Major Gift Donors
We recognize alumni and friends who have made major gifts to the Pratt School of Engineering.
The Pratt Gift
Edmund T. Pratt Jr., who was retired chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer Inc., gave $35 million to endow the Duke University School of Engineering, which was renamed in his honor. The gift was announced Oct. 3, 1999, by university president Nannerl O. Keohane. Pratt died of cancer Sept. 5, 2002, at the age of 75.
"What better thing to do with the resources one has than to help a great university to become even greater," Pratt said from his home in Port Washington, N.Y., when the gift was announced.
The gift was the second largest in Duke's history, surpassed only by the original gift by James B. Duke that transformed Trinity College into the university that bears his family's name. Duke created The Duke Endowment with a $40 million gift in 1924. He then left $67 million to the Charlotte-based charitable trust when he died in 1925. A total of $17 million from those two gifts was used to construct Duke's West Campus.
"How wonderfully appropriate that on the very weekend the university celebrates the 75th anniversary of James B. Duke's extraordinary philanthropy, Ed Pratt has made a gift that promises to catapult the Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering into the ranks of the leading centers of engineering education and research," Keohane said in announcing the gift following action by the Duke Board of Trustees. "We are deeply grateful for his vision."
The board accepted the gift and the school's naming at its regular Fall meeting in 1999.
Johnson said at the time that the Pratt endowment would be used to attract high-quality faculty, to fund graduate fellowships and to provide a stronger financial base for undergraduate financial aid. She said the endowment would allow the school to enhance undergraduate education by improving the student-faculty ratio, expanding undergraduate research opportunities and augmenting the international honors program that enables engineering students to study abroad.
|About Edmund T. Pratt (expand/collapse)|
About Edmund T. Pratt
"As an early graduate of the engineering program, from nearly when it began, I have been proud to see the school continue to improve and rise to national leadership in critically important fields such as biomedical engineering," Pratt said when the gift was announced. "The rapidly changing pace of technology and innovation that fuel our global economy require that tomorrow's engineering students have access to the best faculty, facilities and equipment. I feel privileged that I am in a position to help ensure that this can happen at Duke.
"Leadership is an important factor when making decisions to invest in a venture," said Pratt. "In Nan Keohane, Duke has a leader of exceptional ability who understands the importance of always striving for excellence. And I am impressed not only by the leadership (former dean) Earl Dowell gave to the school but by the remarkable scholarly and research accomplishments of its able and dynamic new dean, Kristina Johnson.
"I am also deeply honored to add my commitment to those of my friends J. B. Fuqua and Pete and Ginny Nicholas, who have been so generous in supporting Duke and whose gifts to the Fuqua School of Business and the Nicholas School of the Environment have helped them become among the best in the nation."
Johnson said Pratt "has always been a forward-looking leader, who unerringly supported investment in research as a cornerstone of his management philosophy and as the basis for bold new ventures.
"Equally important, Ed Pratt earned a well-deserved reputation not only as a talented and creative executive but as a humane leader whose concern for his employees made Pfizer among the most desirable corporations in which to work," Johnson said. "These are exactly the qualities our faculty seek to instill in our students and we believe Duke engineering students will be inspired by his example."
Pratt graduated from Duke in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, magna cum laude. He immediately entered the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, receiving his MBA with honors in 1949.
He began his career as a salesman at IBM Corp. His career was interrupted for two years by the Korean War, when he served with the Navy in Charleston, S.C. He returned to IBM in 1954 and by 1962, he had risen to become controller of the IBM World Trade Corp., when he joined the Kennedy administration as assistant secretary of the Army for Financial Management.
He left government in 1964 to join Pfizer as corporate controller, rising through the ranks to become president in 1971 and chairman and CEO in 1972.
During his 20 years in that position, before retiring in 1992, Pratt saw Pfizer's annual revenue increase sevenfold, from $1 billion to nearly $7 billion. He also significantly increased Pfizer's global reach to include operations in 140 countries.
He was also active in business, civic and charitable affairs, so much so that then-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo called him "a walking definition of civic responsibility."
Among Pratt's many awards was the 1986 Gantt Award by the American Management Association and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his "distinguished achievement in management as a service to the community."
His charitable work included leadership positions in the United Way, the Boys Clubs of America, the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation and the Girl Scouts.
He also was an active contributor to higher education, his most recent major gift being $12 million in 1998 to Long Island University to fund new academic, computer and library facilities, increased recreational space and other improvements.
