Hill donates $1.25 million to Duke

Jul. 30, 2014 @ 09:07 PM

Duke moved closer to its athletics department fundraising goal thanks to a key assist from one of the best basketball players it ever produced.

Duke President Richard Brodhead announced Wednesday that Grant Hill and his wife, Tamia, are donating $1.25 million to the school.

Hill’s donation will go to athletic facilities upgrades, which have already begun on campus, as well as to the Duke Annual Fund.

“As an outstanding example of a Duke student-athlete, Grant Hill became a beloved part of Duke’s history,” Brodhead said. “We’re grateful that Grant and Tamia have helped to ensure that Duke’s tradition of academic opportunities and remarkable student-athletes continues well into the future.” 

An all-American who helped Duke to NCAA championships in 1991 and 1992 and an NCAA runner-up finish in 1994, Hill retired last year following an 18-year NBA career. Duke athletics director Kevin White said Hill “represents the very best of Duke University.”

“This generous gift from Grant and Tamia will enhance the college experience of many future Duke students across several disciplines, including athletics,” White said. “The fact that it comes from someone who is synonymous with the excellence that defines this great institution makes it even more special.”

The Hills also donated $1 million to Duke in 2000 to establish a scholarship fund for men’s basketball players.

Wednesday’s gift will go to the Duke Forward campaign, a $3.25 billion fundraising initiative that will support projects at Duke’s 10 schools, Duke Medicine and a range of university programs.

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The athletic department is receiving $250 million of support to fund facilities upgrades, scholarship and operating funds. With Hill’s gift, $185 million has been raised so far.

The majority of Hill’s latest gift, $1 million, will be used for all athletic facilities projects while the remaining $250,000 will go to the Duke Annual Fund. Duke is aiming to raise $215 million for the Annual Fund and $139.3 million has been raised.

Duke is currently building a new track only facility, the Morris Williams Track Stadium, adjacent to Koskinen Stadium, home to Duke’s lacrosse and soccer teams. The 1,200-squard foot Chris and Ana Kennedy Tower is also under construction and will serve Koskinen and Williams stadiums.

Wallace Wade Stadium has already seen the installation of new, blue chairback seats on one side of the playing field. After this football season, the track surrounding the field will be removed and the playing field lowered to add additional seating closer to the field.

In 2015, the Finch-Yeager Building will be demolished and replaced with a new modern building to house luxury suites and press facilities.

Cameron Indoor Stadium will be impacted by the construction of a new entrance lobby where the Cameron Circle now sits. Construction on that project is expected to begin next year.

A five-time NBA All-Star, Hill earned around $142.8 million from his pro basketball contracts, according to calculations by basketballreference.com.

“Tamia and I are in a fortunate position to be able give back to the university that did so much for me,” said Hill, who graduated from Duke with a history degree. “In the 20 years since my graduation, I am certain that the academic environment, the coaches and staff, and every facet of being a student at Duke contributed to make me a better person.”

“We want to help Duke students pursue their dreams in all endeavors and hope that our donation can make it possible for future students to enjoy the same kind of experiences I did at Duke,” Hill said. “We are proud to be a part of the Duke family.”