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Pratt, Law 1st schools to hit goal

The School of Law and the Pratt School of Engineering became the first two schools to surpass their individual goals in The Campaign for Duke, almost 18 months before the end of the campaign.

Law eclipsed its $55 million target with a $1.4 million gift from a Las Vegas alumnus, while Pratt hit its $170 million mark with several small gifts following a campaign in 10 cities for 10 months to raise $10 million. As of last week, the overall $2 billion campaign stood at $1.843 billion, but no other school or department's goals are imminently in reach, officials said.

"We are all quite pleased that Pratt and Law have achieved their campaign dollar goals, especially since both goals represent ambitious 'stretches' compared with where the schools were when the campaign began," President Nan Keohane wrote in an e-mail.

Keohane and Peter Vaughn, director of communications and donor relations for the Office of University Development, said that although both Law and Pratt reached their goals, they will always have unmet needs.

"The campaign is not going to be successful until we've accomplished all that we set out to do," Vaughn said. "Neither of those [schools'] buckets are full."

A significant portion of Pratt's campaign will go toward the ongoing construction of the Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering Medicine and Applied Sciences -- the $97 million engineering plaza on Science Drive. Faculty and student financial support and development are the key beneficiaries in Law.

"It's very exciting, but on the other hand, the law school has many needs not covered by our campaign," said School of Law Dean Katharine Bartlett. "We are out of space, and we are looking toward a pretty substantial project involving some additional space and some renovations of existing space."

The law school's strategic plan also calls for a $3 million technology initiative and the funding of two $1 million endowed professorships.

"I've been involved with the campaign since September 1, 1996," said Robert "Judge" Carr, associate dean and director of development for Pratt. "We set this line in the sand, I wanted us to get there and I wanted us to be first."

Along with Pratt's CIEMAS, which Carr said will still need more financial support, the school hopes to raise its percentage of endowed chairs from 19 to 25 and provide for more scholarship support for undergraduates and fellowship support for graduate students.

When The Campaign for Duke officially began in 1998, administrators set an initial goal of $1.5 billion by the end of 2003. With the strong economy and early success of the campaign, the goal was increased to $2 billion in 2000. In that dramatic change, Law's goal was increased from $50 million to $55 million and Pratt's jumped from $50 million to $170 million.

The overall campaign's $2 billion mark is also in striking distance by the end of this year. Vaughn pointed out, however, that the remaining $155 million is still a large sum that cannot be treated lightly.

He added that even with the slumping economy and corporate mistrust, donations have remained steady.

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