When Jeff Howard ’76 first stepped onto Duke’s campus as a teenager from Minnesota, the beauty of the campus “took my breath away,” he says. “It was my vision of what a university was supposed to look like.”
Forty years later, Howard retains that sense of wonder and pride for the place that’s shaped his life ever since. It’s where he met his wife—he called her on a dare during their freshman year, and they dated throughout college—and where all three of their daughters matriculated. And whether he’s sharing horticultural highlights from a Duke Travel trip to Holland and Belgium this past spring or talking about his priorities as the new president of the Duke Alumni Association, Howard’s enthusiasm for his alma mater runs deep.
A lawyer in Winston-Salem with Salem Investment Counselors, Howard says he feels privileged to be part of Duke’s rise from a prestigious regional university to an internationally respected research institution. From a personal standpoint, he is grateful for Duke’s continuing commitment to need-blind admissions, particularly in the face of escalating tuition costs.
“I was headed to a military academy but Duke offered me financial aid and support so that I could attend. That’s something I’ll never forget.”
In his role as DAA president, Howard says he welcomes the chance to carry forward the work of previous DAA presidents Ann Pelham ’74 and Hardy Vieux ’93, focusing on two specific initiatives. “We’re developing a vibrant online network for our alums and students to connect professionally and socially in multiple ways. And we’re expanding and refining the lifelong learning opportunities for alums, both on campus and where they live.”