Duke University Alumni Magazine

A 'D'

Letter perfect: not a typical gathering of 1,600 first-year students on East
Photo: Chris Hildreth

n a muggy night in late August, nearly all of the freshman class huddled together on East Campus' main quad to form the letters D-U-K-E as part of their orientation activities. Organized by the East Campus area coordinators (graduate students who supervise residence-hall life), resident advisers, and the special events and conference services office, the mass gathering was meant to be a unifying event for the new students, as well as an opportunity to provide a large class picture for the group. But as students mingled with their closely packed peers, they did not realize the amount of work that went into preparing the photo.

     The day began early, as a resident adviser with some engineering background determined the best way to fit the first-years into the letters. After estimating the amount of yardage needed for each student in each letter, the rest of the resident advisers and area coordinators proceeded to lay out the design, marking off the letters with surveying flags. From the roof of the East Union Building, university photographers provided opinions as to how the letters looked from a photographic vantage point, allowing those on the ground to perfect the layout.

     "The individual resident advisers and area coordinators worked extremely hard all day and all night," says Jeanne Kirschner, the event advising center coordinator in the special events office.

     The photographers perched atop the union building were also dealing with huge organizational challenges. "It sounded too difficult and too expensive," says Chris Hildreth, director of university photography. "We didn't have the necessary equipment here, and we did not even know if we could rent it."

     But after shipping in enough equipment from Chicago and New York to light Cameron Stadium and the Dean Dome simultaneously, building a seven-foot platform to enhance the angle, and lifting all the needed materials to the roof via cherry pickers and scissor lifts, the photographers were almost ready to begin shooting. Then the winds began.

     "Our strobes began catching wind and rocking. One of the photographers was running back and forth steadying these thirteen-foot stands with strobes on them. If one of them fell, the entire lighting system would have been ruined," Hildreth says.

     No strobes fell, however, and the photographers were able to shoot two rolls of film as the students were encouraged to stay patient.

     "They started to get a little irritated halfway through," says Kirschner, "but when we did some cheers at the end, it really alleviated the stress. Overall, I thought the kids were fantastic."

     The result, a photo of 1,600 freshmen spelling out their school's name against a nighttime background, will be sold to students,

     although a price has not yet been set.

     "I think this was a great thing for the class to do. There is never an opportunity to get the entire class together for a picture, except at orientation," says Kirschner. "I hope the class appreciates that."


wards for excellence in teaching and service to the community were presented by President Nannerl O. Keohane in September at the annual Founders' Day Convocation. Former Acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, the Douglas Maggs law professor at Duke, was the convocation's keynote speaker. Founders' Day commemorates the 1924 signing by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke of the Indenture of Trust that created the university.

     Charles Johnson, the first African-American physician to serve on the Duke medical school faculty, and Mike Krzyzewski, men's basketball coach, were honored with the University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service. The medal, which bears the 134-year old seal and motto of the university, was first presented in 1986. Recipients are chosen by the president, based on the recommendations of a special committee.

     Johnson was recently appointed special adviser to the chancellor for health affairs. A graduate of Howard University's College of Medicine, he distinguished himself as a resident at Durham's Lincoln Hospital before participating in an internship and fellowship at Duke during the mid-Sixties. In 1970, Johnson became the medical center's first African-American faculty member. He went on to lead efforts to recruit top minority faculty and student candidates.

     "He has taken on issues that others found intractable or unpleasant," Keohane said. "He has inspired minority faculty members and students with the power of his example, with his energetic recruiting, and with his wise counseling."

     Krzyzewski, a 1969 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, had a stint as assistant coach at Indiana University, then returned to West Point as head coach before joining Duke in 1980. During his tenure at Duke, he has won two NCAA basketball championships, received numerous coach-of-the-year honors, and has led teams in the World University Games, the Goodwill Games, and the Olympics.

     One of college basketball's most successful coaches, Krzyzewski owns an impressive 473-208 career record, while attaining a 400-149 mark during his Duke tenure. "For all the titles he has assembled--coach, motivator, and leader--perhaps his favorite is educator," Keohane said. "His greatest achievements have come from the dedication he shows to his students. From him they have learned to have confidence in their abilities and, even more important, to order their priorities for living full lives."

