Duke University School of Law recently endowed a new student scholarship that honors President Richard Brodhead and his wife Cynthia Brodhead.

The Richard H. and Cynthia D. Brodhead Law Scholarship Fund is a permanent scholarship endowment that will provide whole or partial scholarships to Duke Law students. The scholarship was created to thank and honor Brodhead—who will step down as Duke's ninth president June 30—and his wife for their years of service to Duke, explained Kate Buchanan, associate dean for alumni and development in the Law School. Brodhead will be succeeded by Vincent Price, provost of the University of Pennsylvania.

“[We are] grateful for President Brodhead’s service to the University, and appreciative of the relationship that he has built with the Law School during his tenure,” Buchanan said.  

Students who also attended the University as undergraduates will be given preference for the scholarship. Duke Law alumni have already donated over $250,000 for the scholarship. 

“Since coming to Duke in 2004, Dick and Cindy Brodhead have been a welcome presence at the Law School,” said David Levi, dean of the law school in a Duke Law News press release. “I am delighted that our alumni have chosen to recognize their service to Duke University and Duke Law School with this scholarship.”

Buchanan added that the scholarship is not inspired by President Brodhead being a contributor to the field of law, but rather aimed to express appreciation for the work President Brodhead did in his tenure to support the role of the law school in a great university. She stressed the importance of legal inquiry as a pathway to understand how people interpret, manage and express ideas in order to function as a community.

Buchanan cited the Duke Law class “Faces of the Law” taught in 2011 by Brodhead—along with Levi and Jed Purdy, Robinson O. Everett professor of law—as evidence of Brodhead’s commitment to the Law School. The class studied a range of legal cases and constitutional debates from American history, Buchanan explained.

In addition to President Brodhead, the scholarship also honors Cynthia Brodhead for her own work in the field of law. Before moving to North Carolina, she practiced corporate and regulatory law as an attorney in Connecticut. Cynthia Brodhead has been “active and visible” at the School of Law throughout the President’s tenure at Duke, Buchanan noted.

Over the course of five years, Cynthia Brodhead worked with Jim Cox, Brainerd Currie professor of law, on law school alumnus Russell Robinson’s standard work on North Carolina corporate law. Robinson graduated from Trinity College in 1954 and the School of Law in 1956. Cox stated that it was a “pleasure” to work with Cynthia Brodhead, describing her as a “very skilled, experienced” lawyer.

“It was a great learning experience because I actually learned things about writing from [Mrs. Brodhead],” Cox said. “She’s a very nice person and a great person to work with.”

Duke Law News reported that Brodhead said “wow” when he heard about the scholarship at a Law School’s Board of Visitors meeting in April. 

“I have a relation of profound intellectual respect for the Law School, of great social friendship with the Law School,” Brodhead said in the press release. “It has been an extraordinary, extraordinary privilege for me to be the president of this university, and thus also to work with such a wonderful law school.”

Correction: This article has been updated to note that Buchanan explained what the "Faces of the Law" class studied, not Brodhead.