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Duke on High

We wanted to say a few words about the truly remarkable woman who is gracing the Front Page of the DBR today. She is Alison Levine, a graduate of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business ’00, loyal DBR reader, and lifetime Cameron Crazie. She currently works in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs.

Alison’s mountain-climbing exploits are nothing short of astonishing. She has literally traveled the world, doing numerous climbs in the Andies, Himalayas, and Rockies, among other ranges. Earlier this month, she reached the summit of Mt. Vinson, which is the highest peak in Antarctica. In fact, she has climbed the highest peak in six of the seven continents. Only Everest remains.

There have only been two American women to reach all seven summits. Alison is currently raising funds to conquer Everest with the hope of making the climb in the spring of 2002. If she makes that climb, she will be the first American woman to climb all seven summits on her first try. We’re contributing $1,000 to her effort with the hope that she’ll be able to plant some kind of Duke/DBR/GTHC flag or sign at the summit.

The photo you see on the Front Page is Alison atop Mt. McKinley (Denali), which she conquered in June. The peak you see in the photograph is at an altitude of 20,230 ft. and it took her three weeks to reach it. As she wrote to us, “It was long haul getting to the top of McKinley, but the entire way I kept thinking that there was no way I was going to give up – come 60mph winds or 60-below temperatures – that Carolina sign was going to the summit (dammit)!!!!!”

With that kind of spirit, determination, and good humor, we know that we all can look forward to a photograph of Alison on the Top of the World next year.