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Gift Impact.

Flexible support boosts civic engagement mission

Public service, international trade, and civic engagement have been the hallmarks of a successful career for attorney Jennifer Hillman ’79, A.M.’79, P’18. She was among the first Duke Young Trustees under President Terry Sanford and later served as his legislative director on Capitol Hill. An expert on international trade law, Hillman has served on the United States International Trade Commission and the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body.

Her husband, Mitchell Berger P’18, was involved with his alma mater’s civic engagement program. His experience prompted Hillman to seek something similar at Duke, and that led her to DukeEngage. She found its component of international service exciting, and gave a $250,000 unrestricted endowment to support DukeEngage programming.

Landmark funding for global health

In 54 countries from the United States to Uganda, Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) partners with organizations and institutions on more than 300 projects that have direct impact on global health policy or practice. A $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will help educate a new generation of leaders and experts to expand these partnerships and build research capacity to address critical global health challenges.

“I’m excited that our support can help to increase the visibility of the institute as well as raise the capacity of the global health sector,” said Melinda Gates ’86, M.B.A.’87, Hon.’13, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The grant created a $10 million endowment to sustain the growth of DGHI. The other $10 million supports a challenge that will match one dollar for every dollar given, leveraging a total of $30 million in gifts.

With more than 300 undergraduates pursuing majors or minors in global health, DGHI plans to increase hands-on learning opportunities. The institute will bolster financial aid for undergrads, graduate students, and international students.

DGHI will recruit and support faculty at Duke working across disciplines and schools on global health challenges such as HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment (medicine and public policy), mental health (psychiatry and psychology) and strengthening health systems (economics and management). And it will strengthen partnerships in priority locations such as Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and South Africa.

Christian leadership gets a big hand up

Leadership Education at Duke Divinity (LEADD) aims to create lasting change in congregations by supporting Christian leaders and the institutions they serve. It addresses a yearning for greater strength and vitality among church institutions and for greater faithfulness and effectiveness in the leadership and management of those institutions.

The Lilly Foundation gave $6 million to support LEADD’s efforts to design educational services, develop intellectual resources, and facilitate networks of institutions.

A foundational history of health care support

Nanaline Duke was James B. Duke’s wife, and the fund established by her will in 1973 still supports the priorities that were important to the couple when they endowed Duke University—including health care. Today’s academic medical centers are worlds different than in the Duke family’s day, but the greatest need is still the same: skilled doctors to teach the art and science of medical practice and research.

So when the Department of Surgery was in need of expendable funds to build staff and faculty, the Nanaline H. Duke Trust supported its ambitions with a $2.5 million gift to be used at the discretion of department chair Allan D. Kirk M.D.’87, Ph.D.’92. More than 40 years later, a fund that traces directly back to the university’s origins is still supporting medical research, education, and patient care.

Supporting a new visionary leader

For 22 years, David Epstein was chair and beloved leader of Duke Ophthalmology. His energy was a driving force behind the construction of the Duke Eye Center in 2005 and the funding and construction of the new Hudson Building, a 116,000-square-foot addition to the Eye Center that opened in 2015. When Epstein died unexpectedly in March, it was thought that the tremendous momentum of the ophthalmology program might slow. So The Duke Endowment stepped in with a $4 million gift to fund a professorship for Epstein’s successor and expendable money for the search. This will help ensure strong leadership for the Eye Center—leadership worthy of following in Epstein’s footsteps.