Duke University Alumni Magazine


ormer president George Bush told Duke's newest graduates that they are entering a world that is safer and better than that faced by past generations, but one with enough problems to require the United States to disregard naysayers and continue to stay engaged. "But today, you know, there's a strange coalition at work in Washington and out," he said in the mid-May commencement exercises. "It consists of the people on the political right and the political left--big labor joining on one side, independent voices on the other, joining in--calling for America to come home, the selfish call that we've done our part and it's time for others to do the heavy lifting on international leadership."

Bush said "the most important bilateral relationship in the world" requiring attention is the U.S.-China relationship. While acknowledging the seriousness of India's recent nuclear tests, he said the greatest global dangers will come from "international terrorism," "Islamic fundamentalism," "the spread of chemical and biological weapons," and "narco-traffickers." He called on the graduates to resist sitting and "whining on the sidelines" and to "serve society and serve your country."

Photos: Les Todd

About 3,500 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees were awarded at the ceremony before a Wallace Wade football stadium crowd estimated at 17,000. Bush was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by President Nannerl O. Keohane. She cited his "visible and vital" leadership internationally, along with his emphasis on volunteerism, "a theme that resonates strongly on college and university campuses."

Other honorees were journalist Clay Felker '51, doctor of humane letters ("as founding editor, you built New York magazine into a showcase of writing that was sometimes sharp-edged, often unconventional, and unfailingly compelling"); CNN anchor and former Duke trustee Judy Woodruff '68, doctor of humane letters ("you showed persistence in the face of obstacles--obstacles that, partly through your efforts, are no longer easy to fathom"); Duke historian and chair of the White House advisory board on race John Hope Franklin, doctor of humane letters ("you have dedicated your life as an intellectual and an activist to the cause of equality"); and Stanford computer scientist Donald Knuth ("your main life's work, The Art of Computer ProgrammingÉis widely credited with establishing and defining computer science as a rigorous intellectual field of study").

This was the second year that Duke's commencement featured an ex-president: Last year's speaker was Jimmy Carter, whose grandson is a member of the Class of 1997. In his address, Bush praised his vice president, Dan Quayle, whose son is a member of the Class of 1998.


s part of its ongoing efforts to provide affordable housing to its faculty and staff, and to help encourage home ownership in neighborhoods near campus, Duke is selling existing and new homes to Duke employees on university-owned property adjacent to East Campus. There are two phases to the program, known as East Campus Home Sites.

Phase I involved the sale of nine existing older homes at prices ranging from $69,000 to $170,000. The homes had been rented by Duke. Phase II proposes building and selling about forty single-family homes and town houses on lots Duke owns.

All sales are made only to the faculty and staff of Duke, and are subject to restrictive covenants to ensure that the purchasers reside in their houses. Priority for resales will be to other Duke faculty members or staff. The idea, Duke officials say, is to help promote home ownership as part of the neighborhood's efforts to minimize the number of rental properties.

Residents of Trinity Heights have long viewed Duke's rental properties and vacant lots in their neighborhood as a destabilizing influence because of the uncertainty of the type of development that could occur. This new plan, university officials say, was designed to address these concerns and ensure long-term owner occupancy.

The university coordinated arrangements for mortgages; it also guaranteed the loans and pre-qualified the buyers under arrangements with two banks. The homes and duplexes for sale in Phase I were built between 1900 and 1937, and range in size from slightly less than 1,500 square feet to almost 3,500 square feet. They were sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and were "meant to appeal to those who enjoy renovating older homes," says Jeffrey Potter, director of real estate administration for Duke.

Phase II envisions a combination of town homes and single-family residences in a traditional neighborhood design concept. All new homes would be furnished with Ethernet connections to DukeNet.

Trinity Heights was one of the first planned residential developments in Durham, and is listed as a historic district in the National Register of Historic Places. It is among the twelve neighborhoods near the Duke campus that are the focus of the Duke-Durham Community Partnership Initiative. One of the initiative's goals is to help improve the quality of life in neighborhoods immediately surrounding the campus.

Duke has, as a matter of policy, provided housing assistance for faculty and other employees at various times during its history. In the Thirties, for example, the university designated a portion of Duke Forest near campus for residential development and sold home sites to faculty at cost for water, sewer, and road improvements. The university also subsidized the buyers' first mortgage for home construction.

