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Tribute to Janet Hill

letter to the editor

Janet V. Hill
Duke Trustee Emerita
1947 – 2022

I knew Mrs. Hill not because of her son Grant (Trinity '94), but because of her ties to New Orleans. She encouraged me a long time ago to engage our small alumni group in that city and across Louisiana before Hurricane Katrina. She did this not because her mother still lived there, she did it because Janet had an enduring passion and love for Duke.

What struck me most about her was mentoring younger people. She asked me (ordered, really) more than once to drive undergraduates in “Duke Engage” from the airport to her mother’s house in Uptown New Orleans so they could get real life experience in the service to society program launched by President Brodhead. It gave me great honor to be comfortable calling & asking her for advice. Her death at a relatively young age is a significant loss. She touched many people–not only at Duke, but in Washington, D.C. and in her native city of New Orleans.

As the flags fly low on campus today (Thursday, August 18), please remember her and the great work she did helping to make Duke University what it is.


Godspeed, Janet.

David Bowser (Trinity '84) is the former volunteer leader of the Duke University Alumni Club of New Orleans.

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