Duke Law School alum hopes $5M gift spurs others

Posted January 7, 2011

— A Duke Law School graduate and his wife have donated $5 million to the school in hopes of prompting contributions from others.

The law school said Friday the donation is the latest in a long line made by Stanley and Elizabeth Star. Stanley Star graduated from the law school in 1961.

Six years ago, the couple pledged $3 million to the school for the building of Star Commons, a gathering spot on campus.

“Just as their gift to create the Star Commons transformed our physical plant, this gift has the potential to elevate the academic life of our community by supporting and extending the work of our faculty and the opportunities we provide to students," law school Dean David Levi said in a statement. "It is a gift that will have a lasting, substantive impact on the law school."

Stanley Star is the former principal of Cliffstar Corp., which began as his family’s 19th century winery in Dunkirk, N.Y. Under his leadership, the company became one of the country’s leading private-label juice manufacturers.

He is a member of the law school’s Board of Visitors, and he previously served as co-chair of the law school’s Building Campaign Committee.

The Stars recently contributed funds to help launch the school’s Law and Entrepreneurship LLM program, which welcomed its inaugural class in August. Their previous gifts have funded the Stanley A. Star Professorship of Law and Business and the Star Scholarship, which provides financial support to students.

Duke University trustee Peter Kahn says the Stars' contribution has already inspired him and his wife, Debbie, to donate to the law school.

"Stanley has always been a leader, and as such, he wants to encourage others to join with him to take Duke Law School to the next level,” Kahn said in a statement. “This challenge gift is a great way to do that. It can and should serve as a catalyst for giving among alumni and friends of the law school who want to give back to the next generation of students in appreciation for what the school has done for them."


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  • raleighboi Jan 11, 2011

    Oh please, as if Duke Law isn't fleecing families already. The last thing it needs is $5M. Check out the New York Times article from this week about the huge law school lie and how young NYC lawyers make $20/hour doing temp law work while they sit on $250,000 in student loan debt.

  • christopher27519 Jan 11, 2011

    I don't know Stanley or Elizabeth Star or anything about Cliffstar Corp, but I hope that their generous contribution will be leave a positive impact on future lawyers and entrepreneurs. As for the derisive comment from PBSM, it's too bad that the prism she views her world in is the same one that many in the Obama Administration share as well. Too bad they're not taking a class in Entrepreneurship 101 and the Constitution to understand what has made this country so great.

  • ProudBlackSingleMother Jan 11, 2011

    I wonder how many minimum wage employees and immigrants he took advantage of... I wonder how many companies he shook down.

  • 6079 SMITH W Jan 7, 2011

    Dang! I waited too long, he stole my thunder. Now it will look like I donated 7 million BECAUSE he donated 5 million. Showoff! ;)