Lunch with President Brodhead

Two employee forum participants share meal with Brodhead

Ruby Thompkins, left, President Richard H. Brodhead and Jackie Gottlieb at the Washington Duke Inn. Photo courtesy of Jackie Gottlieb.

When Jackie Gottlieb and Ruby Thompkins won a drawing for lunch with President Richard H. Brodhead, they weren't expecting to be personally chauffeured to the restaurant in the president's car.

"We had been told to meet at the Allen Building, and when we got there, we found he had made reservations at the Washington Duke Inn, and he walked us out to his car and drove us there," said Gottlieb, project manager for web and technology solutions at the School of Nursing.

Gottlieb and Thompkins, administrative assistant for the Duke University Police Department, won the lunch in a random drawing of staff and faculty who attended the Primetime employee forum on Oct. 4.

The trio's lunchtime conversation on Oct. 29 ranged from pros and cons of university-wide business processes to the diverse daily experiences of a college president.

"He seemed interested in understanding the day-to-day challenges I raised about implementing new business systems," Gottlieb said. "He took an interest in each of our job roles and clearly wanted to get to know us more personally. It was a rare opportunity for an in-depth talk."

Thompkins said the highlight of the lunch was getting to know more about the president's life.

"I learned how passionate President Brodhead is about his job as president," she said. "He really has a genuine concern about Duke and its community members."