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Duke University

Duke University
Motto Eruditio et Religio (Knowledge and Piety)
Established 1838
School type Private
President Richard H. Brodhead
Location Durham, North Carolina, USA
Campus Urban
Enrollment 6,500 undergraduate,
6,300 Graduate and Professional
Faculty 2,460
Mascot Blue Devil
Athletics 26 varsity teams, 29 intramural teams, 38 sports clubs

Duke University is a private university located in Durham, North Carolina in the United States. It is named for the Duke family, which made its money in the tobacco and energy businesses (see American Tobacco Company and Duke Power). Although it is a young university, founded in 1924, it traces its roots back to 1838.

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Duke traces its origins to Union Institute in Randolph County, North Carolina. The legislature granted a rechartering of the academy as Normal College in 1851, and the privilege of granting degrees in 1853. To keep the school operating, the trustees agreed to provide free education for Methodist preachers in return for financial support by the church, and in 1859 the transformation was formalized with a name change to Trinity College.

In 1887, the Yale-educated John F. Crowell became president of Trinity College. Committed to the German university model which emphasized research over recitation, Crowell directed a major revision in the curriculum and convinced the trustees to move to a more urban location. In 1892, Trinity opened in Durham, largely because of the generosity of Washington Duke and Julian S. Carr, influential and respected Methodists who had grown prosperous through the tobacco industry.

Perkins Library

John C. Kilgo became president in 1894 and he greatly increased the interest of the Duke family in Trinity. Washington Duke offered three gifts of $100,000 each for endowment, one of which was contingent upon the college admitting women "on equal footing with men." By World War I, Trinity College had developed into one of the leading liberal arts colleges in the South.

In December 1924, James B. Duke established The Duke Endowment, a forty million dollar trust fund, the annual income of which was to be distributed in the Carolinas among hospitals, orphanages, the Methodist Church, three colleges, and a university built around Trinity College. The president at the time, William P. Few, insisted that the university be named Duke University, and James B. Duke agreed on the condition that it be a memorial to his father and family.

The university grew up quickly. The School of Religion and Graduate School opened in 1926, the Medical School and hospital in 1930, the School of Nursing in 1931, and the School of Forestry in 1938. The Law School, founded in 1904, was reorganized in 1930, and engineering, which had been taught since 1903, became a separate school in 1939. In 1930, the original Durham site became the coordinate Woman's College which was merged back into Trinity as the liberal arts college for both men and women in 1972. In 1938 Duke University became the thirty-fourth member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The Fuqua School of Business was founded in 1969.


The Marketplace on East Campus

Some consider Duke to be a friendlier, more energetic, warmer-weather alternative to the Ivy League. Admission to Duke is extremely competitive. It is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top-10 doctoral universities among Princeton, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Columbia, and Caltech.

The university has two schools for undergraduates: Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering.

Duke University also has several graduate and professional schools: the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Fuqua School of Business, the School of Law, the Divinity School, and the Graduate School.

Some applicants to Duke are selected for the Robertson Scholarship program, which offers a tuition-free education at Duke as well as one semester at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Another scholarship that the University offers to exceptionally talented students is the Angier B. Duke Scholarship, which is given in honor of James B. Duke's son Angier, who was killed in a boating accident, and also includes free tuition and a summer session at Oxford in England.

Duke University's Talent Identification Program, or TIP, is for seventh- through tenth-graders who have scored well on the SAT or ACT. Participants can take a varitey of summer classes while living on Duke University's East or West campus, or campuses at other participating schools. The TIP program also enables rising seniors to attend classes at Duke's "Pre-college" summer session.

Undergraduate life

Duke's undergraduate students are a very active social group. The nearby bars on Durham's Ninth Street are a popular outlet for students. However, the primary social scene at Duke occurs within the "Duke Bubble" in the form of a strong Greek life. About 1 in 3 males, and 1 out of 2 females, are members of a Greek organization. Although the on campus "Animal House-style keggers" have been ended by the administration, Greeks have found other, usually off-campus alternatives to provide students their necessary dose of "college life".

Duke Chapel

There are 400 student clubs and organizations. These include numerous student government, special interest, and service organizations. The Chronicle is Duke's independent undergraduate daily newspaper. It has been continuously published since 1905 and its editors are responsible for coining the term "Blue Devil" as the school's mascot. The term originally comes from a group of famed and fearless French mountain fighters in World War I.


Duke offers 36 arts and sciences majors in addition to 5 engineering majors, and 46 majors have been approved under Program II. Program II allows students to design their own interdisciplinary major. Sixteen certificate programs are also available. Students may pursue a combination of a total of three majors/minors/certificates, with at least one but not more than two majors (e.g. one major, two certificates; two majors, one minor; just a major; one major, one minor, and one certificate) .

Trinity College of Arts and Sciences operates under the recently revised Curriculum 2000. It ensures that students are exposed to a variety of "areas of knowledge" and "modes of inquiry." The curriculum aims to have students develop critical faculties and judgment; learn how to access, synthesize, and communicate knowledge effectively; acquire perspective on current and historical events; conduct research and solve problems; and develop tenacity and capacity for hard and sustained work.

