Mr. & Mrs. Julian Robertson
The late Julian H. Robertson, Jr. and his wife, Josie, were the founders of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program. In 2000, the Robertson family donated $24 million to create The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program in Mr. Robertson's native North Carolina, to encourage collaboration between Duke and the University of North Carolina and to promote the development of young leaders.
The first class of Robertson Scholars graduated in 2005. Robertson Scholars continue to make impacts on both campuses and within the Chapel Hill and Durham communities, much like Julian and Josie had envisioned. Collaborations between Duke and UNC Scholars have resulted in start-ups, non-profits, research collaborations, and more.
The Robertson Foundation and family continue to work alongside the Robertson Program staff to make this a one-of-a-kind Program.
More About Our Benefactor
Julian H. Robertson, Jr. was the founder of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tiger Management L.L.C., which he co-founded in 1980. He was an active philanthropist, environmentalist, proprietor of world-class golf resorts, vineyard owner and wine producer. From initial capital of eight million dollars, Mr. Robertson built Tiger into the world’s largest hedge fund with assets of more than $21 billion.
Beyond Tiger’s legendary performance, Mr. Robertson trained and developed a generation of Tiger Cubs, a cadre of analysts and portfolio managers who have fanned out to become today’s most successful hedge fund managers.
Mr. Robertson was born in Salisbury, North Carolina in 1932. He graduated from Episcopal High School in 1951 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1955. He then served as an officer in the U.S. Navy prior to joining Kidder Peabody and Company as a sales trainee in 1957. In 1966, Mr. Robertson became a Vice President and stockholder of Kidder Peabody and was later made a Director. In 1974, he became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Webster Management Corporation, Kidder Peabody’s investment advisory subsidiary, where he served in that capacity until his departure in 1978.
In 1996, Mr. Robertson founded the Robertson Foundation with his wife Josie. The Foundation focuses on large-scale, high impact grants in three principal areas within the United States: education, environment, and medical research. Among the Foundation’s major initiatives are active support of New York City’s public education reform, efforts to provide disadvantaged children and families with tools to become self-sufficient and productive, and market-based solutions to combat global warming.
Mr. Robertson indulged his “twin passions” for golf and New Zealand in 2000 by creating Kauri Cliffs, a 22-room luxury lodge and golf course on 6,500 acres on New Zealand’s northern coast. Four years later, he opened Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island, built on a 5000-acre sheep farm. Golf magazine ranked both courses among the top 100 in the world. In 2010, Mr. Robertson opened his third New Zealand resort destination, Matakauri Lodge, near Queenstown. Mr. Robertson also owned Dry River, a boutique New Zealand vineyard which produces an internationally-acclaimed pinot noir.
Throughout his life Mr. Robertson served on many boards including the Environmental Defense Fund, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, iMentor and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He served on the Leadership Council of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, was a Trustee Emeritus of Rockefeller University and a Life Trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Society.