Alumni Register


The changing of the leaves and the roar of football fans signifies autumn's arrival, along with Duke alumni's return to campus for reunions. This year, more than 2,300 came to Durham during three weekends of planned activities and informal gatherings.

The Half-Century Club helped kick off the reunion season in September with its Heri-tage Society reception and its "In the Mood" dinner. A highlight of the group's activities was a reprise of last year's popular Hoof 'n' Horn reunion, with some original cast mem-bers from two musicals in 1941 and 1942 performing. Before being inducted into the Half-Century Club that Sunday, the Class of 1945 celebrated their fiftieth reunion with a lecture tour of the Levine Science Research Center during the day and a "Together Again" international cocktail buffet in the evening.

"Blue Devilirium" reigned at the Class of 1950's Shoe 'n' Slipper Encore, while the Class of 1955 learned line dancing for country and western music at downtown Durham's Armory. Big band music was the next evening's fare, provided by Leon Jordan and the Continentals.

The Class of 1960 explored life and change in an afternoon discussion, "Explorations at Midpassage." The Class of 1965 held "Con-versations with our Classmates," a look at changing attitudes and beliefs, relationships, and careers at mid-life. Then it was back to basics with the Hot Nuts performing for the class' Saturday night "Cabin Party."

The Class of 1970 held "Your Smiling Faces," a kick-off cookout party, followed the next evening with "Motown Magic" performed by The Headliners. The Class of 1975 celebrated their twentieth reunion with, among other things, an event featuring the Drew Lile Jazz Quartet and a closing breakfast with speaker Quin Snyder '89, J.D. '95, M.B.A. '95, new assistant coach for men's basketball.

Homecoming in October combined the fifth and tenth reunion classes with younger alumni on campus. "Success Hasn't Spoiled Us Yet" was the theme for the more than 400 who returned to the Class of 1985's party in the Blue and White. The Class of 1990 took advantage of "Slideaway to the Hideaway" before an event in Von Canon with basketball videos and Yearlooks (video yearbooks) playing in the background.

A generosity of spirit among the classes translated into a spirit of generosity, with class gifts to the university, presented to President Nannerl O. Keohane at various occasions. The ten reunion classes collectively pledged more than $1.96 million to the Duke Annual Fund, with the Half-Century Club contributing an additional $700,000 and the Class of 1965 setting an all-time reunion class giving record at nearly $380,000.

The following is a breakdown of attendance and giving levels: Half-Century Club, 158 attended, $701,951 in gifts; Class of 1945, 207, $174,022; Class of 1950, 133, $180,424; Class of 1955, 135, $141,318; Class of 1960, 125, $234,449; Class of 1965, 117, $379,964; Class of 1970, 306, $250,000; Class of 1975, 288, $181,293; Class of 1980, 172, $251,217; Class of 1985, 430, $119,485; and the Class of 1990, 290, $50,790.


California Secretary of Resources Douglas P. Wheeler J.D. '66 and Winston-Salem attorney William F. Womble '37, J.D. '39 were honored in October by Duke's Law Alumni Association with public service awards.

Wheeler received the Charles S. Murphy Award, presented annually by the association to an alumnus or alumna who, through public service and/or dedication to education, has demonstrated devotion to the common welfare. Criteria reflect ideals exemplified in the life and career of Murphy J.D. '31, who held several positions in the Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations.

Womble received the second Charles S. Rhyne Award, honoring alumni in private practice who have made significant contributions to public service. The award, based on professional ability, personal integrity, and pro bono work in education, public service, and the profession, was named for Rhyne J.D. '37, a senior partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm Rhyne & Rhyne. Rhyne has taught government and law at American and George Washington universities, and has primarily represented states, cities, and counties in federal and state courts throughout his fifty-plus years of practice.

