Forum: May-June 2003


Court Causes


As a former member of DUMB, I enjoyed Patrick Adams' piece ["Boumpani, the Wise DUMB Director," January-February 2003]. However, the article contains an erroneous date that any Duke basketball fan will immediately recognize.

Adams refers to "the shot" that Christian Laettner hit in 1991. Laettner provided Duke fans with many thrilling moments. In 1990 he sent Duke to the Final Four with his last-second basket against UConn. In 1991 he sank the two free throws that provided the margin of victory for Duke's incredible upset of UNLV in the national semi-final game. But "the shot" to which Adams refers--the famous buzzer-beater against Kentucky in the regional final--occurred in March 1992, not 1991.

Farris Anderson '60 (via e-mail)
(via e-mail)

I was shocked and worried to read about the "Division III option" in the Gazette feature "Athletic Futures: Maintain Status Quo" [January-February 2003]. I haven't read Dr. Kennedy's report, but I assume from the statement, "virtually all revenue from men's basketball and football would, of course, disappear," that this option would force our men's basketball team, like all of Duke's varsity teams, to compete at the Division III level. I find the mere fact that this option was even being considered to be scary, for one simple reason: Men's basketball is the best thing about Duke.

Kent Altsuler '93
Houston, Texas

Another Culture

The articles describing the reunion for women only and the students' reactions made me realize that there was another unique culture at Duke during the Woman's College era. There once was a School of Nursing for undergraduates attended by women and taught by women. We lived together and studied together in what was then a remote area of the campus, isolated from other undergraduates. We did take some classes with other undergraduates our freshman year but were not allowed to join sororities or participate in women's sports.

As freshmen, we benefited from not only living with upperclassmen but also from observing them in their nursing roles. In those days, once we finished our first year, we spent time in the hospital day and night and learned leadership skills way beyond our years. There were no male nurses and very few female physicians. However, we learned to work as a team and valued each other's skills. There was no greater teacher of leadership than being held accountable for the care of patients during the evening and night shifts and fully participating in bedside rounds and medical conferences.

Nurses graduating from Duke are respected worldwide. Many hold leadership positions in academe, public health, research, and health-care policies. We knew that the closing of the original School of Nursing would be a terrible loss to the Duke community. It was bittersweet when we learned that Duke was once again providing nursing education--but so many years transpired when Duke lost the opportunity to provide leadership education in such an important profession.

Joan Finn McCracken B.S.N. '58
Billings, Montana

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