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Funding the Future of Ministry

The Mary G. Stange Charitable Trust of Troy, Mich., has committed $300,000 as a limited 1:2 matching gift challenge to support scholarships for the Doctor of Theology program. The trust will provide an additional $100,000 for each of three gifts of $200,000 or more that are established to endow Th.D. scholarships in the Divinity School. The scholarship names will be determined by the respective donors. (For more about Duke’s Th.D. program, see Winter 2007 Divinity.

The G. David and Judith Walker Scyster Scholarship Fund has been established with the receipt of $20,000 designated for scholarship support from the will of David Scyster and a gift of $80,000 from his widow, Judy Scyster, Women’s College Class of 1960, of Pinehurst, N.C. The fund is “in loving memory of David Scyster and contributed as an expression of heartfelt appreciation for the influence of Duke University and its Divinity School.”

An additional $25,000 has been contributed for the Needham-Hauser Scholarship Fund by Wanda and Edwin Needham, Divinity School class of 1957, of Pfafftown, N.C. Edwin made the gift to honor his divinity classmates on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their graduation. Edwin’s parents, Antoinette Hauser Needham and Eugene W. Needham, Trinity College class of 1931, both now deceased, established the scholarship in 1986 with a gift of $25,000 for students preparing for parish ministry with a priority for service in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. The market value of the scholarship had grown over 21 years to more than $144,000 prior to this gift.

Duke University continues as a remarkably fine steward of endowed fund assets with a return of 25.6 percent for fiscal 2007 and a 10-year average of 17 percent. This strong performance enables Divinity School scholarships and other endowed funds to flourish and yield vital expendable resources each year. It is now possible for a donor to set up a Charitable Remainder Trust at Duke, which is placed in the long-term investment pool. These trusts return lifetime income to the donor and spouse, provide an immediate tax deduction, and ultimately fund a scholarship, professorship or program in the Divinity School. The fixed-rate returns and other benefits of a Charitable Gift Annuity provide an attractive way to make a gift that will truly make a difference.

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.

‘Consider what it means to provide’

During the current Annual Fund campaign, we’re asking Duke’s alumni and friends to “consider what it means to provide.”

“What it means” may seem obvious: Christians are called to provide for others and for one another through gifts like those we make to our churches and to charity.

But there is much more at stake when we take on the task of providing. “Provision” also  suggests sustenance — not only the literal food we take into our bodies, but also the spiritual nourishment we receive through Scripture and the sustenance we get from our relationship with God. This kind of provision attends to spiritual as well as physical well-being, and it’s one of the most important ways we can care for each other in any community of faith.

The word “provide” comes from the Latin providere, which literally means “to see ahead” (from pro- forward + videre to see). When we provide for students, we make them ready to serve Christ’s church in the world. In that way, alumni, friends, faculty, and staff all work together, “seeing ahead” so that our graduates will continue to go out prepared to share the Gospel in the world.

The Divinity School offers thanks to all those who provided for the students of Duke Divinity School in 2007. These generous supporters helped the Divinity Annual Fund achieve a record goal last year, all of which went directly to student financial aid. (For a full account of those gifts, see the 2006-07 Annual Report.) The provisions donors made will sustain and make ready the next generation of pastors, preachers, leaders and teachers, and will allow us to see ahead to the future. — Jami Moss Wise, Director of Development