Dr. Steven and Rebecca Scott have committed $10 million to the Duke Athletics Department, the largest such gift in the university's history, school officials announced Thursday.
The gift will help support the activities and programs in a new 35,000-square-foot building that will house ticket offices, a team store, offices for department personnel, training rooms and an expanded weight room for Olympic sport programs. The three-level, state-of-the-art facility, to be located next to the existing Murray Building on Whitford Drive, will be used by more than 600 student-athletes.
"Athletics are a highly visible way to signal Duke's commitment to excellence," said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead. "We're grateful to the Scott family for their strong support of such an important part of the Duke student experience."
"The tremendous generosity of Steven and Rebecca Scott for this magnificent investment is, in fact, unmatched in the history of Duke Athletics," said Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. "The pavilion and athletics center will impact all Duke student-athletes and staff directly. The facility will serve as a showplace for the standards of excellence exhibited throughout the entire institution.
"To be sure, we often discuss 'The Duke Decision' in regards to the young men and women who choose to attend Duke. We sincerely thank Steven and Rebecca for making that same decision -- one that will last for years to come on this campus," White added.
Last month, Duke announced the launch of a $3.25 billion university-wide fundraising campaign, Duke Forward, which will support priorities across Duke's 10 schools, Duke Medicine and a range of university programs. Included in the campaign is a $250 million goal for Duke Athletics to be divided three ways -- facility enhancements and support ($100 million), endowment income ($50 million) and operating funds ($100 million).
In addition to the pavilion and athletics center, planned projects include the renovation and enhancement of Wallace Wade Stadium and Cameron Indoor Stadium, and a new track and field stadium.
"Becky and I strongly believe in the need to give back and do what we can to make an impact and a difference," Steven Scott said. "After speaking with President Brodhead and Kevin White and hearing more about their vision for the future of Duke Athletics, we decided we wanted very much to be a part of this effort. In our opinion, Duke Athletics and the work they do with the 600-plus student-athletes is a great investment in the future."
Steven Scott, the retired chairman of the medical investment company Scott Holdings, LLC, has nearly 35 years of experience in medicine and medical businesses. He also serves as an assistant consulting professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke; as president of the Scott Family Foundation; and as a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Florida. He previously served as an advisory board member at the Wake Forest University Babcock School of Business. He is also a member of the North Carolina Medical Society and the Florida Medical Society, among others.
Following his graduation from medical school at Indiana University in 1974, Steven Scott served his internship and residency at Duke University Medical Center from 1974-78 and became board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He founded Coastal Physician Group (later named PhyAmerica), a company specializing in providing physicians and mid-level providers for emergency departments and other specialty services. Throughout the 1990s, Steven Scott purchased several health maintenance organizations and eventually re-organized them into Florida Health Plan Administrators LLC/Vista Healthplans. Vista generated annual revenues of more than $1.2 billion and was sold to Coventry Health Care, Inc., in 2007.
Steven Scott is a member of the board of directors of the Duke University Health System and a member of the campaign steering committee for Duke Forward.
Rebecca Scott is a 1974 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro who went on to earn an allied health certificate in nurse anesthesiology from Duke in 1979. She served on the board of Durham Academy, The Hill Center and the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Education while the Scott family resided in Durham. After moving to south Florida, she served on the board of Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, where the three youngest Scott children graduated from its upper school.
The Scotts have five children, including two who currently attend the Duke University School of Medicine.
Steven and Rebecca Scott now reside in Boca Raton, Fla.