     Frederic J. Nijhout, professor of zoology, became the sixteenth recipient of the University Scholar/Teacher Award. Established in 1981 by the United Methodist Church's board of higher education and ministry, the award recognizes outstanding faculty dedication. It carries a $2,000 stipend.

     Other Founders' Day honors included Trinity College Distinguished Teacher Awards to Hitomi Endo, assistant professor of the practice in Asian languages and literature, and Jennifer Higa-King, assistant research professor in psychology; the Robert B. Cox Teaching Award to Dale Stangl, assistant professor at the Institute of Statistics and Decision Sciences; the Richard K. Lublin Distinguished Award for Teaching Excellence to Malachi Hacohen, assistant professor of history, and Deborah Pope, professor of English; and the Howard Johnson Teaching Award to Tony Brown, professor of the practice in public policy studies.

     Melissa Malouf, associate professor of the practice of English, was recognized as the recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. The honor, which includes a $5,000 stipend and $1,000 to a Duke library to purchase books recommended by the recipient, is sponsored by the Duke Alumni Association.

     The 1997 Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to William Bevan A.M. '43, Ph.D. '84, LL.D. '72, former Duke provost and William Preston Few psychology professor emeritus. A graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, Bevan held academic leadership roles at Kansas State and Johns Hopkins, where he was named provost. He took the position of executive officer and publisher of the journal Science before returning to Duke in 1974.

     At Duke, Bevan initiated the Duke Round Table on Science and Public Affairs, an annual series of special lectures on science policy. He also established Duke's Talent Identification Program, a national program for intellectually-gifted youngsters.

     Benjamin Ward, associate dean for residential life and associate professor of philosophy, received the Humanitarian Service Award. Sponsored by Duke Campus Ministry, the accolade is given annually to a member of the Duke community whose life represents "a long-term commitment to direct service to others and simplicity of lifestyle." Ward has volunteered almost nightly for three years at the Community Shelter for Hope, which provides housing for Durham's homeless.


he mere mention of college tuition these days elicits cringes nationwide, but according to a recent survey, the national media's preoccupation with tuition costs may be relatively unwarranted. Research shows that the American public overestimates college costs, underestimates the amount of financial aid available for needy students, and doesn't realize the number of students already receiving outside assistance.

     The study, coordinated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget office, recently estimated that when student aid is considered, more than half of students enrolled pay less than $3,000 in tuition yearly, and just one student out of seven faces charges of more than $5,000. At Duke, four out of ten undergraduates receive financial aid from scholarships and grants from federal and state financial aid programs.

     "Higher education has the worst of both worlds," Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane said in a speech delivered for a forum on higher education, sponsored by Representative David Price, Democrat of North Carolina and a Duke political science professor. "The public overestimates college costs and underestimates financial aid. When this fact is coupled with a tendency of the media to focus on prices at the most selective and expensive private universities, without any attention to the array of financial aid programs available through those institutions, it is no wonder the public is concerned about this issue."

     The forum, which coincided with Congress' review of federal student aid programs provided by the Higher Education Act, was held at the North Carolina Museum of History. Other speakers included Molly Broad, president of the University of North Carolina system; Larry Monteith M.S.E. '62, Ph.D. '65, chancellor of North Carolina State University; Julius Chambers, chancellor of North Carolina Central University; and Phail Wynn, president of Durham Technical Community College.


mid the centenary celebration of William Faulkner's birth, literary scholars and viewers alike are rejoicing over the availability of on-line samplings from two televised works scripted by the Nobel Prize-winning author. Microfilm copies of "The Brooch" and "Shall Not Perish," the only two known telecast scripts adapted by Faulkner from his own short stories, were discovered last November at Duke's Special Collection's Library.

     Administrators at the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History are displaying excerpts from the two teleplays, previously thought lost or destroyed, on the World Wide Web (http://scriptorium.lib. duke.edu/hartman/jwt/lux.html). Project coordinators, wrangling with copyright holders, hope to expand Internet accessibility to include the full text of both scripts. The two pieces were adapted for the Lux Video Theater television series, originally airing in 1953 and 1954.


university senior who sought unsuccessfully to become the first woman to play for the Duke football team has filed a federal lawsuit against the university and football coach Fred Goldsmith.

