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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."

Andy Crawford

2024 Distinguished Alumni Award honoree Andy Crawford ’97 is a managing director and the global head of General Atlantic’s Consumer sector. He also serves on the firm’s Management Committee and chairs the firm’s Portfolio Committee. Prior to founding General Atlantic’s Consumer Group a decade ago, Crawford was a key member of Advent International’s Consumer team and joined Advent in 2003. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Washington and Lee University.

Crawford has served on the boards of numerous notable consumer brands, including Authentic Brands Group, Joe & the Juice, Torchy’s Tacos, European Wax Center, Buff City Soap, Too Faced Cosmetics, Zimmermann, Barteca, Five Below, Bojangles and Shoes For Crews. He also serves as chairman of the New York-based Partnership to End Homelessness.

Crawford and his wife, Mimi, live in Manhattan with their three sons: William, Jack and Cole.

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.

Jordan Adair

2024 Faculty and Staff Legacy Award recipient Jordan Adair arrived at Durham Academy in the fall of 1995 after 12 years teaching in New England (and two master’s degrees), and took a position teaching English (eventually in all grade levels at the Upper School) and coaching the varsity boys basketball team.

In his time at DA, Adair has served as English department division leader and chair; established and taught AP Art History for 12 years; advised numerous student organizations, including the Green and White newspaper, Students for Troops club and the Nicaragua Club. He led four Nicaragua Club trips with DA students to the country; with 2024 DA Alumni Service Award honoree Derek Rhodes’ leadership, the Nicaragua Club helped raise $13,500 to build a small rural school outside of DA’s sister community of San Ramón.

Adair also taught Literary and Artistic Responses to War, an Upper School course that resulted in over 200 interviews for the Veterans History Project in the National Archives at the Library of Congress and the establishment of DA’s annual Veterans Day assembly. He was instrumental in the establishment in 2006 of Assist, DA’s early intervention team.

Adair has been honored with the Durham Academy Upper School Teaching Award in 2007; as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in 2010; and the F. Robertson Hershey Distinguished Faculty Award in 2021.

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. 

Derek Rhodes

 

2024 Alumni Service Award recipient Derek Rhodes ’11 is a business strategist, community leader, social entrepreneur, author and captivating keynote speaker. With a career spanning Microsoft, the Miami HEAT, the Obama Foundation, the White House and Google, Rhodes has amassed deep expertise in helping businesses engage with their local communities.

A graduate of Duke University with a degree in Public Policy Studies, Rhodes’ journey began with internships at the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House. His determination caught the attention of none other than President Barack Obama, who publicly recognized Rhodes at a press briefing in 2015. Three years later, as part of the Obama Foundation in 2018, Derek managed the distribution of over $1 million in grant funding to nonprofit organizations serving young people across the country, leading the My Brother's Keeper Alliance.

Driven by a passion for empowering historically underestimated youth, particularly young Black men, Rhodes founded the Durham Success Summit. As the executive director, he has built lasting relationships and championed the organization's mission to elevate underrepresented youths into corporate America through practical education and exposure. Since 2021, more than 200 young men have benefited from the organization’s career skills training and workforce development programs. Ninety percent of the program’s graduates find meaningful employment upon completion and have landed jobs at top companies such as Fidelity Investments and the National Basketball Association.

Rhodes’ insights and community contributions earned him recognition as one of Triangle Business Journal's 40 Under 40 business leaders in 2022, as well as features in Business Insider.

He remains active on numerous boards, including the Board of Visitors for Duke University, as well as a City Council-appointed commissioner seat on the City of Durham's Racial Equity Commission.