Duke University Alumni Magazine

by Robert J. Bliwise

Photo: Chris Hildreth

"We do not take lightly our responsibility to make a significant difference in the lives of our students, and through our students, a difference in society."

hen I interviewed Terry Sanford last fall, the subject, strictly speaking, wasn't Terry Sanford. The subject was how Duke become a "hot" college, a phenomenon for which he was reluctant to claim credit. He wasn't at all reluctant to express his pride in this place. It was clear, he said, that Duke's student body was second to none, and that it kept getting better. And what about that locally famous number-three ranking for Duke from U.S. News & World Report? It seemed entirely too low a ranking to him.

One of my opening questions referred to his fifteen-year presidency. He interrupted the question. "I always say 'sixteen,' since it was fifteen years, six months, and something like eighteen days." He smiled. "Always round up to the next number."

Sanford said he had never considered becoming president of Duke--not before the search committee approached him in 1969, four years after his term as governor of North Carolina. "A man told me yesterday, just by coincidence, 'I thought it was a crazy idea when they picked you as president.' And I said, 'Well, I wasn't so sure myself that it wasn't a crazy idea.' If I had listed my ambitions, I never would have put down 'president of Duke,' because it never would have seemed to me that it was something I could reasonably aspire to be. The search committee took a chance, I think. But I think most of them were reasonably satisfied."

The Duke presidency was "the fulfillment of my life," Sanford remarked. "Being governor was great; I think I did some good things, some lasting things. But if that had been all I had ever done, it would have been a pretty shallow kind of a lifetime. Having been at Duke, and still being at Duke--that's my life."

For all the buildings built, for all the programs started, for all the faculty hired, for all the endowment raised during his presidency, his most remarkable legacy is in his influence on students. Leadership was, of course, a key theme for the former governor--a theme that found its educational expression in the new public policy institute that would be named for Sanford. But in inspiring students to realize their own capacities, he was teaching lessons of leadership all the time. "When I came here, there was terrible dissatisfaction," he said in the interview. "And one of the things that I thought we had done right was to involve the students in their own lives at the university."

On his first day in office, he met with students for breakfast; he continued that routine throughout his presidency. He invited every freshman to a President's House reception, met regularly with student leaders, assigned control over student activities fees to the student government, and extended student membership to the board of trustees and more than fifty university committees.

In the interview, Sanford said that after the first couple of years of his presidency, "There were very few students who didn't think that this was absolutely the most wonderful place on Earth." That fierce attachment to their university contributed to Duke's "hot" status, he suggested. "They did love Duke, and they spread the word."

If Duke was looked at--and is looked at --as the most wonderful place on Earth, that's just another insight gleaned from a president who reveled in his engagement with "my Duke students." Sanford, who was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in December, died on April 18. Immediately after his death, Duke Magazine asked some former students--editors of The Chronicle, student government presidents, and young trustees--for their impressions of an impressive president.


I don't think we need to change anything drastically. I think we need to get on with it with a determination, with an open mind, with a feeling that some change is inevitable.... I think we cling to the past and the traditions and those things that have made us strong while relating these strengths to what we need to do now in the way of change.

--December 1969, following the announcement of his appointment as Duke president, in response to a question about how he might change the university

It is not enough for Duke University to aspire to be the best--the best of what? Rather it is for Duke University to be unique, with its own talents and strengths, in its own setting, with its own history and heritage. I do not propose that we seek for ourselves a homogenized pattern of the half-dozen great private universities of the nation of which we are one, or that we try to "catch up" or follow any university, no matter what its prestigious position. Simply to do as some other university does, to teach as it teaches, to operate as it operates, to accept it as our model, would make our best success but a carbon copy. We strive to be Duke University, an institution using to the fullest its own peculiar resources and creative capabilities.

--October 1970, in his inauguration address

Even the cynic must admit that the most vital problems now facing us are those which are rooted in moral consideration. World strife, racism, inhumanity, imperialism, disregard for human life, war, environmental waste--all the most important problems which confront us will require of us an expression of moral conscience as well as intellectual creativity,

or else our efforts will profit us nothing.... In the face of such a situation, knowledge is not enough. Intellectual competence is not enough. Mental brilliance is not enough. Indeed, suggesting to students that they might face these problems with intellectual training alone is like sending them out to run a race blindfolded. We need moral vision to guide the intellect.

