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Funding the Future through FAI Scholarships

At the half-way point of the Financial Aid Initiative, which concludes at the end of December 2008, the Divinity School has commitments for scholarship endowments totaling $8.9 million. These contributions are permanent investments supporting excellence in education for ministry.

The William L. Carson Scholarship Endowment Fund has been established by a gift of $250,000 from his family foundation as directed by its board including his daughter, Christie C. Whitehouse of Mountain Lakes, N.J. Carson was a member of Trinity College class of 1938, and his grandson, Gordon Whitehouse, graduated from Duke in May 2007. The scholarship reflects Carson’s desire to support higher education, his love for Duke University, and the family’s understanding that men and women preparing for ministerial service need substantial financial support.

Mary Whetstone, Divinity School class of 1985, of Granville, Ohio, has established The Charles K. Robinson Memorial Scholarship Fund in loving memory of her late husband, Charles Kivet Robinson, associate professor of philosophical theology (1961-1985) and a graduate of the Divinity School, and in lasting appreciation for learning and friendships formed in the Duke community. Her gift commitment of $50,000 is being matched by $50,000 from the Stange Financial Aid Initiative Challenge Fund.

Jimmy and Ellyn Tanner of Rutherfordton, N.C., have established a charitable gift annuity in the amount of $50,000 which will be added to the James T. and Ellyn Pell Tanner Scholarship, a fund they initiated in 1998 to support Duke Divinity students who are graduates of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and who will serve in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Jimmy Tanner is a former chairman of the Divinity School Board of Visitors.

A charitable gift annuity of $10,000 from Gene and Frances Lovell of Maryville, Tenn., will ultimately benefit the Lewis C. Kerner Scholarship which provides resources for foreign-born students. Gene is a graduate of the Divinity School class of 1965, and he and Frances have been faithful donors to the Kerner Fund.

John and Jean Few of Ocala, Fla., have set up a charitable gift annuity of $10,000 that will strengthen the Divinity School Scholarship Endowment. John is an alumnus from Trinity College class of 1951 and the Divinity School class of 1954.

To find out more about gift planning and how to support the Financial Aid Initiative, please call Wes Brown or Jami Moss Wise at (919) 660-3456.

Annual Fund Tops Goal

The Divinity School’s Annual Fund topped last year’s goal, raising more than $573,000 by June 30. This represents a 21 percent increase from the previous year, and is the first time the fund has exceeded $510,000.

Annual Fund giving for the 2006-07 fiscal year included $229,840 from alumni, $31,210 from faculty and staff, and nearly $5,000 from the class of 2007.

“Enthusiastic volunteers and generous donors combined for a highly successful Fall 2006 phonathon,” said Erin Collins, development officer. “And we want to express special thanks to our class agents for their support. The Annual Fund goes directly to student financial aid, making a theological education at Duke more affordable for those following God’s call.”

Collins said that a new giving level for the Dean’s Club, available to graduates of the past five years, met with enthusiastic response.

The Annual Fund goal for fiscal year 2008 is $615,000.

Giving Forward

Individuals who are at least 70.5 years of age may, during 2007, contribute up to $100,000 to the Divinity School, the church or another qualifying charity through an IRA rollover.

Additionally, it is now possible to establish a charitable remainder trust at Duke which is invested with the university’s long-term pool. These funds yielded a 20.2 percent return last year and during the past 10 years have out-performed universities across the nation.

These trusts provide a charitable gift deduction, lifetime income and the opportunity to “give forward” to support Duke Divinity School. This opportunity is especially appreciated by those who cannot make large outright gifts during their lifetime.