Duke's Special academic facilities: art museum, language labs, Duke Forest, primate center, phytotron, electron laser, nuclear magnetic resonance machine, nuclear lab, marine lab, and center for engineering, medicine, and applied sciences. Duke also is a leading participant in the National Lambda Rail Network.


The school's sports teams are called the Blue Devils. They compete in the NCAA's Division I-A Atlantic Coast Conference. Duke's major historic rival, especially in basketball, has been the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cameron Indoor Stadium

Duke Men's basketball is one of the most well known college athletics programs in the country. ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi has called the Blue Devils from the early 1980s to today a dynasty. The team's achievements under coach Mike Krzyzewski, include making the Final Four five years in a row from 1988 to 1992, winning the ACC Tournament an unprecedented five years in a row from 1999 to 2003, having six players named Naismith College Player of the Year in under 20 years, and becoming the only team to win three national championships since the NCAA Tournament field was expanded to 64 teams.

Former Duke stars such as Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, and Shane Battier have gone on to achieve further success in the NBA. Duke basketball has also provided the country with some of its top coaches including former Blue Devils Johnny Dawkins, Steve Wojciechowski, Tommy Amaker, Quin Snyder, Chris Collins and Jeff Capel.

As of April 1, 2005, Duke has a total of six national championships; three in men's basketball (1991, 1992, 2001), two in women's golf (1999, 2002), and one in men's soccer (1986).

The campus

Duke owns 212 buildings on 9,432 acres (38 km²) of land. That includes the Duke Forest and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.


View of West Campus

Duke is sometimes called "the Gothic Wonderland," a nickname referring to the Gothic revival architecture of its main campus (West Campus). Much of the campus was designed by Julian Abele, one of the first African-American architects. The residential quadrangles are of an early and somewhat unadorned design, while the buildings in the academic quadrangles show influences of the more elaborate late French and Italian styles. Its freshman campus (East Campus) is composed of buildings in the Georgian architecture style.

The Duke Chapel stands at the heart of West Campus, and is at the center of religion at Duke. Constructed in 1930 through 1935, the Chapel seats about 1,600 people. With its 210-foot (64 m) tower, it is one of the tallest buildings in Durham County, North Carolina.

Famous and distinguished alumni


Sanford Institute of Public Policy
  • Bob Wise, Governor of West Virginia
  • John Koskinen, former Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • Henry Hyde, US representative, Illinois
  • Evelyn Murphy, former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
  • Phiip Lader, former Ambassador to the Court of St. James, London
  • Juanita M. Kreps, Secretary of Commerce
  • Eric Shinseki, Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff (MA in English Literature)



  • Robert Richardson, Nobel Laureate in physics, 1996
  • Fred Brooks, engineer, developer of OS/360, Turing Award winner
  • Reynolds Price, renowned author and professor of literature
  • Pamela Gann, president of Claremont McKenna College
  • Dr. Paul Farmer, infectious disease doctor, subject of Pulitzer-prize winning Tracy Kidder's biography Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • Jerry F. Hough, political scientist, author, and professor
  • Joseph B Rhine, psychologist and parapsychologist, recognized as founder of modern studies of psychical phenomena
  • Ian Barbour, physicist, theologian, and recipient of the Templeton Prize in 1999
  • Benjamin Chavis, civil rights activist, executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Hans Dehmelt, Nobel Laureate in physics, 1989
  • Fred Chappell, North Carolina Poet Laureate, novelist
  • Josephine Humphreys, award-winning novelist
West Duke Building, East Campus
  • Robert Morris, notable psychologist, Koestler professor at the University of Edinburgh
  • Jerome Bruner, renowned psychologist and professor
  • Lorenz Eitner, renowned art historian
  • Sylvia Earle, marine biologist, Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Willem J. Kolff, pioneer of artificial organs
  • Stanley Hauerwas, theologian and author
  • Anne Tyler, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and writer of short stories
  • Juanita M. Kreps, professor, economist, Secretary of Commerce
  • Lenox D. Baker, physician, public servant
  • Dorothy Simpson, scientist, mathematician
  • William C. Styron, author, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, philanthropist
  • Margaret Taylor Smith, author, social activist, Chair, Kresge Foundation
  • Charles E. Brady, Jr., astronaut (Medical school)



Chief Executives

Union Institute

  • 1838–1842: Brantley York, President
  • 1842–1851: Braxton Craven, President

Normal College

Trinity College

  • 1859–1863: Braxton Craven, President
  • 1863–1865: William Trigg Gannaway, President Pro Tempore
  • 1866–1882: Braxton Craven, President
  • 1883–1884: Marquis Lafayette Wood, President
  • 1887–1894: John Franklin Crowell, President
  • 1894–1910: John Carlisle Kilgo, President
  • 1910–1924: William Preston Few, President

Duke University

  • 1924–1940: William Preston Few, President
  • 1941–1948: Robert Lee Flowers, President
  • 1949–1960: Arthur Hollis Edens, President
  • 1960–1963: Julian Deryl Hart, President
  • 1963–1969: Douglas Maitland Knight, President
  • 1969–1985: Terry Sanford, President
  • 1985–1993: H. Keith H. Brodie, President
  • 1993–2004: Nannerl O. Keohane, President
  • 2004-Present: Richard H. Brodhead, President

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