Reunion Giving FAQ

Why am I being asked to give during my Reunion?

Duke Law School depends on the generosity, enthusiasm, and class spirit of its reunion classes to anchor the Duke Law Annual Fund.  Reunion giving provides a strong foundation for the Annual Fund, constituting more than one-fifth of alumni giving to the fund, and demonstrates the sense of significance, confidence, and appreciation Duke Law alumni have for the Law School.  Your class gift, along with those of other reunion classes, will have a profound impact on the Law School's ability to continue to offer a premier legal education.

Why give to the Annual Fund?

The Duke Law Annual Fund allows Dean Levi to respond to the Law School’s most pressing financial concerns and provides the flexibility to seize unique and important opportunities.  This ability to be nimble and address needs quickly is of the utmost important in this dynamic, changing legal environment.  Because of the Annual Fund, Duke Law can award scholarships to deserving students, attract and maintain an outstanding faculty by supporting their teaching and research efforts, and enrich our academic and clinical programming. The Annual Fund also allows the Law School to try new things, like the Duke D.C. Summer institute that is offering prospective law students, legal and policy professionals, and journalists in the nation’s capital short courses taught by Duke faculty.

Moreover, the Annual Fund serves as the financial bridge between tuition revenue and the actual cost of a Duke Law education.  Tuition revenue only covers about 2/3 of the full cost of attending Duke Law School.  The Annual Fund and endowment funds supplement the difference.  Because Duke’s endowment is substantially lower than our peers’, Annual Fund dollars are crucial to bridging that gap.  Last year, this current use fund provided the equivalent support of a $46 million endowment.

Essentially, the Duke Law Annual Fund is crucial to providing the necessary resources to move Duke Law School forward – as a leader in legal education, in the legal profession, and in our community, nation, and world. 

How much should I give?

What counts most is your participation! Everyone is encouraged to participate in the Reunion Class Gift Campaign, no matter the size of the gift. Small gifts add up to big results.  All of the gifts from your class will send a message to potential and current students, outside organizations, fellow alumni in other classes, and the entire Duke Law community that you appreciate your experience at Duke Law and feel strongly that Duke Law School matters to the future of legal education. 

Reunion is a great time to stretch your gift.  In appreciation for your generosity, you could be recognized as a member of one of our leadership giving societies.  Membership in the Barrister Donor Society is granted to Duke Law alumni who donate $2,500 or more annually to the Law School.  Judges, educators, and those who work for the government or in public service are members at $1,000 annually.  Barristers are recognized annually in the fall Duke Law Magazine, are listed on a plaque in the Law School, are invited to the annual Barrister Donor Society reception during Reunion Weekend, and receive special invitations to Barrister events around the country.  

In honor of your reunion, please also consider a five-year pledge.  Your five-year pledge allows you to plan ahead for your personal philanthropy, helps the Law School plan for the future by creating steady and dependable income, and keeps you connected to Duke Law until your next reunion.  Best of all, the entire amount of your five-year pledge counts in your class’s gift total!

A common five-year pledge to the Reunion Class Gift effort is a $12,500 Barrister level pledge. For this reunion cycle, the pledge would be as follows:

Fiscal year: To be paid between: Amount:
FY14 July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014 $2,500
FY15 July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015 $2,500
FY16 July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016 $2,500
FY17 July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 $2,500
FY18 July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018 $2,500
  Total: $12,500

Another common pledge is the $5,000 multi-year pledge paid at $1,000 per year over a period of five years. This type of pledge qualifies donors for membership in the Law School's newest giving society, The Samuel F. Mordecai Fellows.