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Alumni Awards

The Durham Academy Alumni Board has honored alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Award each year since 1983, and a faculty or staff member with the Faculty and Staff Legacy Award each year since 2012. In addition, at its discretion, the board may choose to honor an alumnus with the Alumni Service Award, first bestowed in 2014.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Each year, a recipient is selected by a Distinguished Alumni Award Committee. Through this award, the Alumni Board aims "to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves in their business, profession or vocation and through their actions have demonstrated concern for, and service to, their community. The individuals should have shown loyalty to Durham Academy, and their personal values and achievements should be representative of Durham Academy's highest ideals."

2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Kathleen Myers Gibson '82 serves as Chief Executive Officer of Oxford House, Inc., a 47-year-old national nonprofit that serves as the umbrella organization for a network of over 3,300 democratically self-governing and financially self-supporting homes for individuals recovering from substance use disorders (SUDs). Kathleen is a person in long-term recovery who began her journey with Oxford House as a house member in Raleigh and began working for Oxford House in 1994. After serving as the state coordinator for the large network of Oxford Houses in NC, she became the Chief Operating Officer of Oxford House, Inc. in 2007 and served in that position until becoming the Chief Executive Officer in 2022.

Kathleen has been the driving force behind a significant amount of Oxford House’s expansion. She led the North Carolina network of homes to grow to 300 houses, the second largest state network in the country.

Faculty and Staff Legacy Award

The Alumni Board grants this award annually to the faculty and/or staff member(s) who, in their service to the school and its mission, best represent the alumni’s aspirations for Durham Academy. Recipients embody the best of the teaching profession in general and are committed to excellence at DA; share a substantial history with the school and have impacted a significant number of alumni; have imparted lessons that transcend subject matter and extend beyond classrooms; have instilled values in students that continue to play a role in the lives of alumni beyond graduation; and serve as pillars of the DA community by representing the school's mission and core values of living moral, happy and productive lives.

2023 Faculty and Staff Legacy Award recipient Wanda Moore began her tenure at Durham Academy as a Middle School French teacher in 1988. At the time, she was the only African-American faculty member of DA's faculty and staff. Wanda’s influence on students and faculty members was tremendous — not only in her French classroom, but in her presentations to the Middle School student body on her experiences growing up in the South in the Jim Crow era.

She retired from Durham Academy in 2022 after 34 years of dedication to her students.

Alumni Service Award

This award, granted at the discretion of the Alumni Board, recognizes an alumnus or alumna with superior service in the public sector, or a sustained pattern of volunteer service in the community. Recipients have demonstrated a continued connection to Durham Academy and its core values of living a moral, happy and productive life. 

2023 Alumni Service Award Award recipient Chris White '92 founded Rosati Leadership Academy in fall 2018 in honor of the late Chris Rosati '14, a fellow Durham Academy alumnus and the first-ever recipient of the DA Alumni Service Award. Rosati Leadership Academy (RLA) offers free after-school leadership programming for three age groups, from elementary through high-school students, in Lewiston, Maine.

With a keen focus on gender equity and inclusivity, RLA uses a near-peer instructional model and mindfulness curriculum to make the game of Futsal, a soccer association game first played in Ecuador in the 1930s, fully accessible to Lewiston's diverse community.