Last day of classes graphic
Photo Credit
Duke Photo

Last Day of Classes—More than the Last Day

Known by its nickname, LDOC, the celebration started in the mid-1990s and hosts games and events including live concerts on Abele Quad to mark the end of classes and the start of a new chapter.

Spring is in the air and with it comes a favored Duke tradition—the Last Day of Classes taking place April 26.

This year, the Duke Annual Fund is leveraging this special day in the life of undergraduates to highlight the importance flexible donations have on the Duke student experience with two special fundraising challenge campaigns—the LDOC Challenge for Financial Aid and the Double Duke Parent Challenge.  

Since the LDOC tradition started in the mid-1990s, the LDOC Challenge for Financial Aid, geared toward undergraduate alumni, is harkening back to the decade of neon and cassette tapes to bring a little fun and nostalgia to its campaign. There is a goal to reach 500 alumni donors to unlock $50,000 in financial aid support for Trinity and Pratt.

“We hope that by putting the ‘fun’ in fundraising with our ‘90s themed LDOC Challenge we can highlight the incredible importance of the tradition of philanthropy among the Duke community alongside the nostalgic tradition of LDOC,” said Jen Cameron, Senior Assistant Vice President of Duke Annual Fund.

The Double Duke Parent Challenge encourages parents to make a gift of any size because it will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a few generous families up to $500,000. Through matching gifts, the hope is to raise an additional $1 million for the Duke Annual Fund.

“This opportunity highlights just how important every gift is,” Cameron said. “Any gift of any amount can make a difference when we all come together to give back.”

Leading up to LDOC, the academic year is filled with countless opportunities that range from hands-on learning experiences to research projects with faculty mentors and study abroad programs, which are made possible by gifts to the Annual Fund.

Current junior, Sanci Smith, notes how the Annual Fund has helped her participate in unique Duke opportunities such as Duke Muser, an online interface program that allows approved mentors to connect and work with students on research projects. Through real world and academic exposure, Smith said she has “gained invaluable and tangible knowledge and skills.”

As undergraduates count down the days to LDOC and begin to plan the next steps of their future, Cameron notes how Duke’s commitment to empower them to step outside their comfort zones, challenge the status quo and take bold chances is always ongoing.