Duke received $478.3 million in private donations during the 2014-15 fiscal year—setting a new record for highest total contributions for the third year in a row.
Some of the largest philanthropic gifts included a $20 million grant given to the Duke Global Health Institute from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to address diseases like HIV/AIDS and cancer, along with a $13 million contribution to the athletics department from Steve Brooks, Trinity '70 and president and CEO of the Phoenix American Insurance Group. As a result of Brooks' donation, the football field at Wallace Wade Stadium was renamed Brooks Field.
“We’re very grateful for another extraordinary year,” said President Richard Brodhead in a Duke News release Tuesday. “The generosity of our alumni and friends across a wide variety of areas will yield even more rich and innovative opportunities for our students and faculty to make an impact in communities around the world.”
Other significant pledges of the 2014-15 fiscal year included $6 million from the Lilly Endowment to fund leadership education at the Divinity School and $9.75 million—mostly from an anonymous donor—for the Information Initiative at Duke, which leads efforts in “big data” computational research to solve global problems.
The total amount of gifts represented an eight percent increase from last year's total of $441.8 million.
As a result of the donations in the last fiscal year, the running total of DukeForward, the University’s most ambitious fundraising campaign, grew to $2.7 billion, leaving it well on-track to reaching its goal of raising $3.25 billion by June 30, 2017. DukeForward has set specific monetary goals to advance each of its 10 schools through interdisciplinary initiatives and updated facilities, among other projects.
The more than $36.5 million in gifts received by the Duke Annual Fund also set a new record thanks to the donations of more than 60,000 parents, students, alumni and friends. The Annual Fund contributes to educational programs and faculty support across Duke’s campus, in addition to supporting financial aid.
“Donors are essential to our success in education, research and health care," Robert Shepard, vice president for alumni affairs and development, said in the release. "Without their support, Duke would be unable to achieve its strategic priorities of helping to solve real-world issues.”