Dorothy Hubbard had one of the best records on the Duke fencing team this year, but her handiwork extended well beyond her prowess with the epee. She was one of the most active Blue Devils in the community, from reading to third graders and collecting donations for the less fortunate to advising middle school students about the value of a college education.
“I think that's a responsibility, especially at a place like Duke,” Hubbard said of her outreach involvement. “A lot of athletes are very fortunate to be here, and nobody made it here by themselves. Anything we can do to give something back and help others, that's a responsibility we have.”
Hubbard, a junior from Shreveport, La., served as co-president of Duke's Student-Athlete Advisory Council. Along with participating in the school's Read with the Blue Devils program, she helped organize Project SHARE, which raised over $1,700 from athletes to provide holiday gifts for needy Durham residents.
Hubbard also helped set up a donation day at a women's basketball game to collect canned goods for the Food Bank of Durham. And she was involved in SAAC's annual Winter Fun Day, which brings middle school students to campus to watch team practices, meet athletes and attend a women's basketball game. The goal is to expose sixth graders to concepts of education, healthy living and leadership through athletics.
“I really felt like with Winter Fun Day, we tried to grab kids' interest in education through their interest in sports,” she said. “I think we made an impact.”
Hubbard is one of five Duke athletes honored recently with an ACC Service Award. The conference presents the awards at every member school, with each institution responsible for establishing its own criteria. At Duke, the service awards go to athletes who demonstrate dedication to community service and outreach efforts.
Also recognized from Duke: Laura Chen and Paige Miller from the women's track team, Kevin Coleman from the men's lacrosse team and Kenneth Stanford from football. Stanford graduated in December while Chen and Miller graduated this month. Hubbard and Coleman will be seniors next year, when Hubbard plans to serve another term as co-president of SAAC.
Chen, a pole vaulter in track, was the other SAAC co-president this year. She joined Hubbard in organizing and recruiting for Winter Fun Day, the canned food drive and Project SHARE, a cooperative venture with the Volunteer Center of Durham and the Department of Social Services.
Miller, an NCAA track qualifier in the 10,000 meters, and Stanford, a defensive starter and co-captain for the football team, were particularly active in the Read with the Blue Devils program, one of the school's longest-running and most popular outreach efforts. Student-athletes in the program make elementary school visits, read to third and fourth graders and talk to them about the importance of their school work and setting goals.
Coleman, a member of Duke's second-ranked lacrosse team, participated in the reading program and gave some of his time at the Duke Children's Hospital, where he would provide comfort and friendship to children as they sat in the waiting room. He also was a familiar face at the Erwin Gardens Rehabilitation Center and Nursing Home, where he spent time with elderly residents.