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Kenan Institute honors Keohane

Although the Board of Trustees took final action on only a few initiatives this weekend (see story, page 1), it was a busy and celebratory weekend for the Trustees and Duke's senior administration.

The Trustees' usual October meetings coincided with a Founders' Weekend of parties and special events intended to commemorate the tenth anniversary of President Nan Keohane, who will step down from her position in June 2004.

At a reception Saturday night, the University announced the creation of the Nannerl O. Keohane Directorship of the Kenan Institute of Ethics, made possible by a $1.33 million donation from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation and its president James Goodmon. The gift will be matched by an additional $670,000 from the Nicholas Faculty Leadership Initiative.

"Nan has provided strong leadership and support in establishing the Kenan Institute," Goodmon said in a statement. "I know that the program is very important to her and I want people 50 years from now to know about her efforts."

Keohane said she was honored by the naming of the endowed directorship of a program that she worked hard to bring to Duke in 1995.

"We have made a commitment to ourselves and to the Kenan Trust that we will have some fundraising initiatives for the Kenan Institute, so that it's not just funded by the Kenan Trust or Duke University, and having the directorship endowed was our major fundraising goal, and his willingness to do that and his generosity in naming it for me was tremendously rewarding," Keohane said. "I was so touched, I was surprised, as I was by the University Medal. These are lovely surprises."

Following her Founders' Day address Thursday, the University surprised Keohane by awarding her the University Medal, Duke's highest honor.

Friday night at a party in Keohane's honor, her team of senior administrators--the formation of which she called her greatest accomplishment in her speech Thursday--thanked Keohane for her ten years of service and leadership in their own unique way--with a roast of sorts.

The Allen Building top brazz traded roles in their reenactment of a "typical" senior administrators meeting, with Provost Peter Lange sporting white hair and a sagging waistline to give his rendition of Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations John Burness, Executive Vice President Tallman Trask donning a wig in his portrayal of University Secretary and Vice President Allison Haltom, and Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta offering "the most accurate impersonation of Lange's voice" that Keohane had ever heard. The president herself was represented as a vox dei, with Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Judith Ruderman providing her obscure-quoting voice offstage via microphone, to which the others would mumble in unison, "Yes, Nan."

"[It] was a most joyous occasion. I was so touched by my colleagues and what they did and their skills at roasting themselves and me, and having so many people there that were dear to me," said Keohane who was joined by most of her family.

The evening also included a speech by James B. Duke Professor of English Reynolds Price, a dance by the Walltown Children's Theater and a video of Duke community members thanking Keohane--the last person to give thanks was her husband, Political Science Professor Robert Keohane who said, "Thank you Nan, and thanks for quitting."


  • Bruce Karsh, Trinity '77 and president of a Los Angeles-based financial management firm, was elected to the Board of Trustees. His appointment will become effective Dec. 1. He is also a director of the Duke University Management Company and currently serves as vice chair of the DUMAC board. Karsh will join six other Trustees new to the Board this year.

  • The Campaign for Duke is on track to break the $2.2 billion mark before its Dec. 31 completion, development officials announced. The University will celebrate the success of the campaign with a gala event Feb. 28, 2004.

  • Trustees in sub-committee meetings heard reports on preliminary plans for both the West Campus student village and the Central Campus university village. Burness said more detailed plans will be unveiled after the new year.

  • Academic Council Nancy Allen, Duke Student Government President Matt Slovik and Graduate and Professional Student Council President Rob Saunders all gave reports to the Board. The students' presentations focused on the need for more faculty-student interaction and mentorship.


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