15 Mar

25 Hours at Duke

If you wander into the hallway of the Hart Leadership Program on a Monday this semester, you may notice a little more activity than usual.

First of all, Monday afternoons are when Tony teaches his signature, project-based “Enterprising Leadership” course—originally intended as an 18-person seminar, but which has now grown to 31 students as a result of insistent and overwhelming demand.

But secondly, it’s because Professor Tony Brown just launched his newest alumni engagement initiative, “25 Hours at Duke.”

Borne out of ELI’s successful “36 Hours at Duke” program, Tony created “25 Hours” as a way to engage alumni who might not be able to devote a full weekend away from their work and families. He describes the program as “an avenue for alumni to come to campus in a time-effective way to contribute to students’ experiences, be invigorated, and engage as a member of the extended Duke community.”

Ben Spero (’98), Managing Director of Spectrum Equity, on his “25 Hours” visit to Duke

The “25 Hours” experience is meant to be more intensive and meaningful than a traditional campus visit. Before they come, alums are asked to fill out an “Interests and Preference” form, which asks them to rank specific campus and Durham activities, list faculty members, administrators, or community members they’d like to visit, and outline any other objectives and goals for their one-day visit. Based on their answers, Tony develops a personalized “25 Hours” schedule tailored for the alum. Past activities have included co-leading Tony’s class, having dinner with his current students, attending a public policy course, and meeting with Durham community members engaged in similar fields of work.

2016 alum Erica Becker, who is working for the One Love Foundation, leading a presentation in Tony’s class

For alumni returning to campus, participating in “25 Hours” is a “breath of fresh air” and “a stimulating opportunity to engage with students.” One of the invited alums, Julie Hopkins (pictured below) wrote in an email after her visit “It was the best! Thank you, Tony and Susan, for a marvelous 25 hours! It was rejuvenating being among you.” (Julie, who came down from Detroit, also appreciated the chance to escape from the cold Michigan winter to enjoy a balmy, 70 degree Durham February day).

Julie Hopkins (’96), Managing Vice President of Gartner

Another alum, Jason King (’94), President and CEO of Turning the Page in DC, said “Thank you so much for a fantastic two days (or 25 hours!). I very much appreciate the thoughtfulness that went in to making my visit a meaningful one, both personally and professionally. I would not have had this type of access without your support, and I am grateful.”

ELI will be piloting the “25 Hours at Duke” program over the course of this semester with a small group of 26 alumni, welcoming one or two of them to campus each week. Please contact Tony Brown with any questions or to learn more about the program.

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