Fall Meeting of DAA Board of Directors

March 31, 2004

Orientation for new members led off the fall meeting of the Duke Alumni Association's board of directors, with the leaders of each alumni program updating and clarifying their programming missions. Then, following an opening luncheon at the Washington Duke Inn, the plenary session began with Ellen Medearis, director of major and leadership gifts for the development office, giving an overview of the Women's Initiative. Medearis, who served on the steering committee, introduced Susan Roth, the committee's chair, to share the results and take questions.

Ava LaVonne Vinesett, assistant professor in Duke's dance program and winner of the 2002 Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, spoke to the group of her classroom techniques and experiences. An update on the search for a new president, led by University Secretary Allison Haltom '72, presidential search committee coordinator, and Ruth Wade Ross '68, alumni representative on the committee, followed.

DAA president Michele Sales '78, J.D. '81 gave the president's report after introducing new members. She had met with top administrators and attended her first meeting of the board of trustees, upon which she serves as an observing member this year. She noted that student mentoring and advising was a pervasive issue on campus.

Immediate past president Wilton D. Alston B.S.E. '81, who also serves as a voting trustee this year, gave the trustees report, noting that an update from the Office of Information Technology ranked Duke in the upper third of schools using technology.

The DAA board's standing committees--communications, member benefits and services, and regional programs--met that afternoon before an evening reception and dinner that were also attended by students who work each year with Reunions. Following dinner, board members were invited to Cameron Indoor Stadium for "Blue Devils' Eve," the first practice of the year for the men's basketball team.

The next day, following a second session of standing committee meetings, the official board meeting began. The highlight was an announcement that the Alumni Endowed Scholarship, now both need- and merit-based, would be expanded--from providing approximately 40 percent to providing full tuition and adding a summer program to study abroad. Beginning with the Class of 2009, two awards will be presented annually. The board meeting adjourned for a tailgate party before the Duke-Wake Forest football game.