Invaluable Volunteers


Charles A. Dukes Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service to Duke were presented to fifteen young-alumni organizers, alumni admissions advisers, and other exceptional leaders. The awards are sponsored by the Duke Alumni Association. Named for the late Dukes '29, director of Alumni Affairs from 1944 to 1963, the citations honor alumni and friends of Duke who reflect his dedication to the university.

Selected by the DAA's Awards and Recognition Committee and the Annual Fund's executive committee, this year's recipients are:

-William A. Bermont II '97, reunion gift class co-chair for his fifth reunion and Young Alumni coordinator for the Duke Club of Chicago. His class set a new fifth-reunion record in giving. He served on the board of directors of the Center for Jewish Life at Duke from 1996 to 1999 and has been a development volunteer for Duke Children's Hospital. "I volunteer," he says, "as a means to express my gratitude and also as an acknowledgment that the bonds to Duke can last long after graduation." He earned his master's in management at Northwestern University and was an associate with The Pritzker Organization, an investment firm. He is now pursuing a master's of accounting degree full-time at Loyola University. Bermont and his wife, Lynne Bornstein Bermont '96, live in Chicago.

-Daniel L. Dees '92, reunion gift class co-chair for his tenth reunion and a member of Duke's Young Alumni Development Council in New York. His leadership as Annual Fund Leadership Gift Committee chair helped the Class of 1992 set a tenth-reunion record in giving. He says one of the reasons he volunteers is to "help make it possible for other people to enjoy Duke and appreciate it as much as I did." Dees is managing director of Goldman Sachs and Company. He and his wife, Daun, live in New York City.

-Michael Dockterman J.D. '78, president of Duke's law school alumni association for the past two years and a member of the law school's alumni association board of directors since 1994. A member of the Barristers Club for Duke, he initiated a mentoring program that has linked law alumni with students "to give them some real-world experience and connections on a personal level." Through volunteering, Dockterman says, he has "an impact on people who, in turn, will make a real contribution to our profession." He is vice president and partner at the Chicago law firm Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon. He and his wife, Laura B. Di Giantonio '79, and their daughter live in Chicago.

-Ann Wooster Elliott '88, president of the Duke Club of Atlanta. Her history of alumni volunteerism is extensive: president of the Duke Club of Kansas City in 1989 to 1991 and a member of the region's Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee (AAAC); president of the Duke Club of Nashville from 1991 to 1994 and chair of the region's AAAC; and club president in Atlanta since 1996 and AAAC member. In 1998, she was a member of the Leadership Gifts Committee for her tenth reunion and she chairs that committee for her class. "I continue to meet great people through alumni activities," she says, "and enjoy the opportunity to stay in touch with Duke's vibrant community and the outstanding people there." Elliott is chief executive officer of Solertis Logistics Solutions and lives in Atlanta.

-Jason W. Goode '97, J.D. '00, reunion gift class co-chair for his fifth reunion. His class set a new giving record for fifth reunions. He has served on the Annual Fund's executive committee since 2001 and has assisted with the Young Alumni Program. As an undergraduate, he was a member of Kappa Sigma and the co-chair of the Senior Gift Committee. "Volunteering for Duke allows me to continue to be involved with the institution that has been so important in my life," he says. "It has also been a fantastic way to keep in touch with classmates and meet other interesting people who love Duke." Goode, an attorney, lives in Atlanta.

-William J. Griffith III '50, chair of the Half Century Club from 2000 to 2002 and Duke's vice president emeritus for student affairs. An honorary member of the DAA board of directors since 1992, he has served on each of his class' reunion committees since graduating. He has served on and chaired the Annual Fund's Reunion Leadership Committee and has been a member, including secretary and president, of the Duke Art Museum Association since 1993. He was secretary of the Duke Arts and Sciences Council in 2001-02 and served on the steering committee to plan the celebration of the Woman's College held in November. He founded in 1994 and chaired through 1996 Duke University Retiree Outreach (DURO). He was president, from 1993 to 1997, of Duke University Retiree Association (DURA), through which he is still active in community service projects. "I get great personal satisfaction," Griffith says, "from being involved with volunteer efforts for the university that very often extend into serving and hopefully benefiting the Durham community as well." He and his wife, Carol Topham Griffith R.N. '52, live in Durham.

-Robert T. Harper '76, J.D. '79, AAAC chair since 1999 for the Pittsburgh region. Harper has been involved with the clubs and alumni admissions programs since 1984. He was president of the Duke Club of Pittsburgh from 1986 to 1991 and reunion class president in 1996 for his class' twentieth reunion. A member of the DAA board of directors from 1994 through 1998, he was its president in 1996-97. He served on the Duke Law Advisory Committee from 1983 to 1989 and is a past chair of the Duke libraries' board of advisers. In 2001, he was Reunion Gifts Committee chair and Reunions Planning Committee co-chair for his twenty-fifth reunion. "I find it wonderful that participation in volunteer activities at Duke continues to nourish my personal growth and development," he says. Harper, an attorney in Pittsburgh, and his wife, Susan, have two daughters, including Elizabeth, a Duke freshman.

