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Duke's Inspired Donors Set Sights on LORD 100 Challenge

In the fall of 2019, Duke made an important new commitment toward one of the university’s oldest and most important virtues: helping deserving students afford the cost of attendance regardless of their ability to pay. This was made possible by the sale of the LORD Corporation, leading to $261 million to fund education and research at Duke and three other leading institutions.

The LORD 100 Challenge is an extraordinary new financial aid initiative that will distribute full and partial scholarships to undergraduate students enrolled in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering. It will also support undergraduate students pursuing a degree through the Nicholas School of the Environment or the Sanford School of Public Policy.

In short, it touches every aspect of the cherished undergraduate experience at Duke.

A $50 million match was set by Duke to leverage an additional $50 million in philanthropic support for this need-based challenge fund. What inspires donors most about this challenge is the historic level of support it will provide — and that it comes at a critical moment for the university and the students who attend it.

To date, the LORD 100 Challenge is off to an electric start. Several key donors have partnered with Duke by making significant contributions.


The Haller Foundation: Making a Difference


In 2018, the Henry E. Haller Jr. Foundation made a gift of $2.2 million to Duke in support of chronic kidney disease and kidney transplant research.  Now, the Haller Foundation is making a difference with the LORD 100 Challenge.

When the LORD Challenge was announced, the Hallers and their foundation were the first to commit to ensuring those who come to the university are able to earn a Duke education without financial burden. Because of the valued relationships the Hallers have built at Duke Health, they were inspired to fund a scholarship at Duke, giving $750k for the need-based challenge fund.

Mrs. Linda Haller, her son Kevin Boyce and daughter Kelly Shannon, make up the majority of the board of the Haller Foundation. One striking aspect of the Haller family’s gifts to Duke is that neither Mrs. Haller nor her children are Duke alumni. They are, however, champions of financial aid and have endowed and annually funded scholarships at each of the family’s alma maters and at several private K-12 schools.

Funding scholarships has long been a top priority for the foundation. The relationships they’ve built with scholarship recipients means the world to the Hallers. They see incredible value in watching each scholarship recipient succeed by bringing what they’ve learned forward into the world.

By helping the LORD Challenge get off to a great start, the Haller Foundation has helped ensure the next generation at Duke will always be able to share their knowledge in the service of society.


David ’75, J.D.’78 and Jan Ichel: Giving Forward


David Ichel ’75, J.D.’78 and his wife Jan have always had a special interest in financial aid at Duke because it enabled David to attend Duke Law after he had earned his undergraduate degree at Duke. David’s a strong proponent of how aid can propel students to higher heights, and he and Jan have seen this firsthand through the students they’ve supported at Duke with their endowed Duke Law and Duke Athletics financial aid scholarships.

“That was actually the idea in terms of timing from my end — try to do something positive amid all of the negatives. I believe in it.”

-- David Ichel ’75, J.D.’78

In discussions about giving when COVID-19 hit, David and Jan decided to extend their support to the LORD 100 Challenge. David believed that it was essential for Duke to maintain its need-blind admissions policy. To the Ichels, there was a clear calling in a time of need.

The Ichels and their commitment have been a highlight during a challenging time for our university and world.

“That was actually the idea in terms of timing from my end — try to do something positive amid all of the negatives,” says David. “I believe in it.”

The Ichels fully funded their $1 million scholarship in support of the challenge so it could go to work immediately helping Duke students with a total of $2 million in immediately available scholarship funds after the Lord Challenge match.

In addition to the Ichels’ generous support, David teaches at Duke Law School and serves on the Law School Board. He and Jan are active volunteer leaders and Iron Duke supporters.  They are always ready to help make us the Duke we are destined to be.