Duke Football Employee Kickoff Celebration September 22, 2018

Stephanie Smith and her three children were among the 25,132 fans cheering on the Blue Devils during Saturday’s Duke Football Employee Kickoff Celebration at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium.

"They love it," Smith, of Duke Housekeeping Operations, said Saturday at the game. "They're having a ball."
Saturday’s gathering proved to be a happy one as the Blue Devils beat North Carolina Central University 55-13 in front of a crowd of 25,132 fans, many of whom were Duke employees.

Andrew Daye, an electrician at Duke Raleigh Hospital, was one Duke employee who posed for a cover photo at the Working@Duke tent.

Daye, who’s married to a North Carolina Central University employee, enjoyed the sense of community spirit at the game.

“My favorite part of the day was just looking around and seeing everybody having a good time,” Daye said. “With North Carolina Central there, it was like a family thing. It was like we were one big family because this is one time when Durham as a whole can come together.”
Duke employees received up to four free game tickets and vouchers for four free meals. Fans also enjoyed pre-game festivities, which included inflatables and face-painting.

Lauren Grace Updyke enjoyed the game with her husband, Keith Updyke, grounds superintendent for Duke Facilities Management Department. She shared this picture with Working@Duke on Facebook.

"It was a blast! Love the perks at Duke," she said.
Jennifer Hodges Mayhew shared this picture on the Working@Duke Facebook page. "It’s beyond hot but we are having a great time," she said.
Above, fans pose for a selfie. At right, Angie Perry of Duke's Office of Information Technology (OIT) hands out giveaways at the Duke University Police Department booth.
Jewel Clayton shared this picture on the Working@Duke Facebook page. "Great face painting for employee kick-off!!!" she said.
For Lola Martin, the reality of being selected as the 2018 Honorary Employee Captain for Saturday’s Employee Kickoff Celebration, didn’t really sink in until early in the second quarter, when she was on the field being recognized with the public address announcer reading her bio and her face appearing on the stadium’s massive video board.
“There was nobody else out on the field and all eyes were on me, it was like ‘Wow, this is really happening now,’” Martin said. “I just wanted to soak it all in.”

For Martin, development projects coordinator for the Nicholas School’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations, the captain experience already featured plenty of fun moments, including meeting Duke coach David Cutcliffe at his weekly news conference..

Before the game on Saturday, she was on the field for warmups, got to follow the team onto the field as it ran out of the tunnel and was on hand for the pregame coin toss, after which, the referee gave her the coin.

But it was her on-field recognition that proved to be the most indelible memory. Afterward, she walked back to her family and friends in Section 29 and got congratulations from strangers.

“I was still getting them when I was going back to my car,” Martin said. “I thought that was pretty cool.”
Johnathan Lloyd celebrates his 16-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of Duke's win against North Carolina Central University.
Jewel Clayton shared this picture on the Working@Duke Facebook page. #GoDuke!

Produced by Working@Duke in the Office of Communication Services at Duke. Follow Working@Duke and keep up with news you can use in work and life on Facebook and Twitter. Photography by Working@Duke, Duke Athletics and Ben McKeown.

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