-Scott I. Kaplan '92, Reunion True Blue Committee chair since 2000. His class set a new giving record for tenth reunions. Kaplan was reunion gift class chair for his fifth reunion, has served on the Young Alumni Development Council, has worked with the Young Alumni Program, and has been an interviewer with the AAAC for the New York City region. He served on the Reunion Leadership Committee from 1994 to 1997. He says Duke was "an experience that I will always cherish" and that he volunteers "to give back to my alma mater and open this experience to others." Kaplan, president of his financial advisory consulting services firm, lives in New York City.

-Mark S. Militello '84, president of the Duke Club of Japan since 1998. He was Reunion Gift class chair for his tenth reunion and served on the steering committee for Duke's new football facility in 1999. As club president, he has taken an international venue to new heights, planning regular events and recruiting Duke faculty and administrators visiting Japan to be guest speakers. "Having attended Duke on a football scholarship," Militello says, "I feel I owe the university much in both financial and nonfinancial ways. Volunteering is one small way." An executive with Shinsei Bank, Militello and his wife, Jacqueline White Militello '87, have four children.

-Richard H. Patterson Jr. '80, AAAC chair for Los Angeles since 1989. After his first year serving on his local AAAC, he became its chair. He now oversees nearly 100 volunteers who interview prospective students for Duke. Patterson was a member of the board of the Duke Club of Southern California from 1990 to 1997 and has served on its advisory board since 2001. He was member of Duke's Executive Leadership Board for Los Angeles in 1992 through 1995. Patterson says he enjoys "representing Duke in my community. Volunteering is a tangible way to remain involved in the life of the university and of staying connected with other alums." He and his wife, Melissa, have three children and live in Pasadena.

-Jonathan B. Rosen '92, reunion gift class co-chair for his tenth reunion. His leadership in securing commitments from his classmates led to setting a new record in giving for tenth reunions. Rosen was one of the first members of the New York Young Alumni Development Council. "I'm really grateful to have graduated from Duke," he says, "and I've enjoyed getting the chance to give some effort, and not just money, back to the university." He and his wife, Elise Long Rosen '86, have two children and live in New York City.

-John F. Sacha '70, member of the Regional Campaign Council for Atlanta since 1999. Sacha has been an involved volunteer from the beginning. He has been a member of Atlanta's AAAC since 1973. He was reunion gift class co-chair for his twentieth reunion and a member of the Leadership Gifts Committee for both his twenty-fifth and thirtieth reunions. "A Duke education was such an invaluable asset and experience for me," he says, "that I would like to return to the institution and to future students a measure of my gratitude by my volunteer efforts." Sacha, an attorney, and his wife, Helen, live in Atlanta and have three children, including a daughter who is a Duke senior.

-Suzanne J. Wasiolek '76, M.H.A. '78, LL.M. '93, student panel moderator for the biennial Alumni Leadership Conference and guest speaker at numerous accepted-students parties each year. She was a member of the reunion planning committees for her fifteenth and twenty-fifth reunions and reunion gift chair for her twenty-fifth reunion. She is a member of the Annual Fund's executive committee, national chair of the Washington Duke Club, and an honorary member of the DAA's board of directors. Wasiolek, assistant vice president of student affairs at Duke, says, "Duke has given me more than I can ever hope to return. I may give my time to Duke, but it has given to me extraordinary joy, love, and support."

-Seth A. Watkins B.S.E. '92, M.S.M.E. '93, Ph.D. '96, J.D. '99, reunion gift engineering class chair for his tenth reunion and an engineering class agent since 1996. Watkins has been a member of the Engineering Alumni Council for the past five years and chaired the Pratt School of Engineering's awards committee for the past three years. He served on planning committees for both his fifth and tenth reunions and is a member of the Washington, D.C., region's AAAC. "I volunteer for Duke because I am proud of the university," Watkins says, "and I am committed to bringing enthusiasm and support to the Duke community." An intellectual-property attorney, he lives in Arlington, Virginia.

-Cary Willis Weems '77, reunion gift class chair for her twenty-fifth reunion and a member of the Atlanta Regional Campaign Council since 1999. She was also reunion gift class chair for her twentieth reunion. She was a Trinity class agent from 1984 to 1989 and has served on the Annual Fund's executive committee since 1998. Her work last year brought her class' reunion-giving total to more than $1 million. She is a past member of her region's AAAC and has served on past reunion-planning committees. "I am true blue to the core and am so proud to be an alumna of Duke," she says. "The gift of time is a small way to repay an institution that has given me so much." Weems, and her husband, Herron, have three children and live in Atlanta.


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