The largest single gift in the history of both the university and the foundation will be paid over several years and will fund the first major renovation of West Union and the Page Auditorium on the university's west campus and Baldwin Auditorium on its east campus. All three buildings were constructed shortly after James B. Duke created the endowment and the university in 1924. Before that, the institution was known as Trinity College.
West Union served as the principal student gathering and dining space at Duke until 1982. The gift will enable the university to completely renovate the interior to create new student social space and dining opportunities. With a seating capacity of twelve hundred, Page Auditorium is the university's largest theater. The planned renovation will update the theater's interior, seating, acoustics, backstage area, and lobby spaces. Baldwin Auditorium is the primary rehearsal and performance venue for numerous student ensembles, including the Duke jazz ensemble, chorale, and wind symphony. Renovations to it will include acoustical improvements, new seats, and the addition of other amenities for patrons.
"The Duke Endowment and Duke University have a shared history and a shared vision: to make this campus the most vibrant, compelling place for the most talented and ambitious students and faculty," said endowment chair Neill Williams. "We have a unique opportunity to renew these historic facilities so future generations of Duke students will be inspired to learn and create."