Donald Nelson Love Honored at Reception

By Jamie Botta

On Fri., May 26th, 2023, the department hosted a hybrid in-person and virtual reception at the University Club in Durham to celebrate the legacy of Donald N. Love, honor his family members, and recognize our Love Service Awardees past and present. Pathology Chair Jiaoti Huang, MD, PhD, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Vice Chair Danielle Elliott Range, MD, and David Howell, MD, PhD, presented.

*Pictured left to right: Dr. Range, Guster Lewis, Jr., Ronald Christian Lee, Pearlie Love Lewis, Deidre Lewis, Dr. Huang]

We were honored to have many of Love’s family present, including his great nephew, H. Herbert Love III, who delivered remarks on behalf of the family, and Love’s surviving daughter, Pearlie Love Lewis, who was instrumental in providing photos and information about her father to the department to share.

“We all remember Uncle Don as a warm-hearted, loving father and grandfather,” said Herbert Love. “Most importantly, he was a source of inspiration when we had a bad day. He could always cheer us up with his great sense of humor. We all have come to understand that he was indeed a trailblazer. We thank the Pathology Department for its active efforts to preserve the historic contributions and memory of Donald Love,” he said.

Love’s granddaughter, Beverly Love, attended the reception with her daughter, Mya Love-Whitley, a 2022 graduate of University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a degree in Biology/ Microbiology. “I know that he would be proud of his grands and great grands,” she said. “Thank you so much for the invitation.

When the award was established in 1993, then-Chancellor for Health Affairs Ralph Snyderman, MD, called it important and overdue. “Though there has been improvement in equality over the years, the job is far from finished,” said Snyderman, who was chancellor from 1989 to 2004. “This tribute to Donald Love is the first in a long series of steps to create an environment where the talents and contributions of all our employees are valued.”

Love Service Awards were given to 11 recipients between 1993 and 1999. The awards provide financial support in the form of reimbursement to staff members enrolled in certificate or degree programs, to assist with incidental costs associated with pursuit of these programs.

Several former award recipients attended:

  • Wayne Terrell received our inaugural Staff Development award in 1995
  • Carolyn Rogers received a Lifetime Service Award in 1996
  • Jim Burchette received a Lifetime Service Award in 1998
  • Stephen Ray received a Lifetime Service Award in 1999

The department began distributing awards again in February 2022 by awarding it to Ebony Ambrose, senior program coordinator with our Graduate Program; and in 2023 to Brittany Harris, program coordinator for our Fellowship Programs.

Our other awardees who could not attend the reception were Vernon Creek, Michael Freeman, Jimmie Manley, Sr., Andrew Snipes, Allen T. Summers, Isaiah E. Taylor, and Charles Walker.

In the original award announcement in 1993, Love, who was likely Duke Hospital’s first Black employee, was recognized as a man of high accomplishments and perseverance who “served humanity with altruistic compassion. The extra mile always seemed to be the easiest for him to travel.” He was an integral department member who contributed greatly. Read more about his legacy here.

Left to right: Former Love Service Awardees Jim Burchette, Carolyn Rogers, Retha J. Bailey (guest), Wayne Terrell
Pictured left to right: Former Love Service Awardees Jim Burchette (1998), Carolyn Rogers (1996), Retha J. Bailey (guest), Wayne Terrell (1995)