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Letter to the editor

(12/06/16 4:07pm)

Keith Brodie was an unconventional university president, to say the least. Much more comfortable one-on-one or in a small group, he shied away from the more public aspects of the job. But he also oversaw a huge transformation for Duke, in which the university rose to prominence as one of the nation’s great centers for higher learning. On a more personal level, Brodie could be downright human. He would stride the campus wearing chinos, and dined with students long before it was fashionable. For those of us at The Chronicle, he held monthly off-the-record lunches, sharing detailed insights into the inner-workings of the university. He was also someone I sought out for advice after my reporting days were over. He was generous with his time, more than willing to offer assistance and seemed genuinely to want the best for those he encountered. At a time when leadership is so often measured by bluster and is frequently only skin-deep, it is worth appreciating Keith Brodie—both for his achievements and for the manner in which he attained them. Duke has lost not only one of its great leaders, but also a man of great character. He will be missed.