Duke University Alumni Magazine


he university raised $407,952,525 between July 1, 1999, and June 30, 2000--a $77-million, 23-percent increase over last year's record. Duke's total came from 88,423 donors, 46,513 of whom were alumni. The amount more than doubles Duke's total of five years ago, when the university began the Campaign for Duke, its major fund-raising effort, now at more than $1.2 billion.

In 1998-99, Duke raised $330.9 million, placing it third behind Harvard and Cornell universities among higher education institutions in the United States, according to the Council for Aid to Education. Last year, Harvard University became the first university to reach $400 million in gifts and grants.

Peter Nicholas, chair of the board of Boston Scientific Corporation and co-chair of the Campaign for Duke, says, "Duke donors, volunteers, and staff deserve credit for this achievement. They have been key factors in the university's great progress."

With contributions totaling more than $34 million, the largest single donor to Duke was The Duke Endowment of Charlotte, a charitable foundation created by James B. Duke, one of the university's founders.

Direct giving by individuals increased more than 46 percent over the previous year. Many supported Duke's Annual Fund, which is the total of tens of thousands of unrestricted gifts, enabling it to eclipse its $15.9-million goal with more than $16.7 million.


Caribbean rhythms: Cubanismo! brought the Cuban music craze to Page Auditorium to kick off the "On Stage" series
wo arts series have announced their 2000-200l seasons. Now in its fifth season, the arts series "On Stage" is offering a diversity of dance and music, starting this fall. This year's season comprises Cubanismo!, an Afro-Cuban jazz band; Dairakudakan, a Japanese modern-dance company; Break, an urban street dance ensemble; and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, a Louisiana dancehall band.

Appearing on October 5, Cubanismo!, an Afro-Cuban jazz band from Havana, is led by Jes?s Alema-y, a Cuban expatriate living in London. He returned to his home country and recruited some of the nation's best musicians to create a band that celebrates Afro-Cuban dance rhythms. Fiery trumpet playing and a lively percussion section produce a sound that is uniquely Cuban.

On February 6, Dairakudakan, a modern-dance ensemble from Japan, returns to the United States on a four-week tour to perform their distinctive masterpiece Sea-Dappled Horse. Dairakudakan made its American debut at the American Dance Festival in 1982, and the event is co-sponsored by ADF.

On February 26, Break, a high-energy salute to urban street dancing, brings together several of the top stars from the world of freestyle tapping, power tumbling, break dancing, and "pop locking." The dancers, individually and together, have appeared in live shows and music videos with such stars as Puff Daddy, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Luther Vandross.

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, who specialize in the native music of Southern Louisiana with its Creole and Cajun influences, perform on April 17. The style of Nathan Williams is a mix of playful lyrics and bouncing accordion rhythms. His back-up band, the Cha Chas, blend boogie, soul, country, and blues with what one reviewer calls "roadside virtuosity."

All performances will be held at Page Auditorium at 8 p.m. For more information, call the Bryan Center box office at (919) 684-4444.

Classical song and dance will be the focus of the Duke University Artists Series, featuring six performances at Page Auditorium and Duke Chapel.

The season opens on October 17, as Julio Bocca and Ballet Argentino combine classical and contemporary dance to showcase the artistic and technical skill of young Argentinian dancers. On November 1, internationally acclaimed soprano Renee Fleming performs, followed by a January 26 concert by the Canadian Brass.

In February, the Israel Camerata Jerusalem comes to Duke for a two-and-a-half-day residency co-sponsored by the Freeman Center for Jewish life. This Jerusalem-based chamber orchestra will by joined by pianist Ilya Itin for a performance on February 18.

Pianist Andre Watts performs on March 23, and the Renaissance sacred vocal music group The Tallis Scholars will sing in Duke Chapel on April 19.

For information on artists and tickets, visit the Artists Series' website at ul.stuaff.duke.edu/duke_artists_series.html (no "www" precedes the address).


ix major theatrical productions--including a revival headed to the Great White Way--are coming to Duke this year in the Broadway at Duke series.

A Thousand Clowns, scheduled to move to Broadway in the spring, will star Tom Selleck. This revival of Herb Gardner's 1962 hit play is about an unemployed bachelor on the brink of losing his nephew to foster care, and has been updated by the author to reflect modern times. The play, a co-production by Theater Previews at Duke and Jeffrey Richards, will be performed February 11 and 13.

Here is the rest of the 2000-2001 lineup:

  • The Reduced Shakespeare Company performing The Complete Millennium Musical (Abridged), October 30: An irreverent celebration that abridges the history of the last millennium, "from Beowulf to Baywatch," into a musical comedy, with music by Nick Graham.

  • Les Tambours Du Bronx, November 18: A French percussion troupe that began as a collection of street musicians and is now Europe's top metal drumming ensemble. Banging on huge metal drums, the group takes the normal rhythms of life and expands them into complex musical traditions. Their appearance at Duke is part of their first American tour.

