PUBLISHED:July 09, 2012

Stars commit $5 million to support student scholarships, financial aid

Stanley & Elizabeth Star"Once again the Stars have shown remarkable vision and leadership."

Dean David F. Levi

A new $5 million commit­ment from Stanley A. Star ’61 and his wife, Elizabeth Star, will establish three new full-tuition scholarships for outstanding Duke Law School students and create a matching gift fund designed to encourage other donors to support the school’s financial aid programs.

This is the Stars’ third major gift to Duke Law School. In 2004, the couple gave $3 million to construct Star Commons, a four-story, light-filled community space that is now a cor­nerstone of the Law School’s building. In 2011, the couple gave $5 million to help create four new professorships.

“Once again the Stars have shown remarkable vision and leadership,” said Dean David F. Levi. “They transformed our physical space, they strengthened our faculty, and now they seek to keep our doors open to all deserving students who wish to come to Duke Law School. Increasing scholarship assistance so that law school is affordable is one of our highest priorities. Together the Star Scholarships and the Star Challenge are a big step forward toward that goal.”

Of this latest gift, $3 million will be designated to support full-tuition scholar­ships. The other $2 million will establish the Star Challenge, a matching fund designed to encourage other donors to establish endowed financial aid funds. Duke Provost Peter Lange, the university’s chief academic officer, said he will provide an additional $1 million in university funds to enhance the matching fund created by the Star gift.

“I am impressed with Stanley and Elizabeth Star’s commitment to Duke,” said Lange. “It is a pleasure to see their excitement grow as they become more and more involved in sup­porting Dean Levi’s ambitious vision for the law school. I was inspired by their generosity, and I hope many others are inspired, too.”

“We have always hoped to inspire others with our giving,” said Stanley Star. “We get so excited when we are able to come here and see the potential for growth in this school and to see the enthusiasm of the faculty and the students. We can see how our contribu­tions are helping the school and the people here. And the thanks and acknowledgment we receive is really nice. We just couldn’t be more excited to be part of this community.”

The Star Challenge will match new gifts for endowed scholarship and fellowship funds at the Law School, providing an additional $1 for every $2 committed. For instance, a new $250,000 gift would be augmented with $125,000 from the Star Challenge.

By structuring their gift in this way, the Stars provide the Law School with additional means by which to motivate donors who are considering gifts for student financial aid, said Jeff Coates, the Law School’s associate dean of alumni and development.

“Students are struggling to finance law school, and we want to do every­thing we can to make sure that out­standing students who want to attend Duke Law School may do so regardless of their ability to pay,” said Coates. “We are tremendously grateful to Stanley and Elizabeth for recognizing the urgency of this need, for devoting their own resources to support our students, and for helping us excite and inspire other donors who wish to help our students.”

Scholarship and fellowship funds are critically important in bringing the very best students to Duke Law, said Bill Hoye, associate dean of admissions and student affairs. “The Star Scholarship will soon become, as Duke Law’s Mordecai Scholarship has already proven to be, one of the most sought-after scholarship awards among top applicants to the nation’s most selective law schools. I am thrilled that three deserving new students will be able to proudly inform family, friends, and prospective employers that they have been named Star Scholars at Duke Law School.”


For information about establishing a scholarship or fellowship fund utilizing matching funds from the Star Challenge, contact Jeff Coates at (919) 613-7175.