As part of the Enterprising Leadership Initiative (ELI), 36 Hours at Duke is based on the belief that alumni have expertise and experience to offer students, and students have much to teach alumni. Bringing together current and former Duke students for a 36 hour period on campus, 36 Hours at Duke allows students and alumni to forge connections with each other, learn, and continue their leadership development.
"...this program is as much about professional connections and growth as it is about personal learning and continuing education about your own value systems..."
Typically a group of 20 alumni and 20 students gathers from a Friday evening to Sunday afternoon on Duke campus. During the 36-hour program, they participate in faculty-led group workshops, experience Duke and Durham, connect with each other, and have fun in the process. 36 Hours at Duke provides participants with a forum to discuss real world issues on a particular theme or problem, and it offers time for personal reflection. Programs can be based on specific demographic themes such as women, entrepreneurs, or Durham residents.
Before the weekend, each alumni participant is assigned a student partner. Together the partners participate in program activities that include workshops and events for the whole group, as well as small group conversation sessions. Alumni-student partners collaborate in creating a “36 hour plan” that includes the small group conversations as well as additional activities of personal interest. Partner groups interact with each other before, during, and after the weekend. The program is intentionally flexible to allow for alumni and students to engage in the breadth of the Duke experience in the specific ways they wish to do so. The weekend is an avenue for participants to come together and to recapture a sense of what it means to actively participate in the extended Duke community.