Celebrating 100 Years of Commitment to the Carolinas

When James B. Duke established The Duke Endowment in 1924, he committed through his Indenture of Trust to nurture children, promote health, educate minds and enrich spirits in North Carolina and South Carolina. On December 11, 2024, The Duke Endowment will mark its centennial anniversary, a milestone made possible thanks to the grantees and partners with whom we’ve worked to enrich lives and strengthen communities for generations of Carolinians.

Throughout the year, we’ll celebrate this profound portfolio of change as told through the work of our grantees, share insights from a century of grantmaking and highlight future opportunities. This is a collective journey: one made possible by the diverse people and organizations we collaborate with across the Carolinas. Join us as we spotlight a legacy of commitment and progress that will help inform our next 100 years of work together.

Commemorating 100 Years Through Stories

As this centennial year unfolds, we are deeply grateful for our grantees, whose contributions and collaborations remain vital to realizing James B. Duke’s vision. As a cornerstone of the centennial celebration, we plan to share stories showcasing the life-changing work of these important partners.

Since its founding, the Endowment has awarded $4.5 billion in grants across North Carolina and South Carolina, which equates to more than $10.5 billion in today’s dollars. Those first transactional gifts from the mid-1920s have evolved into transformational, decades-long partnerships with organizations across the Carolinas. Dedicated and disciplined investments over the course of many years have provided these problem-solvers with the time and space necessary to develop lasting, innovative solutions.

Shared throughout the year, centennial stories will highlight the Endowment’s collaborations in our four grantmaking focus areas: Child & Family Well-Being, Health Care, Higher Education and Rural Church. Told through short video and audio stories, written narratives and photographs, these stories will convey the full, rich diversity of the people in our communities and the distinct character of the urban and rural places in which they live. From supporting foster families and reforming healthcare to improving access to high-value education and connecting neighbors through healthy food, these stories will bring the Endowment’s – and our grantees’ – impact to life.

And since we know that today’s decisions become tomorrow’s reality, we won’t just reflect on the past; we will look forward. As we set our sights on the next 100 years, the Endowment is dedicated to uncovering – alongside our partners – what is most effective and replicable, spurring bold innovation and investments in the Carolinas.

Join Us on the Journey

Year-long centennial events and happenings will be shared in a variety of ways, allowing you to celebrate, learn and inform alongside us – every step of the way.

  • Centennial Website: Bookmark the centennial website for the most up-to-date information throughout the year.
  • Email Newsletter: Stay apprised of timely centennial happenings by subscribing to our centennial dedicated email newsletter. This monthly newsletter will connect you to centennial stories and keep you informed about ways to engage in celebrations online across the Carolinas.
  • Social Media: Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and X for ongoing updates.
  • Community Events: Throughout the year, the Endowment will travel throughout the Carolinas to celebrate the work of local grantees and partners. Stay tuned for news and stories from diverse and dynamic organizations in your community.
  • Centennial Grant Announcements: On November 30, 2023, the Endowment’s centennial gift of $100 million to Duke University was announced. Duke University is one of four higher education institutions named in the Indenture of Trust. We’re thrilled to now also announce $75 million in gifts made to the three additional Endowment-supported institutions: Davidson College, Furman University and Johnson C. Smith University. (hyperlink to press release)
  • Traveling Exhibit: A centennial exhibit will make its way through the Carolinas, showcasing James B. Duke’s vision, the Endowment’s history and grantee stories. The exhibit is currently on display at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, and a full itinerary will be updated throughout the year and shared on the centennial website.

What we’ve collectively accomplished to date is worth celebrating, and what we can learn from it is inspiring. Join us as we honor our centennial and renew our commitment to the Carolinas. Together, we can ensure that the generational change set in motion by James B. Duke 100 years ago continues for the next century and beyond.