Donald D. Durkee, 1943
President of Durkee Mower, Inc., the company that manufactures Marshmallow Fluff.
Vermont Academy is proud to recognize Donald D. Durkee ’43 with the Florence Sabin Award. Don is a longtime president of Durkee Mower, Inc., the company that manufactures Marshmallow Fluff– a simple product that has inspired beloved recipes like “Fluffernutter” and “Rice Krispy Treat.”
Durkee Mower has been making Fluff in the same personal manner since 1920. Their success has come from adhering closely to its traditions and resisting offers to be purchased and assimilated into large conglomerates. As President, Don has been able to maintain his dedicated work force, expand production capacity, and increase sales every year since 1982 – even when faced with a recession. Don relies on word of mouth and the promotion of special recipes during the holidays to spread the word about Fluff and its versatility and usefulness.
At Vermont Academy, Don was an active member of the community during his two years as a student and has remained one of our most loyal and supportive alumni since his graduation in 1943. Don understands the small family nature of Vermont Academy, and he treats the employees of Durkee Mower in a similar fashion. He often recalls the time when he was a VA student and had a ruptured appendix and needed a blood transfusion. The only person in town who shared his blood type was Headmaster Laurence Leavitt, who willingly agreed to a blood transfusion. To this day, Don still considers Larry Leavitt as his “blood brother.” Don is also a pillar within the community where he lives and works and serves on the boards of numerous health and community organizations. We thank him for bringing honor (and Rice Krispy Treats) to Vermont Academy.