Durham, NC - A total of $3.25 million in gifts from the estate of Arthur "Art" Gregory, a former football standout at Duke University, will support academic scholarships and the Blue Devils football team, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Thursday.
"Art Gregory was a beloved figure at Duke," Brodhead said. "We are grateful that his gift will strengthen two priorities at Duke that were close to his heart -- our football program and our commitment to attract top students from the Carolinas."
Of the bequest, $3 million will be used to establish a named scholarship fund to support students from South Carolina.
"Art Gregory's gift will not only help Duke continue to meet the full financial need for students at Duke, but will also serve as a legacy that touches the lives of students and their families for many years to come," said Alison Rabil, Duke's assistant vice provost and director of financial aid.
Duke is one of a small number of universities with a "need-blind" admissions policy, which means the university does not consider an applicant's ability to pay for college when making admissions decisions for U.S. students. In addition, Duke guarantees it will meet the full demonstrated financial need of admitted domestic students.
The remaining $250,000 from Gregory's estate will provide unrestricted support to the football team, which he had financially supported throughout his life.
Gregory, a 1963 graduate of Duke, died at age 71 from complications of cancer on July 31, 2011, in Aiken, S.C., his hometown. He was a lineman on Duke's football team from 1960 to 1962, when he helped the Blue Devils to three straight Atlantic Coast Conference titles and a 23-8 record, including a 7-6 defeat of Arkansas in the 1961 Cotton Bowl. A two-time All-American, he was a two-time recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which honors the ACC's best blocker, and was inducted into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame in 1989.
"This is an important time for the future of Duke Athletics. We are embarking on a major athletics facilities upgrade that will build on the legacy of past great Duke football teams and set us on a path to developing a successful football program in today's era," said Kevin White, Duke's vice president and director of athletics. "Art Gregory was a star on some of those great Blue Devils teams, and we are honored that he chose to entrust us with this gift that will enable our football program and its players to excel on the field and off, just as he did."
After graduating from Duke, Gregory joined the Navy and earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina. He was a trial lawyer for 13 years and then served on the management team at the Coca-Cola Bottlers' Association, where he retired as its executive director in 2001.
He was also the former chair of the Peach Bowl Selection Committee and a member of the Chick-Fil-A Bowl selection committee.
"Art loved his alma mater, and he recognized that his education and his time at Duke served him well for many, many years. He treasured the friendships with his teammates and with other Duke students and alumni," said his brother, Johnny Gregory. "He felt it was important to leave a legacy that addressed not only the wonderful feeling he had about Duke, but that also took care of bright young South Carolinians who wanted to attend Duke and who might need additional financial assistance."