Alumni Accomplishments Summer 2022

Photo by Anna Routh Barzin

Lisa Joyner ’89 Finds Sweet Success in Flower Farm

The April 2022 issue of Our State magazine included a sniff into the unique approach that Lisa Joyner ’89 is taking to wedding flowers. She and her husband, Randall Williams, own Fireside Farm — based in Efland, North Carolina — where they help couples design their dream bouquets and centerpieces, often with plants grown especially with particular couples’ visions in mind, and always sourcing locally.

Read more in Our State.

Ryan Stewart ’95 Brings Real Estate Company to the Bull City

With his real estate company looking to expand on the East Coast in 2019, Ryan Stewart ’95 urged it to set up shop in Durham. Almost three years later, Stewart is back in the Triangle after years in Texas, and he is adding value to his hometown by launching a new office for Dallas developer Trinsic Residential Group. The group also has plans for expansions in Charlotte and Raleigh in the future.

Read more in Triangle Business Journal.

Star-Studded Film ‘The Plus One’ is the Brainchild of Brendan Bradley ’01

He’s part entrepreneur, technological wizard, actor, writer, director, and if you visit Brendan Bradley ’01 on Instagram (@brendanabradley), you’ll see him wearing pretty much all of those hats, because a long-standing artistic collaboration came to life in April that resulted in him filming on location. Bradley fulfilled a journey that began in 2015, persisted during the pandemic, and is coming to fruition via a film called The Plus One with a cast that includes Ashanti and Cedric the Entertainer.

Bradley documented his filmmaking adventure during the shoot in Clearwater, Florida, where he said: “And now, here we are, on location making this film on the white sand beaches and every day is a new blank page with our brilliant director Erik White and the best crew in the world to approach each scene with fresh eyes and brains to every page and every line. I’ve been on this journey for over six years. If you’re in the middle of your next script, keep going. Your film family is on the other side.”

Alumni Golfers Celebrate Greg Murray

David Peters ’13 and Braxton Lloyd ’13 organized a golf outing this spring to celebrate Greg Murray’s 43-year career at Durham Academy.

Among the many hats Murray has worn during his four decades at DA are teacher, coach, advisor, Senior Challenge director and yearbook advisor. This summer, he heads to Colorado to finally become a full-time cowboy (fully accessorized with a brand new Stetson, a gift from the golf outing group) and enjoy his view of Pike’s Peak with his family.

The golf gathering included some blasts from the past including a host of alumni and former faculty: Randy Bryson, Jim Speir, PJ Toth ’88, Ben Rudnick ’02, Nancy Mountcastle Wall ’03, Rob Bressler ’03, Phil Bick ’05, Jack Bryson ’07, Patrick Costello ’09, Chris Merritt ’10, Matt Merritt ’12, Braxton Lloyd ’13, Maggie Mishra ’13, David Peters ’13, Elizabeth Hall ’15, Foster Harris ’16, Seth Pruitt ’17, Price Sneed ’17, Quade Lukes ’17, Allen Smith ’17 and Ethan Lukes ’20.

Read Murray’s reflection.

Anthony Roth Costanzo ’00 Wins Grammy for Best Opera Recording

Anthony Roth Costanzo ’00 won a 2022 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording on behalf of the team behind the production of the modern Phillip Glass opera Akhnaten. Costanzo, a countertenor, starred in Akhnaten at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Costanzo was previously nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album for ARC in 2019.

See some of Costanzo’s work.

Photo by Duke Athletics

Michael Savarino ’19 is Honored for Academic Success as Part of Duke Hoops Team

Michael Savarino ’19 was presented with the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award for men’s basketball on April 1 when his Duke team was in New Orleans for the Final Four. This award is given to the Division I athlete who has the highest grade-point average out of all the teams competing at the finals site for each of the 90 NCAA championships.

The award was given to Savarino during the Blue Devils’ open practice session at the Caesars Superdome. Savarino, a sociology major, had a cumulative 3.828 GPA in his third year at Duke. He is the first Duke basketball player to win the Elite 90 Award since it was first given out in the 2009–2010 season, but he is the second Durham Academy graduate to receive the award. DA alumna Mollie Pathman ’10 was honored with the award in 2011 when her Duke women’s soccer team was playing in the Final Four.

DA Student-Created Podcast Features Alumni Guests

Need something to listen to on the commute home or while traveling this summer? Look no further than our first episode of CavConversations, an alumni-themed podcast created by Durham Academy Podcast Club hosts Taylor Winstead ’24 and Aarav Parekh ’24. The first episode includes conversations with DA Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner, Durham Success Summit Founder and Executive Director Derek Rhodes ’11 and longtime Middle School history teacher and JV boys and girls cross-country coach Virginia Hall ’91.

Listen to the podcast.

Allison Kirkland ’01 is Awarded an Emerging Artists Grant

Allison Kirkland ’01, a Durham-based writer and writing coach/teacher, has been awarded a 2022 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant from the Durham Arts Council. The program provides financial support to professionals in the arts by funding a project that is pivotal to the advancement of their careers.

Hank Tucker ’15 Explores Duke-UNC Mania for Forbes

Durham Academy alumnus Hank Tucker ’15 wrote a story for Forbes magazine about the crazy lengths Duke and UNC basketball fans went to to score tickets for their epic Duke-Carolina showdown at the Final Four in New Orleans. Tucker, who worked with the Duke Chronicle during his  years attending Duke,  has been with Forbes since 2019 and currently covers money and markets as a senior reporter.

Read Tucker’s story.

Tyler Carpenter ’18 Earns Lacrosse Honor

Duke Men's lacrosse player Tyler Carpenter '18 was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week in February following a standout performance in a win over No. 11 University of Denver. This was Carpenter's second career ACC weekly award. He was also named to the All-ACC Academic Team and ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2021.