Duke University Alumni Magazine


uke's board of trustees, meeting in December, gave preliminary approval to a new 250-seat lecture hall on East Campus, a visitors and education center at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and a six-court, indoor tennis center to anchor the southeast end of the new athletics plaza on West Campus.

The East Campus project, to be named the Richard White Lecture Hall in honor of his service as past dean of Trinity College and vice provost for undergraduate education, will be built between East Duke Building and Aycock residence hall. There will be a two-level connecting link to East Duke, providing handicapped access to the Nelson Music Room on the second floor of East Duke. The two-story lecture hall, expected to cost about $2.5 million, will provide advanced electronic teaching equipment and will have raked seating and a stage to accommodate student performances, concerts, and films. The hall will be paid for by $2 million in contributions, of which $1.4 million already has been received, and $500,000 of university resources. If the board gives final approval at its next meeting in February, construction could begin as early as next spring or summer.

The gardens' facility will be called the Doris Duke Center after the late daughter of James B. Duke, the principal benefactor of Duke University. The gardens are named for Sarah P. Duke, wife of Benjamin N. Duke, who was James' brother. The center, expected to be completed in 2000, is projected to cost $4.7 million, $3.9 million of which already has been raised.

As announced two years ago, the 18,000-square-foot building will be located in the existing parking lot near the gardens' main gate on West Campus. The center will be used to receive and orient the 350,000 visitors who come to the gardens annually, provide a facility to teach the hundreds of school children who tour the gardens, and provide meeting rooms for garden clubs, volunteers, and adult evening classes, as well as space for special displays and exhibits.

The 44,000-square-foot tennis facility will include six courts for varsity practice, matches, and recreational tennis. An adjacent building will house coaches' offices, locker rooms for home and visiting teams, and meeting and reception space. Officials say the center will give Duke parity with other Atlantic Coast Conference schools and aid in recruiting student athletes. The tennis court building, expected to open next fall, will be built east of the refurbished Intramural Building and adjacent to existing outdoor tennis courts. The facility will complete the southeast end of the new athletics plaza being formed by the construction of the Wilson Recreation Center to the west and counter-balance the Schwartz-Butters athletics center under construction to the northwest.

The tennis center is expected to cost between $3.5 million and $4 million, with gifts and pledges already totaling $2.1 million. The architectural firm Cesar Pelli Associates of New Haven, Connecticut, developed the design for the tennis complex.


ohn P. McGovern B.S.M. '45, M.D. '45, Hon. '95, a noted allergist-immunologist from Houston, has given $6.5 million to Duke Medical Center to help fund a new children's health center. The 90,000 square- foot facility will be named the McGovern-Davison Children's Health Center in honor of McGovern and his longtime mentor and friend, the late Wilburt Cornell Davison, a pediatrician who was the first dean of Duke's School of Medicine.

In addition to the McGovern gift, The Duke Endowment has contributed $5 million toward the center. The Endowment's gift also was made in honor of Davison and his lasting impact on the medical center.

Scheduled to be completed in 2000, the $30.5-million McGovern-Davison Children's Health Center will serve more than 35,000 patients each year. It will house the pediatric medical and surgical clinics, which include surgery, urology, pulmonology, otolaryngology, hematology/oncology, cardiology, and pediatric radiology.

McGovern is the founder of the McGovern Allergy-Immunology Clinic in Houston, which is the largest private allergy clinic in the United States. He retired from full-time practice in 1985. During his career, in addition to his clinical work, he held seventeen full or adjunct professorships at fifteen university departments; he is a widely published author in the medical sciences, humanities, and health fields. McGovern is president and chairman of the board of the John P. McGovern Foundation, which he established in 1961. The foundation supports a wide array of activities, especially in family issues, education, health promotion, and disease prevention, with emphasis on substance abuse and other addictions.

"Facilities for children haven't changed at Duke much since I was there," says McGovern. "I knew that to bring the pediatric clinics and technology contiguous to the hospital would be of tremendous help to the physicians of the pediatrics department in the care of their patients. And I know Dean Davison would be more than pleased and supportive of this plan. He represented the best of medicine at Duke, and I wanted to make this gift in memory of him."

McGovern has maintained a strong relationship with Duke since he graduated. He is a former president of the Duke University Medical Alumni Association, and he received the association's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1976. The university awarded him an honorary doctor of science degree in 1995.


