A portrait of Mike and Karen Stone
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The Fuqua School of Business

An Investment in Future Climate Leaders

Mike Stone ’84, a member of the Fuqua Board of Visitors, and his wife, Karen, recently made a $740,000 commitment to The Fuqua School of Business. The gift will support the school’s ongoing priorities through the Fuqua Annual Fund and create the first endowed scholarship in support of students who are simultaneously pursuing an MBA and a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) degree. The Stone Family Scholarship will specifically support students during the MBA portion of their joint degree.

Whether pursuing career interests in renewable energy, corporate sustainability, climatetech, ESG investing, consulting, or other industries, Duke's MEM/MBA degree program prepares students to navigate complex issues at intersection of business, energy, and the environment. The gift also provides momentum for Fuqua’s leadership in climate-related programming—since 2017, Fuqua has led the “ClimateCAP” partnership of 22 business schools focused on climate risk and opportunity—and aligns with Duke’s broader efforts to stake a leadership role in climate-related research and teaching.

As Chief Investment Officer of The RISE Funds, a $5 billion global impact investment fund group, Stone is uniquely positioned to see the impact that investments in companies driving social and environmental change can have in creating positive outcomes, all while maintaining strong business performance and returns. Developing leaders who understand the complexities of both capital markets and environmental issues is a critical first step in creating businesses at the leading edge of addressing climate issues.

“The business school should play a leadership role in Duke’s climate-related activities.  Developing students’ sensibility around and understanding of carbon markets, and the important role they will play in solving our climate issues is a major opportunity. Fuqua is certainly central in teaching core tenets of a market-based economy,” Stone said of his commitment. “I look forward to seeing how this investment will spur cross-disciplinary work that will lead Duke to the epicenter of the climate conversation.”