Duke University Alumni Magazine


Groundbreaker: former Duke vice president Bill Griffith, president of DURO, who spearheaded a landscaping crew of alumni and staff volunteers at Lakewood Elementary
Photo: Bill Spurgeon for Duke University Photography
he annual spring meeting of the Duke Alumni Association's board of directors, May 7 and 8, was a springboard for community service, including a project in which DAA members took part.

An opening luncheon on Friday featured guest speaker Will Willimon, dean of the Chapel, followed by a plenary session with reports by DAA's departing president John A. Schwarz III '56, and Edith Sprunt Toms '62, Alumni Affairs' assistant director in charge of Alumni Admissions Advisory Committees (AAAC). Toms noted that admission to the Class of 2003 was offered to 53 percent of daughters and sons of alumni who applied. The overall admit rate was 25 percent of this year's pool of 13,846.

The meeting was recessed at two o'clock so that members of the DAA board could join Duke University Retirees Outreach (DURO) for a community service project at Lakewood Elementary School. Some took part in landscaping, cleaning, and painting outside while others organized and shelved books in the library. DAA's Community Service Committee chair Page Murray '85 and board member and DURO president William J. Griffith '50 made the arrangements.

On Saturday, the Reunions Committee, chaired by Ruth Wade Ross '68, praised the reunions staff for its success in the planning and consolidation of three fall reunions into one grand spring reunion. Reunions director Lisa Dilts '83 then presented a series of color slides of the gala reunion weekend.

Digging it: clockwise from top, DAA board members, left to right, Michele Sales, Ruth Ross, Katie Mercer, and Judy Maness; Barbara Pattishall, Alumni Affairs' associate director; and Wilt Alston, who chairs the board's communications technology committee
Photos: Bill Spurgeon

After meeting in morning sessions, standing committee chairs gave the following reports:

  • Community Service. Page Murray thanked the board for its participation in the community service project and suggested it participate in one similar event each year. He presented guidelines for book awards to secondary schools for community service. He recommended a community service panel be organized as part of the reunions programming and that student groups be invited to set up student-interest booths on the Bryan Center walkway during reunion weekend.

  • Awards. Gary Melchionni '73 reported that the committee had endorsed the student committee's selection for the Distinguished Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Award. The board concurred. Also, five alumni were selected to receive Charles A. Dukes Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service. (Recipients will named in the magazine's September-October issue.)

  • Communications Technology. Wilt Alston B.S.E. '81 reported that almost all committee recommendations over the last three years had been achieved: a DAA website, an e-mail alumni directory, lifetime e-mail address with a Duke alumni identity, and other interactive electronic enhancements for alumni programs and services. The new website, DukeAlumni.com, has averaged about 100,000 page hits per month since coming online in March.

  • Nominating. Robert T. Harper '76, J.D. '79, immediate past president, presented the roster of DAA officers: Gwynne A. Young '71, president; Ruth Wade Ross, president-elect; and Laney Funderburk '60, secretary and treasurer.

    Nominations for 1999-2000 officers were seconded and unanimously affirmed. Schwarz symbolically turned the gavel over to Young, who adjourned the meeting


    hree Duke engineering graduates were honored in April at the annual Engineering Alumni Awards Banquet. James F. Rabenhorst B.S.M.E. '64 received the Engineering Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus Award, Terry Myerson B.S.E. '92 its Distinguished Young Alumni Award, and Edward M. Reefe B.S.C.E. '68 its Distinguished Service Award.

    Rabenhorst, who earned an M.B.A. at Case Western Reserve University, is a principal with PricewaterhouseCoopers in its Washington, D.C., office. He was selected for his achievements in the field of professional-service firm management. He has recently focused his efforts on improving the business and financial operations of large law firms and making effective use of technology advancements. A frequent speaker before state and national bar associations, he is the author of monographs for the American Bar Association's law management section on such subjects as profit planning and control and cost accounting. He is a member of the board of visitors and chair of its faculty support committee for Duke's Fuqua School of Business. He is also on the Engineering Dean's Council and conducts seminars within the master's of engineering management program.

    Myerson was selected on the basis of his "innovative entrepreneurship and his passion for utilizing his talents in business." He began his career at the North Carolina Supercomputing Center, where he developed computer visualizations of scientific work done in Research Triangle Park. He published seven technical papers on the innovative use of computer graphics in understanding scientific phenomena. In 1994, he founded Interse Corporation, a pioneer in analyzing website traffic data to determine the number and frequency of website visits. These analyses helped launch the earliest Internet marketing and advertising. Over two-and-a-half years, Interse grew to twenty-five employees and more than 1,000 customers. In 1997, Microsoft acquired Interse and moved Myerson and his team to Seattle, where they now help lead its electronic commerce efforts.

    Reefe is known for considerable contributions made to his Tampa Bay community and in the development of the area, including such projects as Tampa International Airport, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, and the Florida Marine Research Center in St. Petersburg. After serving in the Navy's civil engineering corps, he helped design and build hospitals and government facilities in Puerto Rico and Vietnam. He then obtained a master's in architecture at the University of Virginia and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he registered as an architect and engineer. He moved to the Tampa area in the Eighties. He has been a member of the board and president of the Tampa chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and he chaired Hillsborough County's code enforcement board from 1986 to 1992. For Duke, he serves on the Engineering Dean's Council and has been a member of the Duke Club of Tampa's board of directors. To aid students in civil and environmental engineering, he established the Edward M. Reefe Endowment and the Reefe Family Student Service Endowment. He and his wife, Nora Lea Reefe '67, have two daughters, Donna R. Childress '93 and Katie Reefe '99.


