The university will receive approximately $30 million from the estate of the late Dr. Bill and Jenny Dukes. This gift was given by Dr. William P. and Janie B. Proceeds will go toward establishing the Dukes Excellence in Finance Endowment, which will support student scholarships and endowed faculty positions.
The gift, the largest in the university’s history, was announced Monday in an email sent by university president Dr. Phil Schubert. Dukes, although not officially affiliated with the ACU, Dr. Jack Griggs and Bill Petty both graduated from the university and serve on the board of trustees.
“I’ve known about the Dukes’ relationship for the better part of a decade, and what I didn’t know was the amount they held in their estate and the fact that the size of the gift that would eventually come to the ACU,” Schubert he said. “I knew they had a desire to benefit the ACU, but it wasn’t really until the last several months where it became clear what an amazing benefit it is and what an incredible story it is to see the way they work for the ACU.” believe in and want to help us grow in a way that allows us to more significantly impact students.”
In recognition of the gift, the College of Business and Administration will launch the Dukes School of Finance in 2023, the first enrolled college in the university. The gift itself is an endowment gift and will go toward three primary goals within the College of Business and Administration.
“This is an endowment gift, so it will provide earnings on an annual basis for us to invest in excellence in our finance program in three areas that will be expected to be paramount to investment focus, world-class faculty, outstanding students and building hands-on experiences for students outside of the classroom,” Schubert said.
Dr. William ‘Bill’ Dukes taught as a professor in the Department of Finance at Texas Tech University for 40 years, during which time he befriended both Petty and Griggs. Duke was also a business leader and a decorated war veteran for his service in the Marine Corps during World War II.
Griggs said that Duke invested in himself and Bill Petty and maintained a “wonderful friendship” between the group for 50 years.
“The big event would be Bill Petty and I would take the General Duke hunt, the deer hunt, every year. It became a routine,” Griggs said. “And during that time, we just do what friends do: celebrate happy days together and encourage each other.”
Griggs believed that friendship is part of what led the ACU to leave such a generous gift.
Griggs said, “Bill and Jenny just wanted to show their passion for us and do some good.”
In addition to the $29 million given to ACU, gifts were also given to Baylor University as well as funds for an orphanage, the elderly, and the church.
For Griggs and Schubert, this gift means a lot in terms of supporting the mission of the ACU.
In the words of the endowment agreement, the Duke family stated that with the gift they intended “to help populate the world with Christian men and women of influence and ability who understand and live out Luke 10:27 – “Love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself,” Schubert said in an email sent to students, faculty and staff. ,We are deeply grateful for Duke’s life of faithful Christian service and his immense generosity to ACU.
This gift puts the ACU at a total of $214 million out of a $250 million goal for the Higher Ground campaign. This gift places ACU in the running for one of the top five college of business endowments in the state of Texas, as well as one of the top five business school endowments for any faith-based institution in the country.