  • Chicago, January 12: The hit Broadway musical about infamous nightclub dancer and murderess Roxie Hart. Chicago swept the New York theater awards in 1997, earning six Tonys, five Drama Desk Awards, and the New York Critics' Circle Award.

  • Forbidden Broadway Cleans Up Its Act, February 20: An off-Broadway production that pokes and prods the latest of Broadway's sacred cows and milks them for all they're worth.

  • "Matters of the Heart," April 8: A new concert featuring award-winning singer-actress Patti LuPone. LuPone performs contemporary and classic songs, from Lennon and McCartney to Rodgers and Hammerstein, all dealing with the affairs, the crimes, and the mysteries of the heart. She originated the title role in Evita on Broadway and starred in the original London productions of Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard.

The Broadway at Duke series is organized largely by Duke students. They select the shows, negotiate contracts, manage a budget, and handle promotions, says Peter Coyle, adviser to the series and associate dean of Duke's Office of University Life.

This year's performances will be held at Page Auditorium at 8 p.m., except for A Thousand Clowns, which will be held in Reynolds Theater, in the Bryan University Center, at 7:30 p.m. For more information, check www.union.duke.edu.


ouston-based computer manufacturer Compaq has contributed millions of dollars' worth of equipment and intellectual property to Duke's Pratt School of Engineering. The exact value of the gift is unknown because of the unquantifiable value of the intellectual-property components.

Pratt dean Kristina Johnson has been working toward this gift since her arrival at Duke a year ago. She developed her contacts with Compaq through Colorlink, a private company she founded. The two companies cooperated on several projects during the 1990s, a research relationship that helped Johnson ensure Compaq's contribution.

"When a corporation gives, there is a researcher-to-researcher relationship and a mutual intellectual gain," Johnson told the student Chronicle. Compaq's donation consists largely of resources related to liquid-crystal on silicon technology. Such technology can be used in the production of high-definition televisions, monitors, and graphic workstations.

"We do a lot of [research and development] and, for various reasons, we couldn't continue all of these projects, but we didn't want that research to stop," says Arch Currid, Compaq's public relations and media specialist. "We looked at all the schools in the country that were exploring this technology. The Pratt School of Engineering was the obvious choice because of its focus and leadership in this technology."

"We now have important parts of the world's leading display mediums," Johnson says, adding that the equipment will be used for both teaching and research. "No other university in the country has this technology."

One-third of the Compaq gift came in the form of such equipment as late-model oscilloscopes, microscopes, and network analyzers, while the remaining two-thirds is intellectual property--including scores of patents and scientific notebooks and dozens of invention possibilities.


esults from preliminary laboratory studies provide the first functional evidence that developing a "universal" cancer vaccine might be possible, researchers from Duke Medical Center and Geron Corporation have reported.

The scientists found that the active part of telomerase, a protein expressed in all major human cancers, can stimulate development of immune cells when used as the basis for a cancer vaccine. Furthermore, these immune cells can kill multiple, unrelated mouse and human cancer cells in the test tube and can also slow tumor growth in mice.

While not as effective as vaccines based on a tumor's entire genetic material, the promising results of these early studies indicate the potential of this telomerase-based vaccine as one component of a "universal" cancer vaccine, the researchers said in reporting their findings in the September 1 issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

Cancer vaccines are being tested to help the body fight off certain existing cancers or to keep a cancer from returning, rather than to prevent the disease from developing initially. Like vaccines that prevent other diseases, cancer vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to build an army of cells that recognize, attack, and kill the target cells --in this case, cancer cells.

"The question posed in the study was whether the telomerase-based vaccine can stimulate an immune response from cancer patients, and whether those cells can attack and kill the patient's tumor cells," says Eli Gilboa, principal investigator of the study and director of the Center for Genetic and Cellular Therapies at Duke. "The results of this study are the first indication that a more broadly applicable cancer vaccine might be possible."

Most known tumor-specific antigens--proteins displayed on tumor cells but not normal cells--are primarily associated with a single cancer type, such as prostate specific antigen (PSA). Even CEA, or carcinoembryonic antigen, which is found in 90 percent of colon cancers, 40 percent of breast cancers, and to lesser degrees in other cancers, can't match the broad expression of telomerase in human cancer, scientists say.

"The thinking has been that because every cancer is different--melanoma, breast, and so forth--that each cancer has its own specific set of antigens that must be used for a vaccine," says Gilboa, who is also professor of experimental surgery and a member of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. "We're looking for a universal antigen--one antigen to try to treat every cancer patient."

Because telomerase is found in some types of normal cells, the scientists weren't sure an immune response against it would even be possible, Gilboa says. Telomerase rebuilds the repetitive ends of chromosomes, called telomeres, one step in many that allow cancer cells to divide unchecked. In normal cells that lack telomerase, the telomeres become shorter each time the cell's DNA is copied. Geron has many patents and pending applications related to telomerase, including its use as an antigen for cancer therapy.

"In spite of the fact that telomerase is a self-antigen, the body has not developed a complete tolerance to it and we were able to stimulate an immune response against it," say Gilboa. "However, by itself, telomerase is not a strong antigen, so to make an effective, broadly applicable cancer vaccine we will need to optimize and possibly combine it with other universal antigens."

