Hughes gift establishes endowed chair

October 19, 2011Duke Law News

A $1.25 million gift from Jeffrey P. Hughes ’65 and Bettysue C. Hughes WC ’65 will create a new faculty chair at Duke Law School.

The couple’s gift to establish the Jeffrey and Bettysue Hughes Professorship is being matched by funds from The Stanley A. Star Matching Gift Fund (the “Star Challenge Fund”). The combined endowment will further Dean David F. Levi’s goal of adding leading scholars to the faculty.

Jeff Hughes is succinct in explaining why he and his wife made their gift. “It’s easy. David asked and the ability to maximize our gift using Stanley’s challenge fund was appealing,” said Hughes.

Hughes, vice chairman of The Cypress Group, said that he and his wife share Levi’s interest in motivating other alumni to take advantage of maximizing their gifts through the Star Challenge Fund. “David very much wants to get this done, and I’m glad to help him.”

“Jeff and Bettysue Hughes understand that what makes Duke Law School one of the great law schools in the world is the strength of its faculty,” said Levi. “Their gift will help us maintain and deepen this remarkable group of scholars and teachers in the years to come. The Hughes’ leadership, and that of the Stars, helps us to continue making a difference to the legal profession, our society, our understanding of law, and our students. It is wonderful to have this generous and forward looking gift as we try to reach our full potential as a still young institution of higher learning.”

Jeff Hughes practiced at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett after his Duke Law graduation. He joined Lehman Brothers in 1968 and became a partner in 1976. He launched the firm’s private-financing department, led early leveraged buyout financings, and had senior investment-banking coverage responsibilities for industrial, energy, and consumer-product companies. A member of Lehman Brothers’ investment committee, he was head of the financial institutions group. He helped found The Cypress Group, a private equity firm, in 1994.

Bettysue Cameron Hughes graduated from the Duke Women’s College in 1965. She taught in the private schools of New York City before retiring to raise two sons. She has continued her involvement in Early Childhood Development through various volunteer activities.

The Hughes’ gift to endow a chair in law is the latest in the couple’s long history of philanthropy and service to Duke Law School. They are members of the Lanty L. Smith Society, which recognizes alumni and friends whose cumulative support of the Law School is $1 million or more. Jeff, a life member of the Law School’s Board of Visitors and a past chairman of the Global Capital Markets Center, served as chair of the Campaign for Duke Law School in the late 1990s. He received the Law School’s Charles S. Rhyne Award in 2010 in recognition of his career achievements, as well as his commitment to education, professionalism, and public service in New York and elsewhere.

The Star Challenge Fund was established in late-2010 by Stanley A. Star ’61 and Elizabeth Star as the centerpiece of a matching gift initiative designed to inspire alumni and friends to establish four new faculty positions at the Law School.

The Law School’s associate dean for Alumni & Development, Jeff Coates, said, “The impact of providing gifts to establish faculty positions is transformative. We are deeply appreciative of the Hughes’ and Stars’ generosity. They have come together to create something that will benefit our Law School’s faculty and students for decades to come.”