JCSU Receives $25 million gift as The Duke Endowment Celebrates a Century of Philanthropy in the Carolinas

Duke Endowment at MREI

CHARLOTTE, N.C./JAN. 23, 2024 – The Duke Endowment made a big announcement last week: a $175 million gift to the four colleges and universities named in the Duke Indenture of Trust. Johnson C. Smith University is among them, celebrating a $25 million gift today. The Duke Endowment also announces $25 million grants to Davidson College and Furman University. A $100 million centennial gift to Duke was shared in November.

Johnson C. Smith University President Valerie Kinloch accepts the gift in gratitude and with an eye toward future growth. 

Dr. Valerie Kinloch
Dr. Valerie Kinloch

“As Johnson C. Smith continues to serve as a critical higher education partner to Charlotte and surrounding areas, its work with the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative is vital,” she said. “Aligned with this vision, the Endowment is committed to ensuring that Johnson C. Smith students have academic and other supports and opportunities that will allow them to thrive.”

The $175 million overture is part of The Duke Endowment's centennial celebration that will continue throughout the year and will culminate on December 11, 2024, the official anniversary. It's a day that punctuates The Duke Endowments rich history of giving. Over the decades, the Duke Endowment has made an indelible impact on the lives of Johnson C. Smith University students and has reshaped the landscape of discovery at JCSU.    

In the Fall of 2009, the Duke Endowment gifted Johnson C. Smith University $5.7 Million. In 2011, during JCSU's $150 Million Tomorrow Campaign, The Duke Endowment gifted the University a $35 Million grant, the largest ever awarded to JCSU by the Duke Endowment and one of the largest gifts ever awarded to a historically black college and university (HBCU). The funds were designed to support university scholarships, STEM and facility improvements: $25 million to build a new science center; $5.5 million to renovate Duke Hall, a residential building on campus; $ and 4.5 million in scholarship funding for international students and others studying STEM, visual and performance arts, and social work. In November 2021, The Duke Endowment made a $40 million pledge to JCSU to support critical efforts to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion for all.

Over the years, JCSU has flourished through the support of The Duke Endowment, which has given more than $158 million to the institution since January 2000.  In fact, Johnson C. Smith University has recognized The Duke Endowment as an Arch of Triumph Gala recipient. With the generous $25 million gift today, that monumental growth can continue.  Throughout the centennial celebration year, JCSU looks forward to sharing extraordinary stories of gratitude and impact made possible through generous The Duke Endowment and its 100 years of giving.

"With the continued support of The Duke Endowment (TDE), Johnson C. Smith University is better positioned to meet its goals of preparing students to be critical, engaged, and prepared global citizens who positively impact the world," said Kinloch. "I am grateful for TDE's investment into JCSU and for their belief in our 'New Era of Excellence.'"

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