Goshaw Family Gift
The family of Alfred T. Goshaw, James B. Duke Professor of Physics,
contributed $250,000 to endow support for a graduate fellowship in
The gift from the Goshaw Family Endowment Fund was made as part of
Duke’s Financial Aid Initiative, a four-year effort to raise endowment
funds to support undergraduate scholarships and graduate and
professional school fellowships. The initiative raised $308.5 million,
surpassing its $300 million goal.
The gift was made by Dr. Goshaw, his wife, Jene, and his children,
David Goshaw and Christina Goshaw Hinkle, and by funds from the estate
of Dr. Goshaw’s late mother, Dorothy D. Goshaw, who died March 17,
2006. It was matched with funds from a $100 million challenge fund
created by The Duke Endowment of Charlotte and a small group of donors.
In an e-mail, Dr. Goshaw said: “Research programs at Duke are strongly
enhanced if we can attract the very best graduate students. In physics
we receive applications from outstanding students, but are in strong
competition with other universities which often have generous
“I was musing about this problem with my mother a few years ago, and
she is the one that proposed to specify a fraction of her estate for
use by Duke in support of physics students based on academic merit. She
did not live to see the culmination of her proposal, but I took it to
heart and have pursued establishing an endowment for support of a
graduate fellowship for physics research. When we are on level playing
ground with other universities, I am confident that we can attract more
of the very best students.”
Professor and Chair of Physics Daniel J. Gauthier said in an e-mail
that the Goshaw gift “will have an immediate as well as long-term
impact on our graduate program. Currently, the size of our graduate
program is largely limited by funds provided to us by the Graduate
School. Also, competition is fierce for the very best students. The
Goshaw family gift will help make our program even more attractive. The
Goshaw family vision is to create a high-visibility named fellowship
that will simultaneously help us attract the very best students as well
as increase the number of students who enter our program – a living
tribute to Ms. Dorothy Goshaw and her family.
“The endowment will have a multiplying effect on our graduate program.
It will allow us to offer an incoming student a named fellowship and
the flexibility to start on his or her research immediately.
Furthermore, the student can be involved on research that it not
currently supported by federal grants. In this way, a student can be
working on the far out ideas that have not yet received external
support but have the potential for transformative results.
“My hope is that the Goshaw Family Endowment will be the harbinger of
future support by alumni, family, and friends of the educational
mission of the Department of Physics and Duke University.”