Remembering Martin: Friday's candlelight vigil, top left, in Duke Chapel; civil rights activist Julian Bond, top right, delivers the keynote address on Sunday; and, above, "Yam Jam," Monday's campus service project, with volunteers bagging yams to be distributed to Triangle families
Photos by Les Todd and Jim Wallace

ivil-rights activist Julian Bond delivered the keynote address at Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative services in Duke Chapel on January 17. The university canceled classes so students would be able to observe the holiday by attending and participating in the planned events.

Student-planned activities included films, discussions, community-service work, readings, and a commemorative mural. The events concluded with a presentation by playwright and performance artist Anna Deavere Smith, who performed excerpts from her work at Page Auditorium. In addition to the speech by Bond, the Sunday service featured music by Duke's United in Praise Gospel Choir and the Paul Jeffrey Jazz Ensemble. Others participating in the service included Ralph Snyderman, chancellor for health affairs and president and chief executive officer of Duke University Health System; Nick Tennyson, mayor of Durham; Micah Mitchell '99, president of Duke's Black Student Alliance; and William Chafe, dean of Trinity College and the faculty of arts and sciences.

Bond, chairman of the board of the NAACP, said the divide between the races could remain America's problem in the twenty-first century--just as it has been in the twentieth century. He said a black child is one and a half times more likely than his or her white counterpart to grow up in a family whose head did not finish high school, two times more likely to be born to a teenage mother, and nine times more likely to be a victim of homicide as a teenager or young adult. "Today," he said, "the net financial assets of black families in which one member has a post-graduate degree are lower than the assets of white families in which the highest level achieved is elementary school."

Bond lamented the absence of the kind of political leadership exhibited by President Lyndon Johnson in the Sixties, when "the fabric of legal segregation came undone" in a "second Reconstruction." He said "a callous coalition" has taken over Congress, and he attacked some Republican leaders for their affiliation with the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group with racist beliefs.

In a spirited defense of affirmative-action initiatives, Bond decried a climate in which "bashing affirmative action has substituted for a dialogue on race," and in which "America's most privileged population imagine themselves a besieged class." The issue, as he put it, is "not about preferential treatment for blacks; it's about giving equal treatment for people denied equal treatment in the past."

Smith's work, which explores the American character and its multifaceted national identity, has been acclaimed by the media, critics, and audiences. In 1993, Newsweek called her "the most exciting individual in American theater." In 1996, the MacArthur Foundation awarded her a fellowship, saying she has "created a new form of theater--a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism, and intimate reverie." Smith has created a body of theatrical works that she calls On the Road: A Search for American Character. Out of this series came two one-woman plays about racial tensions in American cities. Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Other Identities, which explores the 1991 clash between Jews and blacks in that New York community, was the runner-up for the 1993 Pulitzer Prize. Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, which examined the civil unrest and its aftermath, received critical acclaim on Broadway and in Los Angeles.

Besides the commemorative service, Duke held a candlelight vigil on Friday in Duke Chapel, where President Nannerl O. Keohane gave a brief talk and Joel McCauley, a student at the Durham Magnet Center, presented a dramatic reading of the "I Have a Dream" speech.


Coping with HIV: Patricia with Dawn and her friends, 1996 from the exhibit "A Positive Life"
Photo: Mary Berridge

n an effort to make a moving exhibition on the HIV/AIDS crisis even more personal, Duke's Center for Documentary Studies invited all those who visit the gallery to contribute their own stories. The exhibition, "Living with HIV/AIDS in the Triangle," consists of photographs, poems, installations, and mementos contributed by area artists, caregivers, and families who felt compelled to respond in a creative way to the impact on their own lives or the lives of those close to them.

The exhibition, which runs through May 17, opened in conjunction with "A Positive Life," an exhibition about women nationwide living with HIV. Visitors to the gallery will be encouraged to add their own thoughts and artwork up until the close of the exhibitions.

"Work received since a call for contributions in late fall 1998 has included pieces from many different media that weave sentimental and strident themes as well as those seeking to combine elegiac remembrances and political statements," says Chris Sims, the center's program coordinator for exhibitions. "Taken together, these exhibitions offer complex and layered understandings and insights into the state of the epidemic in the late 1990s in the United States."

"A Positive Life" is a collaboration between photographer Mary Berridge and writer River Huston, who together received the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize in 1996 for their revealing interviews and artful photographs that detail the emotional and physical struggles of women nationwide living with HIV. The women featured in the exhibition come from a variety of backgrounds: Some were IV drug users and prostitutes, one is a film actress and lawyer, one is a published poet, one is a college student, and another is an artist.