--December 1972, in a Founders' Day address

I can recall a small restaurant owner...who voluntarily integrated his restaurant before the law required it, as an example for his community--and who ultimately lost his business in bankruptcy, because people stirred by the demagogues and captured by their own demagogic spirits quit coming. The man who made that harsh choice is living today in harmony and inner peace. And no person who knows him doubts his civilized spirit or his civilizing influence on those around him. The demagogue is busy asserting that his purpose really was not racist, that he simply was a populist, whatever that is. But his denials pathetically demonstrate that he knows very well that he denied truth, that his life has been wasted, and that his part in history--attended daily by the press and cheered by frenzied crowds--was nevertheless insignificant and contributed nothing to the advance of civilization.

--May 1979, in a commencement address at Duke

There are a couple of things I want to say about Duke University. First of all, I would like for you to know that this is very much a Southern institution--built, literally, out of the soil and the streams of North Carolina, which are the resources that were brought together to develop the kind of financial foundation that made this university possible. We have attempted to make it a national institution, and an institution with an international reputation. I think maybe that is the mission of the South--to use the strengths we have to do what we can nationally and internationally.

--June 1982, in remarks to the Southern Growth Policies Board

Let's talk about students. They are why we are here. True, the university has other purposes. We do essential research, advance the cause of knowledge, promote the search for truth, and often defend and protect freedom. But we are here because we educate students... We are not here to cater to, to pamper, or to indulge students. We are here to be exacting but sympathetic taskmasters with an insistence on the highest standards of excellence and honor. We do not take lightly our responsibility to make a significant difference in the lives of our students, and through our students, a difference in society.

--October 1982, at the annual meeting of the faculty

I don't think we need to be crude and obscene to be effectively enthusiastic. We can cheer and taunt with style; that should be the Duke trademark. Crudeness, profanity, and cheapness should not be our reputation--but it is.... I hope you will discipline yourselves and your fellow students. This request is in keeping with my commitment to self-government for students. It should not be up to me to enforce proper behavior that signifies the intelligence of Duke students. You should do it. Reprove those who make us all look bad. Shape up your own language. I hate for us to have the reputation of being stupid.

--January 1984, in his "Avuncular Letter" written "To My Duke Students" and signed "Uncle Terry"

It is not for me to argue that a president can make a difference. I do assert that the president ought to strive to make a difference, and President Crowell strived mightily. He sharply increased the academic standards of Trinity, created the library, attracted some unusually good people to the faculty, started and coached the football team (whose 16-0 victory over North Carolina in 1888, incidentally, is considered the first real game of football ever played in the South!), and began looking audaciously to the future. He reformed the curriculum so fast, the story is told, that one young man, who thought he was a junior when the new president arrived, three years later found himself in the freshman class!... The lesson I get from this bit of history is that there is nothing wrong with being outrageously ambitious for your institution. I am sure that President Crowell did not achieve everything he hoped to achieve. But think what the situation would have been in higher education and the South had it not been for Crowell's outrageous ambition.

--October 1984, in a farewell address to the faculty

Even today academic freedom is not as solid as the mountains of North Carolina. Its stability is more like the sea and the coast of North Carolina, dangerously unstable, ebbing and flowing, vulnerable to the winds and the tides. It has not been long since North Carolina had a "speaker ban'' law that took a Supreme Court case, a special session of the legislature, threats from accrediting agencies, and two years to erase from the books. Not a month of the school year goes by, even now, that some administrator, in some college or university, does not advise an inviting group that it would be the wise thing not to invite some controversial speaker, that trustees and patrons might be offended. Not a day goes by that somewhere in academia, the boldness of a graduate student is subdued, the non-tenured professor intimidated, student objection suppressed, controversy frowned upon, employee suggestions denigrated, and academic freedom thereby violated.

--December 1993, in a Founders' Day address

Well, I don't know if "take credit" is the right thing. But the things we did took Duke from a first-rate regional university to a highly recognized national university. So, sure, I think that was a great accomplishment, but I certainly don't take full credit, by any means.... Somebody asked me at the first press conference if I thought the faculty would hold it against me that I didn't have a Ph.D. degree. I said, "Well, I'm not going to hold it against them that they don't have a J.D." I got along, I thought, very well with the faculty.... Also, I take a great deal of satisfaction at what happened in student government, because it wasn't taken very seriously when I got there. They had it, and certainly the people involved in it were serious about it. But it was not a serious, substantial part of the university governance and the university operations. And it should have been.

