PUBLISHED:December 12, 2011

Annual Fund gift from Brown '74 launches Young Alumni Challenge

Colin Brown ’74, long-time Duke Law supporter and life member of the Board of Visitors, has contributed matching funds of up to $100,000 to the Annual Fund to establish the Colin Brown Young Alumni Challenge. The challenge encourages alumni from the Classes of 2002-2011 to support the Law School at any level and provides a dollar-for-dollar match for new gifts or multi-year pledges of up to $1,000 to any Law School fund.

“By providing this match, I hope that recent graduates realize that their annual participation is important to the future of Duke Law,” Brown said. “Alumni support is the life blood for the school’s wellbeing. When alumni give back, they make possible the continuation and improvement of those things which have inspired them and in which they believe the most.

“My first gift to Duke was $25 in my first year after graduation, and it has been important to me to continue to give each year. Supporting the Law School is the most effective way to maintain a connection to the Law School while having a direct impact on its future,” Brown said.

At Duke Law School, participation is the focus for young alumni giving, said Jeff Coates, associate dean for alumni and development. “A large portion of the Law School’s alumni body graduated within the past 10 years, so developing a lifelong habit of giving is essential to Duke Law’s success. Consistent support, year after year, demonstrates to others that those people who are closest to the Law School value its contribution to their lives, trust in its leadership, and believe in its future.”

Duke Law’s Annual Fund is designed to be the most responsive and versatile stream of funding available to the Law School, Coates added. Gifts to the Annual Fund ensure stability for existing programs in the face of unforeseen expenses, while allowing the dean to create new initiatives that support the changing needs of the school’s faculty, students and staff in a timely and effective manner.

Brown is president and CEO of JM Family Enterprises, a diversified automotive company ranked No. 27 on the Forbes list of “America’s Largest Private Companies” and No. 16 on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Two of Brown’s children are also Duke alumni: Courtney Brown is a member of the Duke Law Class of 2007, and Seth Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 2009.

Gifts to the Annual Fund can be made online at, over the phone at 888-LAW-ALUM, or by sending a check to: Duke Law School, Office of Alumni & Development, Box 90389, Durham, NC 27708. Please contact Jean Brooks, director of annual giving, at 919-613-7015 or with any questions.