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World War II Veteran Leaves $29 Million Endowment to Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University in Texas, which is associated with the Churches of Christ, has received its largest single academic gift ever from the estate of Bill and Janie Dukes.

William “Bill” Dukes was a retired Marine colonel who received combat decorations during World War II and went on to earn a doctorate and teach finance at the Texas Tech College of Business for 45 years.

Meanwhile, he became good friends with two deans of ACU’s College of Business Administration: Bill Petty and Jack Griggs.

“Bill Dukes was a man of great dignity, honor and respect, and he had all the traits you would want in a friend,” Griggs said in a press release. “He was the kind of man you wanted to honor.

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“He was constantly searching for excellence in everything that he did. He wanted to be the best. And that’s what he wanted for the finance department with this gift. He wanted it to be the best in its class — now and in the future.”

The Arkansas native died in 2015, and his wife, Janie, passed away this past June.

The $29 million Dr. William P. and Janie B. Dukes Excellence in Finance Endowment will create multiple endowed faculty positions in finance and seeks to “to glorify God by helping populate the world with Christian men and women of influence and ability who understand and live Luke 10:27 – ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.’”

To further honor the Dukeses for their generosity, ACU plans to launch the Dukes School of Finance next year.

This story was originally published by The Christian Chronicle

The Christian Chronicle

The Christian Chronicle® is published and governed by The Christian Chronicle Inc., an Oklahoma nonprofit corporation, with offices on the campus of and support from Oklahoma Christian University. Founded in 1943, The Christian Chronicle is a newspaper committed to the highest standards of journalistic excellence and seeks to inform, inspire and unite Churches of Christ worldwide.