    Distinguished nurse and researcher: Jane Dillard Scott
    ane Dilliard Scott B.S.N. '73, an assistant professor in the epidemiology and preventive medicine department at Johns Hopkins University, was named Distinguished Alumna for 1999 by the School of Nursing. She is also a health services researcher at the JHU medical school's Mathias National Study Center for Trauma and Emergency Medical Systems.

    Scott, once a staff nurse in Duke's emergency department, earned her M.S.N. at Wayne State University in 1978 and her Sc.D degree at Hopkins' School of Hygiene and Public Health (SHPH) in 1988. From 1977 to 1985, she was a nurse practitioner in the adult emergency department at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. From 1979 to 1981, she was an instructor in the University of Maryland's Continuing Education Adult Nurse Practitioner program and co-organized the first four UMD National Nurse Practitioner Symposiums. In 1982, she entered the health policy and management department at SHPH to study the then relatively new discipline of health services research. Her doctoral research, funded by the National Cancer Institute, investigated adequacy of follow-up for women whose Pap results were abnormal. She documented substantial delays and errors in follow-up care. As a result, she received an award for the significance of her doctoral research.

    She was a consultant to the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Nursing Research. She then joined the original staff of the new Center for Medical Effectiveness Research, now known as the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. She was also liaison to the Centers for Disease Control, the National Cancer Institute, the FDA's National Strategic Planning Group on Breast and Cervical Cancer, the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Heart Attack Alert program, and the Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service's Coordinating Committee on Women's Health Issues.

    From 1992 to 1994, Scott was a technical adviser to the World Health Organization and helped establish a national cervical cancer screening program in Romania. In 1993, she joined the Duke School of Nursing's National Advisory Committee. In 1995, she was recognized by the U.S. Public Health Service for providing leadership within the federal government and the research community in patient outcomes. She has also been honored by the Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Health Care Policy and Research for her work in ensuring the scientific integrity and clinical validity of research done by the Agency for Health Care, Policy, and Research.


    uke's law school announced the winners of its annual awards honoring alumni, including a new award named for the late A. Kenneth Pye, former law school dean and university chancellor. Presented in April during the school's reunion weekend were the Charles S. Murphy Award, the Charles S. Rhyne Award, the school's Service Award, and the first A. Kenneth Pye Award. Departing law dean Pamela D. Gann J.D. '73 was also honored. Rhonda Reid Winston '76, J.D. '79 received the Murphy award, presented to an alumnus or alumna whose career reflects the ideals exemplified in the life and career of Murphy '31, LL.B. '34, Hon. '67, who devoted his life to public service. Murphy served in the administrations of U.S. presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson.

    Winston, who was appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia bench by President Clinton in 1994, has devoted her career to public interest law, including nine years working as special litigation counsel and deputy director with the Public Defender Service. She has also served as an assistant district attorney in the Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor in New York City, as visiting assistant professor of law in the criminal justice clinic at Georgetown Law Center, as a trial attorney in the Baltimore district office of the Equal Opportunity Commission, and as the deputy director of the District of Columbia Pretrial Services Agency. An A.B. Duke Scholar while an undergraduate at Duke, Winston is a lifetime member of the law school's board of visitors.

    David Klaber J.D. '69 received the Rhyne award, which honors alumni who exemplify the highest standards of professional ability and personal integrity. Rhyne served on the board of trustees at Duke and George Washington universities and was president of the American Bar Association. He also was special legal consultant to President Eisenhower and later served as personal representative of the president to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

    Klaber is a partner at Kilpatrick & Lockhart in Pittsburgh, where he concentrates his practice in litigation, construction, and personal injury. He is a lifetime member of the school's board of visitors, a past president of the Law Alumni Association, and a co-chair of his thirtieth reunion class. In 1987, Klaber helped organize the Pittsburgh local Duke Law Alumni Association and served as its first president. In 1991, he received a Charles A. Dukes Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service, given by the Duke Alumni Association.

    Melvin G. Shimm, a professor emeritus of law, was named the first recipient of the Pye award, which will not be presented annually, but only when the Law Alumni Association chooses to honor an individual whose exceptional service to the field of legal education merits recognition. It is designed to recognize contributions made to the field of legal education by Duke law alumni or other members of the law school community. Pye was at Duke for twenty years, twice as law dean, and as chancellor, before leaving to become president of Southern Methodist University.

    Shimm has been a member of the law faculty since 1953. Besides teaching bankruptcy law for more than thirty-five years, he edited Law and Contemporary Problems, helped establish the Duke Law Journal, and created an interdisciplinary seminar on medical, legal, and ethical issues. When he retired three years ago, members of the Duke law community created an endowed scholarship in his name. Faculty members have praised him for his friendship, the demanding standards he always achieved in teaching, and for the example he set in nurturing enduring friendships with students. David Vaughan J.D. '71, president of the Law Alumni Association, received the law school's service award. Under his leadership, the association's board achieved an international focus with the addition of LL.M. members, advised on recruiting, and helped structure the website. He is a partner at Kelley Drye & Warren in Washington, D.C., where he specializes in administrative, aviation, and government procedure, and international trade law.

    Dean Pamela Gann, who is the new president of Claremont McKenna College in California, was surprised at the banquet with the announcement that she is being honored with an $1.5-million endowed chair in her name. The seventh endowed professorship at the law school, the Pamela Brooks Gann chair has not been designated for a specific area of legal study. The impetus for endowing the chair came from three Duke law alumni who have worked closely with Gann over the years: Jeffrey P. Hughes LL.B. '65, campaign chair; George R. Krouse J.D '70, chair of the board of visitors; and Duke trustee Lanty L. Smith LL.B. '67.

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