Duke University trustee
Bruce Karsh and his wife Martha have donated $50 million to Duke for a
permanent endowment to support need-based financial aid for undergraduate
students from the United States and other countries, President Richard H.
Brodhead announced Monday.
This gift is the largest
donation made by individuals to support financial aid in the university's
history. The gift includes $30 million for U.S. students and $20 million for
international students. Including this new contribution, the Karshes have given
$85 million for undergraduate financial aid at Duke. More than half of Duke's
undergraduates receive some form of financial assistance from the university.
"We are deeply grateful to
the Karshes for this remarkable gift and for the way they have championed one
of the university's highest priorities," Brodhead said. "This gift helps
safeguard our commitment to keeping a Duke education accessible to students
from a wide range of backgrounds, even as the economy continues to recover. It
also opens our door further to the best and brightest students from around the
world, creating a richer learning environment for all Duke students."
The Karshes have designated
$5 million to create a "KIPP at Duke" endowment that will provide financial aid
for tuition, program enrichment, advising and other support for graduates of
the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) who are accepted and matriculate at Duke.
KIPP is a network of college-preparatory public schools in underserved
communities throughout the nation.
The gift will add $15
million to the existing Karsh Scholarship Fund for financial aid for U. S.
students, and will also create a $10 million dollar-for-dollar challenge to
encourage other donors to establish their own named, need-based undergraduate
scholarships for U.S. students.
The remaining $20 million
will be dedicated to expanding and strengthening the Karsh International
Scholars Program, which officially launched this year. This gift doubles their
2008 gift of $20 million that established the program.
The first group of Karsh
International Scholars includes nine students from Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Pakistan, Spain, Ukraine, Ecuador, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. In addition to having
their full financial need met, Karsh Scholars are eligible for summer research
funding to enhance their educational experience.
"Our first group of Karsh
Scholars are exceptional students, and I'm excited to see that the program will
grow as a result of the Karshes' newest gift," said Ana P. Barros, faculty
adviser to the program and professor of civil and environmental engineering at
Duke. "This gift will give Duke an advantage among top U.S. universities in
attracting top international students to study here. It sends a message to
potential applicants out there who dream of a U.S. education but who may think
that it is impossible to afford. This says Duke can be the place for them, and
we are committed to their success."
Duke is one of a small
number of universities with a "need-blind" admissions policy, which
means that the university does not consider an applicant's ability to pay for
college when making admissions decisions. In addition, Duke guarantees to meet
the full demonstrated financial need of admitted U.S. students. Financial aid
packages combine grants, loans and work-study opportunities after assessing
what parents and students can reasonably contribute.
Duke also offers need-based
aid to international students, and the Karshes' gift will enable the university
to provide assistance to more students from other countries.
Alison Rabil, Duke's
assistant vice provost and director of financial aid, said the gift will make
an enduring difference for students and their families.
endowments play a key role in helping Duke meet the rising cost of financial
aid. We've seen a marked increase in student need in recent years," she said. "It's extraordinary that we have donors like the Karshes who are willing to
make an investment like this, which will benefit students and their families
for generations to come."
Bruce Karsh, a 1977 Duke
graduate, said he and Martha believe that financial aid is an investment in
people that can be a "genuine game changer."
"It makes a crucial
difference to the individual recipients and enhances the intellectual and
cultural diversity of the university community. Moreover, it helps develop the
pool of talent needed to grapple with an increasingly complex and global
world," Karsh said.
"Martha and I believe
strongly that motivated, talented students-- whether from underserved
communities in the U.S or from around the globe -- should be able to attend a
great university like Duke, which can nurture their talent and help them reach
their potential. We know Duke shares the same deep commitment. We feel
fortunate to be able to make a substantial gift that supports this shared value
and that will help Duke deliver on its promise to meet the financial needs of
all U.S. students and as many international students as possible."
Bruce Karsh is President of
Oaktree Capital Management, a global investment management company he
co-founded in Los Angeles in 1995. He chairs the Board of Directors of DUMAC,
LLC, which manages Duke's endowment.
Martha Karsh is an attorney
and co-founder of Clark & Karsh, an architecture, design and development
firm in Los Angeles. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Virginia Law
School, she is a Trustee of the Virginia Law School Foundation and a member of
the Advisory Board for KIPP LA Schools.