Summer 2000

UNC-CH Development

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Robertsons create UNC-Duke scholarship program with $24 million gift

Julian H. Robertson Jr. '55

New York investment manager Julian H. Robertson Jr. ’55 and his wife Josie are giving $24 million to Carolina and Duke to create a pioneering collaborative program that will recruit and support extraordinary undergraduate students who will study at both campuses. The gift was announced June 13.
The Robertson Scholars will be expected to cross historical barriers and forge new links between the universities. Half the students will matriculate at UNC and half at Duke, but all will take courses at both institutions, using improved inter-campus transportation, and spend a semester living on the other campus.

Interim Chancellor William O. McCoy and Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane announced the unprecedented gift and said it will inspire both universities "to new levels of colleagueship and collaboration."

"This wonderful gift from Julian and Josie will make history for two outstanding universities," McCoy said. "Thanks to their generosity, bright, deserving students will take advantage of the best that both of our campuses have to offer. I believe this program will help significantly accelerate the development of the already strong collaborative culture that exists at Carolina and Duke."

Keohane praised the Robertsons for their vision and noted that one key objective of the program is to foster a strong sense of shared leadership among the students.

"The Robertson Scholars will be bright and collegial, curious and pioneering," she said. "They will be leaders among their peers. They will show other students that one can enjoy both the legendary fierce athletic rivalries between our institutions, and also the opportunity to learn from two of the finest universities in the world during one’s undergraduate years. This penchant for leadership will prepare them to make a difference in the world, in community service, in their professional careers and for their alma maters."

Julian Robertson grew up in Salisbury and majored in business administration at Carolina. Josie Robertson is a member of Carolina’s Board of Visitors. One of their three sons, Julian Spencer Robertson, graduated in 1998 from Duke and is now a teacher in New York public schools. Another son, Alexander Tucker Robertson, is a rising senior at UNC. The elder Robertson is the founder and chairman of Tiger Management LLC, which grew into the world’s largest hedge fund group. Tiger announced in March that it was returning capital to investors.

"We in Chapel Hill are particularly proud of Julian, who is one of our most successful and well-known alumni," McCoy said. "He has never forgotten his roots or the importance of education. His stalwart support of educational, community, non-profit and cultural organizations is legendary. And he has consistently shared his time, talents and financial resources with UNC. North Carolina is a far better place because of both Josie and Julian."

Said Keohane: "Duke delights in the close links between our university and the Robertson family. Our friendships began while Spencer was an undergraduate and have blossomed over the years, in the involvement of Julian and Josie as parents, and in the commitment of Julian’s sister Wyndham as a member of the board of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke."

The first class of 30 students — 15 at Duke and 15 at UNC — is expected to matriculate in 2001. Although the students will graduate from the universities they entered, each will receive certification that they received their education at both universities. The scholars will be expected to demonstrate an allegiance and develop a sense of loyalty to both campuses, officials said.

"Josie and I are establishing this scholarship program because of our great respect for both universities as well as our love and affection for the state of North Carolina," Julian Robertson said.

"It is our hope and expectation that the Robertson Scholars Program will help recruit some of the nation’s finest undergraduates to Carolina and Duke. It is designed to promote interaction between the student bodies of both universities and to link classroom learning with community service," Robertson said.

The gift, which had been discussed for about three years, will go into the Robertson Scholars Fund, with half to be managed by Duke and half by UNC-CH. The ambitious program will be managed by a coordinating committee consisting of four faculty and administrators from each university and chaired in alternating two-year terms by the deans of the arts and sciences at both institutions. Program operations will be based at UNC, with the director reporting to the dean of UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The effectiveness of the program and its financial requirements will be reviewed during the fourth year.

As currently planned, the program will provide full tuition, room and living stipends at UNC and full tuition at Duke. Although the costs of tuition, room and board are not set at either institution for the 2001-2002 school year, planners envision the awards to be worth at least $100,000 for four years for Duke students and out-of-state UNC students.

The program also will provide laptop computers to all students in the program, special seminars in the scholars’ freshman and senior years to be taught by faculty from both campuses, access to service learning opportunities, a pre-enrollment retreat and bi-weekly dinners during the fall semester to encourage acclimation to the cultures of both campuses, paid summer intern experiences and transportation between the two campuses.

Each student also will have access to the institutions’ complementary programs to study in related fields, such as documentary studies at Duke, journalism and mass communication at UNC, public policy studies at Duke or urban and regional studies at UNC. Robertson scholars also will have access to supplementary programs, allowing students to take courses not available on the home campus – engineering at Duke, for example, or public health at UNC. The students also will have access to collaborative programs such as those in physics and Latin American studies.

The two universities already have a number of cooperative programs in a variety of areas. For example, both schools announced May 25 the receipt of grants totaling more than $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Education to help support three jointly run centers — the Center for West European Studies, the Center for Slavic, Eurasian & East European Studies, and the Duke-UNC Program in Latin American Studies. A fourth grant went to the Center for South Asian Studies, a consortium involving Duke and UNC as well as North Carolina State University and North Carolina Central University.

Duke and UNC also have an inter-institutional agreement that permits cross-campus exchanges. The Robertson program will facilitate and expand those exchanges.

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