In 1989, in response to criticism that medical center expansion was depleting the supply of affordable housing in Durham, Duke invested $1.2 million in the Triangle Housing Partnership. The money was used to buy land, build affordable houses, and assist lower-income home buyers with financing. In 1992, Duke donated three duplexes to Habitat for Humanity, which were relocated to the Crest Street neighborhood and renovated for single-family homes. One year later, the Burch Avenue affordable housing program gave university employees preference in purchasing nine new or renovated houses on Duke-owned property. First-time homeowners were assisted with down payments and with obtaining mortgages.

In 1994, Duke invested $2 million in Durham's Self-Help Credit Union, which is helping to revitalize and bring stability to the neighborhoods surrounding the Duke campus and to other locations throughout the city. In the Walltown neighborhood, for instance, Self-Help bought thirty dilapidated duplexes and renovated them as single-family homes, with purchase preference given to neighborhood residents and eligible Duke employees.


rinking a few extra mugs of coffee each day can boost blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels enough to increase a person's risk of developing heart disease over a lifetime of moderate caffeine consumption, according to a Duke researcher.

In a study of nineteen habitual coffee drinkers who wore "ambulatory" blood-pressure monitors throughout their daily jobs, the researcher found that the equivalent of four to five cups raised blood pressure an average of five points, compared to days when they consumed only one cup. The effect occurred within an hour of consumption, and the subjects' blood pressure remained elevated throughout the day, the study found.

The volunteers also reported higher levels of stress during the day when they received the higher, 500-milligram dose of caffeine, and they showed a corresponding increase in heart rate, says James Lane, associate research professor of psychiatry at Duke and lead author of the study. Results of the study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, were published in the May issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

While a five-point increase in blood pressure is not excessive, it can have significant clinical implications over time, Lane says. A review of nine major studies of blood-pressure and cardiovascular-disease risk showed that a five-point difference in diastolic blood pressure--used to assess health risk--was associated with at least a 34 percent increase in the incidence of stroke and a 21 percent increase in the incidence of coronary disease.

In an unrelated study, called the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program, researchers reported that reducing blood pressure by five points through medication was associated with a 20 percent reduction in five-year mortality. "The relevant message here is that the more caffeine you consume during the day in coffee, tea, or soft drinks, the higher your blood pressure is likely to be," says Lane. "Over many years, this increase in blood pressure may heighten your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, even if you don't have high blood pressure now."

While researchers have long known that caffeine boosts blood pressure, nearly all the studies have been conducted in a laboratory setting under tightly controlled circumstances where a single dose of caffeine is compared to none in a short time span. Lane says his study is among the first to analyze blood-pressure levels at fifteen-minute intervals during normal working conditions, while subjects were exposed to a range of moods and activities, from sitting to standing to walking. "You can measure how caffeine affects people in the laboratory, but that doesn't tell you what effects the drug has in the real world when people are exposed to normal stressors and activities."

In previous studies conducted over the past fifteen years, Lane has shown that caffeine raises levels of adrenalin, the body's major stress chemical, during everyday work activities, indicating that caffeine made the day more stressful. The question he wanted to answer in the current study was whether caffeine acted directly on blood pressure, or whether it elevated blood pressure through its effect on stress and activity levels.

By correlating the blood-pressure readings with the subjects' self-reports of their activities and moods throughout the day, the Duke researchers were able to rule out the possibility that caffeine was simply acting through a stress response or burst of physical activity. "Essentially, we have demonstrated that the effects of caffeine on ambulatory blood pressure cannot be accounted for by changes in activity, posture (sitting, standing, or walking), or perceived stress," Lane says. "This strengthens the evidence that caffeine is working directly on blood pressure rather than through other mediating factors."


uke's trustees approved an operating budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 totaling nearly $1.2 billion for the university's academic and hospital endeavors. When restricted funds for specific projects are included, the university's overall budget for fiscal 1998-99 totals $1.531 billion, up 6 percent from the current year.

The spending plan includes $565.4 million for the university's academic programs, administration, and general operations, 5.5 percent more than the current year's spending plan. It is the thirty-first consecutive year that the academic budget has been balanced.

The operating budget for Duke Hospital totals $625.7 million, up 0.3 percent from expenses anticipated for the year that ended June 30. The budget anticipates an increase of 0.4 percent in patient days with a 0.2 percent decrease in the average length of hospital stay, to 6.5 days. Outpatient clinic visits at the hospital are expected to decrease by 5 percent.

