When Fuqua asked Mike Linton MBA '80 to host a reception and discussion with Dean Bill Boulding in Silicon Valley, he and his wife, Deb, enthusiastically agreed - with one condition.
"Nobody wears suits out here," Mike said. "I wanted the event to be casual. Jeans encouraged!"
After considering a few venues, Mike and Deb chose to open their home to about 70 alumni. The Lintons set up their backyard as a reception area while Fuqua took care of the logistics.
"It was a great event," said Erin Gasch MBA '03, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. "They have a beautiful, idyllic backyard with humming birds, and their obvious enthusiasm for the school really contributed to a great atmosphere."
Mike's passion for Fuqua stems from the successful career he has built following his Fuqua education. His resume includes a long list of high-level marketing positions at companies like P&G, Best Buy, eBay and, at present, Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. He has also served on a number of boards.
"I went straight into graduate school after undergrad," Mike said. "I was very fortunate to attend Fuqua with scholarship assistance, and it ended up working out very well for me."
The Lintons' daughter is an undergraduate student at Duke. So although Deb has no formal ties with the university, supporting Duke and remaining involved with the network are a family affair.
"We're all Duke fans and lovers," Mike said. "When you have two people from Duke in a household, it's hard not to like it!"
For Mike, engaging his family was an added benefit of hosting the reception at his home. His two kids joined the party and mingled with the Fuqua alumni who attended. Along with alumni, they heard from Dean Bill Boulding about current events at Fuqua and the school's vision for equipping students to be leaders in their personal and professional lives.
"It was great for them to have the opportunity to see and meet some of the interesting people who have attended Fuqua," Mike said.
For attendees, the success and enjoyment of the event can be attributed to its hosts.
"The Lintons put on a wonderful event," Gasch said. "They are so friendly, easy-going and welcoming. Mike is an accomplished businessman, but very approachable. The fact they were open to hosting in their home instead of a public venue made the event more intimate, which attracted a broader, more diverse group of alumni."
If you live in Silicon Valley and missed the event, don't be too disappointed. The Linton's have already offered to host a future event.
If you are interested in hosting an event in your community, please email alumni relations