The Indenture of Trust
Among the provisions of James B. Duke's Indenture of Trust was an educational institution to be known as Duke University, to the building and support of which he made provision at the time of execution of the Indenture and later by additions thereto by the operation of his will. In respect to Duke University the Indenture contains the following provisions:
- (In Article FOURTH) The Trustees hereunder are hereby authorized and directed to expend as soon as reasonably may be a sum not exceeding Six Million Dollars of the corpus of this trust in establishing at a location to be selected by them within the State of North Carolina an institution of learning to be known as Duke University, for such purpose to acquire such land and erect and equip thereon such buildings according to such plans as the Trustees may in their judgment deem necessary and adopt and approve for the purpose, to cause to be formed under the laws of such state as the Trustees may select for the purpose a corporation adequately empowered to own and operate such properties under the name of Duke University as an institution of learning according to the true intent hereof, and convey to such corporation when formed the said lands, buildings and equipment upon such terms and conditions as that such corporation may use the same only for such purposes of such University and upon the same ceasing to be so used then the same shall forthwith revert and belong to the Trustees of this trust as and become a part of the corpus of this trust for all purposes thereof.
However, should the name of Trinity College, located at Durham, North Carolina, a body politic and incorporate, within three months from the date hereof (or such further time as the Trustees hereof may allow) be changed to Duke University, then, in lieu of the foregoing provisions of this division "FOURTH" of the Indenture, as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke, who spent his life in Durham and whose gifts, together with those of Benjamin N. Duke, the brother of the party of the first part and of other members of the Duke family, have so largely contributed toward making possible Trinity College at that place, he directs that the Trustees shall expend of the corpus of this trust as soon as reasonably may be a sum not exceeding Six Million Dollars in expanding and extending said University, acquiring and improving such lands, and erecting, removing, remodeling and equipping such buildings, according to such plans, as the Trustees may adopt and approve for such purpose to the end that said Duke University may eventually include Trinity College as its undergraduate department for men, a School of Religious Training, a School for Training Teachers, a School of Chemistry, a Law School, a Coordinate College for Women, a School of Business administration, a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a Medical School, and an Engineering School, as and when funds are available.
- (In Article FIFTH) Thirty-two percent of said net amount not retained as aforesaid for addition to the corpus of this trust shall be paid to that Duke University for which expenditures of the corpus of the trust shall have been made by the Trustees under the "Fourth" division of this Indenture so long as its name shall be Duke University and it shall not be operated for private gain, to be utilized by its Board of Trustees, in defraying its administration and operating expenses, increasing and improving its facilities and equipment, the erection and enlargement of buildings and the acquisition of additional acreage for it, adding to its endowment or in such other manner for it as the Board of Trustees of said institution may from time to time deem to be to its best interests, provided that in case such institution shall incur any expense or liability beyond provisions already in sight to meet same, or in the judgment of the Trustees under this Indenture be not operated in a manner calculated to achieve the results intended hereby, the Trustees under this Indenture may withhold the whole or any part of such percentage from said institution so long as such character of expense or liabilities or operations shall continue, such amounts so withheld to be in whole or in part either accumulated and applied to the purposes of such University in any future year or years, or utilized for the other objects of this Indenture, or added to the corpus of this trust for the purpose of increasing the principal of the trust estate, as the Trustees may determine.
- (In Article SEVENTH) I have selected Duke University as one of the principal objects of this trust because I recognize that education, when conducted along sane and practical, as opposed to dogmatic and theoretical, lines, is, next to religion, the greatest civilizing influence. I request that this institution secure for its officers, trustees, and faculty men of such outstanding character, ability, and vision as will insure its attaining and maintaining a place of real leadership in the educational world, and that great care and discrimination be exercised in admitting as students only those whose previous records show a character, determination, and application evincing a wholesome and real ambition for life. And I advise that the courses at this institution be arranged, first, with special reference to the training of preachers, teachers, lawyers and physicians, because these are most in the public eye, and by precept and example can do most to uplift mankind, and second, to instruction in chemistry, economics, and history, especially the lives of the great of the earth, because I believe that such subjects will most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom and promote human happiness.
- (In Article THIRD) As respects any year or years and any purpose or purposes for which this trust is created (except the payments hereinafter directed to be made to Duke University), the Trustees in their uncontrolled discretion may withhold the whole or any part of said incomes, revenues and profits which would otherwise be distributed under the "Fifth" division hereof, and either (1) accumulate the whole or any part of the amount so withheld for expenditures (which the Trustees are hereby authorized to make thereof) for the same purposes in any future year or years, or (2) add the whole or any part of the amounts so withheld to the corpus or the trust, or (3) pay, apply and distribute the whole or any part of said amounts to and for the benefit of any one or more of the other purposes of this trust, or (4) pay, apply and distribute the whole or any part of said amounts to or for the benefit of any such like charitable, religious or educational purpose within the State of North Carolina and/or the State of South Carolina, and/or any such like charitable hospital purpose which shall be selected therefore by the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the then Trustees at any meeting of the Trustees called for the purpose, complete authority and discretion in and for such selection and utilization being hereby given the Trustees in the premises .