Alumni Trustee Nominees

  • Four alumni, including a current member, have been nominated to Duke's board of trustees by the executive committee of the Duke Alumni Association's board of directors. Trustee Melinda French Gates '86, M.B.A. '87 is eligible for reelection to fill her first full term. G. Richard Wagoner Jr. '75 and Lewis T. "Rusty" Williams Ph.D. '77, M.D. '88 will be new to the board of trustees for six-year terms. Ruth Wade Ross '68, president of the Duke Alumni Association, will become a voting trustee for one year through an arrangement by which the DAA immediate past president automatically serves as a trustee.


    Gates joined Microsoft Corporation in 1987 and distinguished herself as a leader in developing many of the company's multimedia products. Two years after marrying Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, she retired in 1996 from her position as general manager of information products. She is co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on global health and learning. She is a former co-chair of the Washington State Governor's Commission on Early Learning and currently serves on the board of directors for She and her husband have two children.


    Ross, who owns and manages Arrangements Special Events Design Management in Durham, is a member of the Duke Cancer Center's patient support board. As sitting alumni association president, she serves as a non-voting observer on the board of trustees. Her father, the late Charles B. Wade Jr. '38, was a Duke trustee emeritus. She has two sons, including John David Ross Jr.



    Wagoner, president, chief operating officer, and chief executive officer of General Motors Corporation, has chaired the board of visitors for Duke's Fuqua School of Business since 1997. He also chairs the Society of Automotive Engineers' Vision 2000 Executive Committee. Wagoner and his wife, Kathleen Kaylor Wagoner '77, have three sons. Williams is president of Chiron Technologies and senior vice president of


    Corporation, the world's second-largest biotechnology company. He is also an adjunct professor of medicine and a scientist at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the University of California, San Francisco. In 1997, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is a member of Duke Medical Center's board of visitors and a member of the medical center's steering committee. He and his wife, Mari, have four daughters, including Christina J. Williams '99 and Theresa Williams '03.


    Duke's charter calls for the election of one third of its trustees by graduates of the university. Every two years, in odd-numbered years, the terms of four of the twelve alumni trustees expire. The executive committee of the alumni association's board of directors serves as the nominating committee and submits a list of names to the university secretary for submission to the trustees. Four names are then approved for final submission to the alumni body, with additional nominations permitted by petition.


    After notice appears in print, alumni may submit a petition signed by one-half of 1 percent (550) of the alumni body (110,000) within thirty days to nominate additional persons.


    Alumni Affairs Director M. Laney Funderburk Jr. '60, who maintains a confidential roster of alumni recommended as trustees, says he "welcomes and encourages recommendations from alumni at any time." The next election will be for terms that expire in 2003. Please submit names and biographical information to Funderburk at Alumni House, 614 Chapel Drive, Box 90572, Durham, N.C. 27708-0572.




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