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Duke's Environment Hall to be renamed Grainger Hall following $20 million donation

Courtesy of the Nicholas School of the Environment
Courtesy of the Nicholas School of the Environment

Environment Hall, which houses the Nicholas School of the Environment, will be renamed Grainger Hall—thanks to a $20 million donation. 

An "anonymous adviser," who is described as a "1979 alumna," recommended the Grainger Family Descendants Fund make the donation. The 70,000-square-foot building is being renamed as a result.

“The forward-looking research and education that this gift supports will allow Duke to make vital contributions to a healthier future for the environment and the world," President Vincent Price said.

Last year, the the Grainger Fund gave the University $11 million for a new marine lab research ship. 

The $20 million donation will be used primarily to support a Nicholas School initiative to increase financial aid for Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry students, as well as new fellowship opportunities for doctoral students, according to the release

Toddi Steelman, who began her tenure as the Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School July 1, credited the gift to her predecessor Jeff Vincent, who was the dean when the gift came in.

"To receive a gift of this magnitude, made so selflessly and with such clear and far-sighted purpose, is transformative for us," she told Duke Today. "It will have an enormous impact in helping our school chart a course to address today's rapidly changing environmental landscape and prepare the next generation to manage this new complexity we all increasingly experiencing in our world."

The money will also provide funding for Nicholas School research, educational programs and capital improvements. Some changes will include a new Ocean Engineering Lab at the Marine Lab campus in Beaufort, North Carolina and a redesign of the newly-renamed Grainger Hall's rooftop garden to include an outdoor classroom and meeting space.

There will be a dedication ceremony for the newly renamed building Nov. 8.

Likhitha Butchireddygari

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Class of 2019

Editor-in-chief 2017-18, 

Local and national news department head 2016-17

Born in Hyderabad, India, Likhitha Butchireddygari moved to Baltimore at a young age. She is pursuing a Program II major entitled "Digital Democracy and Data" about the future of the American democracy.


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