Gift Impact.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Social justice work sparks significant support

Paul Levinsohn ’90, J.D.’95, A.M.’95 has always had a passion for service and social justice. After earning his undergraduate degree at Duke, he joined the first class of Teach for America (now in its 25th year) and taught in a rural North Carolina high school.

Levinsohn went on to success in public service, real estate, and private equity. When he learned about the work the Wrongful Conviction Clinic at Duke Law is doing to release innocent people who have been incarcerated, he was inspired to give $200,000 of expendable funds.

“All money donated goes directly to support its mission of securing individuals’ much-deserved freedom,” Levinsohn said. “Duke Law students in the clinic are on the front lines helping research and investigate these cases and have helped secure the freedom of four individuals already. I’m proud to help the important work they do.”

Following their father’s lead

James Near was a businessman who instilled the virtues of innovation and entrepreneurship in his sons. Inspired by his example, David ’91, M.B.A.’95 and his wife, Marnie Near M.B.A.’95, along with brother Jason ’93, M.B.A.’97 and his wife, Anna, joined their mother, Nancy, to give $150,000 for I&E mentoring to support budding entrepreneurs at Duke. An additional $50,000 bolstered an existing scholarship named after James Near, and the annual funds for The Fuqua School of Business and the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences received $25,000 each.