Associate Dean for External Relations Linda Steckley to leave Duke Law

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Steckley farewell party
Associate Dean Linda Steckley, flanked by Associate Dean Dennis Shields and Academic Affairs Coordinator Nancy Cheek, laughs as she listens to comments at her May 5 farewell party.

Associate Dean for External Relations Linda Steckley will leave Duke Law in June to become vice president for development at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., where she will oversee corporate and foundation fundraising and establish a major gifts program.

She departs the Law School after eight years in her position and helping to lead a successful $55 million fund-raising campaign. Colleagues, alumni leaders and university officials say they and the Law School community will miss Steckley both personally and professionally.

“She has strengthened ties with alumni across the country and around the world, and her leadership and commitment have been critical to the meeting of our $55 million Campaign goal,” said Dean Katharine Bartlett. “Linda has been an effective and thoughtful colleague, and she will be greatly missed.”

Board of Visitors Chair Peter Kahn ’76, speaking from his office at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., had high praise for the connections Steckley forged with the School’s friends and alumni. “I think what makes Linda unique is her personal warmth and sincere interest in the Law School and its graduates,” he said. “There’s no question about her sincerity, and it’s because of those traits that so many alumni have such strong affection for her.”

The Law School held a farewell party for Steckley on May 5 both to say goodbye and to celebrate her accomplishments. In addition to many Law School and university colleagues who attended, the event drew Bob Shepard, vice president for university development, and John Piva, senior vice president for alumni affairs and development. Both had kind words for Steckley’s warm and personal approach to development and for her successes.

“She has raised Law giving to unprecedented levels,” said Shepard. He also produced a list of adjectives about Steckley by interviewing her Law School colleagues. Among them: “professional, gracious, tenacious, warm and stylish.”

But her accomplishments took center stage as speakers praised Steckley and said goodbye. “When she came here eight years ago, Linda was, without a doubt, the right person at the right time,” Dean Bartlett said. “She brought Duke into the modern age in terms of fundraising, building up both our alumni relations side and our major gifts side into a sophisticated operation that many other law schools have sought to emulate.”