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Oh LORD: Duke receives $261 million for engineering research, financial aid

Duke will receive a $261 million distribution from the LORD Corporation, the University announced Wednesday morning.

The money will be added to Duke’s endowment, where it will be used to help fund undergraduate financial aid, research at the Pratt School of Engineering and the new engineering building currently under construction. The windfall comes after the LORD Corporation was recently sold, leading to the distribution of more than $1 billion in funding to four research institutions.

Based in Cary, N.C., the manufacturing company is tied to four Lord Foundations in different states. One of these is the Lord Foundation of North Carolina, which supports Duke.

Duke is splitting the nine-figure sum with the beneficiaries of three other foundations—the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Southern California and the Cleveland Clinic.

“The Lord Foundation’s exceptional support for Duke will transform our efforts to address the world’s most intractable problems,” President Vincent Price said in a news release. “From the foundation’s earliest investments in our Pratt School of Engineering to this truly visionary distribution, Tom Lord has left a lasting legacy on Duke’s campus, one that will continue to improve the lives of our students, faculty, staff and those who benefit from their work, for many decades to come.”

Established in 1984, the Lord Foundation of North Carolina has given more than $47 million to Duke. The funding has contributed to the Pratt Research Fellows program, an overhauled introductory engineering course and the establishment of endowed professorships.

“Duke engineering has been on an incredible upward trajectory across nearly every measure in recent years, and the Lord Foundation has provided a significant boost to our success,” said Ravi Bellamkonda, Vinik dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, in a news release.

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