Honor and Remembrance



President Nannerl O. Keohane opened the 100th annual Founders' Day ceremony at Duke Chapel on October 4 by honoring five Duke alumni who are missing and presumed dead in the September 11 terrorist attacks. A sixth alumnus, Michael Morgan Taylor '81, was identified the following week.

A Chapel bell tolled once for each of the alumni as University Marshal Richard A. White led the audience in a moment of silence. Then, instead of presenting her usual welcoming remarks at the beginning of the ceremony, Keohane read the names of the missing alumni, who are among the more than 5,000 people presumed dead in the attacks in New York, Washington, and western Pennsylvania.

The missing alumni, including Taylor, are:

  • A. Todd Rancke '81 of Summit, New Jersey. He worked in the World Trade Center for Sandler O'Neill & Partners. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Ann Rancke, and two daughters.

  • Michael Morgan Taylor '81 of New York City. He was a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, in the north tower of the World Trade Center.

  • John Robinson "Rob" Lenoir '84 of Locust Valley, New York. He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. He is survived by his wife, Susan Haack Lenoir '84, and two children.

  • Peter Keith Ortale '87 of New York City. He worked for Euro Brokers in the World Trade Center. He is survived by his wife, Mary Duff-Ortale.

  • Christopher Todd Pitman '93 of Skaneatales, New York. He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. He is survived by his father, Eric Pitman.

  • Frederick Charles Rimmele III M.D. '94 of Marblehead, Massachusetts. He was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center. He is survived by his wife, Kimberly Trudel.

As Keohane read off the name of each of the missing alumni, a candle in the Chapel was lit in their remembrance. She then asked that one more candle be lit "for all others who have suffered" in the wake of the attacks.

"Founders' Day is traditionally a festive time when we celebrate the rich tapestry of our shared history and imagine its brilliant future. But today the fabric of our community is torn, and through that torn fabric we look sorrow in the face," Keohane said. "Not just Duke but all of America, and not just America but all of humanity has suffered a great loss."

The Founders' Day ceremony carries on a university tradition that dates back to 1901, when the institution, then called Trinity College, paid tribute to Washington Duke. Benefactors' Day became an annual event and later changed its name to Founders' Day after the institution became Duke University.

Margaret Taylor Smith '47, this year's keynote speaker, paid tribute to the heritage "bequeathed us by the founders of Duke University" by remembering two gifts the university presented her. The first, she said, was an opportunity for leadership. "I care about leadership, which is not just about power, but rather about inspiration, influence, and, most particularly, about education.... It was as a freshman in the Woman's College that I saw women honored because of their leadership roles, where I could be and was the president of the Women's Student Government Association, and my women friends were editors of the newspaper, yearbook, and literary magazine."

These opportunities, Smith said, gave her chances to be part of a community of learning. "It was not until later that, as never before, I understood that the single most important essential for a civil society and for individual and social change is education, and that, as an undergraduate at Duke, I had experienced an enduring education in leadership."

The second gift Smith mentioned was a continuous intellectual connection with students, faculty members, staff, and administration. This meant that her education didn't end with her graduation, but instead turned her life into a "journey of discovery."

Smith said Duke should be proud that its student body "reflects the world around us" in its diversity, unlike the faculty or board of trustees, where highest policy is made for the university. Noting her particular interest in gender equity, she challenged the university to include more women in faculty, administration, and governing positions. A past chair of the Kresge Foundation, she received the Duke Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996.

The school's highest honor, the University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service, was presented to former Fuqua School of Business dean Thomas Keller '53 and Duke trustee emerita Susan Bennett King '62.

Keohane credited Keller with sparking the Fuqua School's rapid rise to national prominence in the 1980s and the 1990s. In the citation, Keohane said, "As The Wall Street Journal noted some years ago, this accounting professor 'cultivates an easygoing, soft-spoken demeanor but has indeed the heart of a salesman.' He was sold on the idea that a fledgling school could achieve eminence, and that it could do so through a combination of vision and energy. Commenting for The Journal's article, he said, 'The test of a good education should be if it bridges the gap from theory to the real world.'"

Under Keller's leadership, the Fuqua School became a leader in international business education, establishing the first cooperative U.S.-Soviet program to train Soviet business managers in free-market principles. Later, in 1995, it created the Global Executive M.B.A. program.

"Fuqua has now projected itself into the top ranks of the nation's business schools. Our medalist has observed, 'I just believed Duke, being what it was, could do whatever it said it wanted to do,'" Keohane said. "Confidence is important in building a professional school, but so is commitment. Tom Keller demonstrates both qualities."

Likewise, Keohane said, King has "lived the life of a leader and reveled in serving as a role model for future leaders." In a long career of public-service accomplishments, King chaired the Consumer Product Safety Commission during the Carter administration, was executive director of the Center for Public Financing of Elections, and was the Washington director of the National Committee for an Effective Congress. After serving as president of Steuben Glass, she returned to Duke in 1994 as leader-in-residence of Duke's Hart Leadership Program.

"She has helped shape that program's distinctive combination of action and thought, of experience and reflection," Keohane said. "Her fellow faculty describe her as 'one of the best advisers a student could ever ask for,' someone who regularly arranges internships for students, allows them to realize their own capacities, starts them on their careers, and encourages them to exercise leadership on and off campus. Faculty celebrate her readiness to generate ideas, her encouragement of others in their creative thinking, and her skill at focusing on targets of opportunity. They marvel at her ability to connect with people, and her eagerness to employ those connections for the sake of advancing good causes."

A longtime member of the Sanford Institute's board of visitors, King was also a Duke trustee for fourteen years. She served on the board's executive committee and chaired several standing committees. Last spring, she took on a major role in the Women's Athletics Celebration. In June, she was named a trustee emerita.

In addition to presenting the university medals, Keohane gave the Duke Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award to Edmund T. Pratt Jr. B.S.E. '47, the retired chair and chief executive officer of Pfizer Inc. who donated $35 million to Duke in 1999 to endow the engineering school, which is named in his honor.

The Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award went to Peter D. Feaver, associate professor of political science. The University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award, given by the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, was awarded to Stanley Hauerwas, the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School.

Four teaching awards, announced last year, also were noted during the convocation. The awards, which recognize excellence in teaching in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, went to James Bonk of the chemistry department, Thomas J. Ferraro of the English department, Craufurd Goodwin Ph.D. '58 of the economics department, and Clare J. Tufts of the department of Romance studies.


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