--August 1997, responding to questions about his legacy at Duke, in an interview on PBS with Charlie Rose '64, J.D. '68


Terry Sanford in 1970 inherited a fragile and divided campus. The Vigil two years earlier is seen now as a high point of moral student activism, but one of its immediate effects was the departure of a weakened President Douglas Knight. The next year, 1969, student leaders repeatedly warned the caretaker administration of an impending revolt by Duke's tiny minority of black students. Meanwhile, the increasingly unpopular Vietnam War dragged on. The university seemed to mirror the nation, bent on ignoring urgent questions of race, war, and peace. The only way to effect change seemed to be through raised voices and confrontation.

Into this vortex stepped Terry Sanford. None of us in the group of student leaders/ student activists (it was all the same then) knew quite what to expect from our new president.

A week or so after Terry moved into the president's office, a call came from his secretary. Terry Sanford would like to meet with me. At the meeting Terry came around his desk, warmly shook my hand, and sat in a chair facing mine. He got me a Coke. We made small talk in the time-honored Southern style of easing into the business at hand. He asked my opinions on issues facing the campus and the country, listening closely to my answers. Where we agreed he usually mentioned a plan that he had in mind for action, for change. Were our opinions different he would talk some in that amazingly non-confrontational manner that he had--not opposing your position exactly, but just "exploring" things from a somewhat different point of view.

--Tom Campbell '70, a former editor of The Chronicle, is co-owner (along with two other Duke alumni) of the Regulator Bookshop in Durham.

Here's what led Terry Sanford to persuade the Duke trustees to open their meetings in the spring of 1971. A few of us had seen The Solid Gold Cadillac, a Judy Holliday-Paul Douglas picture from 1956, and remembered its freewheeling stockholders' meeting.

Believing in participatory democracy, and not knowing the difference between a stockholders' meeting and a board meeting--or perhaps between movies and life (I can't recall)--the Chronicle editorial council voted to ask me as its representative to insist that Duke board meetings be open, and to force the issue if necessary by refusing to leave. We believed in making institutions democratic, or at least accessible to those affected by them.

Open-meeting laws were in the air then, so there was precedent for our request in the public sector. Hutch Traver, president of the student government, joined us in making the appeal. Hutch and I entered the board room with the trustees, accompanied by David Pace, who covered the event as managing editor of The Chronicle. We mingled. We were nervous. Sanford said hello and shook our hands as if we belonged there.

My recollection is that the meeting started and we refused to leave. Sanford walked over to us and we told him why we had remained. "Come on into my office," he said. "Let's talk this thing over."

We did. He asked us to let him see what he could do. He left and came back with an offer: David could stay and cover the meeting, except for personnel matters. A committee would consider an open-meeting policy. We agreed.

Subsequently, the board did open its meetings, and after a similar incident the following year, the board opened its committee meetings as well. Decades later, Sanford told a Chronicle reporter his action was a response to the times. "Things were in such strife that I was doing everything I could to be open about everything," he said.

--Clay Steinman '71, a former editor of The Chronicle, is associate professor and chair of communications studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Terry Sanford always called me Jefferson. That's not my name. It is Jeffrey. When we first met in 1970, President Sanford thought my last name was Carswell and wanted to know whether I was related to Judge Carswell (the fellow President Nixon tried to park on the Supreme Court). That's not my name. It is Kurzweil.

When Terry Sanford in 1972 decided that students or recent graduates should get a seat on the Duke board of trustees, I graduated and ended up on the board. He introduced me to the board as Jefferson and assured a few interested trustees that I wasn't related to the judge.

In January 1974, my father died. He was fifty-five. My mother was inconsolable. The spring meeting that year of the Duke board coincided with Graduation Weekend; Graduation Day would be Mother's Day. I convinced my mother to join me in Durham for Mother's Day and made a reservation for her at a local motel.

President Sanford canceled the reservation. He insisted that my mother stay with him and Margaret Rose at the President's House. On the morning of Mother's Day (and Graduation Day), my mother woke to a knock on the guest-room door. It was President Sanford with a tray in his hands. He had cooked my mother a Mother's Day breakfast. A few hours later my mother left, and President Sanford went on to preside at graduation ceremonies.

The last time I spoke with Terry Sanford he called me Jefferson. If I were not an adult, my mother would change my birth certificate.

--Jeffrey Kurzweil '72, a former young trustee, is an attorney in Washington, D.C.

