Reunion Weekend Highlights Retirement Send-Off, Duke Forest Party

This year’s annual Reunion Weekend took place on April 13th and 14th and included two new programming events: a retirement send-off for veteran staff member Karen Kirchof and a first-of-its-kind party in the Duke Forest.

The retirement send-off for Kirchof, founder and former Assistant Dean of the Nicholas School’s Career & Professional Development Office, was the focal point of Saturday’s annual Reunion Picnic. The senior staff member was presented with a commemorative book consisting of stories, quotes and photos submitted by Nicholas School alumni, staff and friends. School officials presented the former assistant dean with a check for funds raised for the Nicholas School Internship Fund through a campaign that was organized in honor of her retirement and 28 years of service. “Alumni Reunion Weekend made my heart sing! To be honored with [these funds for the Internship Fund] — made possible by so many alumni donations and the wonderful notes compiled in a commemorative book — I am eternally grateful and thankful for the Nic School life I have lived,” said Kirchof. “Our alums are the best, and together We Are forever Duke Environment!”

To cap off the weekend, Duke Forest Director Sara DiBacco Childs, MEM’08 hosted a party in the Duke Forest the night of the 14th, with several alums telling her the forest meet-up was the primary reason they made the trek to Durham. “We had a greater than expected turnout, probably almost 50 people,” said the Duke Forest director. “I think an opportunity for a little bit of forest revelry resonates with NSOE alums because it’s an experience almost all of us have shared, and it reminds us of our common roots and the camaraderie we developed while pursuing our common passion for environmental stewardship.”

Other programming events from Reunion Weekend included a special Friday night presentation from faculty member Doug Nowacek on his recent Antarctic research, tours of Environment Hall, a welcome and update from the Dean, and an alumni cocktail hour.

To view more photos from Reunion Weekend, click here.