Gratitude for Community

 November 10, 2022

Inspiring talks from Bryan Stevenson, Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr., Alice Hill and many distinguished speakers. Student Voices on topics ranging from climate to justice. Faculty expertise in the media. A major NIH award. Our programs and centers.

There are so many reasons I am grateful in this moment at Sanford. Most of all, I am grateful for our strong, involved community – for the people. No matter what obstacles are in front of them, Sanford students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends are committed to making this world a better place. Each person contributes to our mission and thus to our vision and impact as a school.


One example is Yadira Paz-Martinez PPS’25, who is working with migrant families and building her policy knowledge and experience. She said in this video: “Change isn’t going to happen with just one person or with a small group of people. This is going to happen with students and community members that unite together.”

This is our Sanford community spirit.

As our students graduate, our community continues to grow! I celebrate our 9,000-plus alumni. I truly thank our many alumni and friends for support faculty positions and graduate program support, and in turn, the future of public policy.

The engagement of our alumni is evident in other new commitments to Sanford. In the last four years, we have more than doubled our new gifts, including over $12 million for financial aid for our students. Our endowed professorships have grown 14 to 22. This is truly a testimony that our alumni and friends see the value of Sanford. They believe in our mission.

Our Sanford annual fund is also a wonderful expression of the growing engagement of our alumni. The growth has been tremendous. In recent years, we have seen a 50% increase in giving to the Sanford Annual Fund. This giving is a true expression of gratitude, and we are thankful for every gift. On #GivingTuesday (November 29), we invite you to make a gift to the Sanford Annual Fund. Gifts of any size are welcome. Through the Sanford Annual Fund, our students are greater transformed by their Duke experience, and enter the global community uniquely prepared to put knowledge in the service of society and to become the leaders of their generation.

Sanford is forever grateful for your support. I am forever grateful for our community.


Judith Kelley
Dean and ITT/Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy and Political Science

Featured Video

Yadira Paz Martinez



Dean's blog