Duke University has announced a $20 million gift from an anonymous advisor of the Grainger Family Descendants Fund in support of programs, research, and capital improvements at the Nicholas School of the Environment.
The largest portion of the gift will support a campaign aimed at increasing financial aid for Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry students, as well as fellowship opportunities for doctoral students, enabling the school to expand its reach and recruit future environmental leaders from diverse talent pools, including first-generation students from underrepresented backgrounds.
The gift also will support environmental research by faculty members and PhD students and provide funding for educational programs, including the school's new Natural Resources Finance Initiative, which teaches graduate students a range of financial skills crucial to natural resource management and conservation, as well as capital improvements at the school, including the creation of an Ocean Engineering Lab at the Duke University Marine Lab campus in Beaufort, North Carolina, and the redesign of Grainger Hall's rooftop garden. In recognition of the gift, Environment Hall, the school's main building, will be renamed Grainger Hall.
Previous gifts by the Grainger Family Descendants Fund to the Nicholas School have funded the construction and operation of an ocean-going research vessel for the Duke Marine Lab, endowed three professorships, and supported the work of faculty and students at the Juli Plant Grainger River Science Center in Durham and the Orrin Pilkey Research Laboratory in Beaufort.
"We are deeply grateful for this gift to the Nicholas School, which will advance Duke's commitment to addressing the most pressing environmental challenges by educating future leaders and creating new opportunities for students and faculty," said Duke University president Vincent E. Price. "The forward-looking research and education that this gift supports will allow Duke to make vital contributions to a healthier future for the environment and the world."