Program Report: Stuart Albright – The Power of a Diverse Public Education

Stuart AlbrightStuart Albright, a much honored teacher at Jordan High School, spoke to the club about his recently published book Bull CityStuart graduated from UNC with a degree in English and Creative Writing and from Harvard with a Master of Education.  Besides teaching English and Creative Writing at Jordan High for the last ten years, he also coaches football—undoubtedly a rare combination.  Apparently he teaches well but I suspect it is also his charisma and enthusiasm that inspires student creativity and excellence.  In 2006 he was named the Durham Public Schools Teacher of the Year.  Two years later, he received the National Milken Educator Award which Teacher Magazine calls the “Oscar” of teaching citations.   Those are not the accolades earned solely by well-crafted lectures and consistently superior student scores on standardized tests!

Stuart’s first two books were non-fiction, but they serve as prologue to his recently published novel.  Blessed Returns is an account of a summer spent working in the hard scrabble slums of Camden, New Jersey.  Sidelines: A North Carolina Story of Community, Race and High School Football, published in 2009 tells the stories of how high school football eased the transition from segregated school systems in nine North Carolina communities, including Durham and his native Gastonia. [Read more…]

Bulletin and Upcoming Events – July 16

Check the Calendar for information about this week’s program

Author Stuart Albright will discuss his new book about his experiences in Durham.

President Don will review 2012-13 Strategic Plan

This will be another jam packed meeting

Board Meeting

The monthly board meeting will precede the regular meeting in a conference room at the Civic Center.


Go to the site and click this Link to the July 16 Bulletin in a bright new format. Bulletin7162012FINAL

Newman Aguiar New Assistant District Governor

On June 27th at the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, our own Past President Newman Aguiar was inducted as one of the ten Assistant District Governors along with District Governor Rick Carnagua.  Newman’s area includes the 4 Durham clubs and Hillsborough.  He will be working to support the Presidents of these five clubs and the goals of District Governor Rick. Congratulations to Newman!

Bulletin and Upcoming Events: July 9

Click the link at the end of these messages to go to the links in the items.

Program: Reginald Hodges of the Durham Literacy Center

Click here for more information on the program. 

Installation of Officers and Board Members

The installation of Officers and Board Members will take place during the meeting.  All Officers and Board Members should try to attend.

July 9th Bulletin

Click on the link for a pdf version of this week’s bulletin.


Vandana Dake is Rotarian-of-the-Year

Although word was out at the annual party at Watts Grocery earlier in June, outgoing President Arthur Rogers made it official at the June 25 meeting: Vandana Dake is Rotarian-of-the-year.

Whatever the club initiative or undertaking, “you’ll see Vandana’s fingerprints all over them, ” Rogers said before presenting her with a silver tray engraved with recognition that she is exhibiting “humanitarian” and “visionary” qualities through extensive service as a Rotarian in projects around the world and around the corner. Dake has devoted her energies, time and talent on behalf of the Peace and Ambassadorial scholarship programs, the Youth Exchange, international humanitarian projects in Venezuela and India, the UK Friendship Exchange, the Open World Russian Exchange, and the GSE Team from France. She has also been active planning projects in Guinea-Bissau and Neal Middle School and helping with the Progressive Dinner. On top of these efforts across the year, she became a Paul Harris Fellow +2. “She is just an amazing inspiration,” Rogers said as attendees gave our honoree a well-deserved standing ovation.

Submitted by Mark Lazenby.

Program Report: Bob Ingram – On the State of RTP and the World

Bob Ingram, the esteemed former GlaxoSmithKline executive and current chairman of the Research Triangle Foundation, laid out some serious – and seriously daunting – challenges facing both Research Triangle Park and the entire nation.

In a rather sobering address, he laid out what the park would have to do to continue to attract innovative companies to our area – and the jobs and economic stimulus that comes with them.

“[RTP] was and is a great place, he said, “but it needs to be updated.”

Much of the new plan focuses on improving quality of life, including improving transportation and adding “a more urban node within the park, with a Starbucks, restaurants, retail.”

The hope is that will help lure smaller companies that could be on the verge of exploding. Bob said that’s the only way RTP will keep up with the Joneses in Boston, Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

“They have major tenants you’ve never heard of, but which will be big,” he said.

“That’s what we’ve got to do.”

He added that such improvements will help retain existing companies. “We want to make the park more attractive for the people who are already there and thank them for their loyalty.” [Read more…]