Awards and Scholarships

Encouraging and rewarding Duke excellence

Duke Alumni Association celebrates the reputation for excellence and public-spiritedness that Duke University and its graduates have earned throughout the world. We give several annual awards to honor those who exemplify these ideals and to uphold them as examples before the community.

Our alumni have also funded scholarships to cultivate future generations of exemplary Duke graduates, attracting students with high potential for success to the university and enabling many who would not otherwise have attended to become Forever Duke.

2014 Award Winners

Gerald Bard Tjoflat LL.B.'57 honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award

Gerald Bard Tjoflat LL.B.'57Gerald Bard Tjoflat is the longest-serving federal appeals-court judge on the bench—a man who is respected throughout the legal community for his strong moral compass and deep knowledge of the law.

After serving as an editor on the Duke Law Journal and as a private practice attorney in Florida, Tjoflat was appointed to his first judicial role in 1968. He was appointed to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in 1975 and reassigned to the 11th Circuit when it was established in 1981. He served as chief justice from 1989 to 1996.

Tjoflat is a founding member of the Duke Law School Board of Visitors, and his vision was instrumental in shaping the school’s guiding principles. He played a significant role in establishing the school’s Master’s of Judicial Studies Program, in which judges learn specialized analytical skills and research approaches.

Tjoflat’s most significant contribution, however, may be to the educations and career horizons of Duke law students. He has hired and placed more than 65 Duke students and alumni in his chambers and has helped countless others find judicial clerkships. As one former student described in a letter to former Dean Katharine Bartlett: “Even if I received no other benefit from my Duke education, my relationship with Judge Tjoflat would have made it all worthwhile.”


Lewis E. Blake, Associate Professor of the Practice of Mathematics, honored with the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award (ADUTA)

Lewis E. BlakeLewis Blake is an associate professor of the practice of mathematics at Duke, where he has studied and taught mathematics for nearly 40 years. A graduate of Clemson University and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Blake initially came to Duke as a mathematics graduate student in 1975, where he became one of the first winners of the L.P. and Barbara Smith Award for Excellence in Teaching. After earning his master’s degree in 1978, Blake became supervisor of first-year instruction for the mathematics department, an appointment that was intended to be temporary but in fact lasted 28 years. He received the Richard K. Lublin Distinguished Award for Teaching Excellence in 1993 and continues to find joy teaching undergraduates today.