Duke gets $50M donation for financial aid
Posted December 5, 2011
Durham, N.C. — A Duke University trustee has donated $50 million to the school to create an endowment for need-based financial aid for undergraduates, Duke President Richard Brodhead announced Monday.
This gift by Bruce Karsh and his wife, Martha, is the largest individual donation to support financial aid in Duke’s history.
“We are deeply grateful to the Karshes for this remarkable gift and for the way they have championed one of the university’s highest priorities,” Brodhead said in a statement. “This gift helps safeguard our commitment to keeping a Duke education accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds, even as the economy continues to recover. It also opens our door further to the best and brightest students from around the world, creating a richer learning environment for all Duke students.”
The donation includes $30 million for U.S. students and $20 million for international students. More than half of Duke's undergraduates receive some form of financial assistance from the university.
The Karshes have designated $5 million to create a “KIPP at Duke” endowment that will provide financial aid for tuition, program enrichment, advising and other support for graduates of the Knowledge Is Power Program, a network of college-track public elementary and secondary schools in underserved communities nationwide.
The gift will also add $15 million to the existing Karsh Scholarship Fund for financial aid for U. S. students and will also create a $10 million dollar-for-dollar challenge to encourage other donors to establish their own need-based undergraduate scholarships for U.S. students.
The remaining $20 million will be dedicated to expanding and strengthening the Karsh International Scholars Program, which launched this year. This gift doubles their 2008 gift of $20 million that established the program.
The first group of Karsh International Scholars includes nine students from Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, Spain, Ukraine, Ecuador, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. In addition to having their full financial need met, Karsh Scholars are eligible for summer research funding to enhance their educational experience.
“(Financial aid) makes a crucial difference to the individual recipients and enhances the intellectual and cultural diversity of the university community. Moreover, it helps develop the pool of talent needed to grapple with an increasingly complex and global world,” Bruce Karsh, a 1977 Duke graduate, said in a statement.
“Martha and I believe strongly that motivated, talented students, whether from underserved communities in the U.S or from around the globe, should be able to attend a great university like Duke, which can nurture their talent and help them reach their potential," he said.
Karsh is president of Oaktree Capital Management, a global investment management company he co-founded in Los Angeles in 1995. He also is chairman of DUMAC LLC, which manages Duke's endowment.
Martha Karsh is an attorney and co-founder of Clark & Karsh, an architecture, design and development firm in Los Angeles.