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Brodhead Highlights Duke Research, Visits with Alumni in Washington

Brodhead Highlights Duke Research, Visits with Alumni in Washington

President stresses government, university partnership

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rhb and dempsey
Duke alumnus Gen. Martin Dempsey meets with President Richard H. Brodhead.

Durham, NC - Duke President Richard H. Brodhead traveled to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to discuss university priorities with policymakers, administration officials, alumni, and other friends of Duke.

Brodhead spent much of his day on Tuesday speaking with members of the North Carolina delegation and with Duke alumni currently serving in Congress. The discussions focused on Congressional issues of particular importance to the university, including continued support of research funding and of Department of Education student aid programs.

"While I acknowledge the difficult funding choices facing our representatives, I want to emphasize the impact of Duke and other colleges and universities on the national economy," said Brodhead during his trip.  "It is important for our policymakers to know the role we play in producing a skilled workforce and developing innovative technologies. We are pursuing the discoveries and scholarship that will allow us to answer the call to 'out-innovate' and 'out-educate' the rest of the world.  But it is only by continuing the long-standing partnership with the federal government that we can continue this important work."

Brodhead also paid a visit to Army Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey, who received his master's degree in English from Duke in 1984, to congratulate him on his recent nomination to the post of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  During the meeting, President Brodhead and General Dempsey discussed the importance of Department of Defense-funded research.


Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to Duke alumni and Congressional staffers during the 2011 DCW Congressional Breakfast.

Brodhead also attended the Duke Club of Washington's annual DCW Congressional Breakfast.  This year's event, held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning, featured remarks by Duke Medical School alumnus Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and drew a record number of Duke alumni living in the Washington area.


Sen. Paul spoke to the alumni and congressional staff in attendance about his experience watching the classic 1992 Duke men's basketball win over the University of Kentucky and the "Beat Duke" bumper sticker of his opponent in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary. Paul also took the opportunity to explain his position on a few issues facing Congress and participated in a question and answer session at the end of his remarks.

Chris Simmons, Duke's associate vice president for federal relations, accompanied Brodhead during his visit to Washington. "Duke is fortunate that President Brodhead is committed to engaging with Congress and the Administration on issues vital to the university," Simmons said.  "It's hard to overemphasize the impact face-to-face meetings can have when advocating for federal support of student aid and research."

Simmons added, "Duke is a model of how the partnership should work between the federal government and higher education, and D.C. officials want to hear from us. They want to support our faculty and students in their education and research."