The Duke Endowment

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The Duke Endowment is a private foundation established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke. The mission of the foundation is to serve the people of North Carolina and South Carolina by supporting selected programs of higher education, health care, children's welfare, and spiritual life.[1]


James B. Duke endowed the foundation on December 11, 1924 with $40 million. In the Indenture of Trust, Duke specified that he wanted the Endowment to support Duke University, Davidson College, Furman University, Johnson C. Smith University; not-for-profit hospitals and children's homes in the two Carolinas; and rural United Methodist churches in North Carolina, retired pastors, and their surviving families. When Mr. Duke died in 1925, he left the Endowment an additional $67 million. Adjusted for present value, Mr. Duke's total gifts would amount to more than $1.3 billion today.

The market value of the Endowment's assets have grown to approximately $3.4 billion. From 1924-2013, the Endowment has awarded over $3.2 billion in grants.[citation needed]

The Duke Endowment is a co-publisher, along with the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, of the North Carolina Medical Journal, a journal of health policy analysis and debate.[1]

The Endowment was established by a trust indenture that specifies how the funds were to be used. First, $6 million was to be used to either found a Duke University or to enhance Trinity College, located at Durham, North Carolina, if that school changed its name to Duke University within 3 months. The remaining funds were to be invested (primarily in Duke Power Company) stock. Of the income generated annually by these funds, 20% were to be reinvested, each trustee was to receive 0.2%, and the rest was to be paid out in the following allocation:

Purpose Share
Duke University 32%
Hospitals in NC and SC 32%
Davidson College 5%
Furman University 5%
Johnson C. Smith University 4%
non-profits in NC and SC 10%
retired Methodist pastors, and their surviving families 2%
constructing Methodist churches in NC and SC 6%
rural Methodist church maintenance in NC and SC 4%


  1. ^ "Minor Shaw named chair of Duke Endowment". Duke Chronicle. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 

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