Higher Education

The Higher Education program area strives to understand and support select priorities of four schools — helping them learn from each other as they contribute to the higher education sector. The long-term goal is advancing high-value education for students. We support the four institutions named in Mr. Duke’s Indenture of Trust: Davidson College, Duke University, Furman University and Johnson C. Smith University.

Challenge

Colleges and universities face many challenges, including issues of financial stability, student access, student and faculty recruitment and retention, racial inequity and technological change. Addressing these challenges requires reassessing the higher education model and reshaping the student experience. Since the four Endowment-supported institutions are diverse in size, academic focus and student backgrounds, we work to support the schools within their unique contexts.

Approach

As a contributing partner to Davidson College, Duke University, Furman University and Johnson C. Smith University, we aim to promote the long-term success of these institutions so that they may effectively serve their students and the Carolinas.

Our Focus

The Duke Endowment’s Higher Education program area strives to understand and support select priorities at each Endowment-supported school and help them learn from each other as they contribute to the higher education sector. We focus on advancing school priorities to continuously improve institutional health and strength, and share lessons learned within the higher education sector. The long-term goal is advancing high-value education for students at each school.

Strategies

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Support Institutional Priorities

We work with the schools to support select institutional priorities for long-term impact. We meet with leaders regularly at each institution to learn about and identify ways to help advance each school’s strategic priorities.

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Promote Learning and Pursue Shared Opportunities

We connect the schools with each other, along with other institutions and potential partners, to enhance and share learning.

Project Details

Project Details

Recruiting, Retaining & Developing Faculty

Recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse group of faculty is critical to delivering a high-quality education and is an important priority at each Endowment-supported institution. As a result, over the past 20 years, The Duke Endowment has awarded more than $200 million to Davidson College, Duke University, Furman University and Johnson C. Smith University to hire faculty, keep faculty salaries competitive and attract faculty who are experts in their fields, and provide professional and leadership development opportunities.

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Project Details

Increasing Access and Affordability — Scholarships and Financial Aid

When he established his Endowment in 1924, Mr. Duke referred to education as “next to religion, the greatest civilizing influence.” As such, he specified that the greatest portion of the funds be awarded to four schools — Davidson College, Duke University, Johnson C. Smith University and Furman University — to help the institutions increase access to educational opportunities and become more affordable.

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Project Details

Researching & Strengthening Student Resilience on College Campuses

To derive full value from their college experiences, students must be equipped to handle the pressure and stress of college life. To help ensure that students can thrive, the Endowment has awarded $3.4 million in grants to support research and interventions through the Student Resilience and Well-Being Project on the four Endowment-supported campuses in North Carolina and South Carolina. The project aimed to understand and reinforce the conditions that strengthen college student resilience and well-being.

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Higher Education Grants

For a full list of our 2020 grants, see the 2020 Annual Report Grantmaking Addendum. Many of these grants represent multi-year commitments.

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