Duke University has announced an $8.36 million gift from alumnus and trustee emeritus Karl von der Heyden ('62) and his wife, Mary Ellen.
The gift includes $7.36 million to support programs, events, and other educational opportunities at the university's new $50 million, 71,000-square-foot arts center, which is expected to open in 2017. The remaining $1 million will help fund graduate fellowships at the Duke Global Health Institute, which coordinates, supports, and implements interdisciplinary research, education, and service activities at Duke related to global health.
A native of Berlin, Germany, Karl von der Heyden is the retired vice chair of PepsiCo; he also has served as co-chair and CEO of RJR Nabisco, as president and CEO of Metallgesellschaft, and as senior vice president, CFO, and a director of the H.J. Heinz Company. Von der Heyden served on Duke's board from 1995 to 2007, and the couple's previous support for the school includes a $4 million gift in 2000 to help renovate and expand its libraries and a $1 million gift in 1995 to establish the von der Heyden Fellows Program Endowment Fund, which brings international leaders in business, government, and academia to the campus. Their latest gift to the school will be counted toward its $3.25 billion fundraising campaign, to which the von der Heydens have already contributed $1 million.
"Mary Ellen and I are delighted to support the arts at Duke," said von der Heyden. "Activities at the arts center will benefit the entire Duke community and beyond, and will help to emphasize the critical role of the humanities at a modern research university. We are also happy to support the growing importance of global health initiatives at Duke."