The year after I graduated from the university, I worked for Joel Fleishman at what was then called the Institute for Policy Sciences and Public Affairs--now the Sanford Institute--and served as a young trustee at the same time. Around Christmas that year, I wanted to speak to Terry about a trustee-related issue, but I had a hard time getting an appointment. His executive assistant, "Ms. Mimms," seemed unusually protective of his time. Finally, in exasperation, I told her I just wanted a few minutes so I could give the president a Christmas present. That did the trick.

On the morning of my appointment, I showed up with a small bag, got myself ushered into Terry's office, and sat down. From the bag, I ceremoniously brought forth two cigars wrapped in Christmas paper, a Thermos of eggnog laced with rum, and two glasses. It was a silly, juvenile thing to do, I suppose, but Terry took it in the spirit in which it was intended.

After I had poured him a drink, he raised his eggnog in a toast: "It's been a great year having you as my boss," he said--invoking my role as a trustee. "It's been a great year having you as my boss," I returned--invoking my other role as a university employee at the institute.

We sat and sipped and talked for about thirty or forty minutes, until an agitated Ms. Mimms burst in and warned Terry that the office Christmas party was about to start without him.

Terry's humor and his ability to make each person feel special are two of the most memorable things about him. Surely there must have been times when he felt rushed, anxious, afraid, worried, or upset, but he never showed it. At least not in my presence. Instead, he charmed us all with his lovely, light touch, and he made us feel that participation in public life--whether on a student level within Duke's walls or in the wider world--was not merely a duty or a responsibility but a joy and a delight.

--Susan Tifft '73, a former young trustee, was a national affairs writer and associate editor for Time. Now working on a biography of the Ochs-Sulzberger publishing family, she is a professor of the practice of public policy studies at the Sanford Institute.

There is an image of Terry Sanford that burns in my mind. It is after dark in the majestic, dimly lit Chapel, one early May evening in 1970, my freshman year. Nixon is invading Cambodia. Four students lie dead at Kent State. Earlier that day, Sanford--still new in his job--had walked to the traffic circle and convinced hundreds of students to dismantle the barricades we'd built to block the circle. "Meet me tonight in the Chapel," he'd said, and now we are here.

He stands before us illuminated by the Chapel lanterns and listens. Hospital workers talk about their working conditions and wages. Students and faculty talk about the war we hate. Sanford's attention is intense. He drinks it in, soothes, calms, never says "no," promises future action on all our causes.

He holds us, comfortable, in his palm, but as he leaves one student raises a bullhorn and challenges him with angry words to act, to act now. There are shouts, all eyes on Sanford in the midst of the crowd. The image that burns: His eyes flash, his chin lifts, his jaw sets, he is still, and there suddenly descends the kind of remarkable, deep quiet that can inhabit Duke Chapel.

He is in full command. The crowd once more is his. He calms us again, and he is gone.

The very next day, we come to understand that Sanford is on our side against the war. He calls a meeting of the faculty, and this rookie president convinces them on the spot to end courses and cancel exams for any student who wants to work against the war instead of going to class. Students can get a "pass" from their professors instead of regular grades and spend the last month of school lobbying, marching, canvassing for an end to the war. Hundreds of us take him up on it.

I saw that night in the Chapel that Sanford was a genius as a leader. Later, as student government president, I met with him often on contentious issues. Again, he never said "no." He listened and soothed. We wanted equal social regulations for women students and we wanted the cafeteria to boycott non-union lettuce and grapes and we wanted so much more. Over time, we got a lot of what we wanted--but we got it on Sanford's terms. And like his response to our anti-war protests, we got it because he, too, thought it was right.

--Steve Schewel '73, Ph.D. '82, a former student government president, is publisher of The Independent Weekly, published from Durham.

"Allen Building" was how some students in the 1960s referred to the Duke administration, giving a cold, impersonal aura to those oppressive officials who ran the university. By my senior year, in 1973-74, the animosity had faded, replaced by a healthy skepticism on both sides, and the frosty "Allen Building" had turned into President Sanford, a friendly fellow with an "aw shucks" grin.

Allen Building was also home to my English classes, and a shortcut through the second-floor executive offices--air-conditioned in an era when little else was--offered a brief respite from the sticky Durham weather. One morning as I breezed through, a voice called out from Sanford's corner office: "Get it out. Come help me get it out." Somewhat alarmed, I rushed in through the open doors. Sanford was standing near his desk, reaching behind his back. "Help me get this knife out," he said. Grinning broadly, he pulled open his desk drawer and pawed through the clippings and letters inside. "It's in my dump drawer somewhere. Ah, here it is." Sanford pulled out a news clipping from The Chronicle that he thought criticized him a little too harshly. We shared a laugh, chatted about the issue, and I went on to class.

