Trustees Step Up

Two major gifts boost financial aid, colleges.

Photo above: Scholarly promise
The Karsh gift will benefit programs such as the Karsh International Scholars, which admitted its inaugural class, above, this fall.
Courtesy Milkie Vu

Duke trustee Bruce '77 and Martha Karsh gave a significant boost to Duke's commitment to meet every admitted student's financial need with a $50 million donation. The gift—the largest by individuals to support financial aid at Duke—will create an endowment for financial aid for undergraduate students from the U.S. and abroad.

The Karshes' gift will add $15 million to the existing Karsh Scholarship Fund and $20 million to expand and strengthen the Karsh International Scholars Program, which was launched last year. Another $5 million from the gift will go toward creating a "KIPP at Duke" endowment, which will provide financial aid for tuition, program enrichment, advising, and other support for graduates of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), a network of college-preparatory public schools in underserved communities throughout the nation. The Karshes also have designated $10 million to match gifts that establish named, need-based undergraduate scholarships for U.S. students.

Duke is one of a small number of universities that guarantees to meet the full demonstrated financial need of admitted U.S. students.

The university also has sought to increase the amount of aid available to international students. A few days after the Karshes announced their gift, fellow trustee Jack O. Bovender Jr. '67, M.H.A. '69 and his wife, Barbara, announced a bequest of $25 million to support the Fuqua School of Business, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, and the School of Nursing.

The estate gift includes $10 million each for Trinity College and Fuqua's Health Sector Management program and $5 million for Nursing. Bruce Karsh is president of Oaktree Capital Management, which he cofounded in Los Angeles in 1995. He chairs the board of directors of DUMAC, which manages Duke's endowment. Martha Karsh is a lawyer and cofounder of Clark & Karsh, an architecture, design, and development firm in Los Angeles.

Jack Bovender retired in 2009 as chair and CEO of Hospital Corporation of America, which owns and operates 164 hospitals and 106 freestanding surgery centers in the U.S. and Great Britain. Barbara Bovender is a former head nurse at Duke Hospital.

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