Doris Duke was the only daughter of James B. Duke, one of the major benefactors of Duke University. In this image, Doris is laying the cornerstone of the West Union Building. To her left is the Chief Engineer, A.C. Lee, and to her right G.G. Allen, the Duke Endowment Chair.
During her lifetime, Doris donated nearly $3 million to Duke University. In the 1940s and 1950s, she attended several events at Duke, including the dedication of the Rare Book Room in the Perkins Library. Doris is in the middle, and to her left is Mary Duke Biddle, daughter of Ben Duke.
In 1993, after several years of limited contact with Duke University, Doris re-established her relationship with the university by donating $2 million for AIDS research. With this gift, Doris carried on the philanthropic tradition of her father and the Duke family.
In January 1958 Doris and her mother Nanaline donated their $1.6 million dollar New York mansion to New York University's Institute of Fine Arts (NYU FA), which named it the James B. Duke House. After the house was remodeled, it served as the initial location for the first graduate program to offer university training in conservation.
Doris continued to generously support the NYU IFA including the donation of capital stock, the proprietary lease for another of her New York penthouse apartments, art and furniture, and monetary donations. Overall, her contributions totaled more than $3.5 million dollars.
Doris generously supported education. In the 1960s she funded a program in Russian Studies at Princeton University. In 1961, she also gave a "substantial unrestricted gift" to Duke University to establish a professorship in Russian affairs.
A lifelong conservationist, in 1992 Doris signed over the title to 1,000 acres of boreal forest to the New Jersey chapter of the Nature Conservancy. The land was valued at more than $2.7 million.
To learn more about Doris Duke's philanthropy and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, see: http://www.ddcf.org/
To learn more about the Duke family's philanthropic legacy, see: http://www.dukeendowment.org/