Duke University Alumni Magazine

Before they left campus for winter break, we canvassed sixteen students in the Bryan Center:
More than anything else, what would you personally like to receive as a holiday present?

Responses ranged from the materialistic to the adventurous. Sophomore Sonwha Lee chose "portable CD players because I listen to music a lot." Senior Aaron Cohn wants "a Dodge Viper because it's cool and fast and my roommate would be jealous."

Travel beckons. Jaime Lipschultz, a sophomore, wants an airline ticket to Atlanta to visit her best friend, who goes to school at Emory. Sophomore Cassie Munoz wants to go skiing: "I love skiing and there is somebody special in California that I'd really like to see." Shaminda Amarakoon, a junior in engineering, wants "to be with my whole family in Sri Lanka, my native country."

Some saw the bigger picture. "A career and security after I graduate--knowing what I'm going to do. It's the biggest thing on my mind right now," said sophomore Saud Rahman. "Health and happiness for myself and my family forever," said sophomore Diane Sistani.

Two pragmatic students picked free tuition, "and room and board, too," said another. One exasperated sophomore, Julisa Espinoza, needed a double donation: "An easy Duke degree--I'm having a rough semester. And a nice vacation home to Atlanta."

Of course, Blue Devil basketball was at the top of the list. "Revenge against Kentucky," said junior Matt Weiss; "a national championship," echoed seniors Geeta Arora and Howard Goldstein.

There was a tending toward the ridiculous--"Drew Barrymore. Nicely wrapped"--for junior Adam Bomarsi; the existential--"I don't need anything" --for (or not for) senior Dorothy Kozlowski, and the inevitable, from Matt Cassidy, a junior in engineering: "world peace."

--compiled by Jaime Levy '01

"I started asking him when his next book would be published, and each year my father would tell me next fall, and that fall, he'd tell me next spring. I said, 'I bet it won't be published until I'm in college,' and everyone laughed at me."
--Alexandra Wolfe '02, daughter of author Tom Wolfe, who read from his latest novel, A Man in Full, at "Duke Moms and Dads Read," part of Parents' Weekend in October "In those turbulent years, many of you may not have known, we also took what was in those days a major financial step forward. We managed to raise what at the time was a large amount, nearly $200 million."
-- Douglas Knight, Duke president from 1963 to 1969, addressing Duke's board of trustees in October before it approved the $1.5-billion, five-year Campaign for Duke "NASA has invested far more time and energy and resources in parading the astronauts than in educating the public--and schoolchildren--about many of its other activities, especially in the sciences. NASA's public-relations machine focuses more on the part of the program that is popular rather than the part of the program that is significant."
-- History department chair and former NASA historian Alex Roland Ph.D. '74, commenting in October over National Public Radio about John Glenn's return to space

Apropos of the Modern Library's attempt at listing the 100 greatest books of the twentieth century,

the reference staff at Perkins Library set up a booth on campus during Oktoberfest so students could vote for five books that they considered the best. Ballots numbered 268, with more than 400 titles submitted.

"Recess," The Chronicle's weekly arts and entertainment insert that printed the list, wondered: "Did all Duke students quit reading books after they finished their high school English courses?"

The following is the top twenty in a list of titles that received at least four votes:

Book Author Votes
1.The Great Gatsby,
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2.The Catcher in the Rye,
by J.D. Salinger
by George Orwell
by Joseph Heller
5.To Kill a Mockingbird,
by Harper Lee
by Toni Morrison
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
8.Heart of Darkness,
by Joseph Conrad
9.Brave New World,
by Aldous Huxley
10.The Grapes of Wrath,
by John Steinbeck
11.Invisible Man,
by Ralph Ellison
12.The Color Purple,
by Alice Walker
  Lord of the Flies,
by William Golding
14.Animal Farm,
by George Orwell
15.All the King's Men,
by Robert Penn Warren
  The Fountainhead,
by Ayn Rand
  The Sound and the Fury,
by William Faulkner
18. A Clockwork Orange,
by Anthony Burgess
19. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,
by Douglas Adams
20. Atlas Shrugged,
by Ayn Rand
  Cat's Cradle,
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  Gone With the Wind,
by Margaret Mitchell
  Native Son,
by Richard Wright
  A Prayer for Owen Meaney,
by John Irving
  The Sun Also Rises,
by Ernest Hemingway
  Their Eyes Were Watching God,
by Zora Neale Hurston

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