Included in the university's academic budget is the previously announced two-tiered tuition for next year. It provides for the lowest tuition increase in thirty-one years for continuing students in the university's two undergraduate colleges, and an extra $800 annually for new arts and sciences students to be invested in strengthening five undergraduate academic programs, financial aid, and faculty development.

For continuing students, the total price--including tuition, room, board, and fees--will increase by 3.5 percent, the lowest total increase in at least sixteen years, to $30,302. The total price for incoming students will increase by 6.3 percent, to $31,102.

The spending plan emphasizes that Duke will continue its twin policies of accepting students without regard to their ability to pay, and then provide a financial aid program that meets their entire demonstrated need. The plan includes $56.4 million for the financial-aid requirements of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students--up 2.8 percent from the current year. Projections are based on an enrollment of 5,925 undergraduates in Durham--although that number is expected to be closer to 6,000 this fall--and the full-time equivalent of 4,115 graduate and professional students.

Executive Vice President Tallman Trask III told the trustees in a letter accompanying the budget that the university's spending plan limits growth in academic and administrative support costs to 2.5 percent, allowing more resources to go to academic areas. The budget is the fourth based on the university's 1994 strategic plan that emphasizes controlling administrative costs to free additional funds for academic programs.


Candid camera: young photographers in Durham's West End neighborhood captured moments of everyday interactions between friends and family members
Photo: Sidney Evans

ast summer, a group of eight- to eleven-year-olds from Durham's West End neighborhood set out to document everyday life in their community. An exhibition of their photography, which was sponsored by the West End Community Center and the Connect Program at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies, runs through September 19 at the center's Porch Gallery.

The children involved with the program--Tanicka Williams, Danielle McLean, Sidney Evans, Bryant Malone, Lavoris Langley, Joshua Prout, and Brandon Stevens--met three times a week over the summer with the center's Abigail Blosser and Tim McGoin, a social researcher from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who helped facilitate the sessions.

The children showed Blosser around West End and surrounding neighborhoods, described their community to her, and told her what they wanted to photograph. Blosser taught them how to use a 35mm camera, how to arrange their subjects within the frame of a viewfinder, how light in a scene darkens a negative, and how to process film in a darkroom. "The photographs were taken during workshop hours, during which students also made pictures whenever something struck them," Blosser says. "As each child furthered her or his own style, they individually explored their own relationship to the neighborhood."

Young photographer Langley says he aimed to capture what a typical day was like in his neighborhood. His photographs are active images of people at work and at play. "I like to take pictures of people doing their daily things," he says, "like sitting on their porches on hot days, people washing their cars, people at the store, and people jogging."

In one caption for a photograph, Prout writes, "I like taking pictures because I like looking at things. I look closely when I take a picture. I would say we did [so] every day."

"The West End is bigger than I thought," Malone said after the program.

Children who participated in the summer of 1997 joined with new photographers to document additional Durham neighborhoods this summer. The Connect Program, a recent addition to the community programs at the Center for Documentary Studies, uses documentary skills as a tool for collaborative projects with local communities.


he six-story tower under construction next to Cameron Indoor Stadium to house an academic center for student athletes and basketball offices will be named the Alan D. Schwartz-Tom A. Butters Athletic Center. The name honors Schwartz '72, a New York investment banker who is being recognized for a $2.5-million gift, and Butters, who recently retired as Duke athletics director and who was Schwartz's baseball coach at the university in 1969 and 1970.

"Alan Schwartz has supported Duke through loyal service and generous financial assistance over the years," said President Nannerl O. Keohane in announcing the naming. "He wanted to honor Tom Butters and their close friendship of nearly three decadesÉ. The lasting association of an alumnus to his alma mater is often tied to the people who touched his life while a student and so it is with Alan Schwartz." Butters, she said, "is in a long line of Duke athletic leaders such as Eddie Cameron and Wallace Wade, and it is fitting that we recognize his contributions to Duke by naming this center in his honor."

Schwartz is executive vice president of Bear Stearns & Companies Inc. In addition to his support for Duke athletics, he is a member of the Fuqua School of Business' board of visitors and serves on a major fund-raising steering committee at Duke. He also is a member of the New York City Development Council and the New York City Executive Leadership Board.

