Founders' Day Honors

November 30, 2002

 

Ritual of remembrance: attendees at a Founders' Day ceremony to plant a tree for each of the six Duke alumni killed on September 11, 2001, participate in the planting.

Ritual of remembrance: attendees at a Founders' Day ceremony to plant a tree for each of the six Duke alumni killed on September 11, 2001, participate in the planting. Jon Gardiner.

Duke held its annual Founders' Day Convocation in Duke Chapel on October 3. President Nannerl O. Keohane led the services, which honored outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, employees, and alumni. The convocation address was delivered by W. Robert Connor, president and director of the National Humanities Center since 1989.

William G. Anlyan, chancellor emeritus of Duke Medical Center and a trustee of The Duke Endowment, and John Alexander McMahon '42, chairman emeritus of Duke's board of trustees, each received a University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service--the university's highest award.

Anlyan came to Duke in 1949 as a resident in general and thoracic surgery. He became a full professor of surgery in 1961. Under his leadership, the medical center added 2.5-million square feet of research, teaching, and clinical facilities. Beyond such physical symbols of his vision, Anlyan "was an inno-vator in medical education and an exemplar in nurturing the careers of colleagues," Keohane said.

McMahon was a longtime president of the American Hospital Association; at Duke, he chaired the health administration department at the medical center and was later executive-in-residence at Fuqua. In addition to his trustee service (which included a twelve-year term as chair), he was a two-term president of the Duke Alumni Association. Keohane cited a colleague's description of him as "a father figure for a generation of hospital administrators."

Keohane presented the Duke Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award to trustee emeritus Edward H. Benenson '34. The Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award went to Ava Vinesett, an assistant professor of the practice in the dance program. The University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award, given by the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, was presented to law professor H. Jefferson Powell A.M. '77, Ph.D. '91. David Walmer, a physician and professor of obstetrics and gynecology, received the Humanitarian Service Award.

Four faculty members were recognized for excellence in teaching in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences: Alexander Motten, of the biology department; Victor H. Strandberg, English; Allen C. Kelley, economics; and Owen L. Astrachan, computer science.