Who could stay angry with a man so ready to answer criticism with a smile? Or so willing to put himself into the debate, without fear of losing face? Again and again, Sanford reached out to students, poking into controversies that many of his colleagues preferred to avoid. He had major accomplishments, but also took time to fix the little stuff.

When delays threatened to sink a program to place students as Duke-paid teacher-aides at a local junior high, Sanford stepped in. Within three hours, he had fleshed out the details of pay levels and applications and duties for the teacher-aides. And he called The Chronicle himself to deliver the information--and force the rewrite of a front-page story.

When Richard Nixon called for a ban on outdoor lighting to save energy (this was gas-rationing time), Sanford went ahead and switched on the main quad's Christmas tree. "We need to light up our spirits," he told the crowd of 1,000 gathered for the ceremony.

When a student member of a dean selection committee spilled the beans about a personnel matter, Sanford was upset, but knew that throwing the student off the panel was not an option. He "redefined" the student's role, keeping him out of meetings and the committee's sessions with candidates, but promising the student a chance to advise Sanford directly and interview candidates on his own. The student resigned.

Terry Sanford even had a phrase to make alumni feel connected. "Everybody that comes to Duke owns a little piece of Duke," he would say. Somehow he made us all feel we were running the university with him. Now that's a legacy.

--Ann Pelham '74, a former editor of The Chronicle, is associate publisher of Washington's Legal Times.

I was busy mowing the traffic circle the first time I realized just how well Terry Sanford knew how to work the press. Terry, so a flak said, was moved by the sight of students working on the grounds crew and ordered up a story. Little did he know that many of us were dropouts--and we were mowing a peace symbol into the grass. But a cute feature ran anyway, landing Duke in the local papers in a warm and fuzzy way.

By the time I returned to school and found myself editor of The Chronicle in 1975, I had developed the requisite distrust of Terry as "the adversary." I was like a punch-drunk boxer going after him, trying in vain to catch him off guard as he juggled his Duke tasks with his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Duke was moving toward the 1980s by then: Majors in humanities were giving way to economics. Yet a small cadre of Chronicle idealists hammered Terry about black studies, affirmative action, low-wage university labor, and greater student representation. In rambling editorials, I held him responsible for Duke's "plantation atmosphere" and insisted he fix it before he tried to run the country.

Terry ran circles around us. Yet he was never demeaning nor did he suggest we change our style. His tacit support of an outspoken student press has served us well: Chronicle veterans work at The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Week, National Geographic, and The Associated Press, among others. Just six weeks before his death, Terry wrote to me of his fond memories of The Chronicle then. "I was always impressed that you stood up for your beliefs," he said. He was vintage Terry right up to the end: principled, warm, witty, and unfailingly optimistic.

--Anne Newman '76, a former editor of The Chronicle, was a Wall Street Journal reporter. She now works part-time at Business Week.

Early in my tenure as student government president, I went to see then-university president Sanford. My purpose was to demand that the administration commit to an upper limit on the size of the undergraduate student body to eliminate what we student leaders deemed dormitory overcrowding. It will be my enduring recollection that Terry Sanford conducted the meeting with me, a twenty-year-old student, "president to president." He later wrote me a letter confirming the commitments he made that day so that I could put the "win" in The Chronicle.

Terry Sanford was invariably respectful of and receptive to my efforts to represent our student body. Decades later he had the grace to remember me personally and took pains always to say something complimentary about our experiences together.

I am a native North Carolinian from a politically active family. My earliest memories are of dinner-table discussions about Governor Sanford's courageous stands on desegregation, education, and North Carolina. These issues were far from just academic for my family and other African Americans. Even before I met him, Terry Sanford had done much to improve my life chances.

Twenty years after my Duke experience, I am a practicing trial lawyer and partner in a Charlotte law firm. Terry Sanford's example of what public service-minded lawyers can accomplish continues to inspire me. I will never forget his wit and remarkable ability to lead others to the right answer and make them feel that the inspiration was all their own.

