|Senior volunteer at Durham University via DunelmUSA Smiti Kumar has received the prestigious Dunelmensis award for exceptional service. The Award was presented last December by Professor Antony Long, Acting Vice-Chancellor, at the Lincoln Centre in New York.
Smiti has been a senior volunteer for Durham University via DunelmUSA since its inception in 1992. She joined the Board of the North American Foundation for the University of Durham (DunelmUSA), the organisation’s US 501c3 charitable entity in 2010 and was appointed to President in 2016.
The DunelmUSA operation has grown from a small charitable thoroughfare for donations to the University to a properly functioning non-profit entity receipting more than $3M in the last financial year, managing more than 25 senior regional volunteers.
In recent years, Smiti has directly managed Board leadership positions, created volunteer groups to support University promotion and recruitment in the US, establishing the university’s US gala, and creating succession plans to ensure the future of the organisation.
Though Smiti was born in New Delhi, India, she moved to Washington, DC when she was an infant and lived there through her college years and beyond,
A spokesperson for the university said: “Congratulations to President of Dunelm USA, Smiti Kumar (Management Studies, Graduate Society, 1980-81), who was belatedly presented with the 2021 Dunelmensis Award for her outstanding volunteer services to the University and our alumni community.
“In addition to her work on DunelmUSA she has been an active member of the Durham University Business School International Advisory Board, participating in thought leadership sessions on behalf of the school and organising numerous class reunions in recent times.”
The Dunelmensis Award is given by the University’s Senate to a Durham alumnus or alumna for meritorious and exceptional service in support of the University, particularly for their institutional advancement and for enhancing the University’s reputation, nationally and internationally.
The other winners of the award include Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter OBE, Richard Roberts and Charles Wilson.
Smiti graduated from the University of Durham with an M.Sc. in Management Studies in 1981. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC with a major in Marketing and a minor in Sociology.
She has been involved with the North American Foundation for the University of Durham since its inception and has been a board member since 2010. She has organized four of her high school class reunions and two for her Durham University Business School classmates, including one in 2015 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the University of Durham’s Business School.