Wheeler has been California's secretary of resources since 1991. He has held vice presidencies with the World Wildlife Fund and The Conservation Foundation and was executive director of The Sierra Club. He was the founding president and first chief executive officer of the American Farmland Trust, the nation's foremost not-for-profit proponent in conserving agricultural resources. He was legislative counsel to the U.S. Department of the Interior from 1969 until 1972, when he was named its deputy assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks until 1977. In 1980, he received the department's Achievement Award for Outdoor Recreation. He has also served a three-year term as executive vice president of the National Trust of Historic Preservation.

Womble, a recent recipient of the Fifty-Year Award of the Fellows of the American Bar Association, joined his father's law firm in 1939 and then enlisted in the Army Air Corps, serving throughout World War II and earning the rank of major. A member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1953 to 1958, he has also served on the state's general statutes commission, board of higher education, and budget commission. The former counsel to the city of Winston-Salem is a consulting partner in the Winston-Salem law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, which now employs more than 180 lawyers in Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Atlanta. He is a past president of the Junior Bar Association of Winston-Salem, as well as county and state associations. In 1984, he received the state Bar Foundation's prestigious John J. Parker Award for service to the profession. He is active in the American Bar Association's ethics committee, house of delegates, and board of governors, and in the National Conference of Bar Presidents.


Ross Harris '78, M.B.A. '80, the Duke Alumni Association's new president, called to order the fall meeting of its board of directors after a weekend of new committee meetings and assignments.

President-elect Robert T. Harper '78, J.D. '79, ex-officio chair of the Finance Committee, noted that both income and expenses to date were within acceptable ranges. The Life Membership Endowment produced more than $44,000 in income for 1994-95; life members number just over 1,500. Other meeting summaries reported by committee chairs follow:

CLUBS/INTERNATIONALIZATION: John A. Schwarz III '56 discussed the clubs program and the importance of strong volunteer leadership. The committee's goal is to enhance both international and domestic clubs programming.

REUNIONS: Committee chair Robert Harper described the stages and status of reunion programming since 1985, when reunions were moved from spring to fall. Attendance rose dramatically during that time, but changes in football scheduling have had an impact on fall special-event planning, including reunions. As a result, a university-wide Reunion Review Committee is examining the program, with ideas from other universities and consultants.

TECHNOLOGY/COMMUNICATIONS: Michele C. Farquhar '79 reported technological upgrades in the alumni office, such as a new phone system with voice-mail and new office computers. Duke Magazine will have a web site in 1996.

STUDENT/ALUMNI RELATIONS: Patricia Dempsey Hammond '80 discussed committee proposals to increase the personal connection between students and the alumni. Some recommendations were to establish an alumni advisory board with Duke Student Government and the Black Student Alliance; a mentoring, Big Brother/Big Sister program; a senior survival guide; and enhanced contact between alumni and students during Homecoming and reunions.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION: Reporting in the absence of chair F. Maxton Mauney M.D. '59, University Archivist William E. King '61, A.M. '63, Ph.D. '72 noted that the committee had sifted through twenty-one nominations for the Distinguished Alumni Award and made a decision that will be presented to the DAA executive committee in February. Also, the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award's student committee had been appointed to administer the selection process of the 1996 winner.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT: Ralph M. Della Ratta Jr. '75 thanked John Noble, head of Duke's Career Development Center, for acting as a consultant to the committee and for arranging a tour of the center that weekend. The committee is considering a model for involving alumni as career advisers along the lines of the Alumni Admissions Advisory Committees.

Duke Student Government president Peggy Cross '96 reported that the all-freshman East Campus was working well and that Quad Councils were organizing to sponsor educational and social activities. Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) president Michael Tino noted the growing number of non-undergraduates at Duke, currently at nearly 45 percent of total enrollment. Last year, for instance, more advanced degrees were awarded at commencement than baccalaureate degrees: food for thought in alumni programming.

University Development Director Robert Shepard announced a record in giving last year: $153 million. Duke expects this total to rank it in the top ten among universities. Annual Fund Director Sterly Wilder '83 echoed a record-breaking year for her program, with $10.8 million in gifts from alumni and friends.

In new business, a draft policy on the confidentiality of alumni records was presented and approved unanimously. The policy will be submitted for consideration by Duke's board of trustees.

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