The Foundation for End of Life Care
and the Dade Community Foundation, both located
in Miami, Fla., have committed $500,000 each under the terms of
the Nicholas Faculty Leadership Initiative (which will add an additional
$500,000) in order to fund The Donald J. Gaetz Professorship
in Theology and Medicine. The scholar selected will give primary
service through the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life, based
in the divinity school.
Donald Gaetz was a founder in the early 1970s,
along with Hugh Westbrook D’70 and Esther Colliflower, of Vitas
Healthcare Corporation, which became one of the largest and most
successful private health care companies in America. Gaetz is a
distinguished public school superintendent in the Florida panhandle
(Okaloosa County) and a candidate for the Florida state senate.
He is a past president and chairman of the board of the National
A commitment of $800,000 from Kathleen
B. McClendon T’80 and Aubrey K. McClendon T’81 of Oklahoma
City, Okla., will name the new organ currently being designed and
built by Richards, Fowkes and Company to be installed in Goodson
Chapel in late 2006. The McClendons are generous supporters of projects
and programs across Duke University.
New permanent scholarship endowment resources
for the Divinity School include:
A gift commitment of $500,000 from Ruth
W.Williams WC’63 and A. Morris Williams Jr. T’62,
G’63 of Gladwyne, Penn., to inaugurate the A. Morris
and Annabel Williams Scholarship Fund in memory of his parents.
A. Morris Williams Sr. was a member of the divinity school Class
of 1932 and a pastor for many years in the North Carolina Conference
of the United Methodist Church. Morris Jr. has served as chairman
of the divinity school’s Board of Visitors and as a Duke University
Friends of the divinity school who prefer to remain
anonymous have contributed $400,000 to establish The Charis
Scholarship Fund. The Greek word charis means grace, kindness,
gift, thankfulness and blessing—especially through the divine influence
felt in the heart and manifested in daily life. The scholarship
is given “to the glory of God in celebration and thanksgiving for
the life of a loved one and to support excellence in education for
The Sally McWhorter Spears and Marshall Turner
Spears Jr. Scholarship Fund has been fully funded at the $100,000
level with gifts from their grandchildren: Daniel M. Nunn
T’01, Leslie C. Grignolo T’05, Maria H. Grignolo, David M. Nunn,
and Michael M. Nunn. Mrs. Spears WC’50 and her husband,
the late Marshall Spears T’47, have been long-time residents of
Durham and generous supporters of Duke and the United Methodist
Church. The scholarship gives priority to men and women who are
graduates of Duke University and who are from North Carolina or
A gift of $50,000 from Mary R. Haggar
of Palm Harbor, Fla., has established the Alexander and Mary
Haggar Scholarship Fund for general student financial aid.
The late Al Haggar was a long-time member of the divinity school
Board of Visitors on which Mary now serves.
An anonymous commitment of $50,000 is establishing
The Teaching Congregations Scholarship Fund. This new resource
marks the extraordinary role played by Christian congregations in
the preparation of students for ministerial service.
Rebecca K. Johnson WC’69 of Winston-Salem,
N.C., has pledged $50,000 for the Owen Hawes Johnson Memorial Scholarship
Fund named for her great-great-grandfather, Owen Hawes Johnson
(1814-1890), a Methodist church leader who served North Carolina
churches in Bladen and Sampson counties. The fund celebrates the
education of her family at Duke over three generations and deep
roots of faith in the United Methodist connection for more than
200 years, and it encourages the tradition of strong leadership
for the church.
We have also received generous support from the
Foundation for Evangelism at Lake Junaluska, N.C.,
to support post-doctoral fellows and teaching in evangelism along
with funds from The Duke Endowment for leadership
development for rural church pastors.
“The Divinity School is blessed by these extraordinary
gifts,” said Dean L. Gregory Jones. “We work hard to
merit the trust of donors and to sustain momentum. Now as
we complete the building addition, a renewed focus must
be placed upon our highest fund-raising priority: endowment
for student scholarships.
Each of these commitments has a wonderful story behind
it, added Jones, whether inspired by a beloved family
member, a response to perceived need, a timely opportunity
for generosity, or an expression of thanksgiving for faithful
leadership and service.
“For all of these, and for the impact each contribution will
have through the divinity school and the church over generations
to come, we are deeply grateful,” said Jones.