Shelley Duke, owner and manager of Rallywood Farm in Middleburg, Va., and long-time supporter of Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., will address graduates at the university's 29th National Capital Region Commencement Ceremony at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, May 17, at the Center for the Arts located at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Approximately 300 students studying at National Capital Region campuses are expected to complete their degree requirements and participate in the ceremony.

A native of San Francisco, Duke is chairperson of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center Council, a leadership group that helps guide the center, one of three campuses that comprise the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

In the early 1990’s, Duke established the center’s volunteer program, which provides community members with an opportunity to volunteer in a variety of hospital activities. Her service with the equine medical center led to greater levels of engagement with Virginia Tech, where she has served as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the veterinary college and the Virginia Tech Foundation.

Duke is presently a member of the Ut Prosim Society, The Legacy Society, the Capital Campaign Steering Committee, and the Women and Leadership in Philanthropy Council. In 2005, she was appointed by then Gov. Mark Warner to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors where she currently serves as chair of the Research Committee, and as a member of the Executive Committee and the Academic Affairs Committee.

Duke is an ex-officio member of the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center Council, a program of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She has demonstrated support of the W.E. Skelton Smith Mountain Lake 4-H Center and the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program of Virginia Tech.

In 2006, her nearly two decades of service to Virginia Tech was recognized when she was designated an honorary alumna by the university’s alumni association.

Virginia Tech has fostered a growing partnership with the greater metropolitan Washington D.C. community since 1969. Today, the university’s presence in the National Capital Region includes graduate programs and research centers in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg. In addition to supporting the university’s teaching and research mission, Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region has established collaborations with local and federal agencies, businesses, and other institutions of higher education. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

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