Our History



On March 9, 1950, a pre-organizational meeting was held in the Duke Hospital Library, attended by more than fifty interested women leaders of Durham, who had been invited by Mr. Ross Porter, Superintendent of Duke Hospital. This meeting was sponsored by Mrs. Bayard Carter and Mrs. Watt Eagle. Mrs. Lydia B. Hewes, Public Relations Director of the Hartford Hospital, spoke about the value of women’s auxiliaries in hospitals, about the Hartford auxiliary, and explained how such a group is organized.
Members voted to organize a Women’s Auxiliary for Duke Hospital. This was not the first auxiliary to work in Duke Hospital. It had as a progenitor an auxiliary organized in 1932, through which, during subsequent years, many woman hours of sewing and bandage making were donated to Duke Hospital. This auxiliary also raised funds which were used for Christmas on the children’s wards, a custom which has never been allowed to lapse. However, it was planned that the scope of services offered by the new auxiliary members would be broader.
Mrs. Bayard Carter was elected temporally Chairman and Mrs. Watt Eagle temporary Vice-Chairman. Mrs. Carter appointed Mrs. Norman Ross Chairman of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee, and Mrs. Deryl Hart Chairman of the Nominating Committee.
On April 11, 1950 the organizational meeting of the Duke Hospital Women’s Auxiliary was held in the hospital amphitheater, and of those attending this meeting, 242 became charter members.
One of the founding members, Betty Leach, still volunteers with us today!(pictured below).  What a testimony through her volunteerism and she inspires everyone she meets!