Huston, the poet laureate of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was herself drawn to the project as a woman living with HIV. In her introduction to the exhibition, she writes, "I have often been the one interviewed; the one answering the questions...frequently misquoted, misunderstood, or censored beyond all recognition." Berridge teaches photography at Princeton University and was awarded an Ernst Hass Prize in 1996 for her extraordinary color photography.

More information is available at aaswebsv. aas.duke.edu/docstudies/cds/.


hen a child swallows a penny, it can react with stomach acid to create a toxic mixture as corrosive as car battery acid, leading to severe stomach inflammation and even ulcers, physicians at Duke Medical Center have discovered. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, more than 21,000 children made trips to the emergency room after swallowing coins in 1997.

Research findings show that the problem of ingested coins can pose a serious threat to children and pets. The research was supported by the Duke department of radiology.

Sara O'Hara, a pediatric radiologist, and her Duke colleagues, Lane Donnelly, Emil Chuang, William Briner, and George Bisset, conducted the research after a two-year-old boy was brought to Duke with an upset stomach. When doctors X-rayed the child's stomach, they discovered a small disk full of holes, which they assumed was a toy part or small battery. When doctors removed the object with an endoscope (a thin tube with a surgical tool inserted from the mouth into the stomach), they discovered that the object was a 1989 penny the child had swallowed four days earlier. The child had developed a stomach ulcer in the area where the penny had lodged.

"We were surprised to find that the object we saw on the X-ray was a penny because it had holes in it," says O'Hara. "Kids ingest coins all the time, and they usually pass through the stomach and intestinal tract without incident. So we wanted to investigate what happened."

The researchers conducted a series of experiments in which they bathed pennies in a solution of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid). Pennies minted before 1982, which are 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc, showed no erosion. Those minted after 1982, which are nearly all zinc, with a thin copper plating, began eroding immediately. By the second day, they had holes in them. The researchers found the zinc in the coins reacted with the acid to form hydrogen gas and zinc chloride. The reaction, similar to the chemical process that occurs in car batteries, can erode the stomach lining, causing an ulcer. Other U.S. coins are made of non-corrosive metals, mainly nickel, and don't cause the problem.

"The high zinc content in recently minted pennies poses a potentially serious problem when ingested," O'Hara says. "Most likely, a single coin would pass through the stomach, but if it does lodge there, it can quickly become toxic. Pediatricians and radiologists should be alerted to consider this possibility when examining a child who has swallowed a coin."

When zinc is absorbed into the body in high enough doses, it can cause problems ranging from stomach ulcers to kidney, liver, and bone-marrow damage. While a single coin isn't likely to cause severe damage to a child, says O'Hara, it can cause ulcers. If a pet swallows a coin, it can cause serious systemic damage, and a visit to the veterinarian may be warranted.

O'Hara recommends that parents wait a day or two when they know their child or pet has swallowed a penny and check the stool to see if the coin emerges. If the child starts having stomach pain or vomiting, bring the child to an emergency room and report that a penny was swallowed.


y a near two-third majority, the Arts and Sciences Council approved a restructured undergraduate curriculum, labeled "Curriculum 2000," at its January meeting. The curriculum will be implemented with the Class of 2004. Before the vote, William Chafe, dean of Trinity College and of the faculty of arts and sciences, told the council, "We have today the opportunity to exercise a role of leadership that is consistent with our standing as one of the leading universities in the United States."

The curriculum requirements are based on a matrix that cross-lists a variety of areas of knowledge, modes of inquiry, focused inquiries, and competencies:

  • Areas of Knowledge--Arts and Literatures; Civilizations; Social Sciences; and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Three courses are required for each.

  • Modes of Inquiry--Quantitative, Inductive, and Deductive Reasoning; and Interpretive and Aesthetic Approaches. A minimum of two courses are required.

  • Focused Inquiries--Cross-Cultural Inquiry; Science, Technology, and Society; and Ethical Inquiry. Minimum of two courses required.

  • Competencies: Foreign Language--Writing; and Research. The foreign language requirement is based on level of proficiency. It's expected that there will be a three-course writing requirement, but the specifics depend on recommendations of a Writing Task Force and later approval by the Arts and Sciences Council. Students will have a two-course research requirement.

