We are working together with the administration at Fort Lewis College in Durango to keep Allen’s memory alive in the community he loved while also continuing his unfinished work of helping other students at the university. Allen was killed less than five weeks before he was supposed to graduate with an accounting degree and his parents found out only after his death that he was in tutoring a number of students to help them graduate.
“Allen used to complain he didn’t have much spare time and I always gave him Dad advice that he must manage his time better” said his father Brian Duke. “He never once said it’s because he was tutoring six students while going to class and working nights at the Adobe Inn. In fact, if a woman had not come up to us at his posthumous graduation ceremony to thank us by saying if it wasn’t for Allen, her son & five others never would have graduated today, we may never have known he was doing it. That’s amazing.”
Allen’s journey of helping others actually began when he was struggling with courses during his sophomore year. “We literally had no idea,” continued Brian. “He mentioned in one phone call that he had a couple C’s and a D because the courses were very hard. I told him that he needed to get better grades if he wanted to get an interview for a good position, let alone a job. I recommendeded he talk to his teachers or get tutoring to raise his GPA. Allen said ‘Dad, that’s a sign of weakness’ but I told him that wasn’t true, weakness was when you needed help but were too proud or afraid to ask for it. He assured me he’d try to work on it in the future and that was the last talk we had about bad grades.”
Allen discovered Fort Lewis College had no formal tutoring program so he got involved in study groups with other students. Not only did his grades improve, he soon realized he was able to help others better understand the material. That’s when he first started volunteering as a tutor on campus.
The university has helped develop a number of realistic programs our foundation is now working hard to establish at Fort Lewis College, including the Allen Duke Memorial Tutor Center. To view the PDF letter, click on the link below:
Please be as generous as possible with your donation so that we can continue the work Allen selflessly began but was unable to finish because his life was cut short and remember that all contributions to The Allen Duke Memorial Foundation are fully tax deductible. Thank you, and please see our donation page for details.