Duke launches $3.25 billion fundraising campaign

Posted September 30, 2012 12:24 p.m. EDT

— Duke University officials on Saturday announced the launch of a $3.25 billion fundraising campaign whose strategic goals include enriching the Duke experience, activating Duke's power for the world and sustaining the university's momentum.

The comprehensive campaign, "Duke Forward: Partnering for the Future," will support priorities across Duke's 10 schools, Duke Medicine and a range of university programs.

"The generosity and vision of our supporters have propelled our rise to the very top tier of universities," said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead. "Through Duke Forward, we will capitalize on our university's spirit of innovation and partnership to help shape new solutions and train the leaders and problem-solvers our world requires."

"Duke continues to grow and change in many exciting ways, but at the core is a commitment to creating the best possible learning experience for our students and to making a positive contribution in key issues in our society and around the world," said G. Richard Wagoner Jr., chairman of Duke's Board of Trustees. "This campaign will strengthen and sustain the things that make Duke one of the world's exceptional universities, and advance the ideas and programs that will define our future."

The campaign, co-chaired by trustees Anne Bass, Bruce Karsh and David Rubenstein, is expected to run until June 30, 2017. It is the first university-wide campaign since the Campaign for Duke, which ended in 2003 and raised $2.36 billion.

Duke is kicking off the campaign this weekend with a series of events for donors and volunteers. A new website,, will illustrate the priorities of the campaign, feature campaign news and highlight opportunities for university supporters to become involved.

The Duke Forward campaign evolved through a comprehensive strategic planning effort that included deans, faculty leaders and other administrators. Some priorities are familiar: financial aid, faculty development, research and patient care, athletics and annual giving. But a significant part of the campaign will be focused on Duke's unique strengths, including interdisciplinary efforts in basic and translational medical science, innovation and entrepreneurship, the arts, energy, global health and the environment.

Provost Peter Lange, the university's chief academic officer, calls the campaign "strategically and thematically based."

"This work has become integrated into the fabric of the university and is now part of Duke's identity," Lange said. "We are interested in building a distinctive type of 21st-century university, with education rooted in a combination of the classroom and engagement beyond the classroom."

Duke Medicine, including the Duke University Health System, School of Medicine and School of Nursing, is a significant part of the overall campaign, with a $1.2 billion goal focused on improving human health through innovative research, rapid translation of discovery, forward-thinking education, evidence-based practice and eliminating health disparities locally and globally.

"Duke Medicine is excited to join with alumni and friends across Duke University in this historic campaign," said Victor J. Dzau, M.D., chancellor for health affairs and president and CEO of the Duke University Health System. "We believe this is our time to lead in scientific discovery, excellent clinical care and innovative education as we seek to deliver on our promise of medicine that changes the world."