Between his appointment as the university's athletics director in 1977 and his retirement earlier this year, Butters had selected all but one (men's track coach Al Buehler) of Duke's current head coaches, had presided over the creation of Duke's thirteen women's intercollegiate teams, and had molded an athletics program that achieved many of Duke's greatest sporting successes. Labeled the world champion of fund-raisers by The Sporting News in 1985, Butters, who also was a university vice president, oversaw a major increase in scholarships for student athletes and in the quality and number of athletic and recreational facilities. Designed by Cesar Pelli, the athletic center was the final major project of his tenure. Construction began this spring and is expected to be completed in the summer of 1999.

The 41,000-square-foot project will provide an academic center for Duke's student athletes, including a large reading room and a separate computer room, and offices for men's and women's basketball coaches and staff. The project consists of the tower, located next to the north corner of Cameron Indoor Stadium, and a linear structure housing a new Hall of Fame for sports memorabilia and new locker rooms directly accessible from Cameron Indoor Stadium's court level. Total cost, including furnishings, is $12.5 million, with the tower's construction cost set at $5 million.


uke's board of trustees gave the Fuqua School of Business the go-ahead to build a $15.3-million academic center joined to the school's Keller Center on West Campus to alleviate a space shortage and accommodate an expanded faculty over the next few years. Construction of the five-story extension to the Keller Center's west wing was expected to begin this summer with completion planned by the start of the fall semester in 1999.

"The new faculty building will effectively allow Fuqua to house its entire academic enterprise under one roof, promoting regular interaction and interdisciplinary dialogue between previously separated faculty," says Fuqua Dean Rex Adams '62. "The building will be home to a growing world-class faculty, who are the cornerstone of this institution."

Opened in 1983, the current facility has had a space shortage for a number of years, say school officials, and can no longer accommodate existing numbers of students and faculty. Fuqua plans to increase its faculty from the current level of sixty-seven tenure-track faculty members to 100, in addition to adjunct and visiting professors, by the year 2000.

The 60,000-square-foot-building will match existing architecture and consist of three linked pavilions of three-story height that will serve to extend the mallway from the west wing of the Keller Center. With the new building, Fuqua will be able to provide more faculty offices--including enough to accommodate the entire Ph.D. program--along with common areas and conference rooms. In addition to the state-of-the-art communications technology that will be built into the infrastructure of the building, space will be dedicated for supercomputing connections and hardware.


  • John Strohbehn will step down as Duke's provost June 30, 1999, at the completion of his five-year term as the university's chief academic officer. "At that point, I will have been a provost for eleven years (including six at Dartmouth)," he said in a statement, "and that probably is more than any reasonable scholar should devote to such a position." Strohbehn came to Duke in 1994 from Dartmouth College, where he had been provost for six years and a member of its engineering school faculty since 1963. A biomedical engineering professor, he earned his bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. He will take a sabbatical leave from 1999 to 2000.

  • Ralph Snyderman, chancellor for health affairs, dean of the Duke Medical School, and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System, was re-appointed to a third five-year term by Duke's board of trustees, on the recommendation of President Keohane. He earned his bachelor's at Washington College in 1961 and his M.D. in 1965 at Downstate Medical Center of the State University of New York. He served an internship and residency at Duke from 1965 to 1967 before going to the National Institutes of Health. After returning to Duke in 1972 to teach and conduct research, he joined Genentech Inc., a biomedical technology firm, in 1987. He was appointed chancellor in 1989.

  • K. Ranga Krishnan, professor of psychiatry and chief of the division of biological psychiatry at Duke Medical Center, is the new chair of the psychiatry department. A faculty member since 1981, he was selected following a national search. A native of Madras, India, he came to Duke in 1981 as a psychiatry resident after completing internships in India and the West Indies. He was appointed a faculty member in 1985, medical director of the affective disorders unit in 1989, and then head of the division of biological psychiatry and director of the clinical research center for depression in later life, a federally funded program.

  • The Reverend Janice A. Virtue is the new associate dean for continuing education and strategic planning at the Duke Divinity School. She was at Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, where she oversaw alumni relations, annual fund development, continuing education, and public affairs. She earned her bachelor's in business administration at the University of Toledo, an M.B.A. at Indiana University, and a master's of divinity at Perkins.

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