At Duke, Pratt served as a trustee from 1977 to 1988. He has also served on the board of the Fuqua School of Business, the Engineering Development Committee, the Capital Gifts Committee and the Leadership Gift Committee.
Upon his retirement from Pfizer, the company established in his honor at Duke the Pfizer Inc.-Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. University Professorship. In 1997, the university named the Pratt Commons of the Levine Science Research Center in his honor, following his $1 million gift to the center.
The Fitzpatrick Gift
In late 2000, High-tech entrepreneur Michael J. Fitzpatrick and his wife, Patty, donated $25 million to the Pratt school of engineering to establish an innovative center for advanced photonics and communications.
The generous gift brought the school of engineering significantly closer to completing a $100 million Center for Advanced Photonics and Communications Systems which aims to help turn North Carolina into a "photon forest" where research and development in photonics can create the kind of technological advance and economic growth found in California's Silicon Valley.
The Fitzpatricks are both alumni of Duke, where they met and later married. Michael received his bachelor's degree in Engineering in 1970. Michael Fitzpatrick played defensive back and linebacker for the 1968 and 1969 Blue Devils. Patty received her degree from the Women¹s college in 1969.
Patty Fitzpatrick is president of the Fitzpatrick Foundation. The foundation supports in-school and after-school programs for economically disadvantaged Northern California youths in grades K-12.
Michael Fitzpatrick, a former Duke University football player, is the former chairman, chief executive officer and president of E-TEK Dynamics Inc., a leading manufacturer of fiberoptic components, instruments and systems for the telecommunications and cable television industries. He has served as CEO of Network Systems Corp. and president and CEO of Pacific Telesis Enterprises. He joined E-TEK Dynamics in 1997 as president and CEO, and was named chairman in 1999.
The gift for the creation of the Center for Advanced photonics and Communication systems follows a long series of generous gifts from the couple. In September, the Fitzpatricks contributed $1 million to the construction of a new building for the University¹s football team.
The Fitzpatricks are residents of Hillsborough, Calif., and have three children.
|Gifts to the Fitzpatrick Center (expand/collapse)|
Wall of Recognition
James B. Duke Society
The James B. Duke Society recognizes those individuals who have followed the example and generosity of Duke University's founder, James B. Duke, by continuing his vision through involvement and support, and by providing cumulative gifts exceeding $100,000 to all areas of Duke University.
To acknowledge membership in the James B. Duke Society, the University commissioned Tiffany & Company to create a limited edition porcelain box inspired by the original architect's drawings of the West Campus Union and dormitory buildings. Each member of the James B. Duke Society receives one of these "special" boxes and is invited to Duke's annual gala donor recognition weekend. When each member's commitment is fulfilled and the Campaign for Duke is concluded, all members' names will be permanently inscribed at a prominent campus location.
We recognize and thank the following Engineering alumni and friends that have given in excess of $100,000 to Duke University.
In the lobby of the Nello L. Teer building there is a "Wall of Recognition" listing the names of the alumni and friends of the Pratt School of Engineering who are members of the James B. Duke Society. The wall was given by the Pratt School of Engineering Alumni Association in 1995.
|James B. Duke Society Members (expand/collapse)|
The Founders Society, active from 1980 through 2004, honors those whose gifts of $25,000 or more established permanent endowments.
To acknowledge membership in the Founders Society during those years, the University presented its new members with a bronze replica of The Sower at the annual donor recognition weekend. The Sower was a gift to the University from James B. Duke and stands on East Campus, symbolizing the far sighted individual who sows seeds today for tomorrow.
In the lobby of the Nello L. Teer building there is a "Wall of Recognition" listing the names of the alumni and friends of the Pratt School of Engineering who are members of the Founders Society. The wall was given by the Pratt School of Engineering Alumni Association in 1995.
We recognize and thank the following Engineering alumni and friends that have provided a permanent endowment for the Pratt School of Engineering.
|Founders Society Members (expand/collapse)|
Name, Graduation Year, and Year of Induction
The Pratt School of Engineering is honored to recognize the generous support of alumni and friends through endowed professorships.
|Endowed Professorships (expand/collapse)|
Nicholas Challenge Full Professorships
Misc. Full Professorships
Scholarships and Fellowships
|Scholarships and Fellowships (expand/collapse)|
The John T. Chambers Program For Excellence In Undergraduate Education
Planned Gift Scholarshiphips