DAA Board Pitches In

August 1, 2007

The recently announced DukeEngage initiative aims to make civic engagement and service learning an integral part of every undergraduate's Duke experience. To emphasize its own commitment to service, the Duke Alumni Association board, at its May meeting, participated in an afternoon of community service at Lakewood Elementary School, one of Duke's partner schools, located only a few miles from West Campus. The idea grew out of discussions in the DAA board's Civic Engagement Committee, co-chaired by Ann Elliott '88 and Hardy Vieux '93.

"The committee felt it was important to offer a community-service project for the DAA board because part of our charter is to help alumni get involved with Duke's efforts," says Elliott. "What better way to get engaged than with an elementary school just a few miles from where our board meetings are held and with alumni who truly care about the university and Durham?"

The DAA volunteers were joined by members of Duke University Retirees Outreach, or DURO, a service organization comprising retired Duke employees. Together, the two organizations completed three projects at Lakewood. Volunteers working in the library shelved books and helped reorganize the collections by moving entire sections and putting up new signs.

Outside, volunteers cleared, rototilled, and replanted several large flower beds and built two gazebos next to the playground to provide much-needed shade for students and teachers.