Nominate a Colleague for 2019 Honorary Football Captain

Who will be the honorary employee captain during the Sept. 7 Duke Football Employee Kickoff Celebration?

Lola Martin was last season's Honorary Employee Captain at the Duke Football Employee Kickoff Celebration.
Lola Martin was last season's Honorary Employee Captain at the Duke Football Employee Kickoff Celebration. File photo.

When she got back to work the Monday after last fall’s Duke Football Employee Kickoff Celebration, Lola Martin's email inbox was flooded with congratulations.

A few days earlier, she served as the honorary employee football captain for Duke’s victory against visiting North Carolina Central University. In the captain role, she ran out with the team, stood at midfield for the kickoff and was honored on the big screen at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium.

“It was quite the experience,” said Martin, who worked at the Nicholas School of the Environment at the time but has since become a senior program coordinator at the Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine. “It was really cool.”

Another Duke staff or faculty member has a chance to be the next employee captain on Sept. 7 during the Duke Football Employee Kickoff Celebration. Working@Duke is taking nominations from community members for the game against North Carolina A&T. The honor has been awarded annually since 2012 to a Duke employee who goes above and beyond in the workplace.

Nominations must be submitted by noon Monday, August 26, and highlight why the staff or faculty member excels in the areas of trustworthiness, respect, diversity, learning and teamwork.

In the role as employee captain, the one faculty or staff member selected will experience Duke football from a player’s perspective by taking part in game week activities such as:

  • Attending the weekly press conference with head coach David Cutcliffe.
  • Running onto Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium with the football team before kickoff against North Carolina A&T.
  • Participating in the pre-game coin toss with officials and team captains.
  • Watching the pregame warmups from the field and receiving tickets to the game.

Faculty and staff can nominate a co-worker by filling out an online form. Nominators are encouraged to share details about why their nominee’s performance in the office, classroom or lab should be recognized on the field as this year’s honorary captain.

This year’s captain will be announced Sept. 3 on Working@Duke.

“By all means, just soak it all in and enjoy the experience,” Martin said when asked for advice for this year’s winner. “You definitely feel like one in a million. Or one in 40,000.”

Past honorary captains:

  • 2018: Lola Martin, Nicholas School of the Environment
  • 2017: Adam Tomasiello, Undergraduate Admissions
  • 2016: Dink Suddaby, Graduate Liberal Studies
  • 2015: Keith Lawrence, News and Communications
  • 2014: Anthony Galanos, Palliative Care
  • 2013: John Caccavale, Economics
  • 2012: Malinda Whitson, University Development

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