--Frank E. Emory Jr. '79, a former student government president, practices law in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Terry Sanford truly believed in students having an active and meaningful role in the governance of the university. In fact, there were many issues where he believed that the students should have assumed the primary leadership role. When student government established the Black/White Relations Task Force and we brought our recommendations to the board of trustees, he personally supported every recommendation and used our report to push the board toward action.

Terry believed in big ideas. When I came to him with the idea of establishing a national computer network linking students across the country in the American Association of University Students, he not only provided seed capital to help us get started, he personally called the presidents of other universities around the nation to get both their financial and institutional support. Within a year, we had fifty-three universities linked together.

In my junior and senior years, Terry would have me over to his house on Sunday mornings at 6:30 for breakfast. As I would arrive at sunrise, he would be in the kitchen cooking and telling stories of politics, his experiences in the civil rights movement, his relationship with John F. Kennedy, the challenges for the university, and his vision and hope for Duke. But many times he would just talk about the responsibility of leadership and the importance of making a difference. I did not realize how much he was teaching me on those Sunday mornings.

When I was in my second year of business school at Harvard, Terry was in the midst of his Senate campaign. When I spoke with him, I asked how I could help. He said, "Well, get down here and get the students of North Carolina involved in our effort." I volunteered to leave school and work right away, but Terry said, "There will always be plenty of political campaigns. You finish that degree--even if it is from the wrong school." I did finish. I completed my last exam in April, and left Boston within two hours.

For the next five months, I lived in the Carolina Inn working on Terry's campaign and putting together "Terry's Team" of college students across the state. And I was a registered Republican! It was the worst paying but most rewarding job I've ever had.

--Shep Moyle '84, a former student government president, is co-owner (with his wife) of Stumps, an international catalogue and Internet retailer of prom and party supplies, decorations, and favors, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He remains active in Indiana politics.

In the fall of 1983, The Chronicle staff approached President Sanford about establishing a regular dialogue. He thought this was a fine idea, as long as we were willing to meet him for breakfast at the crack of dawn. Stumbling toward one of those meetings, I looked up to see President Sanford pop jauntily out of Allen Building. He was all alone on the misty quad, eyes bright, tie straight, striding purposefully toward a waiting plate of sausage biscuits.

"I'm a slave to these biscuits," he'd say, launching into a story about his days as an FBI agent, paratrooper, or governor. He was usually forthcoming about issues at Duke. When we asked him why the zillion-dollar Capital Campaign for the Arts and Sciences set such high goals, he said Duke should set goals other people think are outrageous, and then strive to achieve them.

Sanford encouraged students to fully participate in university life. He understood the need to blow off steam at times, and he trusted young men and young women to set reasonable boundaries for their behavior. If they did not, he appealed--sometimes strenuously, often diplomatically--for better judgment. In 1984, when a few students showered a miscreant Maryland basketball player with condoms and panties, President Sanford didn't have anyone banned or arrested. Instead, in his famous "Avuncular Letter," "Uncle Terry" challenged students to be creative and less crass.

--Jon Scher '84, a former editor of The Chronicle, is New York editor of CNN/SI Interactive, a joint venture of CNN and Sports Illustrated.

I got to know Terry Sanford over breakfast. One morning each month, he would invite The Chronicle's senior editors to join him for eggs and grits in a private second-floor dining room near the Cambridge Inn. Not surprisingly, he would do virtually all of the talking, and we were usually able to eke a news story or two out of the meal. Indeed, after some small talk by him at one of these sittings in 1985, we published a page-one article under the headline "Uncle Senator?"--a prediction that proved more accurate than most that we printed that year. But filling the paper was not the fun of these events, and the news they produced is far less memorable than the mood. As a raconteur in front of a crackling fireplace, Terry Sanford was enchanting.

During the period Duke was searching for his replacement, one student editor asked him whether he expected that the next university president would be more "academic" than he was. He took brief, minor umbrage, pointing out that he was quite proud of his own scholastic record, thank you. He then quickly defused the atmosphere and erased my colleague's embarrassment with a humorous crack, and then we moved on. But even he recognized the point of the unartful question was really a compliment to what will be his lasting contribution to Duke--a vision of the university that went beyond the ivory tower. No one thought Terry Sanford an egghead, and we were thankful for that.

Universities, particularly young universities, grow, and from the perspective of an alumnus who does not visit very often, Duke seems to be a much different, probably much improved school now than it was during Terry Sanford's tenure. It is difficult to conceive that Duke without his years of leadership could be where it is today. And it is easy to see how Duke would be a much poorer place were it ever to abandon his view of university life.

