Duke Receives $5 Million for Faculty, Student Research Program

Duke Receives $5 Million for Faculty, Student Research Program

Duke University has announced a $5 million gift from the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation in support of the Duke Bass Connections program.

To be matched by $2.5 million from the Bass Connections Challenge, the largest single gift to the program since its launch in 2013 will provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to work with faculty in research teams on issues such as ensuring fair elections, reducing health inequities, developing sustainable energy solutions, and countering misinformation. In recognition of the foundation's contribution, the program's annual event in which teams share their research and accomplishments with the community has been named the Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase.

A longtime supporter of Duke University, the foundation provided a $5 million naming gift to establish the Fortin Foundation DukeEngage Academy in 2014 and awarded grants in 2017 and 2018 totaling $1.5 million in support of the Bass Connections program.

"Over the past seven years, we have seen this program shape the trajectories of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and our community partners," said the university's vice provost for interdisciplinary studies, Ed Balleisen. "We see this approach to collaborative research and learning as a powerful model for twenty-first-century higher education and we are enormously grateful to the Fortin Foundation for enabling us to expand its impact."

(Photo credit: Duke University)

"$5 Million Gift Will Support Bass Connections Program." Duke University Press Release 01/27/2020.