Campus News Magazine Articles




Black Duke employees and white Duke employees, segregated at 1946 holiday party

July 22, 2020

I am writing two weeks after the murder of George Floyd, as protests against white supremacy take place across the country. Many Americans are reckoning with the impact of racism, especially as it relates to American history. I, too, am reckoning with the past, especially here at Duke. There are hard truths to accept in a place where many people feel warmly embraced—a place that many of us love.

February 26, 2020

We are now approaching the 100th anniversary of the founding of Duke University in 1924. As we celebrate this milestone, it’s worth reflecting on how we came to have our two distinctive and beautiful campuses—and how different they could have looked.

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Corbie Hill

PALE SMOKE seeps from holes in the roof of 1915 Yearby Avenue. Minuscule flames lick the eaves tentatively, cautiously, like swimmers dipping their toes in cold seawater. Firefighters from the Durham Fire Department stand by their trucks. They’re waiting for the fire to grow before they go in.

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

At the end of a nice three-pass sequence started by senior Corey Pilson, the ball ends up in the hands of junior Nate Tewell streaking inside. Tewell catches the ball under the hoop and completes the play with a smooth reverse, a high-level play by high-level players.

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

In the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room at the Rubenstein Library, Duke radiology research fellow Fides Schwartz unrolls a little hand-sized puff of bubble wrap and lays out on the table all the pieces of a neat, slightly translucent white medical manikin, about six inches tall. The body of a woman: She’s pregnant, and her midsection lifts off, revealing removable heart, lungs, baby. “You see?” Schwartz asks. “Actually it does all fit together.”

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

The Carpenter Reading Room on the third floor of Bostock Library is an “absolute silence area” during even slow times of the semester. An overloud cough can generate a stare, an unmuted phone chime, defenestration—for at least the phone.

Didn't read/Too long

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

ANIMALS AND MICROBES

Image of Central Campus construction, 1973

November 19, 2019

In May, students moved out of their Central Campus apartments for the last time. The buildings are now being razed, and the future of Central Campus is uncertain. Over its nearly forty-five-year lifespan as part of our university, the Central Campus apartments remained the same, but the vision for what they could be changed as the years passed.

Picture of Peaches the cat, relaxing on Duke University campus

November 19, 2019

She usually sits on top of her house, or she runs around in the grass,” says Jonas Meksem. On an early fall day, the junior stopped by to visit Peaches the Calico Cat on his way to Pitchfork’s, a campus eatery. Meksem peeked inside her cat home.

No Peaches.

“I try to make visiting Peaches a part of my daily walk,” says Meksem. “It’s great because she’s everyone’s pet, and everyone gets to take care of her.”

May 17, 2019

In the spring of 1987, Baron Maurice J.L. de Rothschild enrolled in the continuing-education program at Duke. He drove a Honda CRX but told fellow students that he had a Maserati at home in France, where his famously wealthy family lived in a 270-room chateau. He told new friends about dining with President Ronald Reagan and vacationing with the Kennedys on Cape Cod. He carried a cell phone and a laptop computer in the days when both were rare.

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

Ryan Bergamini discusses “community” to a degree that the combination of his face and the word has become a meme. On East Campus, he’s the senior making signs that encourage the first-years in the dorm where he’s a resident assistant to become TROUTs (Trinity Residents Organizing a Unified Trinity, with the slogan stating that “TROUTs swim together”).

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

Start with scales.

You’re playing the cello, and you want to get used to new players, so you go back to the beginning. And you play scales.

“Scales are something you do your entire life,” says Ciompi Quartet violist Jonathan Bagg. “So it’s kind of like calisthenics. But we weren’t in the habit of doing that as a quartet before Carrie came.”

May 16, 2019

Writer:

Shane Ryan

It’s the last day of March in 2001, and the Duke Blue Devils, led by faultless demigods Shane Battier ’01 and Jason Williams ’03, are hours from facing the hated Maryland Terrapins in the Final Four.

February 8, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

ON A SWELTERING AFTERNOON in September, in front of the Carr Building on East Campus, a young black woman addressed a gathering of a couple hundred members of the Duke and Durham communities. She stood in front of a building named for Julian Carr. She stood on ground Carr donated to the university.

She was not there to praise Julian Carr. Or, for that matter, Duke.

February 9, 2018

During the search for his first internship, sophomore Kevin Ma hit a dead end. He had started off by going to career fairs, but came home only with swag. He stalked LinkedIn and job sites. He finally found his way to the Duke Alumni Association’s website—and there his career course shifted.

Ma logged into the new DAA alumni directory and began searching for alumni in his area. He messaged several dozen—and much to his surprise, nearly everyone messaged him back.

