Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans (1920-2012), a lifelong philanthropist, civic leader, humanitarian, and great-granddaughter of university namesake Washington Duke, served on the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation throughout her life. The daughter of Mary Lillian Duke and Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jr., Mary D.B.T. Semans was a tireless advocate for arts, education, and social justice. Read more.
First row left to right: James D. Semans, Chairman Jon Zeljo, Mary T. Jones
C. Russell Bryan graduated from Duke University in 1983 with a double major in economics and French. He earned an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and studied economics and art history in Paris with Columbia University. Bryan has more than twenty years of experience advising senior management teams, boards of directors, and business owners in a variety of strategic and financial transactions. He is managing director and partner at Brookwood Associates, an investment banking firm in Charlotte.
Mary Duke Trent Jones was born in Durham in 1940 and earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Duke University in 1963. She serves on the boards of The Duke Endowment and the Virginia Historical Society. She lives in Abingdon, Virginia, and is active statewide with the arts. She has served on the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, the board of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Virginia Arts Commission. She is a granddaughter of Mary Duke Biddle.
Thomas S. Kenan III was born in Durham and received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a vice chairman and director of Flagler System Inc. In addition to his extensive business operations, Kenan is active with a number of civic, philanthropic, and arts organizations, including The Duke Endowment, UNC-CH’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
John G. Mebane, Jr., earned his bachelor’s and M.B.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A chartered financial analyst, Mebane is the retired manager of the southeast office of Greycourt & Co., Inc., which provides financial advisory services to wealthy families and select endowments. Prior to joining Greycourt, Mebane was the CIO of The Duke Endowment. He has served as a trust investment officer at Wachovia and Mellon Banks.
James D.B.T. Semans was born in Durham in 1957. He graduated from the Hill School in Pennsylvania, and oversees the restoration and maintenance of historic properties in New York and North Carolina. A grandson of Mary Duke Biddle, he is a member emeritus of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens advisory board, and lives in Chapel Hill.
Jonathan E. Zeljo was born in 1972 and received his bachelor's degree in history from Duke University and his master's degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Virginia. After nearly a decade at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., as director of Chinese Studies and Global Initiatives and chair of the history department, he is now assistant director of the Program for Teaching East Asia at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the son of Mary Duke Trent Jones and a great-grandson of Mary Duke Biddle.
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