Nominations Open for Duke Presidential Awards

Deadline for submissions is February 9

Guests and honorees watch the presentation of the 2016 Presidential Awards.
Guests and honorees watch the presentation of the 2016 Presidential Awards.

As a winner of one of Duke’s Presidential Awards in 2005, Kim Burrucker knows what it takes to claim one of Duke’s highest honors.

So when Burrucker, the director of the Office of Public Interest & Pro Bono at the Duke Law School, saw the level of service and commitment her colleague Balfour Smith brought to the school’s Cancer Pro Bono Legal Project, she knew what she needed to do.

“I needed to nominate him for something and when Presidential Awards came up, I thought, ‘This is it!’” Burrucker said. “He is so deserving, so wonderful.”

The Presidential and Meritorious Service Awards honor staff and faculty who have made distinctive contributions to Duke University and Duke University Health System in the past year. Nominations for the 2017 Presidential Awards are being accepted until 5 p.m. Feb. 9.

One Presidential Award and five Meritorious Service Awards will be selected from each of the following job categories:

  • Clerical/Office Support – Staff specialists, office assistants, etc.
  • Clinical/Professional – Lab technicians, nurses, coordinators, clinical or professional personnel in a non-managerial capacity.
  • Service/Maintenance – Facilities, service positions.
  • Managerial – Supervisory personnel at level 15 or below.
  • Executive Leadership – Supervisory personnel at level 16 or higher, faculty, directors, assistant vice presidents, vice presidents.

Presidential Award winners receive a Presidential Medallion and a check for $1,000. Meritorious Service Award winners receive $100. The awards will be presented by Duke President Vincent E. Price at a spring awards ceremony.

Among other requirements, nominees must be permanent, full-time staff or faculty members who have been in their current position for at least one year.

Smith, a program coordinator with the Duke Law School, earned a 2016 Meritorious Service Award based on Burrucker’s nomination. He was singled out for his extensive volunteer work with the Cancer Pro Bono Legal Project, which provides free legal document preparation and advice for patients at the Duke Cancer Center.

As part of his work, Smith took the training to become a Notary Public and spent many hours being a capable and comforting presence for the patients and providers at the Duke Cancer Center.

“The project is very dear to him and he showed it in all that he did,” Burrucker said. “… He is so deserving. He is wonderful.”