--Paul Gaffney '86, a former editor of The Chronicle, practices law in Washington, D.C.

My colleagues and I met with Terry weekly. This was not the Sixties and we were not a rebellious group by nature, yet we tried our best to catch him off guard. He handled our sophomoric attempts much like my sixth-grade teacher would have--simply, directly, yet with patience and respect and, often, a wry smile. I'm sure he was amused knowing we were good kids who would one day join the very "Establishment" we were trying to challenge. In retrospect, I think he saw himself having played a similar role. Yet he confronted the established order more thoughtfully and effectively than we ever did.

My parents met Terry at my student government inauguration. Not officially invited, they made a special trip down--probably fearing a similar occasion might never again occur. They ran into Terry outside the Cambridge Inn. My mother, who had been a history teacher, was well aware of his achievements and told him how delighted they were to meet him--a speech I'm sure he had heard many times before and many since. He listened patiently. When my mother added how fortunate I was to go to a university like Duke, Terry broke in: "Mrs. November, you're wrong there. We are the ones who are fortunate. Thanks for letting your son come to Duke." Words every parent wants to believe, no matter how trite or how far off the mark. Terry said them so honestly and sincerely that even I had to believe him.

This past January, when I learned that Terry was ill, I wrote him a much overdue letter; I wanted to thank him for what he had taught me. From his example, I learned that people could make a difference by working within "the system," and that to be effective in public service, they didn't need to sacrifice that which they held sacred--but rather just the opposite.

--Martin November '86, a former student government president, is an OB/GYN physician on staff at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital working in a federally funded health center in Roxbury.

Surely there is a place in heaven for Terry Sanford.

For eight decades, Duke's patron saint found his way into the soul of this university and into the hearts of North Carolinians. The highlights of his storied career read like the rŽsumŽ of a dozen men combined: four decorations as a paratrooper during World War II, two years as a state senator, four years as North Carolina governor, fifteen years as university president, two runs for the U.S. presidency, and six years as a U.S. senator....

"Uncle Terry," as he dubbed himself during his university presidency in a now-legendary letter to the student body, embodied values as a man, a leader, and a politician that nowadays seem to hold meaning only in dictionaries. Sanford was courageous, genuine, and innovative. And although he held political office on several occasions during his lifetime, he never needed a title to do the work of kings.

--Devin Gordon '98, current editor of The Chronicle, is beginning an internship with Newsweek.

Editor's note: The magazine is grateful for the assistance of Duke University Archives and The Chronicle in compiling this section. Addresses from the campus memorial service are available through www.dukenews.duke.edu.



Terry Sanford begins his first full day as president by meeting students at breakfast in the Union, April 2.

William R. Perkins Library dedicated.

A. Hollins Edens Residence Hall dedicated.

Medical Research Park completed.

With University Marshal J. H. Phillips
and Charles B. Wade Jr. '38, at the
presidential inauguration


Advisory Committee on ROTC recommends continuation, but with substantial modification, of ROTC.

Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs established.


Duke Indoor Stadium dedicated as Edmund M. Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Student membership on the board of trustees initiated.

Campus chapters formed of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and International Union of Operating Engineers.

Intramural Building completed.

Equal Opportunity Office established.

Bookhout Research laboratory, Duke University Marine laboratory, completed.

Merger of the Woman's College and Trinity College into Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.

University Archives established.

Divinity School remodeling and addition dedicated.

Sanford announces candidacy for Democratic nomination for president.

Continuing Education program, begun as a responsibility of the Woman's College in 1969, expanded to a university program.

Speaking out in the
aftermath of Kent State


Engineering School Annex dedicated.

Nursing School addition dedicated.

Telephone-Communications Building completed.

Eye Center dedicated.

Epoch Campaign, producing $135,316,000 for endowment, physical facilities, and miscellaneous programs, launched.

Breaking for breakfast during
his first day on the job


School of Forestry renamed School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Mary Duke Biddle Music Building dedicated.

Alex H. Sands Jr. Research Building dedicated.


Central Campus Apartments completed.

Freshman Advising Center begun.


Medical Center's Seeley G. Mudd Building, Communications Center, and Library dedicated.

Edwin L. Jones Cancer Research Building dedicated.

Benjamin N. Duke Memorial Flentrop Organ dedicated.

Sanford announces candidacy for Democratic nomination for president.

