The Durham Academy Alumni Board recognizes the contributions of accomplished alumni and the legacies of dedicated faculty and staff members each year at the Spring Alumni Reception. The 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
2018 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients David Ravin '89 and Charlie Wilson '89 are both accomplished entrepreneurs in commercial development and construction. Ravin is president and CEO of Northwood Ravin, a real estate development company with offices in Charlotte, Tampa and the Triangle. Northwood Ravin has received national and regional recognition from the National Association of Homebuilders, Urban Land Institute, ICSC, CEL National Customer Service Company and National Multi-Family Housing News.
Wilson is president of C.T. Wilson Construction Company, a 66-year-old Durham firm that has built and renovated a variety of structures in central and eastern North Carolina, including Revolution Mill in Greensboro; Saxapahaw Rivermill in Saxapahaw; Golden Belt and Venable Center in Durham; and Durham Academy Upper School’s Kirby Gym, Learning Commons and STEM & Humanities Center.
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."
In his 10 years at DA, 2018 Faculty and Staff Legacy Award recipient Lee Hark has served in a variety of leadership positions, including Upper School director, coordinator of faculty recruitment and Upper School English teacher. As associate head of school since 2013, he has been the driving force behind the “The DA Graduate: A Mission-Driven Life” project and the faculty’s curriculum-mapping work.
The Faculty and Staff Legacy Award is given to the faculty or staff member who best represents the alumni's aspirations for the school. Previous recipients include Upper School math teacher Dennis Cullen (2017), Middle School science teacher Barb Kanoy (2016), Middle School history teacher Tim Dahlgren (2015), former Preschool Director Sheppy Vann (2014), former Headmaster Ed Costello (2013) and former history teacher Dave Gould (2012).
2016 Alumni Service Award recipient Patrick Nevins '03 served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps and launched the No Better Friend Fund, a nonprofit to support fellow veterans.
After two deployments to Afghanistan, Nevins returned to Durham to earn a master's degree candidate in Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy. In the time that Nevins has been back in Durham, he has twice shared his story with students in Jordan Adair's Literary and Artistic Responses to War course, and he and Adair have stayed in close contact since his graduation from DA. In introducing Nevins at the alumni reception, Adair praised his former student and basketball player's "unquenching desire to make the world a better place."
"Finding a way to serve his fellow returning veterans seems so appropriate for Patrick," Adair said. "He saw a need and applied his skills as a leader to the task at hand, and today is launching the No Better Friend Fund as a way to have a direct impact on the lives of his fellow Marines. I can't think of a better way to define the nature of service."
Nevins is the second recipient of the Alumni Service Award. The first award was granted to alumnus Chris Rosati '89.