News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

Program Report: Christopher Perrien – USS NC SSN 777 Club and Youth Day

Several “opening acts” preceded the announced program.  First of all, Durham Rotary celebrated “Children’s Day.”  Several Rotarians brought children and grandchildren who introduced themselves.  Hopefully, these youngsters will be inspired to become Rotarians in the future.  Christopher Gergen introduced a new cohort of Innovation Fellows.  They will present a program in the fall.  Meg Solera introduced several Rotary scholars who are recipients of Centennial and Brown Family Scholarships.

Most North Carolinians are familiar with the USS North Carolina moored in the Cape Fear River in Wilmington.  Many have trod on the decks, explored battle stations and imagined what life was like on this highly decorated battleship that played an important role in the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II.  But few North Carolinians know a modern, Virginia-class fast attack submarine bears the name of the old North State, the fourth U.S. Navy warship to honor North Carolina.

Our main speaker, North Raleigh Rotarian Christopher Perrien is trying to remedy that.  Perrien, by the way, was masterfully introduced by Wyatt Jernigan, son of President Seth.  Future Rotarians need to keep an eye on Wyatt.  He will make a terrific Rotary president someday.

A graduate of the Naval Academy and retired IBM executive, Perrien is President and Executive Director of the USS North Carolina SSN 777 club.  The club’s goals include supporting the crews and families of the boat; increasing  awareness among North Carolinians of the “Tarheel Boat;” and raising funds to acquire the boat when it retires—maybe around 2048—and moor it in Wilmington along with Battleship North Carolina.

A few crew members of SSN 777 are North Carolinians.  Earlier this year, Gary Montalvo was piped ashore as commanding officer of the boat.  Montalvo grew up in Durham, attended the School of Science and Mathematics, and graduated from the Naval Academy.  Under his leadership the USS North Carolina earned the 2015 Battle “E” Award, recognizing it as the best boat and crew among the ten boats in Submarine Squadron 1 home-ported at Pearl Harbor.  As Perrien said, it’s the crews and technology of submarines like SSN 777 that keep the Chinese on their toes.

Perrien described the SSN 777 as a “long tube.”  Its length is approximately the distance of a home-run ball hit over right-center field in Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  The Virginia-class sub is built as a smaller and less expensive alternative to the Cold War era boats.  It can operate in littoral waters as well as deep ocean waters.  Its weaponry is lethal.

Perrien brought along a friend, Matthew Cox, who served on the USS Alaska, an older and larger Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.  Matthew spoke and answered questions about life aboard submarines. The typical deployment is 180 days at sea, 92 percent of the time underwater.  Boats like the USS North Carolina carry a crew of 120 enlisted men and 14 officers.  Personal space  averages about 15 sq. feet.  A watch of six hours is followed by twelve hours off.  The wardroom is the center of social life.  Understandably, contact with families at home is very limited.  Usually, once a week submarines surface to give crews and families an opportunity for emailing.

Obviously, the service men and women of the submarine force make many sacrifices to earn their coveted dolphin pins and to ensure the nation’s security.

Submitted by Allen Cronenberg

Andrew Young at RI

Harvey Sellner “previewed” this video from the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta at Monday’s meeting but because it is almost 30 minutes long could not play the whole thing.  Young, of course, is a civil rights legend who also served in congress, our ambassador to the United Nations and mayor of Atlanta. And, as you will see from the video, a very good speaker.

Nurse a Tree This Summer

Durham Rotary Tree Watering – Summer 2017

Sign up to join the Durham Rotary Tree Watering Crew! 

We are part of a six-way partnership that includes Durham City General Services DepartmentDuke EnergyKeep Durham BeautifulPartners for Youth OpportunityStudentU and the Durham Rotary!

You can sign up for as many shifts as you like.  On the shifts, you will supervise three high school interns as they water the sixty-three young trees planted along North Guthrie Street in East Durham.

You can sign up for a 2-hour or 4-hour shift on Thursday mornings between July 13 and August 10.