Peter Lange, professor and chair of political science, headed the Curriculum Review Committee. According to Lange, Curriculum 2000 will bring more rigor to graduation requirements. Students won't be able to opt out of taking foreign languages, for example; foreign language is one of six areas of knowledge listed in the current curriculum, but students may avoid classes in one of those areas. The new curriculum also expands the writing requirements, now concentrated in the first-year Undergraduate Writing Seminar. According to Lange, students will still take one first-year writing seminar or something similar, but in addition, they'll be required to enroll in two writing-intensive courses. Such a pattern would follow a national trend of "Writing Across the Curriculum," where some courses are designated as writing-intensive.

The curriculum codifies some ongoing trends at Duke, including internationalization, the integration of service-learning and ethical issues into mainstream courses, and opportunities for undergraduate research. Lange points out that boundaries between disciplines are falling, so that mathematics courses, for example, can reflect aesthetic approaches rather than just quantitative learning. The new curriculum allows the requirements for modes of inquiry, competencies, and thematic interests to be met in a variety of departments.

"The curriculum should encourage faculty members to teach about what excites us, not only to those whom our discipline comes easy, but also to those who are new and wary about the discipline," Lange says.


epresentatives of Duke's Women's Studies program joined nearly 750 Anglican bishops and their spouses for the thirteenth Lambeth Conference this past summer in Canterbury, England. The three-week conference, held every ten years, offers organizational meetings, prayer, and fellowship for an international gathering of church leaders and a separate program for more than 600 of the group's spouses on a variety of topics, from how to mend a miter to basic airplane mechanics.

The "Spouse's Programme" included a session led by Duke Women's Studies director Jean O'Barr and the screening of Women World Leaders, a film by Seattle attorney Laura Liswood, featuring interviews with fifteen female presidents and prime ministers. The film, which O'Barr introduced as asking female political leaders about "their paths to power, their leadership styles, their experiences as leaders, and their ideas about power," was the leaping-off point for a larger discussion about the roles women play in changing lives.

"Women have always been leaders, if we use the term leadership to mean the ability to bring about change," O'Barr told the group. "Women affect the conditions of their lives constantly, altering the nature of their relationships to others and to society, wherever they might be located."

O'Barr was invited to attend the meeting at the suggestion of Kristy Knapp Lee '64, the spouse of Peter James Lee, Bishop of Virginia. As a member of the Council on Women's Studies at Duke, Lee had met Liswood and participated in a discussion of her film at one of the group's semi-annual meetings with faculty, visiting scholars, and alumni.

"For many women at the conference," Lee says, "Jean's talk was a sort of 'a-ha' moment, as we would say in the West. The message of the film that women can be and are leaders, which is Jean's message, was a message of empowerment." That message went out to a diverse group, a growing number from emerging nations, Lee says, places where "women do not have institutional power but, by being the bishop's wife, they play a leadership role, even if they may not recognize it.... One of the women in my group was from Nigeria, and she had to grow and prepare all of the food that was eaten in the bishop's compound. She just celebrated her sixty-sixth birthday."

"It's important to remember that eleven of these spouses are male," O'Barr says. (Eleven women had been consecrated as bishops since the last conference.) "But, overwhelmingly, they're female. The wives of bishops, by and large, participate in one of those professions where the wife is still the partner and the helper but perhaps is not recognized as she ought to be.

"Kristy deserves credit. She really wanted the bishops' wives from around the world to understand how much the scholarship on women could help their thinking. Having a lecture from women's studies validated what the women themselves were already doing, and it offered them a framework for talking about the role of the bishops' wives as leaders, even when they don't hold formal positions."


he first national research journal for undergraduates has published its premier online issue (at www.jyi.org), beginning what its student founders hope will become a centerpiece for encouraging students to launch research careers in science and engineering.

The inaugural issue of The National Journal of Young Investigators (JYI ) includes a broad range of undergraduate-authored articles in biological and biomedical sciences, physical sciences and mathematics, and basic engineering sciences--with themes ranging from the movement of tidal channels in Venice, Italy, to the molecular biology of healing injuries in the nerve of a squid.

JYI is a faculty- and student-reviewed, peer-edited and -published national journal whose staff is composed of undergraduate students from diverse academic institutions. The journal is advised by Science and funded by The National Science Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, GlaxoWellcome, Duke, and Swarthmore College.

The journal project was begun in February 1997 by five undergraduates from three institutions: Brown University, Duke, and Swarthmore. Together with two undergraduates from Johns Hopkins University, the seven students serve as the board of directors, which guides the editorial direction of the journal. JYI has grown to involve more than forty undergraduate scientists in all disciplines who serve as associate and section editors.

"While many undergraduates participate in scientific research, too few have the opportunity to communicate their research and results to other students--especially outside their institutions," says the journal's chief executive officer, Andrew Medina-Marino, a Swarthmore junior.


