Giving Stories: What’s Your Inspiration?

More Giving Stories

Read about the ideas and inspiration behind gifts from fellow Duke alumni and friends— and share yours with us.

  • Our Giving Story: David and Karen Cutcliffe

    Our Giving Story: David and Karen Cutcliffe

    One of the ways to have an impact at Duke is by making a gift that will enable the university to thrive for generations to come. Head football coach of the Duke University Blue Devils, David Cutcliffe, and his wife, Karen, share the reasons why they chose to create an endowment for the Duke Catholic Center.

    "We are required to give back in some kind of capacity because that's how you make a difference in the world," says Coach Cutcliffe. For this couple, making a gift to Duke is making an investment in the world. Watch this video to learn how impact and inspiration motivates the Cutcliffes to give.

  • My Giving Story: Melinda Gates

    My Giving Story: Melinda Gates

    Connections with people—profound and often unexpected—have made all the difference in the world to Melinda Gates.

    They defined her time as a student at Duke and have shaped her path to becoming one of the world’s most influential philanthropists.

  • My Giving Story: Josh Jackson

    My Giving Story: Josh Jackson

    Listen to what Joshua Jackson ’06 has to say to someone on the fence about giving to Duke.

  • My Giving Story: Carol Ensinger

    My Giving Story: Carol Ensinger

    Through smarts and persistence, Carol Ensinger ’82, Ph.D.’88 made a career of breaking down gender bias. In her retirement, she is teaching others to break through their own barriers to success.

    Ensinger entered Duke a semester late, but was determined to graduate with her class. She met resistance not only to that plan, but also to her goal of majoring in chemistry. In the early 80s, few women were pursuing a career in this field. The dean of freshmen at the time was unconvinced that Ensinger could complete the difficult chemistry coursework she needed to catch up.

  • Our Giving Story: Jerry and Bev Wilkinson

    Our Giving Story: Jerry and Bev Wilkinson

    “My experience at Duke not only formed me as a person, but transformed me,” said Jerry Wilkinson B.S.E.'67, P’98, P’00, P’03, who received a degree in electrical engineering from Pratt School of Engineering. “Engineering is a discipline that develops problem solving skills, and Duke prepared me to build those life-long skills, to further my engineering studies, and pursue my career.”

  • My Giving Story: Christian Hernandez

    My Giving Story: Christian Hernandez

    Christian Hernandez had one goal when he was 14: Get into Duke.

  • My Giving Story: Crystal Sanders

    My Giving Story: Crystal Sanders

    Crystal Sanders ’05 shares how Duke changed her life and why she’s been committed to giving to the Annual Fund every year since her senior year.

  • My Giving Story: Danielle Squires

    My Giving Story: Danielle Squires

    Duke Women's Impact Network: Danielle Squires '02 is a leadership council member of Duke Women's Impact Network, a new initiative aimed at increasing the number of women serving in volunteer leadership roles and shaping Duke's future through their philanthropic influence.

  • My Giving Story: Jeannette Rinehart

    My Giving Story: Jeannette Rinehart

    Of all Jeannette Rinehart’s many interests, her most cherished pastime involves learning anything and everything about lemurs.

    Rinehart graduated from Duke University in 1951 and received a bachelor of arts in sociology. She moved to Hagerstown, Maryland, before the Duke Lemur Center opened in 1966.

    “The Duke Lemur Center was not there when I was a student and I knew nothing about lemurs, but I do love anything with four feet, so I had to go see it,” said Rinehart.