On November 11, 2013, then-president Logan Isaac and several volunteers attended Duke University’s annual Veterans Day celebration. After the ceremonies were complete, Isaac and his volunteers, including current student veterans, community stakeholders, and civilian allies, collected information from the crowd about community support for veterans services at Duke. Here are the six pages of signatures collected that day;
There were 89 signatures captured, including from the featured speaker, Karen Jean Hunt, who, according to LinkedIn, left Duke in February 2017. Only two people polled rated the priority a three on a scale of five. Twenty people rated the priority a four out of five and 67 people, a full 75% of those polled, felt that veteran services should be a top priority for Duke University.
I erroneously presumed that veteran support issues were at institutions with more non-traditional undergraduate learners and wouldn’t be a Duke issue… I discovered that’s not the case.
The poll was created after an April 2013 meeting between Moneta and Isaac, who was serving as the President of Duke Vets at that time. In the meeting, Moneta told Isaac he did not foresee a veteran center in Duke’s future unless such a center paid for itself. One way centers have been funded is through alumni giving, 35% of whom donate to our alma mater. The Gender Diversity Center, for example, was formed the same year an alumni group formed.
However, there exists no affinity group for veterans, then or now. Having such a group could potentially generate significant support, since veterans like Eric Shinseki, Walter Boomer, and Martin Dempsey are alumni. There’s even a Wikipedia list of military veterans who have graduated from Duke.
The results of the poll were provided in digital form to the Office of Student Affairs, which failed to act upon the information or even acknowledge receipt thereof.