ARTICLES BY Michael Penn

  • March 7, 2017
    For the first time in Duke’s history, alumni will have a place of their own on campus. Construction of a new alumni center—a four-building cluster that will include event space, meeting rooms, offices, and Duke-themed exhibitions and displays—is beginning this spring, with the goal of opening in 2019.
  • March 15, 2016
    As the executive director of wealth management for the Boston offices of UBS Financial Services, Troy Erickson ’90 hardly needs another meeting on his calendar. Whatever time he has left after managing the 200-person office is usually spent ferrying his three children to school events and practices.But when Erickson got an e-mail from a nineteen- year-old intern on UBS’s trading desk last summer, he responded immediately.
  • October 13, 2015
    Freshman Melissa Gerdts was on a European cruise in celebration of her high-school graduation when she found herself in Paris for a stopover. Little did she know that the chance visit would reveal an unexpected connection with a fellow Duke family halfway around the world. Gerdts was in Paris on July 2, the date of the Duke Send-Off party to welcome the university’s newest class.
  • May 1, 2015
    In the past five years, MOOCs—massive open online courses—have lived up to at least one part of their name. With hundreds of thousands of people enrolling in the most popular listings on sites like Coursera, MOOCs are indeed massive. But, as exciting as it may be to trade notes on Dan Ariely’s (Ph.D. ’98) theory of irrational behavior with a banker in Kazakhstan, sometimes you want something a bit more intimate.
  • May 1, 2015
    THE VIEW FROM CAMERON In the future, we’ll see a merging between the virtual and the actual. Are we players in the real world? Or are we players who just act as if we’re in the real world? In Cameron Indoor Stadium for the Duke-Wisconsin game, the future arrived. The game was up there, on the giant scoreboard. But the game might as well have been down there, on the floor of Cameron, just below the concession stands with their (real-world) $8 box pizzas.
  • September 26, 2014
    At first the idea seemed pretty half-baked. Come back to Duke for thirty six hours, the pitch went, and let’s see what happens. But when Christopher Scoville ’05 received the invitation in the fall of 2013, he focused less on the nebulous agenda and more on who was driving it. “When Tony says, ‘I’m starting this new thing,’ you say yes,” says Scoville.
  • July 22, 2014
    Kimberly Blackwell ’89 could have gone about anywhere to begin her career as a pioneering breast-cancer doctor. After graduating from the Mayo Medical School in 1994, she chose to come back to Duke. Now a clinical oncologist at the Duke Cancer Institute, Blackwell is regarded as one of the top breast-cancer researchers in the country.
  • Phone scan: Bradley's cell-phone picture of Tsipis' MRI, which shows a large white area where a stroke cut off circulation in his brain. [Courtesy Kendall Bradley]
    November 5, 2012
    Kendall Bradley ’11 checked her phone and gave herself thirty-five minutes to fall apart. She’d left Nick in the gaping mouth of an MRA machine, his eyes full of pain and fear, and was finally alone. Or, at least, as alone as one could be in the ghastly circus of the hospital triage room, which teemed with people in various states of agony. Somewhere on the streets of Ho Chi Minh there had been an accident, and victims were being carried in in shocking states of disfigurement.
  • All photos courtesy of Duke University Archives
    November 30, 2011
     IN DECEMBER 1944, amid the snow-crusted mountains of southern Belgium, Wallace Wade happened upon a young infantryman making coffee.
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