Duke women's fencer
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Duke Athletics

Wide-ranging $6 Million Gift Uplifts Duke Athletes

When the global pandemic brought a swift and sudden end to the 2020 spring athletics season, one alumnus wondered if there was anything he could do to help lessen the blow. Matt Andresen, a Duke University alumnus and member of the men’s fencing team who competed in epee from 1989-93, was already concerned about the effect of COVID-19 on the university, but he was especially concerned about how this experience would affect its student-athletes.

When the world shut down, it did not take much imagination to realize that this was going to have a profound impact on the student experience and with student-athletes,” Andresen said. “Those are the times where you’re needed. People have to step up. I’m not the only one, but I felt certainly an obligation to be one of those people.”

Andresen’s $6 million gift to Duke Athletics will support a wide range of athletics programs and provide essential funding for daily operations that were impacted due to COVID-19. The gift also establishes a new endowment named in honor of Claudius Barrett “C.B.” Claiborne, the first Black student-athlete to play men’s basketball at Duke. Both priorities are front and center for the university as it seeks simultaneously to battle the coronavirus and to launch a bold slate of anti-racism efforts.