Our Mission

The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program invests in young leaders who strive to make transformational contributions to society.


The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program’s investment begins with the selection of a diverse community of undergraduate students – generally 18 at Duke and 18 at UNC-Chapel Hill each year – who demonstrate extraordinary potential. We provide these young leaders with exceptional benefits and a distinctive set of shared experiences:

  • Four-year scholarship, including undergraduate tuition, mandatory fees, room and board
  • Unique access to the academic and extracurricular offerings at both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Three summers of domestic and international experiences
  • Customized leadership and professional development opportunities
  • Extensive community of Robertson Scholars, alumni, and staff

During this journey, Robertson Scholars learn to create change, foster collaboration, turn their passions into action, and have a palpable impact in their communities. The experience of being a Robertson Scholar helps students become thoughtful, creative, lifelong contributors to society — the kind of citizens and leaders prepared to meet the unprecedented challenges of our interdependent world.


The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program was created in 2000 through a $24 million gift from Julian Robertson, a 1955 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his wife, Josie. Inspired by their sons, one of whom graduated from Duke in 1998 and another who graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001, the Robertsons believed that each institution offered a distinctive undergraduate experience, but that the combination of the two promised a breadth and depth of resources that no other university could match.

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