Gene Cochrane, who retires July 1 as president of the Duke Endowment, has received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of North Carolina’s highest civilian honors.
After joining the endowment in 1980, Cochrane directed the health care program area from 1991 to 2002 and higher education from 2005 to 2012. He has been president since 2005.
The Charlotte native began his career in health care administration at Charlotte Memorial Hospital, now Carolinas Medical Center.
The Duke Endowment, a private foundation based in Charlotte, was established in 1924 by N.C. industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke.
Through its program areas of child care, health care, higher education and rural churches, the foundation distributes more than $100 million in grants annually to organizations in the Carolinas. The endowment’s founder is the same Duke behind Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.