September 29, 2014

Nearly 4,200 members of the more than forty species of prosimians—lemurs, lorises, bush babies, and tarsiers—have lived at the Duke Lemur Center since 1966, and the center has been recording data on them.

September 26, 2014

Writer:

Michael Penn

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.

September 25, 2014

Writer:

Bridget Booher

At the opening of the new Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity last year, President richard H. Brodhead acknowledged that the deeply entrenched homophobic prejudice in the U.S. also played out at Duke. “This university regrets every phase of that history,” he said.

September 25, 2014

On a Friday night two Octobers ago, fans flocked to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the fourth annual Countdown to Craziness. In the locker room, the players suited up for the opening-season bluewhite scrimmage. Meanwhile, Ryan Kelly traveled through a hallway in the stadium’s recesses, towing an ice chest heavy with Gatorade and water. But as he moved to switch hands, he lost hold of the handle. In one swift motion, the chest slipped to the floor, spilling ice and liquid everywhere.

September 25, 2014

You’re an outsider who needs to operate as a n insider in a pretty confusing setting, a setting that, for a couple of years, will impose all sorts of expectations on you. Lots of obstacles for you to stumble over. Lots of rituals and routines to sort out.

September 25, 2014

Writer:

Bridget Booher

Despite a broken air-conditioner in her classroom and spending ten hours (and counting) on her feet, Laurel Burk ’13, M.A.T. ’14 is feeling pretty good about the first day of school at Durham’s Northern High School.

July 30, 2014

Produced for the Motion Design course taught by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, assistant professor of the practice of art, art history & visual studies, and arts of the moving image.

July 22, 2014

It’s a mid-April morning in Highland Park, a neighborhood just north of Richmond, Virginia, where historic Queen Anne-style homes the color of popsicles give way to boarded-up buildings along a slight Main Street.

July 18, 2014

At some point or another, most of us have been afflicted by homesickness—that pang of nostalgia and longing for familiar people and places. To understand the origin and purpose of homesickness, we asked Mark Leary, professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of Duke’s social psychology program, to give us some insight into this common human experience.

How would you define homesickness?

July 18, 2014

Writer:

John Valentine

Ninth Street in the 1980s was like a boomtown, or maybe boom village. The rents were cheap, the neighborhoods were friendly and young, and West Durham, with its tolerant, open arms, was welcoming everyone. Especially everyone with good food or a good idea.

July 18, 2014

Writer:

Sam June

There are four sacred mountains that outline the traditional Navajo homeland, and inside is where all your blessings are, where all life started. You’re only supposed to perform traditional ceremonies within the boundaries. For example, a baby’s umbilical cord is often buried in the ground. Mine is buried in the horse corral at my maternal grandmother’s house. My mom said it’s done so that I will always return to my people and care for the animals and Earth.

July 18, 2014

Writer:

Clem Richardson

"It was a rough time for us, when they accused our boys of that heinous crime.”

We were in a midtown Manhattan hotel conference room in 2007, attendees at a Duke University Black Alumni Connection meeting, my first. I thought I had misheard the speaker, an impassioned former Duke athlete who by the end of his speech had pledged $60,000 to either DUBAC or the Reggie Howard Scholarship Fund—I no longer recall which.

But his words I never forgot.

July 18, 2014

Fall 1974. Late again. Waiting for the bus on East Campus. Why aren’t there enough buses when it’s time for class—all right, a little past time for class—but there should be more buses! Finally arriving on West and then running through the woods to get to Gross Chem. Could any building be more appropriately named?

April 29, 2014

More than 2,000 students have participated in DukeEngage since it began in 2007. The program, in which students serve a domestic or international community in need, has become a Duke hallmark. So, it might surprise you to know that forty years before DukeEngage launched, Duke had developed an immersive community- service program based in Durham.

April 29, 2014

Duke senior Martin Shores’ grandmother made a mean steak. She had a way with food, transforming basic ingredients into delicious dishes, he says. Like a tasty carbonara pasta sauce, “which I still need her to teach me to make,” he adds.

April 29, 2014

Paulie Harraka '12 is an independent racecar driver and founder of Paulie Harraka LLC. He focuses on breaking the mold in NASCAR with a unique group of investors. As a former representative of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, Harraka eventually hopes to use his company to help underrepresented drivers reach NASCAR.

Oscar Dantzler

April 29, 2014

Writer:

Lewis Beale

They are the Perennials. Not a silky smooth doo-wop group, but the longtime employees who keep Duke running. Year after year they pick up the trash, help with IT problems, make sure club sports are run properly, set schedules for department heads, work the switchboard. Like mid-level workers everywhere, they are the people who keep the wheels turning and the engine running smoothly. Some have been around since Terry Sanford was university president.