The study was funded by an anonymous gift to the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. Co-authors on the study are Smita Nair, Axel Heiser, David Boczkowski, and Michio Naoe of Duke, and Anish Majumdar and Jane Lebkowski of Geron Corporation, in Menlo Park, California.


he study of race and politics in the United States--a hot field in political-science circles these days--has moved beyond issues of black and white, says Duke professor Paula McClain.

This fall, the political science department is launching a new program that examines race and politics, and McClain will be an integral force in how this program unfolds.

"The black-white dynamic is the most powerful because it structures the relationship that Hispanics, Asians, and others have with the government," says McClain, who joined the Duke political science faculty this year after teaching for a decade at the University of Virginia. "What you find is that the way the federal government dealt with blacks has carried over as these later groups became part of the American mosaic."

"My view, as a person who studies American politics in general but more specifically racial and ethnic minority politics, is that one truly cannot be a student of American politics if you don't understand the role race has played from the founding to the exclusions built into the Constitution," she says. "The Constitution had the universalist language, but clearly the founders meant the language to apply to themselves, and not to others who were here, like women, blacks, and American Indians.

"Race has been a strong thread throughout the American political fabric that is very strong but also brittle. Elections can be won and lost by pulling the racial thread. [Former President] Bush used it in 1988 with the Willie Horton campaign. Historically, we've seen it used throughout local, state, and national elections. And from my view, race and American politics are so intricately entwined that one needs to study race as part of the American context."

To explore the subject fully, one need no longer study only the relationships between black and white people, says McClain. "The nature of race, the expansion of the definition of race, involves not just the relationship of Anglos to other racial groups, but of these groups to each other. It's really very fascinating."

For instance, Cubans in South Florida, many of whom arrived in the late 1950s, vote Republican. But Cubans living in the Tampa and New York City areas, who emigrated to the United States in the late 1800s to work in cigar factories, are staunch Democrats. "To say 'Cubans' really misses the dynamic that exists, even within Florida," she notes.

This is also true of other groups. Japanese-Americans, many of whose families have been in the United States four or more generations, are much more likely to be Democrats than Chinese-Americans and other Asian populations who emigrated much more recently.

"There are unique and specific dynamics that make a difference, and we as political scientists need to know these things," McClain says. "In New York City, there are tensions between black Americans and Dominicans, many of whom are black. But theirs is a Latin culture, and the nature of their relationship with black Americans is really very different. When society views them, they view them as black--all blacks--and the treatment that they may experience is as a general category of blacks. But the nature of their relationship, their history in this country, is very, very different."

McClain, co-author of the award-winning Can We All Get Along? Racial and Ethnic Minorities in American Politics (Westview Press), says she is pleased by the commitment that Duke is making to her field of study. Not only are a number of Duke faculty involved in research about racial issues, but the newly created John Hope Franklin Research Center provides a valuable campus resource as well. The center, named for the esteemed Duke emeritus history professor, is a repository for African and African-American studies documents.

"My goal is to make the political science program, which is already a top department, the place where undergraduate and graduate students come to study race in politics," says McClain.


Thruston B. Morton III was named president of the Duke Management Company (DUMAC), effective in early September. Morton, formerly a senior executive at the international investment firm J.P. Morgan and Company, succeeds Eugene J. McDonald in heading DUMAC, which manages all of Duke's investments--the endowment, some pension funds, and operating cash. Those assets now total more than $4.6 billion, compared with $948 million when DUMAC was formed ten years ago and McDonald was appointed.

Matthew J. Ellis is the new director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center's breast cancer program, effective July 1. He was an assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at Georgetown University. His research has focused on the role of insulin-like growth factors in breast cancer, as well as the use of aromatase inhibitors and hormones in treating the disease. This research will continue at Duke, since Ellis leads the clinical arm of the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in breast cancer at Duke.

Deborah Willis, an internationally acclaimed artist, historian of photography, curator, and MacArthur Fellowship recipient, will occupy the Lehman Brady Chair in Documentary Studies and American Studies, a joint professorship at Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more than twenty years, she has been a leading scholar in the investigation and recovery of the legacy of African-American photography. Her awards and fellowships include the International Center for Photography Infinity Award for Writing in Photography, and the Golden Light Photography Book of the Year award. She is the author of several books and has taught the history of photography at New York University, the City University of New York, and the Brooklyn Museum. The Lehman Brady Chair is supported by two endowment funds, one established at CDS by the Lyndhurst Foundation and the other established at Duke by the bequest of Lehman Brady '27, who died in 1995.

Bruce Seltzer was named the first rabbi for the Freeman Center for Jewish Life. Recently ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, he previously worked for the Hillel chapters at Drew and Hofstra universities. He is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, where he was president of the Hillel chapter. In addition to administrative duties, his responsibilities focus on education, counseling, and advising, as well as working with the center's student board. He will also oversee the center's kosher kitchen and the miqvah, a Jewish ritual bath.

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