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July 1, 2004

Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

Arch Surg. 2004;139(7):706-708. doi:10.1001/archsurg.139.7.706

Trinity College opened in Durham, NC, on September 1, 1892, celebrating the fulfillment of Washington Duke's vision. Mr Duke was the patriarch of a prominent family of industrialists and philanthropists in North Carolina. In the post–Civil War era, the Duke family enjoyed successes in the tobacco and textile industries. In 1905, the Dukes founded what is now known as Duke Power, the major supplier of electricity to the Piedmont region. James Buchanan Duke, son of Washington Duke and the wealthiest member of the family, established the Duke endowment in 1924 and set aside $40 million (equivalent to approximately $400 million today) to establish an institute of learning, Trinity College. In honor of Washington Duke and his family, the college was rechartered as Duke University. Founded on 4 cornerstones—religion, law, medicine, and education—the trustees declared the school would "be concerned about excellence rather than size and aim at quality rather than numbers—quality of those who teach and quality of those who learn."1