Founders' Day: Honoring the Duke Community

November 30, 2006
Convocation formation: faculty members prepare to enter Duke Chapel to commemorate Founders’ Day

Convocation formation: faculty members prepare to enter Duke Chapel to commemorate Founders' Day, which included the presentation of the University Medal to Wallace and Wilson, below. Les Todd

At this year's Founders' Day Convocation in September, Duke honored outstanding students, faculty members, employees, and alumni.

The convocation address was delivered by Paula Phillips Burger '67, A. M. '74, dean of undergraduate education and vice provost for academic affairs at the Johns Hopkins University and a member of Duke's board of trustees.

The University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service, one of the university's highest awards, was given to Ruby Leila Wilson Ed.D. '69, dean emerita of the School of Nursing, and longtime university photographer William "Jimmy" Wallace Jr.

Founders’ Day included the presentation of the University Medal to Wallace and Wilson

 Megan Morr

Wilson, currently a professor of nursing, assistant professor of medicine, and assistant to the chancellor for health affairs, came to Duke's nursing school in 1955. As dean from 1971 to 1984, she helped to develop a pioneering undergraduate curriculum and graduate nursing program. Wilson continues her commitment to innovation and advocacy for nurses and their patients through her work on numerous boards and committees.

Wallace, who retired earlier this year, took a wide range of photographs during his forty-seven-year career. Memorable subjects included the 1969 Allen Building takeover and visits to campus by U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon LL.B. '37 and Ronald Reagan, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, and Queen Noor of Jordan.

Also presented at the convocation were Duke's Distinguished Alumni Award, to Russell Robinson '54, LL.B. '56 and Sally Dalton Robinson '55; the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, to Seymour Mauskopf, professor of history; and the University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award, to Erwin Chemerinsky, Alston & Bird Professor of law and professor of political science.

Others honored included Angier B. Duke Scholars, Benjamin N. Duke Scholars, James B. Duke Graduate Fellows, Reginaldo Howard Scholars, University Scholars, Robertson Scholars, The Duke Endowment Fellows, and various faculty scholars.