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About the Program

Duke Athletics and Stanford Athletics launched the Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement Program (ACE) in Spring 2015 to provide student-athletes with opportunities for immersive civic engagement experiences. Recognizing the challenge for student-athletes to fully participate in many of the offered campus programs, Duke and Stanford are meeting this need together by offering student-athletes greater access to civic engagement and service opportunities through ACE.

ACE enables partner organizations to work with student-athletes to create projects that serve community needs while providing full funding to student-athletes for these endeavors. In a typical summer, 40 Duke-Stanford ACE student-athletes — 20 Duke and 20 Stanford — participate in one of four international service programs.

Learn more about ACE by visiting the program FAQ page.

How ACE Began

In February 2014, Stanford University hosted the Duke Board of Trustees in Palo Alto, CA, to provide an opportunity for the two schools which share many similarities — both are major research universities with large medical centers and strong athletic programs — to learn from each other and find new ways to collaborate. As a result of the meeting, the Duke and Stanford Athletic Departments were challenged to think about ways to work together. A shared challenge was quickly identified by both athletic departments — namely that for student-athletes, participating in experiential, off-campus programs such as study abroad and immersive civic engagement programs are often difficult due to students’ athletic schedules and training requirements.

The Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement Program (ACE) was formally announced in Spring 2015. Duke Athletics also committed that a dollar of every ticket sold to regular-season home sporting events goes toward funding the program and ensuring its long-term sustainability.

Known for building a nationally recognized civic engagement program at Duke, DukeEngage was asked to be a collaborative partner along with the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford to develop and support the initial launch of the ACE program. With continued support from the ACE Advisory Board and stakeholders across both campuses, ACE is based at Duke University and launched the first team of Duke-Stanford ACE student-athletes in Summer 2016.

Learn more about ACE history by visiting the ACE milestones page.

How ACE is Funded

The Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement Program (ACE) launched in early 2015 thanks to the generous support and vision of David Rubenstein and Peter and Helen Bing.

A Baltimore native, 1970 graduate of Duke and the former chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, David Rubenstein is co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager. He is also an active civic leader and serves on numerous boards, including those of the Smithsonian Institution, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Kennedy Center, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Peter Bing, a 1955 graduate of Stanford, has a long record of service to the university, including more than 30 years as a Stanford trustee. He and his wife, Helen, are also among the university’s most loyal and generous supporters.

Thanks to the gifts of David Rubenstein and the Bing family, the program has expanded the global and civic opportunities available to D-I student-athletes at Duke and Stanford Universities.