New Alumni Awardees Announced, including New Changemaker

Duke Alumni Engagement and Development announced 81 honorees for its 2021 awards. The awards, presented each fall, honor outstanding achievement and commitment to Duke and its alumni around the world. Awardees will be honored during Homecoming Weekend, Nov. 5-7, 2021.

This year’s awards include a new category, the Changemaker Award, which recognizes alumni who made extraordinary contributions during 2020’s pandemic year and mobilized around COVID-19 efforts and the national spotlight on racial injustice.

“This year’s alumni awardees are extraordinary individuals doing extraordinary things for Duke, their communities and the world,” said Sterly L. Wilder ’83, senior associate vice president of Duke Alumni Engagement and Development. “Our work for the Duke community is made possible by these incredible alumni, who volunteer, lead and inspire. As a fellow alum, I couldn’t be more proud.”

The awards recognize a range of alumni contributions to Duke—planning events and programs for alumni throughout the world, serving on graduate and professional school alumni boards, spearheading Reunion Weekend efforts and more.

Among the 12 Changemaker awardees, alumni made significant impact on their communities during 2020’s pandemic year. Some highlights include:

  • Kathryn S. Crutcher '00 founded a nonprofit writing and publishing program committed to amplifying unheard voices
  • Bianca M. Forde '05 used her position as a federal prosecutor to challenge policies at the hands of the judicial system that disproportionately impact communities of color;
  • Matthew Hepburn B.S.E. '92, M.D. '96 led a vaccine management team of more than 100 in six separate vaccine development efforts valued at $6 billion total through Operation Warp Speed.
  • Magan Thigpen Gonzales-Smith M.P.P. '14 mobilized more than 1,000 community members and partnered with more than 25 restaurants to provide more than 700,000 meals to children and families in Durham, N.C.