From Boston to San Diego, from Seattle to Miami, thirty-one "send-off" parties, held from June to August, welcomed new students into the Duke family. Organized and sponsored by the clubs and alumni-admissions programs in Alumni Affairs, the Duke Alumni Association, and the Development Office, these events were attended by nearly 2,000 incoming freshmen and their parents, current students, alumni, and, in some cases, Duke administrators.
" This was a chance for us to provide family-friendly alumni events during the summer and involve current students in alumni activities," says George Dorfman '85, A.M. '01, director of the clubs program and assistant director of Alumni Affairs. "And it was an opportunity to involve volunteers in clubs and alumni admissions by working with one another on a common theme: welcoming students who have decided to attend Duke."
These summer parties replace the April "accept" parties of years past, which were held for all accepted students who were considering Duke. The accept parties had one main drawback, says Dorfman--the absence of current Duke students, who were still on campus. The new format honors incoming first-year students only and allows more planning time for hosts, primarily alumni and parents, many of whom open their homes for the parties. And attendance is higher because all alumni in each area are invited, as is the case with all Duke alumni club events.
" New students get to meet alumni and other students from their own towns, which means that freshmen will see some familiar faces on the quad," says Dorfman. Feedback from new and current students who attended has been "overwhelmingly positive," he says.