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“Pay it Forward” Challenge: Support Future Graduates Like You

Pay It Forward

Congratulations to our 2020 Ph.D. graduates on all your accomplishments while obtaining your degree at Duke! We hope the experiences you had at The Graduate School were both intellectually stimulating and meaningful.

Many of the opportunities and resources available during your time here exist because our alumni have generously given both time and money to support graduate students. Their commitment allows The Graduate School to provide programming that helps our students receive a richer educational experience, build important professional connections, and gain valuable insights into the wide range of possibilities that are open to them after graduation. Alumni contributions also enable The Graduate School to invest more than $300,000 in tuition and stipend support for every Ph.D. student.

As you transition from students to alumni, we invite you to become a part of this cycle of giving back. Stay connected with Duke, share your career insights, become a mentor to a current student, get involved with your regional alumni group, and consider making a small gift to The Graduate School's Annual Fund, which will directly go to support current Ph.D. students in their endeavors.

Give $20.20, and Students Get An Extra $100

Like many schools at Duke, The Graduate School encourages graduating students to make a small financial gift as a way to commemorate your accomplishment and leave a lasting influence on Duke. Our "Pay It Forward" Gift Challenge provides an opportunity for graduating students to contribute toward one or two new summer research fellowships for Ph.D. students next summer.

If you are in a position to do so, please consider making a gift to The Graduate School's Annual Fund before June 30, 2020. In honor of your achievement, for each of the first 50 gifts of $20.20 or more from graduating students, a donor will make an additional $100 contribution, greatly amplifying the power of your gift.

The “Pay it Forward” Gift Challenge is a tribute to your time at The Graduate School, an acknowledgement of those who supported your journey, and the first step in maintaining your lifelong connection to Duke after graduation. Make your gift today!

Make A Gift


  • Funds raised go directly to support Duke Ph.D. students.
  • You can make your pledge now and pay by June 30.
  • Your donation may be tax deductible.
  • Every gift counts. If every one of our 400-plus graduating Ph.D. students answers the challenge, we will meet our goal of providing one or two new summer research fellowships.

TGS Annual Fund

Alumni support of The Graduate School’s Annual Fund provides essential, unrestricted, consistent support that can be directed to wherever needs are most pressing at any given moment. Currently, Annual Fund dollars support:

  • Fellowships
  • Summer stipends
  • Travel funds
  • Professional development programs

Other Ways to Pay It Forward

Beyond making a gift, there are many other ways for you to support graduate students at Duke. We hope you will stay engaged with the university and share the experiences, connections, and insights you gain on your professional journey with current students. Check out our to-do list for new alumni to see how to remain connected to Duke and support graduate students.