2014-15 Kenan-Biddle Grants

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Kenan-Biddle Partnership offers grants to bring UNC, Duke students together 

Initiative designed to promote collaboration on academic projects

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University has awarded funding for projects for the fifth year of the Kenan-Biddle Partnership, funded by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. The initiative is designed to promote collaborative projects between students of these two great universities.

The Kenan-Biddle Partnership grant promotes student-initiated, inter-institutional projects designed to strengthen established collaborations or encourage new ones. Proposed projects may contribute to the scholarly or public service missions of both campuses. Each project proposal must have a student or students who serve as the project initiator. An appeal for proposals from both campuses will encourage collaborative arts, sciences and humanities projects that will positively affect both campus communities. Each project must include at least one public exhibition, presentation or performance to bring the benefit of the grant to a broader community.

The Kenan-Biddle Partnership is the latest in a growing list of positive collaborative efforts between the institutions. The privately funded Robertson Scholars Program, for instance, was designed to be a catalyst for increased collaboration between students, faculty and staff of the two universities. Since its inception in 2000, the merit-based scholarship program has allowed hundreds of top students to study at both institutions and to take part in leadership development opportunities.

Other joint efforts include the Nannerl O. Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship, also co-funded by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, and partnerships in a variety of academic and civic-minded programs locally and abroad.

The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust was created in 1965 from the estate of alumnus William R. Kenan, Jr., a member of UNC’s class of 1894. The Kenan family’s ties to UNC date to 1790 when James Kenan, a member of the University’s first Board of Trustees, contributed $50 to the construction of Old East, the nation’s first state university building.  The Trust and related Kenan entities and family members collectively were the single largest donor to the University’s last major fundraising drive, the Carolina First Campaign, committing nearly $70 million.

Named for the daughter of Duke University benefactor Benjamin N. Duke, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation’s mission is to further and extend Mrs. Biddle’s life-long interests in religious, educational and charitable activities in New York City and the state of North Carolina. Since its inception in 1956, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation has awarded grants totaling approximately $36 million in support of the goals she endorsed and the values she exemplified.


UNC Office of Communications and Public Affairs Contact: Susan Hudson, (919) 962-8415, susan_hudson@unc.edu

Duke University News contact: Chris Heltne, (919) 684-3576, chris.heltne@duke.edu