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Durwood Zaelke Awarded Beyond Duke Service and Leadership Award


Durham, North Carolina— Duke University honored Durwood Zaelke, a graduate of the University’s School of Law, class of 1972, with its 2020 Beyond Duke Service and Leadership Award in an online ceremony today.

Zaelke was honored for his extraordinary leadership in climate advocacy through his career spanning over the last four decades.

The award ceremony hosted virtually, took the form of a storytelling event inspired by the 2020 Apple TV docuseries Dear…, where the nominators read their nomination letter to the honoree, who then respond.

Durwood was nominated by his law school classmate Leonard Simon, class of 1973, and now an Adjunct Professor of Law at Duke. In his nomination, Leonard thanked Durwood for changing “the course and impact of international environmental law” and for “the world you are preserving for me, my children, and future generation of citizens of the world.”

The Beyond Duke Award was established in 2014 to honor alumni who have become extraordinary leaders and distinguish themselves with service to their community, to their country, or to society at large.

Watch the video of Durwood’s award:

Watch the whole award ceremony here.