Forever Duke Award recognizes Gene Stroup MEM’99 for his outstanding efforts to grow the Nicholas School’s local alumni network
On October 1st, Gene Stroup MEM’99 was recognized at a University-wide ceremony with the Forever Duke Award. The award recognizes alumni for exceptional recent volunteer service to Duke, the Duke Alumni Association and other alumni groups. As head of the Nicholas School’s Triangle Alumni Network, Stroup has done an amazing job expanding opportunities for local graduates to connect with each other and with Nicholas and Duke.
Stroup, who earned his Nicholas master’s degree in resource economics and policy, reconnected with the School when he returned to North Carolina in 2002 to work at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Exposure Research Laboratory in Research Triangle Park. His job is to help EPA scientists translate their scientific understanding of human and ecological exposures into regulations and advisory documents to protect humans and the environment.
In 2013, Stroup took over as head of the Nicholas School’s local Triangle Alumni Network. Working closely with Nicholas staff and fellow alumni, he immediately developed a strategic vision for the network to build relationships among alumni, students, faculty and staff; supplement and complement the efforts of the Career Development Office for both recent graduate and mid-career professionals; and provide opportunities for social interaction.
Being in Duke’s backyard, Stroup leverage existing events at the School and the University while also planning the network’s own activities. In addition to popular happy hours and family picnics, he recently hosted a tour of EPA’s laboratories for alumni and students, and organized a panel discussion featuring Nicholas alumni for an Air and Waste Management Association conference in Raleigh. He has even reached out to alumni clubs and staff at Duke’s other professional schools to plan joint activities.
Thanks to Stroup’s efforts, the Triangle Alumni Network has grown hundreds of members. One of his goals is to hold more events in Raleigh, Cary and other areas of the Triangle, to reach alumni of all ages who live a little further from Duke. (Stroup and his family live in Raleigh.)
“Gene really relishes connecting alumni with each other, and connecting current students with both alumni and with his vast professional network,” says Glenda Lee, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement & Programs.
“He is a perfect combination of optimist and realist, a great partner for me to bounce ideas off of, and an absolute pleasure to work with. We are so pleased that the Duke Alumni Association has recognized Gene’s dedication to the Nicholas School and his many contributions to the Duke community.”
“I’m happy to get the award, but of course that’s not the reason I’m doing this,” says Stroup, his mind already brimming with ideas for other activities. “What we’ve done so far is just the tip of the iceberg. The alumni I speak with are looking for a reason to get involved where they can really add a lot of value, and I believe the network can play a major role in creating those opportunities.”
To join the Triangle Alumni Network – or to congratulate Gene on his award – contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.