Sanford's myriad engagement included alumni connections and policy engagement. We sincerely thank all who engage with us!

Research & Expertise | Professional Programs | Undergraduate Experience | Engagement


9500 Sanford Alumni


122 Countries


More than 180,000 Duke Alumni

Alumni volunteer, service, and participation

37 events that reached 3,600 alumni

Sanford is proud to offer timely and relevant programming in partnership with Duke Alumni, Duke Federal Relations, the School of Nursing, and the Parents’ Committee, to name a few.
While we hosted numerous alumni events throughout the year, it was a delight to return to hosting in-person alumni programming.

DC Alumni Event

In spring 2022 Sanford hosted a rooftop reception for DC alumni featuring Professor Deondra Rose. 


Celebrating a stalwart of the Sanford Community

We hosted an alumni gathering in the Triangle to fête a stalwart of the Sanford Community, Director of Career Services Donna Dyer on the occasion of her retirement from Duke.


MPP and MIDP Send off

We held and event on campus for our MPP and MIDP graduates to send them off in style.

Service to Sanford and Duke

We want to say thank you to our Sanford Alumni who make such a big impact on our community. Sanford alumni dynamically serve both Sanford and Duke in a variety of engaging ways. 


330 Active Volunteers

Our alumni speak in classes, meet with student groups, and provide career advice, mentoring, and networking opportunities. We are grateful to our Sanford alumni for their service to Sanford and Duke as leadership volunteers on boards across the University and the Healthy System. With over 330 active volunteers contributing to our outrageous ambition. 


32 Active Members on Boards

In addition to Sanford alumni serving on the Sanford BOV and MPP Alumni Advisory Board, 32 Sanford grads serve on 11 boards across Duke including the Duke University Board of Trustees and the Duke University Health System Board of Directors. Our policy alumni proudly serve Duke in a variety of ways.


Board of Visitors and MPP Advisory Board

Our Alumni Board of Visitors and MPP Advisory Board support Sanford and our global alumni community in critical roles that contribute to our programs' growth, leadership, and future. They join us as regional leaders working with other alumni and assisting with various student needs. They share their expertise as career panelists, help hire student interns, host regional events, and serve as fundraising ambassadors. 

Browse Our Boards list

Volunteer work at Sanford

Sanford alumni serve in various ways through volunteer opportunities, helping make a difference in student lives and our broader community. Whether it's through alumni engagement, student engagement, or academic engagement, our alumni volunteer help drive Sanford's mission. 

  • Sanford's Master's Mentoring Program.
  • Sanford Board Leadership Initiative. 
  • MPP student mentors and advisors.
  • Assisting our career services team.
  • Admissions ambassadors and applications readers. 
  • MPP Diversity recruiters.
  • And much more.
To learn more about volunteering

Philanthropic Support

The Sanford School Annual Fund

Thanks to your generosity and support we were able to raise $1,551,230.29!

To the 1,615 alumni, friends, and donors, we appreciate your generous support for the Sanford School Annual Fund.
The celebration of 50 years of public policy at Duke provided a call to action for alumni and friends to invest in Sanford’s strategic priorities including endowed professorships and graduate fellowships, putting in place the vital groundwork for Sanford at 100! 

$15 Million in New Commitments

At the close of the 2022 fiscal year, we had secured nearly $15 million in new commitments, including $8.75 million from an anonymous donor, and we had successfully completed fundraising for the Sanford Faculty Challenge ($2.75M) and the Graduate Financial Aid Challenge ($2M) established as part of the $10 million grant From the Duke Endowment received in November 2020.


Sanford and You The Perfect Pair

In February 2022, over 80 alumni and students made a gift of support to the Sanford Annual Fund via our second winter campaign. The theme for 2022, Sanford and You The Perfect Pair, treated our donors to a fun pair of Sanford socks, an exclusive for the campaign!

Duke Sanford Honor Roll

Thank you to all our generous Honor Roll donors.

When Sanford became a school on July 1, 2009, it had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start a tradition that honors and celebrates those individuals who annually and consistently give generous unrestricted support.  

View our Honor Roll members

Support for Faculty, Financial Aid, and Programs


Financial Aid Support

We secured new commitments totaling $5.125 million to establish 9 endowed graduate fellowships. 


Faculty Support

We secured new commitments totaling $6.750 million to establish four endowed professorships including, a full professorship in national security, two assistant or associate professorships honoring retired Sanford faculty members, Bruce Payne and Tony Brown and his wife Teddie, and a professorship of the practice.


Programmatic Support

We secured new commitments totaling $1.3 million. $800,000 to establish a dean’s innovation fund honoring Tony Brown, and $500,000 to support faculty research and recruitment.



Read the story

Gift to Sanford School to Focus on National Security Professorship

Read the story

Alumni Couple’s Gift Boosts Innovation and Graduate Education

Read the story

Faces@50 Alumni Stories

We are proud of the varied paths our alumni pursue after graduating.

John Tolsma, PPS ’95 and Lee Ann Furrow Tolsma, PPS ‘93

"Public policy helped define what worked well in our marriage."

Andy Rosen PPS ’82 and Dr. Marcelle Abell-Rosen T’85

"These are powerful tools."


Policy Engagement

Sanford faculty produced research findings that contributed to evidence-driven policy, authored policy briefs, testified before Congress,  convened policymakers around important issues, worked with community partners, provided expertise and resources to government officials. Here are a few of the many examples in 2022 of policy engagement.

Policy Engagement - 2022 Examples