Duke University Alumni Magazine


orothy Lewis Simpson '46, scientist, pilot, civic leader, and former Duke trustee, is the recipient of this year's Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Duke Alumni Association. "In her lifetime of service," wrote Duke trustee Susan Bennett King '62, "Dottie represents the best of a generation of women who have contributed so much time, energy, and intelligence in volunteer work, often unheralded but just as often the moving force behind major programs and projects. Her quiet but persuasive leadership has galvanized both people and funding sources for years. It is this kind of commitment...that has successfully translated vision into reality."

Simpson: "the best of a generation of women who have contributed so much..."

At Duke, Simpson was president of both her junior and senior classes at the Woman's College and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, Pi Mu Epsilon, Phi Kappa Delta, and White Duchy. After graduating, she worked for Lederle Labs before joining Pan American Airways. Although she had a license to fly, she took a job as a flight attendant since pilots' jobs were not open to women during that time. She settled in the Seattle area with her husband, W. Hunter Simpson, and they raised three children.

She soon became involved with numerous civic and nonprofit organizations. As president of its board, she revamped Seattle Junior Programs, a group that took theater productions to school-age children, by improving marketing techniques to increase sales and expanding performance schedules. The Seattle Repertory Theatre's board named her chair for 1981-82 as a result of her work in increasing its subscriptions and sustainer funds, and she headed the successful effort to build a new theater, taking a stalled project and ultimately raising $4 million to supplement a bond issue.

She entered the University of Washington, earned an M.B.A. in 1982, and took on another major project, eventually chairing the Museum Development Authority, which had been established to oversee designing, financing, and constructing a new art museum. After a decade of planning, the $50-million Seattle Art Museum, a Robert Venturi-designed, 155,000-square-foot glass edifice, opened in 1991.

During this time, Simpson served two terms on Duke's board of trustees (1982-1995), where she chaired the Student Affairs Committee, and was a member of the search committee that recommended the hiring of President Nannerl O. Keohane. She currently serves on Duke's Council on Women's Studies.

Her involvement with the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, a national women's organization that raises money for college scholarships in the sciences, medicine, and engineering, was beneficially progressive. A member and then chair of the Seattle chapter (1987-88), she was nominated to the national board; two years later, she became president. During her presidency (1992-95), she increased the number of national members from its twelve chapters on to its board. By her third year in office, the organization broke the $2-million barrier of money raised in one year; currently, ARCS gives away more than $2.5 million in scholarships. In 1995, she was named to the Presidents' Circle of the National Academy of Science, which advises the federal government on scientific and technological issues. Her awards include the Governor's Art Award, the Seattle Legion of Honor, and being named to Women of Achievement.

Her wish to be a pilot has been realized by a daughter, who flies for Northwest Airlines. The Simpsons live on Mercer Island in Washington and have six grandchildren.

The Distinguished Alumni Award, established in 1983 by the DAA, recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions in their own fields of work, in service to Duke, or for the betterment of humanity. Recipients are selected from nominations by alumni, faculty, trustees, administrators, and students.


illian Einstein, formerly an assistant research professor in the neurobiology department at Duke Medical Center, is the recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. Presented each year by the Duke Alumni Association (DAA), the award is administered by a student committee, which presents its selection to the DAA Awards Committee for approval. Einstein was chosen from forty-seven nominations submitted by students and representing thirty-nine different faculty members.

Einstein: "a professor who values her role as a teacher and a mentor"
Photo: Jim Wallace

In nominating Einstein, now a grants administrator for the National Institutes of Health, one student described her as "one of the most dynamic and interesting teachers I have ever come across in my studies. Not only is she interested in her subject, she also undertakes to cultivate interest in every student who steps into her classroom. While a great deal of time is spent researching in her field, her teaching never suffered or took second place."

Another student wrote, "Clearly, this is a professor who values her role as a teacher and mentor. While research remains an important part of her life, her students always feel like they are top priority. I know that she has made a similar impact on my classmates, as most of them have continued to pursue advanced courses in neurobiology."

Einstein earned her bachelor's in art history at Harvard University in 1974 and her Ph.D. in anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. After predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, respectively, at Penn's medical school and Northwestern University's neurology and physiology department, she came to Duke in 1986 as a research associate in the anatomy department. She had a primary appointment since 1989 in neurobiology, where she had been co-director of undergraduate studies since 1996, and a secondary appointment in the zoology department since 1994. Since 1996, she had been a senior fellow at Duke's Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. She also directed Duke's freshman FOCUS program "Exploring the Mind."

For the National Science Foundation, Einstein taught a "Neurobiology of Mind" program in 1996 and 1997. She is the author or co-author of more than fifty articles, reviews, book chapters, papers, or abstracts. A story about her work and the interdisciplinary course she taught with philosophy professor Owen Flanagan ("What Makes Up One's Mind?") appeared in the May-June 1997 issue of Duke Magazine (www.dukemagazine.duke.edu).

The Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Award includes a $5,000 stipend and $1,000 for a Duke library to purchase books recommended by the recipient.


f you're Internet-active, the new, amazingly improved site www.DukeAlumni. com should be at the top of your bookmark list. It's loaded with service-oriented, alumni-friendly links to clubs calendars, reunion schedules, affinity groups, an e-mail directory, Duke Alumni Association members' benefits, lifelong learning programs, Duke merchandise, and more.

This new alumni Web community was built for the Duke Alumni Association by KOZ. com's Community Publishing System(CPS), its flagship product. "The Internet is a tremendous resource in helping alumni stay in touch with campus activities, including national and international Duke club events, continuing education, learning vacations, and other shared interests that extend our reach," says M. Laney Funderburk Jr. '60, director of Alumni Affairs. "By entering into a partnership with KOZ.com, we have established a turn-key Duke community with tremendous communication capability, outstanding features, and true expert support, for a fraction of the cost it would take us to build the system internally."

This online community is a hub for alumni worldwide. There's a website for each class, and the ability for any alumnus or alumna who registers, at no charge, to create his or her own site, without the use of HTML. Besides setting up their own personal pages, alumni can establish sites for their own living groups or campus organizations: residents of Clocktower Quad, for instance, or Kappas Living in Kansas. There is access control of sites, as well as the ability to create chat rooms and post messages and photos. Some of the affinity sites already created range from DUBAC (Duke University Black Alumni Connection), NROTC alumni, and even 1050, a group that once occupied tent number 1050 in Krzyzewkskiville.

George Dorfman '85, coordinator of the alumni clubs program, was in charge of revamping the DAA website. "After exhaustive research, we came to an agreement with KOZ. com to enhance our offerings to alumni," he says. "We're assured of Y2K compliance, automatic system upgrades, ease of navigation --and no HTML knowledge is required. Because of the simple but thorough instructions provided on-site, the only skills you'll need is the ability to point and click."

First-year firsts: Members of the Class of 2003 peruse directories at the annual Duke Alumni Association frosh picnic; more than half of the children of alumni who applied were accepted, setting a record
Photo: Les Todd

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