Fossils

November 19, 2013

There’s an eerie elegance to the old bones of the Palaeopropithecus sloth lemur. Perhaps 8,000 years ago, the (then-living) lemur hung upside down in Madagascar. Nowadays, its skeleton rests like a hidden treasure at Duke’s Division of Fossil Primates on Broad Street, among more than 25,000 other fossils of the earliest primates and animals.

Recreation & Physical Education (Rec&PE) Department logo

November 19, 2013

Writer:

Bridget Booher

As a high-school athlete, Parker Poliakoff ’14 played football, lacrosse, and golf, rowed crew, and was a nationally ranked wrestler who hoped for a walk-on position with the Blue Devils. But when back and knee injuries put a damper on his varsity aspirations, Poliakoff was forced to regroup.

November 12, 2013

Intolerance, Mahatma Gandhi once said, is a form of violence and an obstacle to a true democratic spirit. Although those words weren’t repeated at the late-September opening of the new Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, it seemed a sentiment with which attendees would concur.

November 12, 2013

In a university of high achievers, class rankings can have real import. That’s why Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering are changing the approach to communicating student class rank based on grade point average.

November 12, 2013

Writer:

Ryan Hoerger

The catalyst: “Wkh dwwdfn zloo frpphqfh dw gdzq.” You might see this as a bunch of gibberish, but a student in Nicholas Gessler’s class would advise you to change each letter into the letter three places before it in the alphabet. The “gibberish” is now a warning: “The attack will commence at dawn.” Gessler, an anthropologist and espionage enthusiast, is helping students examine how an intelligence agency communicates information.

Provost Peter Lange

November 12, 2013

He’s a political scientist, yet when folks seek to describe Peter Lange in his role as provost, the word most often used is “architect.” And so, as he prepares to step down in June 2014 and design the next chapter of his life, Lange is being lauded for the relationships he helped forge, the global bridges he helped champion, and the campus growth he helped spur.

Centennial year 1938 ceremony

September 19, 2013

Duke has the luxury of celebrating many anniversaries. Originally founded as Brown’s Schoolhouse in 1838, it formed a constitution as Union Institute in 1839, was chartered as Normal College in 1851, then as Trinity College in 1959, and finally as Duke University in 1924. Nearly any year can be celebrated as a milestone.

September 17, 2013

You may have noticed a painful erosion of your local newspaper as the print media industry grapples with issues like soaring newsprint prices, slumping ad sales, and circulation declines.

Stick figures

September 17, 2013

Student unhappiness about the handling of sexual-assault cases on college campuses nationally has led to sometimes loud, sometimes litigious conflicts. Duke students, too, have voiced their concerns, and in July, those concerns led to change.

Photo of person studying with a laptop

September 17, 2013

After a debate described as both passionate and civil, the Arts and Sciences Council declined Duke’s involvement in a pilot project offering for-credit online courses. The 16-14 vote (with two abstentions) reflected concerns expressed in April by council members that the proposal to work with the private, for-profit company 2U had not received a thorough vetting from faculty.

President Brodhead with The New York Times’ David Brooks

September 17, 2013

Great minds, they say, think alike, and the fifty-three impressive minds that converged for the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences agreed that both fields are key to the nation’s future. Indeed, the group, co-chaired by Duke president Richard H. Brodhead, went further, releasing in June “The Heart of the Matter,” a report offering three goals and thirteen recommendations for advancing the humanities and social sciences.

Class of 2017

September 17, 2013

Today you make a fresh start on an altogether new life. In it, you’ll have one and only one mission: to become the person you have it in you to be, a person equipped to lead a fulfilling life and to give the world the benefit of your gifts.

Muslim chaplain Antepli (standing) passes out dates. Les Todd

September 17, 2013

Ibrahim Saber carefully chooses a piece of wrinkled fruit from the paper plate being passed around the room. He hasn’t eaten all day, but he waits a few moments longer. Holding it between thumb and forefinger like a sticky jewel, he closes his eyes. Silently, he blesses the fruit in the name of Allah. Then he bites in, chewing slowly, breaking his fast with the sweet taste of a medjool date.

Illustrations by David Vogin.

September 12, 2013

Writer:

Bridget Booher

Toward the end of a 2012 college tour that took them to nearly a dozen schools, including Auburn, Emory, Duke, Northwestern, William and Mary, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, David Williamson ’87 turned to his oldest son, Cameron, and asked which schools were the top contenders.

“I don’t even know why that is relevant,” Cameron said, “until we know what kind of scholarships I might get.”

July 26, 2013

 Research by Matti Darden, Duke University Archives staff, and Sam Hull. 

View the timeline in PDF form.

Lawson and his colleagues implant the bioengineered blood vessel.

