Durham and the Region Magazine Articles




Illustration of roots

December 8, 2020

In the spring of 2018, I joined a group of student leaders and student activists in a protest on the stage of Page Auditorium during Duke’s Reunions Weekend. This weekend was a gilded one, as newly inaugurated President Vincent E. Price welcomed generations of Duke graduates to revel in just how far the university had come on so many accounts. In fact, this was a special celebration of the legacy of student activism.

Tallman Trask sitting in Baldwin Auditorium on Duke's campus

December 8, 2020

When, back in 1995, Tallman Trask III was emerging as the likely choice as Duke’s executive vice president, law professor James Cox was chairing the search committee. He did what search-committee chairs typically do: He called an administrator at the University of Washington, where Trask was then working, to check him out.

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.

Homework

July 22, 2020

Years before COVID-19 turned the educational world topsy-turvy, Douglas Michelman ’82 was concerned about the “homework gap.” Michelman had joined Sprint as the chief communications officer in 2014, and because his portfolio included corporate responsibility, the CEO asked him to reimagine how Sprint could create social impact in a relevant way.

Power Plant Gallery director Caitlin Kelly helps an artist install her work

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Janine Latus

Caitlin Margaret Kelly M.F.A. ’14 studies a photo of a back-to-the-lander teaching a younger woman how to aim a rifle, then slides it along the floor toward the center of a wall. Placed there, though, the gun appears to threaten the boy in the photo next to it, standing in his patch of poison ivy. She moves it again, but here it targets a decaying church, its steeple slumping into its sanctuary.

A damaged and abandoned sailboat near Beaufort

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Corbie Hill

Memorial Day 2020 and Carteret County was as mobbed by tourists as Liz DeMattia has ever seen it.

Duke MFA student Ayan Felix

July 21, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

AS COURTNEY LIU ’13 walks away from the Ark on a cool and cloudy fall day, she considers the class in which she has just participated. She had been asked to sink into the floor of the Ark, the smooth gray floor on which over the years thousands of the best dancers in the world had moved. To sink even through that floor, into the earth beneath.

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.

Image of Chris Crabtree with some fans

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

The Holly Springs Salamanders, losing 8-0 in the bottom of the ninth on a humid Piedmont evening, are down to their last at-bat. With desperation baserunners the ’Manders’ only sliver of hope, rising junior Chris Crabtree faced a three-and-one pitch well out of the strike zone. There are times when you take that pitch, work the base on balls, get a runner on, and hope against hope.

A headshot of NCMA director and Duke alumnae Valerie Hillings

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

When her phone rang last fall, France Family Professor of art, art history, and visual studies Kristine Stiles recognized the voice on the other end of the line. “Do you know who you’re talking to?” the voice asked.

“Of course,” she said. “Valerie.” Valerie Hillings ’93: student, research assistant, protégé, then friend and ultimately colleague, curator at the Guggenheim. A voice Stiles would never mistake.

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

Outfitted in someone else’s camouflage protective vests and helmets, preparing to walk the perimeter fence of a concrete motor-pool containment of the Third Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, a half-dozen Duke students give considerable thought to what might happen on their circuit. They’re on a simulation exercise helping the Special Forces figure out how to best get medical care and information to units as they fight, far from support.

May 17, 2019

When I visited Durham’s Lakewood Elementary last month, the smart students in Ms. Ledwith’s first-grade class were having a spelling contest. Divided into teams of five, they raced each other to spell green, week, feet, and—perhaps for the benefit of their visitor—Duke.

The eviction-diversion program helps tenants facing housing instability.

February 8, 2019

On a crisp, sunny, autumn morning, Otis Henry Jones, sixty-six, dressed in camouflage, work boots, and a neat black cap, arrived at a small-claims courtroom on the third floor of the Durham County courthouse to respond to a summary ejectment notice. He had received the summons from his landlord nearly two weeks before.

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.

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

In the afternoon, Don visits the third cabin, which he recently made his workshop. He lifts a pine plank and secures it between two bench vices, checking to see that the grain runs in the right direction. Over one edge, he steadily passes an old-fashioned hand plane, forming a groove in the wood. Pine shavings curl at his feet, reminding him of golden angel hair, and he inhales the woodsy, clean scent of pine, tinged with the perfume of wisteria.

April 28, 2014

One of the most joyous highlights of this past fall was the reopening of Baldwin Auditorium. Just as Duke Chapel is the focal point of West Campus, so Baldwin, with its graceful Georgian Revival dome, is the focal point of East Campus. Over the last two years, Baldwin has undergone a $15 million renovation in line with Duke’s philosophy of architectural renewal on campus: Preserve the historic exterior while creating state-of-the-art interior spaces to meet key campus needs.

Statistics

February 18, 2014

Writer:

Andrew Clark

Box scores in the National Basketball Association look far different than they did thirty years ago—or even ten, for that matter. these days, they’re canvassed in acronyms such as PER (Player efficiency rating) and 3PAr (3-Point Attempt Rate), which look more like robot names than a way to measure a basketball game.

Pleiades Gallery logo

September 19, 2013

At the opening of Pleiades Gallery’s exhibition “Truth to Power” this summer, patrons included prize-winning architects, Duke professors, community activists, tattooed artists, blues musicians, local politicians, and curious passersby on their way to one of downtown Durham’s many hip restaurants.