A Message from the Parents Program Chairs

“After 5 years of being on the Parents Committee, we are excited to step into the leadership role as Chairs. We have learned so much from Paula and Gerard, and before them, Mary and Tony Barra. We are hoping to be as effective and delightful as our predecessors.

And why would we take on this role? When our first child became a student at Duke, we soon realized that hearing about her experience and just occasionally visiting the school, we were missing out on a lot of the great benefits of being a Duke family. Through the Parents Committee, we’ve enjoyed meeting professors and administrators who are invested in our kids. We have met fabulous parents who are doing interesting and creative work around the globe.

There is an opportunity for a deeper connection to Duke through the Duke Parents Committee. We are excited to work hard as your Chairs to raise funds for our Annual Fund so that other Duke families can have an equitable experience.

Thank you for being part of our next two years.”

— Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld, P’23, P ’25

Share your time and energy with Duke!

The Duke Parents Program is a vital part of the Duke Annual Fund. Each year, the generosity of Duke parents helps the university support its financial aid program, sustain a world-class faculty, pay for service-learning projects, and provide support for a wealth of innovative learning opportunities for students. The Parents Committee is the premier volunteer opportunity for non-alumni parents at Duke.

In 2022-2023, the Duke Parents Committee raised over $9.4 million to set a new record for the Parents Program! This success would not be possible without the support, dedication, and enthusiasm of 930+ non-alumni Duke parents from across the country and across the globe. These proud Duke parents provide leadership support for the Annual Fund and reach out to other Duke parents to enlist their support of the Annual Fund. Our parent volunteers enjoy gaining a deeper appreciation for the experiences their children are having as Duke students, meeting fellow parents, and having an opportunity to give back to a university that gives their children so much.

Committee Members are asked to:

  • Make a leadership gift to the Annual Fund that is commensurate with your philanthropic capacity and passion for Duke, with the minimum gift being at the Washington Duke Society level.
  • Actively serve in at least one primary volunteer role, and update Class Co-Chairs and Parents Program staff on your outreach throughout the year:
    • Fundraising Volunteers: Educate parents about the importance of giving to Duke, and ask them to join you in supporting the Annual Fund. Resources will be provided to engage them through phone calls, letters, and/or emails. Send thank you notes to parents after they give.
    • Stewardship Volunteers: Send personalized thank you notes to parent donors at least two times each year, typically in the winter and summer. Call incoming families to welcome them to Duke each spring on behalf of the Parents Committee. Follow up with these families during the fall of their student’s freshman year to provide support and guidance.
  • Serve as an ambassador to help strengthen relationships between parents and the University, and identify potential leadership donors and volunteers from your network.
  • Attend Committee events during Family Weekend (November 3-5) and Parents Committee Spring Weekend (April 5-7) as your schedule allows.
  • Participate in other opportunities as you are able, such as hosting or attending regional events, mentoring students, offering internships at your company, or speaking on campus.

Committee Members can expect:

  • Meaningful impact at the University through your philanthropy, engagement, and volunteerism.
  • Exclusive access to hear from top Duke faculty and administrators at events and Speaker Series calls.
  • Support from Parents Program staff and Class Co-Chairs, including training materials, regular updates, contact information, outreach emails and tips, and other resources as requested.
  • Mentorship connections for you and your student in the Committee’s private Mentorlink program.
  • Connections with fellow parents through outreach, regional events, and on-campus opportunities.
  • Staff assistance in navigating Duke and deeper engagement with specific interest areas for you or your student.

Fill out the form below to request additional information on joining the Parents Committee.


Contact us at (919) 684-4419 or parentsprogram@duke.edu.