University trustee Ralph Eads, Trinity '81, and his wife, Lisa, have donated $5.5 million to the University, according to a Duke News press release.
The gift is a part of Duke Forward, and $4.25 million of the total will support Duke’s Energy Initiative, while the remaining $1.25 million will be divided between the annunal funds for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Sanford School of Public Policy, Fuqua School of Business and Duke Athletics.
"We're grateful for this generous gift from Ralph and Lisa Eads, which will strengthen Duke's ability to contribute knowledge and expertise toward meeting the pressing energy challenges of our time," President Richard Brodhead said in the release. "Their gift will ensure that the Energy Initiative will provide tomorrow's energy leaders and researchers with an innovative and integrated Duke experience, both inside and outside the classroom."
The Energy Initiative is a Duke campaign that is focused on the education of future leaders and research to find innovative solutions. The University-wide collaboration also promotes engagement with business and policy decision makers to address three major energy challenges—meeting growing energy demand to support a competitive and prosperous economy, reducing the environmental impact of energy and addressing energy security concerns.
The Eads’ gift will support the Energy Initiative by creating the Eads professor of the practice in energy finance post and by providing funding for conferences, workshops and other events that connect Duke students and faculty with energy professionals.
In addition, the donation will be used to support the establishment of an Energy Fellows program that will create partnerships between visiting experts and student and faculty fellows on energy-related research and engagement.
“In creating the Energy Initiative, Duke’s leaders recognized that the resources of the entire university can and should be put to work to answer the complex, multifaceted questions surrounding our global energy future,” Ralph Eads said in the release. “I’m proud to work with Duke’s leadership to help the University develop programming designed to solve important global energy problems.”