Four years into its seven-year campaign, Duke Forward has raised approximately 66 percent of its $3.25 billion goal.
At this point, all of the schools have raised more than 50 percent of their goals—compared to July 2013 when the Sanford School of Public Policy, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School were the only entities to fall below the 50 percent mark.
“We’re actually a little ahead of schedule,” said Sarah West, associate vice president for strategic planning and the campaign. “We came out of the gate incredibly strongly. The success of the campaign is a testament to the enormous amount of love that the alumni have for Duke.”
The campaign—which is set to conclude in 2017—raises funds for Duke’s 10 schools, health system, athletic department, facilities and financial aid and is dedicated to enriching the Duke experience, activating the University’s power for the world and sustaining its momentum.
Duke Medicine has reached 70 percent of its $1.2 billion goal, and the Nicholas School of Environment, the University Libraries, the Pratt School of Engineering and the Divinity School have raised more than 80 percent of their goals.
“Each school’s goal was set in collaboration with academic and development leadership,” said Jennifer Haslip, executive director of development marketing and communications. “We are confident that all of our schools are well-positioned for success.”
Campaign co-chairs Anne Bass, Bruce Karsh and David Rubenstein are among the campaign’s top contributors, with gifts collectively totaling more than $150 million.
In early June, alumni J. Michael and Christine Pearson, Pratt '81 and Nursing '84, respectively, committed $30 million to the Pratt School of Engineering in the sixth largest gift of the campaign.
But the campaign is not driven by the big-givers alone. West said that “Duke Forward: On the Road”—a series of events bringing the campaign to alumni in nine cities across the U.S.—has gone even better than its organizers anticipated.
“We’re doubling the size of any events the University has previously held in these cities,” she said.
Funds raised will be used to renovate Perkins Library, upgrade athletic facilities and expand hospital and medical education facilities. The campaign will also raise more than $400 million for financial aid and create at least 100 new endowed faculty chairs, visiting professorships and professors of the practice across campus.
“Our primary goal will always involve investment in people, teaching, research and clinical care, making Duke accessible to all backgrounds of students and helping students live up to their potentials,” said President Richard Brodhead in March during his annual address to the Academic Council.
West said peer institutions including Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University are conducting campaigns similar to Duke Forward, but Duke’s fund-raising capability is especially strong because of its position as a top research institution.
“The goal is help our students be successful in a new world after they graduate,” West said. “They need to be able to work collaboratively, to have an interdisciplinary background and to have a grasp on technology.”
Laurie Patton, dean of arts and sciences, said that Duke Forward has been a “real success” for Trinity—which has already raised 68 percent of its total goal.
“We’ve raised money for several new undergraduate initiatives in advising, a new Language Arts and Media program and new approaches in science education,” Patton said. “The process has been really encouraging.”
Approximately $100 million will be raised for Bass Connections, the initiative launched in the fall of 2013 that brings students together from different schools across the University in teams to focus on global issues.
“Bass Connections brings to education the kind of interdisciplinary team based learning in societal context that is the hallmark of research at Duke and other top R1 universities,” Pratt School of Engineering Dean Tom Katsouleas wrote in an email June 23.
Katsouleas said the construction of a new building between Engineering and Physics and upgrading the Gross Hall basement—which will house team-based hands-one learning spaces and empowered maker tools like 3-D printers—will support Bass Connections programming.
The campaign also seeks to jumpstart distinctive educational programs like DukeEngage, whose endowment it plans to increase by 66 percent.
Dean of the Divinity School Richard Hays said his school has already raised 85 percent of its $80 million goal and has successfully raised funds for student scholarships, endowing faculty positions and extending a grant complete the research agenda of the Clergy Health Initiative.
He and West both said that there is still more to do.
"One of the focuses for the future is going to be endowment for financial aid," West said. "You can just never raise enough."