Duke Law School has announced a $10 million gift from alumnus Carl Bolch, Jr. ('67) and his wife, Susan Bass Bolch, to endow a new institute dedicated to bettering the human condition through the study and advancement of the rule of law.
The Carl and Susan Bolch Judicial Institute will focus on advancing the importance of rule-of-law principles and a fair and independent judiciary, as well as raising public awareness of lapses or failures in the rule of law. To that end, it will support research, teaching, and scholarship; award an annual prize recognizing individuals or entities who have distinguished themselves in the preservation or advancement of the rule of law; and offer educational programming for judiciaries and the public in the United States and around the globe. The university and other donors will match the gift, bringing total support for the institute to $20 million.
The institute will build on the strengths of the university's Center for Judicial Studies — which was established in 2011 and funded by a $5 million grant from the Duke Endowment — and will take over and further develop several of the center's programs, including the Master of Judicial Studies program for sitting judges; the scholarly journal Judicature; the annual Appellate Judges Educational Institute; and a conference series. David F. Levi, the James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean of the School of Law and a former federal judge, will serve as inaugural director of the institute when he steps down as dean of the law school on June 30.
"I have had success in business that I couldn't have dreamed I'd have, largely because of a system built on the rule of law and a society that respects the rule of law," said Carl Bolch, Jr., chair of Atlanta-based RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc. "The Bolch Judicial Institute will work to protect, preserve, and strengthen these ideals here in the United States and around the world. The rule of law is the foundation for the stability of society, human rights, a growing economy, and flourishing culture and artistic life. An independent judiciary and a society's belief in the fairness of its justice system are critical to preserving and protecting the rule of law."
(Photo credit: Duke Law School)