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Matching Funds Boost FAI Scholarships

A contribution of $200,000 to be distributed over three years from the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation of Indianapolis, Ind., has been directed by William W. McCutchen Jr. E’62 and Irene L. McCutchen WC’62 of Westport, Conn., to help support the Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School. Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice D’05 are co-directors of this work which has domestic as well as global emphases.

The Champ Y. and Mary G. Powell Fund is a new endowment provided by Jane Powell Gray and her husband, R. Frank Gray, of Raleigh, N.C. The generous commitment of $50,000 provides living plants and their continuing maintenance throughout the new Westbrook Building in memory of Judge Gray’s parents and in memory of her and Frank’s son, Russell Thomas Gray.

The Financial Aid Initiative continues to move forward with securing new scholarship resources for students in Duke Divinity School. A part of the university-wide effort through 2008, gifts and pledges now exceed $6.3 million toward The Divinity School’s goal of $10 million. The newest scholarships are:

A commitment of $250,000 from the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation will be matched with $250,000 from the FAI to establish the Ruth Lilly Scholarship Fund. Bill and Renie McCutchen directed the gift which celebrates the life of her great aunt, Ruth A. Lilly, whose legacy of philanthropy models the remarkable generosity of her family. It is the first permanent scholarship endowment supporting students in Duke Divinity School’s Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) degree program.


The Janet Swingle English Memorial Scholarship Fund is established with the commitment of $125,000 from her husband, William R. English of Raleigh, N.C.; their daughter, Carole L. English of Lake Forest, Ill.; and Millbrook United Methodist Church of Raleigh, in loving memory of Janet Swingle English, a direct descendant of Ulrich Zwingli—the early 16th century reformer of the church in Switzerland. The gift is being matched by the Stange Divinity Financial Aid Initiative Fund. Preference will be given to United Methodist students who are assigned to academic year or summer field education internships at Millbrook United Methodist Church. The initial English Scholar is Owen Barrow D’07 who served there earlier in 2006.

A gift of $100,000 from Max W. Wicker T’49, D’52 and his wife, Ann S. Wicker WC’55 of Southern Pines, N.C., has funded The Ben F. Meyer Scholarship Fund in memory of their longtime neighbor and friend. The scholarship is to encourage excellence in ministerial education. It will be matched dollar for dollar from divinity resources in the Financial Aid Initiative. Ben F. Meyer was a distinguished journalist who for many years directed the work of United Press International in Latin America.

The R. Wensell Grabarek and Marion Norris Grabarek Scholarship has been established by Mr. and Mrs. Grabarek of Durham, N.C., with a gift of $100,000 to support leadership in ministerial education, to encourage faithful Christian witness, and to express heartfelt gratitude for decades of excellent relationships between Duke University and Durham. Wense Grabarek served as the mayor of Durham during years of great change and challenge, 1963-1971. He and his wife continue to be active citizens and good friends of Duke. The gift will be matched with FAI funds.

An additional $100,000 has been given by a wonderful variety of friends to the Robert E. and Pearl F. Seymour Scholarship Fund established in 2004 to honor the long-time activist and pastor of Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, N.C. The addition qualifies for matching funds from the FAI. The Seymour Scholarship gives priority to African-American students from Baptist traditions.

Duke Divinity School is delighted to announce that we have now exceeded $100,000 principal funding in the African-American Alumni Legacy Scholarship and so henceforth it will provide support for students each year. Since the establishment of the fund in 2000, hundreds of graduates and friends have contributed faithfully “to help provide resources for ministerial education; to honor the memory of Joseph Bethea, Herbert Edwards, C. Eric Lincoln, Samuel Proctor, and Grant Shockley; to affirm the breadth and value of our experiences at Duke; and to make it possible for new generations of leadership to be trained in the great traditions of the Black church.”

The Duke Divinity School community is deeply grateful for these generous investments in our mission which provide encouragement and resources for many generations to come. For information about how to assist with the Financial Aid Initiative (including the limited opportunity for contributing IRAs) please call Wes Brown or Ginny-Len Hazel at (919) 660-3456 or see the Divinity School Website.