DUBAC Comes Back



Reunited Members of DUBAC reconnect during the football game, top; a Step Show gathering, right; tailgate party people, from left, Keith Hill '76, Tonka Hudson Irish '80, Larry Linny '81, and Andrea Martin '81.

More than 200 black alumni, members of DUBAC (Duke University Black Alumni Connection), and their families came back to Duke in November for the biennial DUBAC Homecoming Reunion. This year's event was hosted by the Washington D.C./Mid-Atlantic chapter.

Returning DUBACers were treated to all the typical Homecoming sights and sounds: fall in Durham, a tailgate party, and a football game. The weekend began with a career session, in which a panel of African-American alumni shared with undergraduates the steps they took to achieve their professional goals. They also shared what they enjoy about their work, a typical day in their field, the benefits of a Duke degree, and, if given the chance, what they would have done differently while at Duke. Joe Richburgh '99 was the panel's moderator.


Five professions were represented by the following panelists:


  • Business: David Smith B.S.E. '84, project manager at Hines Interests, Limited Partnership;


  • Medicine: Paula Coates '94, a dentist at the University of Illinois;


  • Law: Kenneth Lewis '83, attorney and partner at Burford & Lewis;


  • Media: Lionel Neptune B.S.E. '82, a vice president at the Washington Post Company; and


  • Politics/Government: Andrea Martin '81, an attorney and policy director of the Congressional Black Caucus.


    The weekend was filled with a variety of activities: a golf outing, an alumni tailgate party at the new Sheffield Tennis Center, the Duke-Carolina football game, an alumni-student party on Saturday night, and a breakfast buffet on Sunday morning. Other events included the Step Show in Page Auditorium, the "Conserve a Legacy" exhibit at the Duke University Museum of Art, and the Fisk Jubilee Singers concert on Saturday evening. Delta Sigma Theta sorority celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary with more than seventy-five sorority members returning.


    A memorial service was held on the steps of Duke Chapel Saturday morning for Charles Hogan Jr. '94, who died last August. Hogan was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and a band leader in Duke's marching band, which paid tribute to him during half-time at the Homecoming game. At DUBAC's general meeting after the game, President Nannerl O. Keohane addressed approximately 100 alumni, as did M. Laney Funderburk Jr. '60, director of Alumni Affairs, which has been a major supporter of DUBAC during its almost fifteen-year history.


    DUBAC officers for 2001-02 were announced. They are Melvia Wallace '85, president; Valerie Barnwell '79, vice president, operations; Rod Dickerson '77, vice president, development; Janine Dixon '86, treasurer; and Wilt Alston B.S.E. '81, communications liaison.


    Elected to the DUBAC board of directors were Jacquelyn Hatch B.S.E. '85, Kenneth Lewis '83, Andrea Martin '81, and Angela Williams '90. DUBAC's mission is to support alumni in maintaining professional ties with former classmates and financial ties to the university and to mentor and support current and prospective students. DUBAC also supports Duke in its efforts to increase sensitivity, respond to the needs of African-American students, and solicit funds that directly benefit African-American students. President-elect Wal- lace, in her acceptance address, summed it up by saying, "In the new millennium, the question is not if we will serve, the question is how."


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