DAA Board Meets


Basketball revelry kicked off the May meeting of the Duke Alumni Association’s board of directors, with guest speaker Johnny E. Dawkins ’86, Duke men’s basketball senior associate head coach, reliving the championship season that was. He showed video highlights from the men’s and women’s basketball season and answered questions.

DAA immediate past president Gwynne A. Young ’71, who completes her term as alumni trustee, reported that trustees reviewed the new residential-life plan that would put all sophomores on West Campus after the West Edens Link residence hall and renovations are completed.

Former DAA president John A. Schwarz ’56, who completes his term on the alumni association’s board, gave his final report, concentrating on internationalization. Over nearly a decade on the board, he has championed increasing enrollments for foreign students. He reported that in 1991, 400 foreign students applied to Duke and fourteen were admitted. For 2001, applications reached about 1,000. The current enrollment of nearly 300 foreign students is now 5 percent of the student body, on a par with Duke’s peer institutions.

Alumni Affairs’ Director M. Laney Funderburk Jr. ’60, in his director’s report, noted that nearly 1,000 attended the Final Four pregame party in Minneapolis, sponsored by the DAA. He also noted that attendance for reunions was approximately 3,500, an alumni staff retreat for strategic planning was scheduled, and that the DAA website would be changing host companies.

Edith Sprunt Toms ’62, director of Alumni Affairs’ Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee program, gave an update on the Class of 2005. There were 14,647 total applicants, with 3,583 admitted (24.5 percent); final matriculation is targeted at approximately 1,600. There were 515 children of alumni who applied. Of the 109 who applied during Early Decision rounds, sixty-three were admitted (66 percent); of the 406 who applied to the regular pool, 176 were admitted (44 percent). One hundred and two granchildren of alumni applied: sixteen applied early decision, seven were admitted; eighty-six applied regular decisions with thirty-seven admitted, yielding a total of 43 percent accepted.

Toms announced the three new Alumni Endowed Scholars: Michelle Eileen Pugh, David Andrew Lewis, and Myra E. Hiott. The Reginald Howard Scholarship was awarded to Kevin W. Southerland, whose father is William M. Southerland ’77. The Robertson Award went to Anna D. Hoffius, whose parents are Susan K. Dunn ’72 and Stephen G. Hoffius ’75. Allison Grace Brim, whose father is Thomas P. Brim ’66, received the B.N. Duke Scholarship.

DAA President Ruth Wade Ross ’68 recognized retiring members of the board: John Schwarz, who served nine years; Page Murray ’85, six years; Jean Kistler B.S.N. ’83, M.S.N. ’95, six years; Laura Wilson Smith ’90, four years; David Johnston ’62, four years; and Graduate and Professional School Council president Cybelle McFadden, one year. Those not present were: Hope Morgan Ward ’73, M.Div. ’78, three years; Reggie Chapman B.S.M.E. ’56, two years; Allen Van Dyke ’67, two years; Shirin Odar ’01, two years; Dorian Arche Statom ’02, one year;, Heather Renee Oh ’03, one year; and Jordan Bazinsky ’01, one year.

On Saturday, following morning committee meetings, the board convened. Alumni Affairs’ Associate Director Bert Fisher ’80 reported on electronic communications, citing extraordinary numbers of “hits” on the DAA website for Reunion activities, club events, and the Final Four information site. He noted that he and Duke Magazine features editor Kim Koster were refining more than 225 action steps for the strategic plan, which had been gathered from the DAA strategic planning committee, the DAA board of directors, and the alumni programs staff. Those steps were to be assigned priorities by the alumni staff at a planned staff retreat. Committee reports followed.

Wilt Alston, chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee, named the recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the Charles A. Dukes Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service, who will be honored during Founders’ Day Convocation. (Recipients will be profiled in the next issue of Duke Magazine.)

Page Murray, chair of the Technology Committee, reported on the results of an online survey of alumni, which had a response rate of 29 percent. Results indicated that alumni are interested in digital updates on a wide range of news from Duke, want more details related to articles in the magazine, want to use the Web to communicate and coordinate reunion activities, and were much in favor of an online alumni directory. The committee wants to move forward on a plan for regular e-mail communications to interested alumni. A privacy policy draft was reviewed to guarantee alumni security on the website.

Both the Clubs and External Programming Committee, chaired by Gary Melchionni ’73, J.D. ’81, and the Member Benefits and Services Committee, chaired by David Johnston filling in for Cedric Jones ’82, had formulated action steps based on the Strategic Planning document.

Michele Sales, chair of the Reunions Committee, reviewed the recent Reunion Weekend. Shuttlebus transportation was much improved, the Big Tent was a hit since it could accommodate more people than the tennis center, and student interns for each class were well received.

After the passing of the gavel to new DAA president Melchionni, the meeting adjourned.

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