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This list of Duke University people includes alumni, faculty, presidents, and major philanthropists of Duke University, which includes two undergraduate and nine graduate schools. The undergraduate schools include Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and Pratt School of Engineering. The university's graduate and professional schools include the Graduate School, the Pratt School of Engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Fuqua School of Business, the School of Law, and the Divinity School.

Duke University alumni tied for third in giving rate among U.S. national universities in the 2005-2006 fiscal year.[1] Famous alumni include U.S. President Richard Nixon, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, former cabinet member and current Senator Elizabeth Dole, philanthropist Melinda French Gates, and the chief executive officers of Morgan Stanley (John J. Mack) and Pfizer (Edmund T. Pratt, Jr.) and former General Motors Corporation CEO (Rick Wagoner) as well as the first United States Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients. Notable alumni media personalities include Dan Abrams, the former General Manager of MSNBC, Jay Bilas, a commentator on ESPN, Sean McManus, the President of CBS News and CBS Sports, Charlie Rose, the host of Charlie Rose and a 60 Minutes contributor, and Judy Woodruff, an anchor at CNN. William DeVries (GME 1971-1979), was the first doctor to perform a successful permanent artificial heart implantation, and appeared on the cover of Time in 1984.

Current notable faculty include Peter Agre, the winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Manny Azenberg, a Broadway producer whose productions have won 40 Tony Awards, Adrian Bejan, inventor of the constructal theory and namesake of the Bejan number, and David Brooks, a columnist for the New York Times. Walter E. Dellinger III, formerly the United States Solicitor General, Assistant Attorney General, and head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Bill Clinton serves as a law professor. Ariel Dorfman, a novelist and playwright won the 1992 Laurence Olivier Award, while Peter Feaver was a member of the National Security Council under Clinton and George W. Bush. David Gergen served as an advisor to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. John Hope Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton, while William Raspberry, a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994. 19 Nobel Prize winners have been associated with the university, including one in virtually every one of the past several years.

James B. Duke established a $40 million trust fund, The Duke Endowment, in 1924, propelling the university to officially change its name in honor of his family's philanthropy.


  • NOTE: The Duke University Alumni Association considers anyone who has attended Duke for two consecutive semesters and left the University in good standing to be an alumnus.

Nobel laureates

Government, law, and public policy

Heads of State

Cabinet members and White House staff

Members of Congress




Public policy




Medicine, science and technology


Fine arts

  • Michael Best (A.B. 1962), Former Principal Artist of the Metropolitan Opera
  • Les Brown (A.B. 1936), Musician, Les Brown & The Band of Renown, Jazz Hall of Fame Inductee 1999
  • Michael Ching (A.B. 1980), composer, Memphis Opera
  • Lorenz Eitner (A.B. 1940), renowned art historian
  • Adam Lord (B.A. 2003), musician, writer
  • Adam Sampieri (B.A. 2003), musician, writer
  • Ryan Senft (B.S. 2002), musician
  • William Stone (B.A., 1966), operatic baritone
  • Mike Posner (Current Student), musician



Journalism and media


See also men's basketball players, women's basketball players, and football players.

American football





Nobel laureates



Men's basketball head coaches

Football head coaches

University Presidents

President Tenure
Brantley York 1838–1842
Braxton Craven 1842–1863
William Trigg Gannaway* 1864–1865
*Appointed president pro tempore during the break in Craven's presidency
Braxton Craven 1866–1882
Marquis Lafayette Wood 1883–1886
John Franklin Crowell 1887–1894
John Carlisle Kilgo 1894–1910
William Preston Few 1910–1924
University officially established as Duke University in 1924
William Preston Few 1924–1940
Robert Lee Flowers 1941–1948
Arthur Hollis Edens 1949–1960
Julian Deryl Hart 1960–1963
Douglas Knight 1963–1969
Terry Sanford 1969–1985
H. Keith H. Brodie 1985–1993
Nannerl O. Keohane 1993–2004
Richard H. Brodhead 2004–present

Major philanthropists

Donors who have contributed at least $20 million to the university or founding donors:

Donor Total Amount Year Purpose
The Duke Endowment $970+ million[6][7][8] 1924-
James B. Duke $40 million
($458 million in 2006 dollars)
1924 For endowment; established The Duke Endowment later that year
Peter and Ginny Nicholas $130 million 1999-
$100 million for the School of the Environment and Earth Sciences [9]
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation $106.5+ million 2002-2007 $46.5 for AIDS research[10], $30 million for a new science facility and $5 million for student life initiatives [11], $15 million for DukeEngage, a civic engagement program,[12] $9 million for undergraduate financial aid and $1 million for Fuqua students financial aid[13]
Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. $35 million 1999 To endow the School of Engineering[14]
David H. Murdock $35 million 2007 For "translational medicine" research by the Duke Medical School[15]
Disque Deane $20 million
($34 million in 2005 dollars)
1986 To "establish a research institute on the human future"[16]
Michael J. and Patty Fitzpatrick $25 million 2000 For a center for advanced photonics and communications[17]
William and Sue Gross $23 million 2005 $15 million for undergraduate scholarships, $5 million for medical students' scholarships, and $3 million to support faculty members of the Fuqua School of Business[18]
Bill and Melinda Gates $20 million 1998 For undergraduate scholarships[18]
Bruch and Martha Karsh $20 million 2008 For international student financial aid[19]
Washington Duke $385,000
($7.9 million in 2005 dollars)
1892 For original endowment and construction
Julian S. Carr N/A 1892 Donated site of East Campus


  1. ^ Alumni Giving Rates. U.S. News & World Report. Accessed on 12 January 2007.
  2. ^ "Dan Bernstein" (in English). Retrieved April 4 2009. 
  3. ^ "A Crash Course in Online Gossip." The New York Times. 1.
  4. ^ Young, Jeffrey R. "How to Combat a Campus Gossip Web Site (and Why You Shouldn't)." The Chronicle of Higher Education. March 17, 2008.
  5. ^ Wade, Nicholas (September 15, 2008). "A Dissenting Voice as the Genome Is Sifted to Fight Disease". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  6. ^ Duke Launches Initiative to Make Civic Engagement Integral Part of Undergraduate Education. Duke News & Communications. 12 Feb 2007.
  7. ^ Duke Endowment Awards More Than $20 Million to Duke University for Nursing School, Library, Other Priorities. DukeMed News. 27 Jan 2004.
  8. ^ Duke Endowment Gives Record $75 Million for Financial Aid
  9. ^ Largest Gift In Duke History Closes Campaign At Record $2.36 Billion. Duke News and Communication. 8 Jan 2004.
  10. ^ Eaglin, Adam. Duke nets $46.5M for AIDS research. The Chronicle. 25 August 2006.
  11. ^ Duke Receives $35 Million From The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Duke News & Communication. 9 May 2002.
  12. ^ DukeEngage launches. The Chronicle. 13 Feb 2007.
  13. ^ Gates Give $10M for financial aid. The Chronicle. 21 Feb 2007.
  14. ^ The Pratt Gift. Pratt School of Engineering. Accessed on 25 June 2006.
  15. ^ Murdock gives Duke $35M for study at Kannapolis campus. Triangle Business Journal. Accessed on 26 September 2007.
  16. ^ Articles About Duke University. New York Times. 12 Dec 1986.
  17. ^ The Fitzpatrick Gift. Pratt School of Engineering. Accessed on 25 June 2006.
  18. ^ a b Sue and William Gross Donate $23 Million
  19. ^ Duke given $20M to aid international students - Triangle Business Journal:

External links


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