As the first 300 guests entered the chapel, they received complimentary Duke lunch boxes. The gift, and the free food and drink served outside after the show, was part of the event’s theme of showing gratitude for Duke employees.
“This is an opportunity for us to pause and reflect on the past year,” said Antwan Lofton, assistant vice president for Staff & Labor Relations with Duke Human Resources, the unit that organizes the event. “We get excited for this. I think it’s a fun event and we always look forward to it.”
Patsy Chase, a staff assistant, and Emily Jackson, a regulatory coordinator, walked over from their office at the Medical Genetics unit of the Duke Department of Pediatrics, which sits on a far corner of Duke’s sprawling research campus.
“She showed me a shortcut,” Jackson said.
“I walk this way all the time,” Chase said.
While Jackson said she’s been a regular at the annual event, it was Chase’s first time.
“She told me about it and I said ‘Let’s go!’” said Chase, a staff assistant. “I’m glad I came. I totally enjoyed it.”