DURHAM, N.C. - Duke University Athletics recently received a $1 million gift from the estate of former men's volunteer tennis coach and longtime Duke Tennis supporter, Dr. James F. Bonk. The gift will be used to endow the James F. Bonk Tennis Scholarship.
"An endowed scholarship for tennis is but one of the many legacies left to Duke by Dr. Bonk," said Vice President and Director of Athletics, Kevin White. "Further, Dr. Bonk, with his storied career as a Professor in Chemistry and involvement in Duke tennis, represents not just how academics and athletics coexist, but thrive at Duke."
While on the faculty at Duke, Dr. Bonk served as a volunteer coach for the men's tennis team and a trusted advisor for nearly five decades. In recognition of his passion and support for the Duke Tennis program, a trophy room inside the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center and a court at Ambler Tennis Stadium were named in his honor.
Dr. Bonk began teaching chemistry at the university in 1959, and became so synonymous with the subject matter that many of his 35,000 former students affectionately referred to his general chemistry class as "Bonkistry."
Dr. Bonk passed away Friday, March 15 at the age of 82. Memorial gifts may be made to Duke University and directed to the James Bonk Tennis Scholarship Endowment.