Our Mission

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

Purpose

The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program’s investment begins with the selection of a diverse community of 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.

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History

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.