A generous gift from a distinguished George Washington University family, Henry “Ric” Duquès, B.B.A. ‘65, M.B.A. ‘69, and Dawn Brill Duquès, B.A. ’69, will revitalize the George Washington School of Business (GWSB) building bearing their name.
Over the years, the couple, who married less than a week after their graduation 57 years ago, has given generously of time and treasure to strengthen GW.
Their most recent gift of $2.5 million has allowed for game-changing technological upgrades and physical enhancements at Ric and Dawn Duquès Hall. The couple, along with their family members including their grandchildren, attended a ribbon cutting on Oct. 27 to mark the exciting moment.
“I want to thank everyone for coming here. GW means a lot to me and my husband. This is where we met,” Dawn Brill Duquès said.
She said GW is also special because it is where their kids, Tiffany, B.B.A. ’02, and David, B.B.A. ‘97, attended and hopefully where their grandchildren will soon attend as well.
Ric Duquès also reflected on meeting his wife at GW, noting that they married five days after their graduation. He also credits GW for the education he received that prepared him for a successful business career. While he was a student at GW, Ric Duquès attended on a four-year basketball scholarship.
“I never paid for anything connected to George Washington,” he said. “So, I thought, I need to find a way to give back.”
In 2002, the family contributed the lead gift that funded the initial construction of the building,allowing GWSB to relocate from its former home in the Hall of Government.
The most recent gift has provided state-of-the-art updates to Duquès Hall. The sixth floor, which is home to two global classrooms, now has enhanced technology and flexible workspaces for collaborative and experiential learning courses.
Also on the sixth floor is the Duquès Family Instructional Innovation Studio, which will serve as a hub for creating multimedia content from podcasts to videos and more – a first of its kind on campus. Other changes to revitalize the building include refreshing the entrance foyer into a space that instantly conveys GWSB’s identity as a top-ranked, technology-focused business school with a welcoming mini lobby for networking or simply relaxing between classes. GWSB Dean Anuj Mehrotra noted the new renovations reflect GWSB’s ongoing focus to ensure the teaching and instructional strategies of the faculty reflect the needs of future learners.
“Today, we celebrate the wonderful generosity of a family that has dedicated so much to GW and the GW School of Business. In 2002, Ric and Dawn Duquès made a generous philanthropic donation that allowed the GW School of Business, in 2006, to open a permanent home in this beautiful building,” Mehrotra said. “Now, 18 years later, the Duquès family is once again providing philanthropic funding needed to make the necessary building upgrades that will greatly enhance our students' experience.”
GW President Ellen M. Granberg said the Duquès family’s generosity has had an enormous impact at GW.
“They have not only provided critical financial support for the School of Business, the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, among many others,” Granberg said. “But they've also shared their time and expertise with us in a variety of advisory roles, including the GW Leadership Advisory Council, the Jewish State Advisory Board and the GW Board of Trustees. Their continued support and thoughtful leadership play a critical role in our mission to build a stronger GW, and I am so appreciative of their contribution.”
Donna Arbide, the vice president for development and alumni relations, shared that the couple is an example of what can be accomplished with supportive alumni.
“Tonight is an example of seeing the great influence that our alumni family can have at this great institution,” Arbide said. “We are very grateful to the Duquès family.”
At GW, we change the world one life at a time. The impact of scholarships can ripple through families, generations and entire industries. Anyone interested in opening the doors of opportunity for a talented student interested in business is encouraged to contribute to the GWSB Scholarship Fund.