     Heather Sue Mercer, of Yorktown Heights, New York, filed the suit claiming that she had not been given a fair chance to compete for a place-kicking position on the team. The action suit alleges that Duke violated the federal Title IX statute, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in colleges and universities that receive federal funding.

     Mercer, who practiced with Duke's other kickers for two years, kicked a field goal in the 1995 Blue-White scrimmage but never suited up for a game in the fall. She was a third-team All-State selection in high school.

     Since the matter is in litigation, Goldsmith cannot comment. But John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs, says he views the suit as "frivolous." He says, "Fred Goldsmith is a two-time national coach of the year. He bases his assessment of who does or doesn't play on his team on a player's performance and ability. I am confident that will be borne out as this matter is resolved in the courts."


Race Day: questioning the campus climate
Photo: Chris Hildreth

early 400 students, faculty members, and administrators assembled in front of Duke Chapel in September for an open microphone forum to explore the topic of race. Prompted by several racial incidents last year, and continued concern over the campus' racial climate, the Inter-Community Council, comprised of thirteen student leaders, organized the event. The collection of speeches, dubbed "Race Day," came on the heels of two letters signed by 250 university professors petitioning for improved race relations on campus.

     As keynote speaker, President Nannerl O. Keohane set the tone for the event by emphasizing that the university's climate can only change in unison with individual action. "We need to do this on every level: in large gatherings like this, to affirm our collective purpose; in smaller groups and organizations, like those who have united in the ICC to sponsor this event; and in our individual interactions." Keohane had refused to endorse an ICC petition calling for classes to be canceled on Race Day, citing conflict with the primary academic aim of the university.

     Speakers vowed to focus on structural changes within the university, mentioning, in particular, issues related to residential life and the curriculum. "We have to look at the ways the university institutions and traditions have created the system we live with now," said Roberto Gonzalez, member of Desegregate Duke, a group promoting changes of university policies it believes creates obstacles to successful integration on campus.

     Three task forces formed by Keohane will join in the process of examining student, faculty, and university employee concerns. One, chaired by provost John Strohbehn, will address racial issues, including the university climate for African-American scholars. The second will be chaired by Clint Davidson, associate vice president for human resources, to focus on workplace issues. The third task force will be a steering committee to work on follow-up and communication issues.

     "Race Day provided a magnificent, albeit challenging, opening to do further work in the area of campus climate and community relations," says Janet Dickerson, vice president for student affairs. "We want to take advantage of this opportunity."


umping from the funny pages to the center stage, the new family musical Kudzu, adapted from the comic strip of the same name by Doug Marlette, is coming to Duke for its regional premiere. This is the first production in the Theater Previews at Duke series, similar to the pre-Broadway productions mounted on campus in the late Eighties and early Nineties.

     Kudzu, a "wild coming-of-age romance," will open with previews on February 10 and 11 and run through February 22 in the Reynolds Industries Theater in the Bryan Center on West Campus. The Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated cartoonist co-wrote the musical's script, music, and lyrics.

     The cast features the members of the Red Clay Ramblers, a North Carolina string band known for its eccentric blend of Dixieland, Irish, bluegrass, and Cajun music. Tickets for the performances are available through Page Box Office, (919) 684-4444.


  • Tom Butters, vice president and athletics director, will retire in June 1998. He has guided the Blue Devils' athletic programs for two decades. During his tenure, he presided over the selection of all but one of Duke's current head coaches, and the creation of the university's twelve women's intercollegiate teams. In September, President Keohane appointed a committee to conduct a nationwide search for a successor.

  • C.T. Woods-Powell has been named acting director of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture. She has also been appointed assistant to the provost, and will assume duties involving the recruitment of African-American faculty. Woods-Powell has twenty years of experience in counseling, community relations, and program administration. Before coming to Duke, she was an administrative fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Spelman College and a master's in student personnel from North Carolina Central University.

  • The Fuqua School of Business received the 1997 Outstanding Educational Institution Award from the National Black M.B.A. Association. The business school was tabbed by the 4,000-member organization for its "great contributions toward encouraging African Americans to enter the field of business."

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