The names Rick Wagoner, Uncle Dick Brodhead and Duke PR wouldn't give us! FC reveals some of the new trustees who have already taken office, in secret

There are several stories of interest this holiday weekend. Please scroll down: Potti Mess gets worse. Brodhead writes from Singapore. And the Chronicle editor asked for suggestions, and we of course responded.

Just like Mafia goons won't give out information about newly "made" members, Duke's Board of Trustees feels no compunction about failing to inform stakeholders about the "election" of new trustees -- even if they've already taken office.

What a sad state of affairs. Rick Wagoner, the new chair, won't answer FC questions. Brodhead is on a three-week spree which we estimate will cost $250,000 but even if he could be found on campus, he wouldn't answer.

And the PR department would not tell us who was nominated when their names were put forth, less we ask pesky questions. The PR people would not tell us when they were rubber stamped, that is, confirmed, by the alumni leadership and the Methodist Church.

And Trustees themselves take something akin to the Oath of Omerta, with the finger of an inductee pricked, with blood dripping onto a picture of St. Francis of Assisi or the Virgin Mary, and the picture set afire in the inductee's hands while he recites:

"As burns this saint, so will burn my soul. I enter alive and I will have to get out dead."

Enter a very Loyal Reader who was able to ferret out three names. We're not swearing these are among the new crop of Trustees, but it's a decent bet. They took office July 1.

We do know there were six vacancies: Dan Blue, James J. Kiser III, Kimberly J. Jenkins, John Mack, J. Lawrence McCleskey and Nancy A. Nasher are gone. Only Mack earned a Fact Checker star. When JP Morgan Chase reneged on a job offer to Dave Evans, the lacrosse captain who -- with two teammates -- was charged with a rape that did not occur, Mack, the head of Morgan Stanley, saw to it that Evans was hired. A very decent move, the beginning of Dave's very successful Wall Street career.

Blue, chair for the past two years, did not leave a mark. He did lead obfuscation, telling us right after he took office that Duke was in "dire financial strait," and then five months later proclaiming with no explanation our finances were "strong."

OK FC, OK. Give us the names already. Unofficial to be sure. And backgrounds as FC views them.

Betsy DeHaas Holden '77 of Winnetka, Illinois for a six year term.

The Rev. (Laura) Ashley Crowder Stanley '77, Divinity '80 of Fletcher, NC (near Asheville) for a six year term.

Robert R. Penn '74 of Dallas, who will serve initially for two years, the unexpired term of Jenkins.


After graduating from Duke in 1977, she earned an MBA at Northwestern and got hired by Kraft Foods. Her 23-year career was meteoric, with initial responsibilities in marketing (61 brands like cheese and milk, Trident gum and Miracle Whip, Planters Peanuts, Prince Spaghetti). Then she took the lead in trying to portray Kraft as a purveyor of health and wellness.

Holden went through the glass ceiling, becoming co-chief executive officer. That lasted less than three years, with major investors on Wall Street impatient for higher profits leading to her "re-assignment" in 2003. After 18 unhappy months with an amorphous job title, she "resigned" to spend more time with her family. She never landed another corporate job, now working as a senior consultant at McKinsey.

At Duke, Holden sat on -- and later chaired -- the Board of Visitors of Trinity College, which is best described as a proving ground; if you show signs of coughing up enough money, you make Trustee. So far she and her husband have established a scholarship.

And Holden was on the search committee that found a new dean of the Arts and Sciences earlier this year.

We believe one of her three children is Andrew Parker Holden '11.

She lives in a mini-mansion with a circular driveway in the posh northern suburbs of Chicago. The town of Winnetka has provided Duke with Trustees in the past -- and with a steady stream of students whose parents bought their way in. That is, parents willing to make substantial donations to get their kids into Duke, with grades, SAT scores and recommendations be damned.

This admissions scandal -- well documented by Daniel Goldman of the Wall Street Journal -- started with Terry Sanford and continues to this day. The words of a parent who forked over big bucks, Cissy Bunn, mother of Maude Bunn, Trinity '05, sum it up best: "Did my normal child take the place of somebody who could really make a difference in the world? Sure, yes, to an extent. But there are so many things you can lose sleep over. I'm happy for me and my child."


She is a double-Dukie, getting an undergraduate degree in 1977 and a degree from the Divinity School in 1980.

She has been senior pastor at High Point's Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. The church bulletin on June 19th announced it was her last Sunday sermon, and we believe she will now focus on the work of the western conference (diocese) of the church in Asheville.

Previously, Rev. Stanley was superintendent of the church's Asheville district.

She lives in the hamlet of Fletcher, near Ashville, with her husband who is an anesthesiologist, and three children. We believe she is the mother of Laura '06, Doctor of Physical Therapy '10, and Catherine '09.

During her tenure at Wesley Memorial, she led the church into social activism. For example one day church members packed 12,000 meals to go to the impoverished in Kenya. Duke's website fails to reveal any specific information about her activities as an alum.

Last year and this year, three ordained ministers left Duke's board. Before Rev. Stanley, only one replacement had been named, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of Jackson, Mississippi. Hopefully these two Trustees will realize that the new Duke Kunshan campus does not have any space for prayer and mediation, and speak up. They should also howl to keep the Christian cross on our diplomas handed out in China, as full Duke degrees will be going to the Chinese who may -- may -- someday populate the Kunshan campus.


Once again, we present the best information we can obtain, without being able to get official confirmation.

Penn is president of at least two privately held corporations in the energy field. One -- Penn Resources -- has 1,462 oil wells at work.

His wife is Katherine Baker Penn '74. At least two of their children are believed to have come to Duke, Sarah '05, and Caroline '11. They live in a mini-mansion in Dallas. Correction, drop the word mini. FC checked it out on Google satellite view.

We are not able to find any information about Penn's role as an alum.

Thank you for reading FC. There are more posts below from the holiday weekend. Please scroll down.

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