PUBLISHED:November 16, 2015

Duke Law surpasses initial campaign goal, continuing to fund-raise for key priorities

Duke Law School announced today that it has surpassed its initial goal for the Duke Forward fundraising campaign. With nearly two years left in the seven-year campaign, the Law School has raised $90 million.

“This is the largest amount Duke Law has raised during any campaign in its history, and we’re not finished yet,” said Dean David F. Levi. “Reaching this milestone represents a terrific accomplishment by our alumni and friends, who through their generous gifts during this campaign have shown their commitment to moving Duke Law forward. We are proud and grateful.”

The law school’s fundraising effort is part of Duke University’s $3.25 billion Duke Forward campaign, which is scheduled to conclude in June 2017 and supports priorities across Duke's 10 schools, Duke Medicine, and a range of university programs and initiatives.

Duke Law, which set an initial goal of $85 million, will now push to exceed $100 million raised during the campaign. Among the priorities that will benefit from further fundraising are establishing new student financial aid endowments, endowing new faculty positions, securing funds for academic programs and experiential training, and raising $15 million for the Annual Fund, which supports general operating needs.

“The Duke Forward campaign has given all of us who have benefitted from a Duke Law diploma the chance to give back to our alma mater and support the students, faculty, and administration at one of the leading law schools in the country,” said John Yates ’81, T’78, a partner at Morris, Manning & Martin in Atlanta, and chair of the Duke Law campaign.

Yates and his wife, Ellen T’79, established a strategic initiatives fund at Duke Law with their leadership campaign gift. “Ellen and I have supported various areas of Duke throughout our alumni lives, and it was our pleasure to provide a significant gift to the Law School that gives Dean Levi the autonomy to be proactive in addressing the changing landscape of legal education. I hope my fellow alumni will join me in supporting the final phase of the Duke Forward campaign.”

Through the first five years of Duke Forward, Duke Law has established 62 new student financial aid funds and received additional gifts for 21 previously established scholarship endowments. Campaign giving has also endowed eight new professorships and provided funds for research and scholarship, including faculty-led centers.

More than 130 donors have made commitments of at least $100,000 to Duke Law during the campaign. The two largest donations came from Stanley A. Star ’61 and his wife, Elizabeth Star, who gave $11.25 million to fund financial aid and professorship matching gift challenges, and The Duke Endowment, which provided $5 million to establish a matching gift initiative for new faculty positions and $5 million to endow the operations of the Center for Judicial Studies.

“A gift to Duke Law School at any level is an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a student or the work of a professor,” Levi said. “We thank all of our donors for helping us surpass our goal and look forward to celebrating further milestones as we continue the Duke Forward campaign.”

For information about giving to Duke Law and the Duke Forward campaign, contact Katharine Buchanan at (919) 613-7217 or