Announcing a run for
the U.S. presidency


Counseling and Psychological Services initiated.

Washington Post-Time Fellows Program for Visiting Journalists initiated.


Edwin H. Morris Clinical Cancer Research Building dedicated.

Searle Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences dedicated.

Revamped Center for International Studies provides impetus for dramatic expansion of study-abroad programs.

Pre-college program begun for academically talented high school seniors.

Report to board of trustees, "Planning for the Eighties," leads to intensive effort to evaluate university programs.

Men's basketball team wins Atlantic Coast Conference championship, advances to the NCAA Final Four.

American Dance Festival locates in Durham.

At home with Margaret Rose


Lite Invitational Summer Games held on campus (again in 1982).


Sanford inaugurates Sunday breakfast series with community leaders, culminating in the downtown Civic Center.

Men's basketball team wins Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

At baccalaureate protest for
divesting in South Africa


Duke Hospital North dedicated.

Richard M. Nixon Library proposal debated; university's offer of an archival repository, but not a museum, later rejected by Nixon.

Finch-Yeager Building, including the Duke University Preventive Approach to Cardiology (DUPAC) facility and the Glenn E. "Ted" Mann Media Center, completed.

National Science Foundation's research vessel Cape Hatteras, based at Marine Laboratory, dedicated.

Army ROTC program added.

Duke Chapel Development Campaign for $2 million initiated.

Institute of the Arts established to integrate courses with performances, exhibitions, and visits by distinguished artists.

Sanford's A Danger of Democracy, outlining reform of the political nominating process, published.

Duke Talent Identification Program established to identify and educate precocious youngsters.

With Joseph Bryan, at
Bryan Center dedication


Joseph M. and Kathleen Price Bryan University Center dedicated.

Honor Code presented to the university by the Class of 1982.

Sanford initiates "How to Think Straight" series, written by faculty members.

Women's Studies program established, offering courses, extracurricular programs, and research support.

Soccer team advances to national championship game; soccer stadium undergoes major renovation.


Fuqua School of Business, named after benefactor John Brooks Fuqua, dedicated.

Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture dedicated.

Anlyan Tower dedicated.

Speech by Sanford before Academic Council, "On Doing the Right Thing," marks 80th anniversary of the Bassett Affair, a milestone in academic freedom.

Partly through Sanford's efforts, Durham recognized as All-American City.

With J.B. Fuqua and
business dean Tom Keller '53,
at Fuqua School groundbreaking


"An Avuncular Letter to My Duke Students" from "Uncle Terry," calling on students to improve their basketball-game behavior, distributed.

Presidential award for meritorious achievement among biweekly employees inaugurated.

Varsity competition grows to nine teams in women's sports, producing top-twenty individual rankings in fencing and tennis in AIAW competition and NCAA post-season play in golf and volleyball.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility, an addition to Duke Hospital North, completed.

British-American Festival, celebrating 400 years of shared culture heritage from the settlement of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in 1584, held on campus.

Nello L. Teer Engineering Library Building dedicated.

Trinity College Gazebo in Randolph County, North Carolina, recognizing the origins of Duke University and Trinity College, dedicated.

Capital Campaign for the

Arts and Sciences, seeking $200 million for endowment--the largest such drive in Duke's history--announced.

New Durham Program begun, under co-chairmanship of Terry Sanford and George Watts Hill.

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program established.

Wandering the residential quads


Sanford seeks chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

Institute for Statistics and Decision Sciences approved.

Sanford receives Kappa Alpha Psi's C. Eric Lincoln Award for his work in improving race relations.

Trustees vote to rename public policy institute in Sanford's honor.

Graduate, undergraduate, and professional degrees awarded over the signature of Terry Sanford--37,813 (estimated).

Sanford succeeded in the Duke presidency by H. Keith H. Brodie, July 1.

With Elizabeth Dole '58, winner of
distinguished alumni award


Sanford begins a term in the U.S. Senate.


After losing his race for re-election, Sanford begins teaching a course on state government at the public policy institute that bears his name.

At dedication of the
Trinity College gazebo


New building is dedicated for the Sanford Institute.


Sanford's book Outlive Your Enemies, on the theme of aging, is published.


Sanford becomes a member of the executive committee to launch the Performing Arts Institute of North Carolina, a $100-million project slated to open in 2000.

An undergraduate immersion


Sanford is buried in a Duke Chapel crypt, April 22.

Photo: Chris Hildreth


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