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Bovender endows scholarship to honor historic milestone

Jack Bovender, vice chair of the Board of Trustees and Health Administration ’69, and his wife Barbara Bovender have established a bequest of $1 million to commemorate some of the Trustee’s classmates.

Bovender, who graduated from Trinity College of Arts and Sciences in 1967, awarded a $1 million scholarship named in the honor of five black classmates who entered the University in 1963 -- the same year Duke desegregated.

Mary Harris, Gene Kendall, Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, Cassandra Rush and Nathaniel White were the first five undergraduate students to integrate in 1963.

"Their bravery changed Duke forever, and we are especially pleased to recognize them at our 45th reunion, surrounded by many of our classmates who were fortunate to know them during their time at Duke," Bovender said in a news release April 25.

Kendall, Reuben-Cooke and White attended last weekend’s alumni reunion. Harris and Rush are deceased.

President Richard Brodhead announced the gift to the Class of 1967 during the presentation of reunion class gifts Saturday morning .

The fund precedes the University’s yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of Duke's desegregation, beginning in January 2013.

This gift succeeds the Bovenders’ pledge of $25 million to Duke in December 2011 to support the Fuqua School of Business, Trinity College and the School of Nursing.


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