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The Duke Endowment Celebrates a Century of Philanthropy, including another $25 million to Furman

The Duke Endowment celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

Last updated January 18, 2024

By News administrator

The Duke Endowment,  a key supporter of Furman University, has launched a yearlong celebration of a century of philanthropic giving throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. December 11, 2024, will mark 100 years since James B. Duke signed his Indenture of Trust creating The Duke Endowment, a private foundation dedicated to supporting grantees and partners as they nurture children, promote health, educate minds and uplift spirits. Today, the Endowment also announced centennial gifts totaling $175 million to the four higher education institutions named in Mr. Duke’s Indenture of Trust. These gifts include individual $25 million grants to Davidson, Furman and Johnson C. Smith University. An announcement of a centennial gift of $100 million to Duke was shared on November 30.

“We are excited to launch our centennial year and celebrate the lasting legacy of James B. Duke and the Duke family. One of the cornerstones of the Endowment’s enduring vision is its steadfast commitment to higher education,” said Charlie Lucas, chair of The Duke Endowment’s Board of Trustees. “For the past 100 years, the Endowment has partnered with the four schools named in Mr. Duke’s Indenture of Trust by supporting key priorities at each school as they work to advance high-value education for all students. The breadth of our funding includes supporting key institutional strategies and initiatives, student scholarships and financial aid, faculty recruitment and development, and capital building projects. We work alongside these schools to promote their long-term success so they may effectively serve their students and the Carolinas.”

The Endowment’s $25 million centennial gift helps fund The Furman Advantage, a distinctive initiative aimed at providing students with an unparalleled educational experience through engaged learning, reflection, belonging and mentoring. The cornerstone of The Furman Advantage is the Pathways Program, four required one-credit classes that guide students from self-reflection to career preparation.

“The Furman Advantage is not just an education model, it’s a transformative journey that empowers students to navigate an ever-changing world with confidence, knowledge and curiosity,” said Elizabeth Davis, president of Furman. “The support from the Endowment is a catalyst for positive change, giving students the skills to excel academically and graduate as compassionate, innovative leaders ready to make a profound impact on society.”

To date, The Duke Endowment has provided $77.5 million for The Furman Advantage.

Visit here for more about the gifts to higher education.

In addition to these gifts within higher education announced today, the Endowment will recognize its centennial throughout the year with stories of impact told through its grantee partners across all the focus areas of the Endowment and conclude with a significant announcement on December 11, 2024.



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