Minor Shaw will now serve as chair of the board of trustees of the Charlotte-based Duke Endowment.

The Duke Endowment is a major University benefactor and recently contributed $80 million to Duke Forward, the latest capital campaign, to be used for renovation of the West Union Building and other facilities. The Endowment, a philanthropy focused on projects in North Carolina and South Carolina, also supports education programs at Duke, Davidson College, Furman University and Johnson C. Smith University. As chair of the board, Shaw oversees the dispersal of Endowment funds and the programs the board regulates.

“I will continue the work of our past chairmen to carry out the vision of [University founder] James B. Duke through The Duke Endowment,” Shaw wrote in an email Monday. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve the Carolinas through the philanthropy of the Duke Endowment."

She was elected as chair by the presiding board of trustees following the August death of former chair Neil Williams, Trinity ’58 and Law ’61.

“Neil was a great leader who served us and the University well,” Duke Endowment President Eugene Cochrane said. “He will surely be missed.”

Shaw will continue to follow the plans on which Williams had been working to strengthen universities and communities in North Carolina and South Carolina, Cochrane noted. Because Shaw was previously the vice chair of the board, she is already familiar with the board’s goals.

“Nothing will be changing in a dramatic way,” Cochrane said.

The Endowment funds contribute greatly to the renovations and changes that students see on campus, said Michael Schonfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations.

The Duke Endowment selects projects to support at Duke University based on proposals made by the administration, most recently the $80 million donation in March 2011 to renovate West Union, Page Auditorium and Baldwin Auditorium, he said. The Duke Endowment also contributed $50 million, part of which funded the construction of the [Mary Duke Biddle] Trent Semans Center for Medical Education. It also supported the creation of DukeEngage, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Schoenfeld added that the Endowment has funded scholarships and other programs which benefit students. The Duke Endowment is the largest single donor to the University in its history.

“Minor Shaw will be a wonderful chair of the Duke Endowment board,” Schoenfeld added. “She is deeply committed to continuing the Duke Endowment’s goals in education, health care and the ministry, not just at Duke University but throughout the Carolinas.”

Aside from her new role as chair, Shaw is also the president of the Greenville, S.C.-based Micco LLC, a private investment company. She also chairs the Daniel-Mickel Foundation and the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Commission. In addition, she serves as a board member of other organizations in North Carolina and South Carolina.