From photo to fabric: Cross Island of the Arctic, batik on silk
by Mary Edna Fraser

n exhibition of batik prints that celebrates the natural beauty of barrier islands and warns against ill-advised shoreline development opened at the Duke University Museum of Art in January and will run through March 21 in the main gallery.

"A Celebration of Barrier Islands: Restless Ribbons of Sand" is a series of large-scale batiks on silk by artist Mary Edna Fraser of Charleston, South Carolina. It's accompanied by the poems of Marjory Wentworth, also from Charleston, with wall text by Orrin H. Pilkey, James B. Duke professor of geology

and internationally known expert on coastal geology.

As an integrated presentation, the batiks, poems, and scientific text make an "ardent" statement that the coast, by and large, should be left in its natural state. Pilkey, through many years of research, says that sea walls and other protective structures can be effective in the short term, but they also disrupt the natural process of beach replenishment.

Fraser began creating batiks, which employ a "dye resist" process, in 1980. She applies removable wax to fabric to create areas that resist the dye, while unwaxed areas absorb the same coloring. The technique predates recorded history. Evidence of early batik has been found in the Far East, Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and India.

What is unusual about Fraser's batiks is their aerial perspectives. She studies navigational charts to identify visually interesting features, then photographs those features while aloft in her grandfather's 1946 Ercoupe airplane. As her father or brother pilots the plane, she typically takes hundreds of photographs, as each change in the plane's angle or altitude offers a different perspective on the shapes and contours below.

"Through the camera's eye, I have scrutinized most of the eastern coastline of the United States," Fraser wrote in a recent catalogue introduction to her work. "What I have observed is both breathtakingly beautiful and disturbing. Usually a research excursion will yield about 500 photographs, approximately twenty of which will be chosen to translate into my medium of batik on silk. However, trips of up to eight hours have [sometimes] not yielded a single photo I can use for a design. Jetties, sea walls, landfills, and false harbors have altered nature beyond recognition."

Her concern for the coastal environment drew her to the work of Pilkey, who is author or co-author of more than twenty books, including The Beaches are Moving: The Drowning of America's Shoreline and Living By the Rules of the Sea. He also is director of Duke's Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines and a winner of the Shepard Medal for Excellence in Marine Geology.

For more information, see: www.duke.edu/web/duma/.


Richard A. White, a distinguished service professor of botany and former dean of Arts and Sciences and Trinity College, is the new director of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, effective January 1. He succeeds botanist William Louis Culberson, gardens director since 1978, who has retired. White, who accepted a three-year term as director, will oversee the construction and development of the Doris Duke Center, a major visitors and educational site for the university and the community. He chaired Duke's botany department from 1978 to 1984.

Donna Lisker, assistant director of the Women's Center at Virginia Tech University, will become director of Duke's Women's Center in April. She will be developing and implementing policy, programs, and support services for women, coordinating rape education and prevention programming on campus, analyzing university-wide, gender-related issues, and advising the Panhellenic Council. She taught two women's studies courses at Virginia Tech and courses in women's studies, literature, and composition in the University Writing Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned both her master's and Ph.D.

Carl W. Franks Jr. '83, a former Duke football player and the assistant offensive coordinator and running backs coach under the University of Florida's Steve Spurrier, was named Duke's new football coach. The Garner, North Carolina, native, a three-year letterman from 1980 though 1982 and academic all-ACC performer his senior year, succeeds Fred Goldsmith.

George L. Maddox, program director of Duke's Long-Term Care Resources Program, was honored with the Gerontological Society of America's Distinguished Career Contribution Award of the behavioral and social sciences section. An emeritus professor in the sociology department, he is the recipient of numerous other awards, including a presidential citation from the International Association of Gerontology and the Distinguished Contribution Award from the American Sociological Association's section on aging. Maddox directed the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke from 1972 to 1982 and chaired the University Council on Aging and Human Development from 1982 to 1992.

Leon Latimer Dunkley Jr. has been named the director of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture. He will take over the post this summer. Dunkley replaces the interim director, C.T. Woods-Powell, who in 1997 received a one-year appointment after Director Ed Hill's death in 1995. Hill became director in 1983 when the center opened to increase understanding among races and promote an appreciation for black culture at Duke. Dunkley earned his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and jazz studies at the University of Pittsburgh and holds a bachelor's degree in music from Tufts University. He performed on the piano and various percussion instruments with the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo and the Carnegie-Mellon University Jazz Band.

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