Shifts run from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  You can also sign up for the entire time.  Only one volunteer is needed per shift, but we won’t turn two away, and the 4-hour shift holder may want a break :-).

You will be outdoors and on your feet, keeping company with the three youth and the driver of the City water truck.  The youth get to do all the work.  You get to hang out with some awesome young people, and commune with trees.

The initial Rotarian orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, July 11, from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.  Individual orientations also available.

Questions?  Please call or write Melissa at or 919-949-8733.

Sign up HERE.

The Durham Rotary Tree Watering Crew is Rotary at its best in the summer-time!  Thank you for signing up!

Already signed up? You can change your sign up.

Rotary’s New Theme: “People of Action”

J. B. Duke Hotel – 230 Science Drive – Durham
Thursday, July 20, 2017 –5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
J. B. Duke Hotel Lobby Lounge

Contact David Reese at

Contact Melissa Mills at:

Contact Brady Surles at:

Year End Awards for the 2016-2017 Year

This the awards segment of the Power Point used in the June 26 meeting to recognize over 40 Club Members for their service.


June 26 Awards from Jay Zenner on Vimeo.

Nicholas Fagan Award – Newman Aguiar

The Nicholas B. Fagan Award was established in 1985 to honor the memory of Nick Fagan, a long-time Rotarian and Secretary of Durham Rotary. Nick’s always positive attitude, warm encouragement of his fellow men during bad times and good, his own labor and financial contributions on behalf of those less fortunate, and his tireless efforts on behalf of Rotary International, exemplified the motto of Rotary, “SERVICE ABOVE SELF.” The Fagan Award may be presented once each year to a member of Durham Rotary whose deeds embody this motto.

In practice, the Fagan Award is rarely given. Since it was created 32 years ago it had only been awarded nine times: J.B. Brame in 1985, H.C. Cranford, Jr. in 1986, Marcus E. Hobbs in 1992, Art Christakos in 1997, Andy Barada and Reggie Ponder in 2000, Bob Yowell in 2010, and Lois Cranford in 2013. On Monday Newman Aguiar became the tenth recipient.



Newman Aguiar has been an outstanding citizen by contributing valuable service to the

Durham Community in several areas such as:

Initiating the Community Observer Patrol (COP) in Durham and

Serving on the Durham Mayor’s Gang Reduction Initiative and

Serving on the Mayor’s Crime Cabinet and

Serving on the Board of Directors of the local Chapter of the Red Cross and

Serving on the Board of Directors including a term as Chair, for Durham Social Service and

Serving on the Board of The Durham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (DCVB) and he

Still serves on the Durham Roundtable and

WHEREAS, Newman Aguiar was elected a member of the Durham Rotary Club on 26 July 2004 and has been a Paul Harris Fellow for over a decade, and

WHEREAS, Newman Aguiar successfully Presided over the Durham Rotary Club in 2010 and has served this year as Founding Chair of the Council of Past Presidents of the Durham Rotary Club and

WHEREAS, Newman Aguiar has enjoyed participating in Rotary activities beyond the Club level, and attended many Rotary International conventions and traveled to foreign Rotary Clubs with friends from Durham Rotary Club on “Friendship” visits and

WHEREAS, while serving as District Governor in 2015-2016 and after, he has adapted and improved a very comprehensive monthly report that is used by the D7710 District Governor and assistant Governors to monitor key data around membership and Rotary Foundation financial support and

WHEREAS, he has initiated a separate District 7710 Endowment Fund with the goal of funding an incoming Rotary Peace fellow to the Duke/UNC Rotary Peace Center each year and

WHEREAS, he has used his extensive technical expertise to facilitate making complicated Rotary Grant programs available through a web-based training portal to the great advantage of incoming Club Presidents in District 7710 and

WHEREAS, Newman Aguiar has demonstrated his commitment to live by the code of Rotary’s Four Way Test — Truth, Fairness, Good Will & Better Friendships, and Benefit to All — as well the ideal of “Service Above Self,”


NEWMAN AGUIAR is awarded the Nicholas B. Fagan Award


Exemplary Service to the Durham Rotary Club.