About the Nakayama Scholarship

The Nakayama Public Service Scholars Program

Nakayama Scholars are exceptional students who are interested in responding to the world’s challenges through careers in public service.


NakayamaThe Nakayama Public Service Scholars Program was established in 2021 through the generosity of Yukio and Toshiko Nakayama. Yukio Nakayama was born in Tacoma, Washington, on June 17, 1919, attended Duke University on a scholarship, and graduated in 1941 with a B.A. in economics. He went on to graduate from Columbia University in New York with a masters in public law and government. Mr. Nakayama served his country well during World War II in the Army. After the war, he worked as a Director of Weapons Program Evacuation and Management Systems, Naval Ordinance Systems Command. Mr. Nakayama was known for helping young people further their education. He passed away at the age of 90 on April 4, 2010. After Mrs. Nakayama's passing in 2013 at the age of 93, their estate helped to establish three endowments at Duke University, including a scholarship endowment at Trinity Arts & Sciences.

Financial Support

The Nakayama Public Service Scholars Program provides a scholarship equal to one-half of tuition cost for their senior year (2 semesters).

Benefits of Selection

Nakayama Public Service Scholars will have the opportunity during their senior year to engage in programming and mentorship designed by and for them to enhance their career exploration on their way to professional careers in the public sector.

Students will participate in scholar-driven and -developed programming and events and enjoy broad recognition across the university, including inclusion at Founder’s Day and as an OUSF Scholar at graduation. In addition, scholars will receive significant mentorship from the Nakayama Scholarship Advisory Board.

Academic Community

Nakayama Scholars contribute to and benefit from being part of a community of ambitious and collegial thinkers. Through personal interactions with Duke professors, visiting scholars, and one another, scholars gain exposure to top faculty and discover opportunities to receive professional mentoring.

Interested in Becoming a Nakayama Scholar?

Our Selection Process

Second-semester juniors will be selected each spring on the basis of stellar academics; leadership (students have seen problems, gathered others to make change, and made a demonstrable impact on their communities); and a commitment to a career in public service. The scholarship is open to all Duke students regardless of citizenship. Scholars will be expected to be in residence at Duke for both semesters of their senior year.

Applications are now closed for 2021. Following review of applications, finalists will be interviewed and selected by the Advisory Board. Scholars will be announced before the Last Day of Classes. Learn more.