Robert E. “Bob” Duncan, a Fresno businessman and longtime supporter of Fresno State and its athletic department, died Wednesday at the age of 94.
Duncan was a former president of locally-based Duncan Enterprises Company and was a fundraiser and donor to the university.
He helped raise money for numerous projects across Fresno State.
Duncan personally provided seed money for the initial effort to build Bulldog Stadium. He also co-chaired the fundraising drive for the $100 million Save Mart Center. He helped to secure more than $5 million in private gifts and also helped to raise more than $90 million to fund the campus events center.
He also led the drive for his namesake, Robert E. Duncan Athletic Building. The building is an athletic training facility located at Bulldog Stadium. It is home to the university’s football and soccer offices, locker rooms, computer labs and a team meeting room. The building was named in his honor after it was completed.
Duncan was a top fundraiser for the Bulldog Foundation’s annual fund drive and co-chaired fund drives for the football stadium and the University Business Center in the Peters Business Building.
His fundraising efforts helped earn him the “Mr. Bulldog” title in 1981, awarded by the Bulldog Foundation.
Duncan received an honorary doctorate from the university in 1996.
Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro released a statement that said:
“Dr. Bob Duncan was a devoted friend, fundraiser and donor to Fresno State who will be deeply missed. His connections to the university were many and deep, and his significant impact on Fresno State academics and athletics is clearly visible throughout our campus.”
The announcement of Duncan’s death came from Jerry Duncan, his nephew and a former Fresno City Council member, through Facebook.
“If you knew him, you know he was a remarkable man who gave so much back to Fresno. He had a passion for Fresno State that few, if any, could match,” Jerry said.
Pat Ogle, development officer at the Bulldog Foundation, praised Duncan’s passion for student-athlete success beyond the playing field.
“Bob Duncan was a trailblazer, an innovator and the most ardent fan of Bulldog athletics in the Valley. Mr. Duncan’s passion for academics and the success of student-athletes post-graduation was as important to him as the victories on the field. The Duncan Building will be a remembrance of a man whose deep love of Fresno State will never be forgotten,” Ogle said.
Duncan was an emeritus member of the California State University, Fresno Foundation Board of Governors and recipient of the Foundation Service Award. He was also inducted into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.