Members of the Duke community were honored for contributions to Duke and Durham during Duke’s Black Graduate and Professional Student Association and Black Student Alliance annual Julian Abele Awards April 13 at the Hope Valley Country Club.
First held in 1989, these awards are given annually to honor the significant achievements of Black community members and their allies at Duke. The awards are named in honor of Julian Abele, who designed Duke University’s West Campus.
Abele once said about his drawings “the shadows are all mine,” and the Abele Awards are presented to individuals or groups who have emerged from the shadows to demonstrate excellence in both the Duke and Durham communities.
This year’s theme of “Nurturing the Roots of Resistance” referenced the 50th anniversary of the Allen Building Takeover as well as the 52nd anniversary of the Hope Valley Study-in.
That message heeded the words of the late Dr. Brenda Armstrong, a pioneering activist while a student and faculty member at Duke, to finish what was “started in 1963 when the first African-American students crossed the threshold of Duke University with the same hopes for a collegiate experience as their majority counterparts.” Holding the ceremony at Hope Valley also saluted the Black football players who were not able to attend the senior football banquet in1967 at the then-segregated country club.
“We gathered to reclaim time and space and nurture the roots of resistance for it is those roots that have nurtured us,” said Chandra Guinn, director of the Mary Lou Williams Center.
The 2019 awards and honorees included:
“Life of the Mind” Undergraduate Student of the Year: Mumbi Kanyogo T’19
“Lifting As We Climb” Undergraduate Student of the Year: Camara Wooten T ‘20
“Willing & Abele” Undergraduate Student of the Year: Qsanet Tekie T ‘19
“Speaking Truth to Power” Undergraduate Student of the Year: De’ja Wood T ‘21
Undergraduate Mentor of the Year: Elmer Orellana
Ed Hill Undergraduate Organization of the Year: Duke Chapter of the NAACP
GRADUATE & PROFESSIONAL
Pratt School of Engineering Student of the Year: Brandon Hunter
Fuqua School of Business Student of the Year: Mofe Ajuyah
Divinity School Student of the Year: Krystal Bracy
Sanford School of Public Policy Student of the Year: Jayson Dawkins
Graduate School Student of the Year: Seneca Modest
Nicholas School of the Environment Student of the Year: Dieynabou Barry
School of Law Student of the Year: Emma Wade
School of Nursing Student of the Year: Vanessa Curlee
School of Medicine Student of the Year: Michael On’Gele
“Willing & Abele” Graduate Student of the Year: Chavis Jones
Curt Blackman Graduate Organization of the Year: Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA)
Graduate Mentor of the Year: Erica Lovelace