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March 2022 Family Newsletter Feature – Gerald Harris

Home Blog March 2022 Family Newsletter Feature – Gerald Harris


Gerald Harris

Hi, my name is Gerald Harris. I’m the Sr. Director of Campus and Student Engagement for Duke Alumni Engagement and Development. I have one word to describe what my extremely long title means, and that is SERVE.

Serve for me is short for Support, Educate, Relationships, Vision, and Expand. And that is what I do for our student population, as it relates to alumni engagement. I develop initiatives to support the transition of students throughout their entire cycle on campus to young alumni status with in-person and virtual engagement opportunities.

Here are some ways for your student to find the support and community they need as they navigate their years on campus and beyond. I call these the basic onramps to jump-start your “Forever Duke” experience.

The Duke Alumni Network is an online database where your student can find and browse Duke’s more than 185,000 alumni based on their degree, career industry, current city, and more. They can explore the different majors alumni pursued while they were at Duke and find out what they are up to now. If they find someone interesting, they can just click the green “Contact” button on their profile page to send them an email. Every Duke student has the opportunity to opt-in to have their own profile on It’s very easy!

Ask A Blue Devil is a simple and smart tool to help alumni pay it forward and for your students to get the help they need! Students can complete a simple form and Ask A Blue Devil will connect them with the best Duke alumni experts who can help with advice and introductions. Questions have ranged from life at Duke, life in general, and career/industry. The program uses an internal algorithm to match you with multiple alumni within our database that can assist. You’ll often get email responses from 2 or 3 alumni who want to help you out!

Karsh Conversations bring together students and alumni from a variety of industries for small-group discussions at the Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center (KAVC) to allow for dynamic conversations and relationship-building. This series is open to all students enrolled at Duke and is hosted by the Duke Student Alumni Board in partnership with Duke Alumni Engagement and Development. New conversation dates are added periodically. Students can subscribe to email updates on upcoming Karsh Conversations here.

Duke Student Alumni Board is an advisory group, housed in Duke Alumni Engagement and Development, that works to foster communication and collaboration between students and alumni. Board members are chosen from the entire student body population of Duke to reflect the diversity of the student experience. Responsibilities include:

  • Serving as student ambassadors for AED
  • Attending DA board meetings and signature alumni events, such as Homecoming and Reunions
  • Representing student views on panels
  • Developing and implementing student outreach strategies around student and alumni engagement and philanthropy at Duke
  • Providing advice and feedback about new and existing programs for student and alumni engagement and philanthropy 
  • Organizing events for the Duke community

Applications are open now! Your student can apply here.  The deadline to apply is March 31st.

As I say all the time, students are here for 4 years and they are alums for the rest of their lives. But those 4 years will determine their engagement as alums. My hope that we at Duke Alumni Engagement and Development continue to find ways support them, educate them, assist them building relationships, be cheerleader for their visions, and expand our services based off their needs. In hope that when they become alums, they do the same for the students of Duke University.

Gerald C. Harris