News and analysis
February 06, 2012

No. 29: Bruce and Martha Karsh


Bruce and Martha Karsh

Amount donated in 2011: $50-million

Beneficiary: Duke University

Donors’ background: Mr. Karsh is a co-founder and president of Oaktree Capital Management, in Los Angeles. Ms. Karsh is a co-founder and lawyer at Clark & Karsh, an architecture, design, and development firm in Los Angeles.

Mr. Karsh, 56, and his wife, Martha, pledged $50-million to Duke to provide financial aid for American and international undergraduate students. Of this gift, $20-million will benefit the International Scholars program, to provide aid to needy students who are not from the United States. The remaining $30-million will support students from the United States: $15-million is for a scholarship fund; $10-million will serve as a challenge to encourage other donors to establish their own named undergraduate scholarships for students from poor families; and $5-million will provide financial aid for tuition and other support for graduates of the Knowledge Is Power Program (commonly known as KIPP) who attend Duke.

The university did not disclose a payment schedule for the gift. The couple previously gave $35-million for undergraduate financial aid to Duke.

Mr. Karsh graduated from Duke in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and is a trustee of the university.

—Caroline Bermudez

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