Making a Difference: Seeding Innovation and Inspiring Generosity

California business executive Lynn Gorguze has always cared deeply about both the environment and education, so when the Nicholas School’s dean invited her to join the Board of Visitors, she quickly accepted.

While serving as board chair, the Duke alumna and Duke parent became particularly impressed with how carefully the Nicholas School stewards its donations. When the school announced plans to launch an Environmental Innovation & Entrepreneurship (EIE) Program to teach Duke students to develop and launch sustainable products and services, she decided to help. The corporate exec and her husband, Scott Peters, made a generous leadership gift to endow the Gorguze-Peters Professor of the Practice in Environmental Entrepreneurship, a position held by EIE’s director.

Gorguze knows that nonprofit organizations rely on annual giving to cover day-to-day expenses, so when the Nicholas School needed a boost in annual contributions, the couple issued a matching gift challenge and Gorguze reached out to potential donors. As a result, the Nicholas School Annual Fund hit new levels of support and impact.

“If you are thinking about joining the Nicholas School Board of Visitors, I say: Do it! You will meet interesting folks from all across the country and world who are doing amazing things, who you would otherwise never run into. You will come away from meetings with your head full of inspiring stories about students, new research findings, challenges for the planet and for the School of the Environment. You will be asked to draw on your experience to help solve some of these problems, which can be very rewarding. And, you might even make some lifelong friends!”


--Lynn Gorguze T’81
Member and Past-Chair, Nicholas School Board of Visitors