographically diverse, that we have rural students alongside students who come from urban centers around the world — that rich diversity has tremendous educational benefit to every single student, faculty or staff member.”


In addition, Duke plans to modernize the Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke Building on its West Campus “to support collaborative and interdisciplinary learning.”