From Bruce’s Early History: “Looking back, the best thing about the on-campus part of the Leadership Program of those years was surely the intense involvement of students in the classes. Most years, in addition to the readings and the weekly quizzes, there were required individual or group projects. One of these resulted in the “Green Dorm,” environmental housing for students; and another led to SAF (Student Action with Farmworkers). But in fact there were dozens of them: school and after-school projects; work with senior centers; projects with cancer patients, environmental work, and regular connections with organizations like Habitat for Humanity…
A second great strength of the program was our advising—in many ways we were a “leadership coaching” operation, talking with students about the organizations they were running or the ones they wanted to initiate, talking with them about how to be effective in the groups they were part of, or against those they opposed. A fair number of the most interesting and innovative things that happened on the campus in those years were deeply but unofficially connected to our work in this way, not least the successful student campaign, led by leadership staff member John Humphrey, to end Duke’s investments in apartheid South Africa.
Alex Harris was not directly part of what we were doing, but his and Margaret Sartor’s and my work in South Africa led to one more significant curricular development in the early phase of the program, and that was the hiring of Allister Sparks, South Africa’s leading journalist, to teach a course about leadership and politics in South Africa. In his first two semesters of teaching at Duke, Allister was not only a fascinating teacher capable of adding quite unusual stories and perspectives to our subjects, he was also talking about and writing The Mind of South Africa, easily the most important book on that country written during its period of greatest transition.
As part of our courses we had a lot of visitors. Our first was Bob Moses, the leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi 1962-64 (and now director of the Algebra Project nationally). Michael Eisner, then new in his job as CEO at Disney, spent two hours with each of two classes, answering tough questions. Susan King, then Senior VP at Corning, theatrical producer Manny Azenberg, and a host of corporate and governmental leaders also joined us in classes or in evening seminars at my apartment in the warehouse.
There were non-course activities as well. The Leadership Program took the lead in sponsoring Birth Rights and Blood Rites, a huge exhibition of sculpture by Seymour Gresser and paintings by Charlotte Lichtblau that filled the Duke Chapel (and some other venues on campus) for five weeks in the spring of 1987.”