Calling All Alumnae

Women’s Forums offer social and educational opportunities


Duke alumnae are high-powered executives and stay-at-home moms, graduates of the Woman’s College and members of Generation Y. Regardless of their life and career paths, alumnae across the country are able to reconnect with their alma mater—and network with other Blue Devils—through Women’s Forum events sponsored by the Duke Alumni Association (DAA).

Women’s Forums offer alumnae options ranging from educational programming such as panel discussions to informal gatherings in people’s homes. Past events have included a presentation by Cokie Roberts Hon. ’99, a Duke parent and NPR news analyst, about factors affecting women in key political elections, and a panel led by Gayle King, a Duke parent and O Magazine editor at large, on balancing the demands of work and family. There are also less structured gatherings such as the neighborhood coffees hosted by alumnae several times a year in various locations around Washington.

“Since the late nineteenth century, women have played a vital role in the life of the university,” says Sterly Wilder ’83, Duke’s associate vice president for alumni affairs. “Women’s Forums provide a way for alumnae to deepen their connection to Duke, meet other alumnae in their area, and learn about leadership and mentoring opportunities on campus and in their local communities.” Women’s Forums already have been established in Washington, D.C., Southern California, Chicago, New York, and Houston. Upcoming events include:

A conversation on May 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m., on challenges and obstacles facing America’s education system (and New York’s in particular), featuring Jane Stoddard Williams ’80, host and producer of Bloomberg EDU, Bloomberg Radio’s weekly education broadcast; Dorothy Hutcheson ’80, head of the Nightingale-Bamford School; Linda Munro ’02, a Teach For America alumna and founder and principal of the Waterside School for Leadership in Queens; filmmaker Madeleine Sackler ’05, director of The Lottery, a 2010 documentary about education reform and controversy surrounding public and charter school options; and Christen Tingley ’09, chief of staff in the Office of Assessment at the New York City Department of Education. The event is sponsored by the New York Women’s Forum and will be held at the Nightingale-Bamford School, 20 East 92nd Street.

On June 30, 6-8 p.m., the Chicago Duke Women’s Forum will hold a kickoff event at the Art Institute of Chicago. The evening will begin with a guided tour of the Impressionist Galleries, followed by a wine and cheese reception, during which Barbara Rinella ’65 will present a dramatic rendition of Claude & Camille, A Novel of Monet.

Plans are also under way for the next alumnae weekend at Duke, to be held in February 2012. It will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the merging of the Woman’s College with Trinity College, and the fortieth anniversary of women’s varsity sports at Duke.

If you are interested in starting a Women’s Forum in your area or in learning more about alumnae programming, visit or the DAA at (919) 684-5114.

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