Charles Bryan Duke and Ann Evans Duke '57 like a job well done, especially when it benefits their beloved College of William & Mary. To that end, the couple made an endowed gift in 1997 to initiate the Charles and Virginia Duke Award, which annually recognizes individual accomplishment and outstanding service to the College by non-student, non-faculty employees.
The endowment was created to honor Mr. Duke's parents, Charles Joseph Duke Jr. '23 and Virginia Welton Duke, for their years of distinguished and loving service to the College.
Charles J. Duke Jr. received a bachelor's degree from the College in 1923 and served on the Board of Visitors from 1926-30. In 1934, he was appointed bursar and served as assistant to presidents John Stewart Bryan and John Pomfret. In both capacities, he also acted as liaison to the Virginia General Assembly and was instrumental in obtaining money from the legislature to expand the College.
Virginia Duke served as hostess at the President's House during the Bryan presidency. She and her husband hosted a series of gala events, including an eighteenth-century costume ball for the faculty and a Yule Log ceremony that involved more than a thousand students and townspeople.
Five generations of the Duke family have been closely associated with William & Mary, beginning with Julian H. Chandler, a member of the Class of 1861. Father of President J.A.C. Chandler and grandfather of President Alvin Duke Chandler, Julian Chandler was also the father-in-law of Charles J. Duke, Class of 1892, and grandfather of Charles Joseph Duke Jr. Other family members include Ann Welton Duke Croll '63 and Lee Welton Croll '95.The Charles and Virginia Duke Award carries a $5,000 cash prize and its recipient is acknowledged during Commencement Ceremonies each May. Bernard Bowman will be honored as the 13th Duke Award recipient at Commencement on May 17, 2009.