Duke University has received a $6 million donation from alumnus Matt Andresen in his effort to support the school’s athletic department and student-athletes negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a former member of the fencing team, he was concerned about how cancellation of the 2020 spring athletics season would affect the university’s players and decided it was his time to step up and support them.
The $6 million gift will be used to support a series of sports programs and supply necessary funding to continue important daily operations.
“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 in the press release.
“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,” he added.
With several collegiate sports teams facing uncertainty, Andersen’s generosity gives students much-needed security that they will still be supported, whether they can compete or not.
The donation will also create an endowment named for Claudius Barrett “C.B.” Claiborne, the first Black student-athlete to play men’s basketball at Duke. The endowment will help support the men’s basketball program.
“Matt’s generosity benefits Duke Athletics in a number of ways. As a former student-athlete, he is truly a role model and exemplar, and this particular gift touches areas across the entire Duke Athletics program,” said Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White.