The Duke Family and Duke University

A Chronology of Selected Events in the Duke Family's Relationship with Duke University

Oct 3, 1901 The first Benefactors' Day (now Founders' Day). The day was approved in June 1901 by the Trinity College Board of Trustees in honor of Washington Duke's gifts to the college.
1901 Gift of the Anne Roney Fountain by Anne Roney. Anne Roney was the sister of Artelia Roney, Washington Duke's second wife. She helped Duke raise his young family upon Artelia's death and was later housekeeper at Fairview, his estate in Durham.
1902 Donation of Stagg Pavilion, also known as the East Campus Gazebo. The pavilion was named for James Edward Stagg, husband of Mary Lyon, who was daughter of Mary Elizabeth Duke Lyon, James and Benjamin Duke's sister.
Feb 23, 1903 Dedication ceremony for the Trinity College Library. The building, plus $10,000 for books, was James B. Duke's first gift to the college.
Jun 10, 1908 Dedication of Washington Duke statue.
Dec 11, 1924 Signing of Indenture of The Duke Endowment. The Trustees of Trinity College accepted the offer made in the indenture. On December 29, 1924, the corporation changed its name from Trinity College to Duke University.
1925 Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholarship Fund established.
Jun 3, 1935 Dedication of James B. Duke statue.
Jun 3, 1935 Presentation and acceptance of Duke Homestead to Duke University.
Apr 21, 1939 Dedication of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.
Apr 12, 1943 Formal opening of the Rare Book Room, located in what is now a portion of the Deryl Hart Reading Room. The impetus for the beginning of a Rare Book Collection was the gift of the Walt Whitman Collection by Josiah and Mary Trent in honor of their three young daughters, Mary Duke, Sarah Elizabeth and Rebecca Grey Trent.
Oct 21, 1949 Formal opening of the redesigned and enlarged Rare Book Room and greatly expanded library facilities, made possible by a gift by Mary Duke Biddle.
Sept 26, 1953 Announcement of the James B. Duke Professorships.
1956 Dedication of the Josiah Charles Trent Collection of the History of Medicine.
1956 Establishment of the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.
December 11, 1956 James B. Duke Fellowships established. The fellowships, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the University's chief benefactor, are for the purpose of "attracting and developing outstanding scholars and encouraging the development of college teachers through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences."
1961 Announcement of Benjamin N. Duke Professorship in Art.
1961 Announcement of Mary Duke Biddle Professorship in Music.
1961 Announcement of James B. Duke Chair of Russian Affairs, which was established by Doris Duke in honor of her father.
1972 Naming of Trent Drive and Trent Drive Hall.
Oct 19, 1974 Dedication of Mary Duke Biddle Music Building.
Dec 12-13, 1976 Dedication of Benjamin N. Duke Memorial Organ, made by Flentrop.
1977 Establishment of the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation.
Oct 31, 1985 Announcement of the Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Fund. The fund, contributed to by The Duke Endowment, supports the Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship and grant program for students from North and South Carolina.
1985 Beth Gotham Semans Drama Scholarship established
1985 The Mary Trent Jones-Sarah Trent Harris-Rebecca Trent Kirkland Endowment for the Arts
Sept 30-Oct 1, 1989 Duke University hosted the first reunion of the Duke Family Association at the Washington Duke Inn. The event was planned by Angier Biddle Duke and Newton Duke Angier.
Sept 26-27, 1992 Duke University hosted a second reunion of the Washington Duke and Julian Carr families at the Washington Duke Inn. The weekend marked the Centennial of Trinity College's move to Durham. During the weekend, the North Carolina Transportation History Corporation dedicated the "Doris," the private railway car used by James B. Duke.
Nov 1992 The Annual Ambassador Biddle Lecture was inaugurated by Mary Semans in honor of her father, Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jr.
Oct 1999 Duke University hosted ceremonies marking the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Duke Endowment and of Duke University. Members of The Duke Family Association held a third reunion, and a statue of Benjamin N. Duke was unveiled on East Campus.