The Duke Alumni Association and the Annual Fund will present Charles A. Dukes Awards to six alumni and friends for outstanding volunteer service to the university. The awards, named for the late Dukes '29, director of the alumni-affairs office from 1944 to 1963, honor individuals who reflect his dedication to the university. Dukes award winners are selected by the DAA board of directors and the executive committee of the Annual Fund.
This year's recipients are A. Joe Delgado '93; R. Ross Harris '78, M.B.A. '80; William P. Miller '77; Mark E. Stalnecker '73; Robert Taylor '49, LL.B. '52; and Mike and Robin Zafirovski, Duke parents.
Delgado is a private equity investor with CCMP Capital in New York. A member of the Annual Fund executive committee since 2006, he served on the class gift committee for his tenth reunion, chaired that committee for his fifteenth reunion, and was a key volunteer on the Young Alumni Development Council in 2002.
Delgado says he volunteers to "stay connected to this dynamic institution and its wonderful community. I enjoy working with other volunteers who share a similar passion for Duke and gratitude for the time they spent there."
Harris, who lives in Greensboro, has served in a number of volunteer positions at Duke. A member of the DAA board of directors from 1988 to 1997, she was president from 1995 to 1996 and was the DAA representative to Duke's board of trustees in 1996 and 1997. She's also been on the Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee since 1981. Harris has chaired the Comprehensive Cancer Center's citizens' advisory council since 2004 and is a member of its patient support program. She was a member of the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy's advisory board from 1998 to 2001 and was co-chair of her 30th reunion in April 2008.
"Volunteering for Duke has been one of the great joys of my life," says Harris. "It's been a wonderful way to stay connected to old friends and to meet new ones. Without question, I feel that I get far more back from my volunteer activities than I give. I can't imagine what my life would be like without Duke."
Miller lives in Greensboro and is a partner in the law firm of Roberson Haworth & Reese. He joined the DAA board of directors in 1998, was on its executive committee from 2001 to 2007, and was president from 2004 to 2006. In his capacity as a former DAA board president, Miller was a member of Duke's board of trustees from 2004 to 2007. He is a past president of the Duke Club of High Point (North Carolina), interviewed prospective students for the Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee for more than twenty years, and was class co-chair for his 30th reunion in 2007.
Miller's family legacy at Duke includes his father, Walter Miller '47, and son, Alex Miller '12. He says he volunteers for his alma mater "because each time I reach out and touch Duke, I find my life enhanced. The incredible ties we all have as alumni begin during our student years on campus. Those ties become stronger and more meaningful as we become volunteers…When I interact with students, faculty, alumni, administrators, and staff of the university, I am reminded of Duke's excellence."
Stalnecker is chief investment officer at the University of Delaware, has chaired five of his class reunion campaigns, has chaired the Annual Fund executive committee, and has been a longtime member of the Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee. He is married to Duke trustee Susan Matamoros Stalnecker '73; they have two children, Andrew Stalnecker '06 and Erica Stalnecker '06.
"Duke had an exceptionally positive impact on my intellectual and social development," says Stalnecker. "As a result, I've always wanted to stay connected to Duke and repay what Duke gave me. I also want to do what I can to ensure that the best possible Duke experience is available to future generations of Duke students."
Taylor is president of the law firm Taylor Lohmeyer Corrigan, in Dallas. He chaired the Dallas/Fort Worth Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee from 1967 to 2007 and was a board member of the Duke Club of Dallas from 1970 to 1995. "For more than thirty years, alumni groups in Dallas have described Duke as a 'joyful' place," he says. "It was a joy to attend Duke. It has been a joy to watch Duke grow from an excellent regional university to a great educational institution consistently ranked in the top ten in the U.S. It is a joy to help Duke expand its greatness for the benefit of future generations of students."
Mike Zafirovski is chief executive officer of Nortel Networks. He and his wife, Robin Zafirovski, have served as national chairs of the Duke Parents' Committee and as members of the Annual Fund executive committee for the past two years. They have three children, including Matt Zafirovski '08.
"Serving Duke has been a fantastic way to support and connect with our son's school," says Mike Zafirovski. "We truly admire Duke's ability and commitment to develop engaged and capable citizens, and we believe in the promise of its future.
November 30, 2008