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$30 million gift to Abilene CU from Dr. Bill and Janie Dukes
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$30 million gift to Abilene CU from Dr. Bill and Janie Dukes

ACU received nearly $30 million from Dr. Bill and Janie Dukes. The gift will go towards establishing the Dr. William P. and Janie B. Dukes Excellence in Finance Endowment supporting student scholarships and endowed faculty positions.

The gift, the largest in university history, was announced in an email sent by Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university.

In recognition of the gift, the College of Business and Administration will launch the Dukes School of Finance in 2023, the first named college at the university. The gift itself is an endowed gift and will go towards three primary goals within the College of Business and Administration.

“This is an endowed gift, so it will provide earnings on an annual basis for us to invest in the excellence in our finance program in three areas that I would expect to be paramount to the investment focus would be world class faculty, outstanding students, and formational experiences for students outside the classroom,” Schubert said.

Dr. William ‘Bill’ Dukes worked as a professor in the finance department of Texas Tech University for 40 years, during which he befriended both Petty and Griggs.

Griggs said that the Dukes invested in himself and Bill Petty and maintained a “marvelous friendship” between the group for many years.

“Bill and Janie just wanted to show their passion for us and do something good,” Griggs said.

In addition to the $29 million given to ACU, gifts were given to Baylor University as well as funds for an orphanage, the elderly and church funds.

For Griggs and Schubert, this gift means a lot in terms of supporting ACU’s mission.

“In the wording of the endowment agreement, the Dukes family said their intention with the gift is “to glorify God by helping populate the world with Christian men and women of influence and ability who understand and live Luke 10:27 – ‘Love the Lord your 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 so thankful for the Dukes’ lives of faithful Christian service and their immense generosity to ACU.”

The gift puts ACU at a total of $214 million out of a $250 million goal for the Higher Ground Campaign. The gift also puts 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.

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