Bass Connections is named in honor of Anne T. and Robert M. Bass, who launched Bass Connections through a $50 million gift, including a generous $25 million matching gift challenge. The Basses have generously supported Duke for many decades, and Anne was a co-chair of the Duke Forward campaign.

By investing in Bass Connections, our alumni and friends play a vital role both in building this transformative program to its full potential and helping to set Duke apart among top universities. And through the Bass Challenge, which will match one dollar for every two dollars you contribute (a 1:2 match) of all endowment or expendable gifts to the program from $100,000 and up, you can increase the impact of your gift dramatically.

The following are examples of areas to which donor support can be directed. For more information, please visit Giving to Duke.

Flexible Program Support

Flexible program endowment funds are crucial to sustaining and growing the program over time. Such support will support the program's top priorities: project teams, summer research experiences and educational innovations. The Bass Family's founding gift covers the costs of Bass Connections' core operations, enabling new gifts to go directly towards student and faculty support.

Project Teams

Our year-long project teams connect students and faculty throughout campus to tackle compelling challenges. Teams spend around a year, sometimes longer, working together, traveling to collect data or meet with collaborators and immersing themselves in their question or problem. Team members experience the complexity of societal problems in their real-world form, the value of integrating areas of knowledge and the importance of teamwork to addressing the most pressing problems of the day.

Summer Research Experiences

Bass Connections offers an expanding number of opportunities for students to engage in interdisciplinary, team-based research over the summer. For undergraduates, these programs serve as a gateway into more in-depth research experiences and provide relevant experience for their resumes. For graduate students, who often participate as project managers, these summer experiences develop leadership and management skills. The projects, which typically have an applied element, also further a faculty member’s research or benefit a community partner.

Curricular Innovations

In addition to research experiences, Bass Connections is integrating the model of interdisciplinary, team-based inquiry around societal challenges into the curriculum by supporting the development or redesign of a growing number of courses. Courses that are affiliated with Bass Connections enable students to experience the Bass Connections model of education during one semester. These courses may serve as a gateway into a research experience, or an avenue for students to continue pursuing a certain style of learning and a line of inquiry following a research experience. Regardless, these courses help students develop critical teamwork and applied learning skills.