July 25, 2013

In a first-of-its-kind operation in the U.S., a team of Duke doctors helped create a bioengineered blood vessel and transplanted it into the arm of a patient with end-stage kidney disease.

The procedure, the first U.S. clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of the bioengineered blood vessel, is a milestone in the field of tissue engineering. The new vein is human cell-based product with no biological properties that would cause organ rejection.

Scroth: Nasher leader. Photo by Chris Hildreth

July 25, 2013

Sarah Schroth, the Nancy Hanks Senior Curator at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art, is the museum’s new director. Schroth has been serving as its interim director since November. She succeeds Kimerly Rorschach as the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the museum.

An expert on Spanish art of the seventeenth century, Schroth joined the Duke University Museum of Art—as it was then known—in 1995.

© ER Productions/CORBIS.

July 24, 2013

Writer:

Damon Tweedy

One of my first patients as a medical intern was an avowed racist. Chester (a pseudonym) was a lifelong smoker and fan of Southern cuisine whose bad habits finally caught up with him. His body failing, he turned to our hospital for help only to find me, a black man, as one of the doctors entrusted to extend his life. The year was 2003, but for a time, it felt more like 1963.

May 15, 2013

Writer:

Matthew Shaer

On a Friday in December, Philip J. Cook received an email message alerting him to a mass shooting at a small school in Newtown, Connecticut. The details were startling: The perpetrator, a twenty-year-old later identified as Adam Lanza, had murdered his mother with one of her own handguns, before making his way to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed twenty children and six staff members, including the principal and the school psychologist.

Image of 2 people talking

May 14, 2013

Future Blue Devils may soon greet each other with “Kusu dewo?” thanks to a new exchange program with the University of Virginia aimed at broadening the availability of low-visibility languages. Starting this fall, students in Durham will be able to take Tibetan-language classes, and students in Charlottesville will be able to enroll in Duke’s Creole courses.

Duke Energy Initiative logo

May 14, 2013

The former head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration and current director of the Duke University Energy Initiative, Richard Newell researches and analyzes the economics of energy policy. In a recent Office Hours interview, the Gendell Associate Professor of energy and environmental economics discusses the myth of American energy independence and offers insight into current U.S. energy debates.

Image of the Plaza at the new Bryan Center

May 14, 2013

Renovations to the Bryan Center began during the 2012 winter break and are expected to be completed by fall 2013. The changes are designed to create more appealing and flexible spaces for students and staff members. This is the first major renovation since its construction more than thirty years ago. Here are a few changes to look forward to:

Duke Global Health Institute logo

May 14, 2013

Global health has grown from a certificate program in 2006 to a full major, albeit one offered only as part of a double-major program of study. The major offers students a multifaceted approach to global health challenges and is one of the country’s first liberal-arts majors in global health.

A new tack: Docking in a different port. Credit: Scott Taylor.

May 14, 2013

After nearly thirty-two years of service, the Cape Hatteras has spent its last day at sea, at least under Duke’s command. The research vessel, which Duke received from the National Science Foundation in 1980, has been sold for $900,000 to the Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina.

February 13, 2013

LACROSSE: Lacrosse players Casey Carroll ’07, Jake Tripucka ’13, and David Lawson ’13 were selected in the 2013 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. The 18th overall pick, Carroll is pursuing a master’s degree at the Fuqua Business School after serving multiple tours of duty as an Army ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan.

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Kimberly Sims

One of the most notorious pieces of Duke’s theatrical history—an anonymously written play titled The Vision of King Paucus—never actually appeared on a campus stage. But when 300 copies of the three-page script showed up mysteriously in student and faculty mailboxes in late 1933, it caused a stir felt across the university.

February 13, 2013

Newly arrived at Duke from King’s College in London, Luke Bretherton brings a fresh perspective on how Christian churches and faith-based causes intermesh with American political life. In a recent Office Hours interview, Bretherton, an associate professor of theological ethics and a senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, describes four key “temptations” that pose problems for the church as it carries out its public ministry.

February 13, 2013

In the ongoing struggle to find a better way to treat cancer, the hopes of doctors and patients have been buoyed recently by the revival of an old idea—using the body’s immune responses to attack tumors. But while immunotherapies have shown tantalizing promise, they’ve presented frustrating problems. In some cases, the immune system waged attack on healthy tissues and organs, as well.

Circle of concern: gathering to proclaim "Race Is Not a Party" (Credit: Megan Morr)

February 13, 2013

About 200 people participated in an early-February protest sparked by a fraternity party that they said denigrated Asians. The protest sought to hold Kappa Sigma responsible for its “Asia Prime” party; the invitation to the party included stereotypical representations of Asian people and language.