Duke University

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Template:Infobox university Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892.[1] In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James B. Duke established The Duke Endowment, at which time the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.

The university's campus spans over 8,600 acres (35 km2) on three contiguous campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. Duke's main campus—designed largely by architect Julian Abele—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot (64 m) Duke Chapel at the campus' center and highest point of elevation. The first-year-populated East Campus contains Georgian-style architecture, while the main Gothic-style West Campus 1.5 miles away is adjacent to the Medical Center.

Duke's research expenditures in the 2012 fiscal year were $1.01 billion, the seventh largest in the nation.[2] Competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Duke's athletic teams, known as the Blue Devils, have captured 15 team national championships, including four by its high profile men's basketball team.[3] Duke was ranked among the world's best universities by both THE[4] and QS,[5] while tying for 8th in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report "Best National Universities Rankings."[6] In 2014, Thomson Reuters named 32 Duke professors to its list of Highly Cited Researchers. The only schools with more primary affiliations were Harvard, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.[7]



Early 20th century black-and-white photo of three-story building
One of the first buildings on the original Durham campus (East Campus), the Washington Duke Building ("Old Main"), was destroyed by a fire in 1911.

Duke started in 1838 as Brown's Schoolhouse, a private subscription school founded in Randolph County in the present-day town of Trinity.[8] Organized by the Union Institute Society, a group of Methodists and Quakers, Brown's Schoolhouse became the Union Institute Academy in 1841 when North Carolina issued a charter. The academy was renamed Normal College in 1851 and then Trinity College in 1859 because of support from the Methodist Church.[8] In 1892 Trinity College moved to Durham, largely due to generosity from Julian S. Carr and Washington Duke, powerful and respected Methodists who had grown wealthy through the tobacco and electrical industries.[1] Carr donated land in 1892 for the original Durham campus, which is now known as East Campus. At the same time, Washington Duke gave the school $85,000 for an initial endowment and construction costs—later augmenting his generosity with three separate $100,000 contributions in 1896, 1899, and 1900—with the stipulation that the college "open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men."[9]

In 1924 Washington Duke's son, James B. Duke, established The Duke Endowment with a $40 million trust fund. Income from the fund was to be distributed to hospitals, orphanages, the Methodist Church, and four colleges (including Trinity College). William Preston Few, the president of Trinity at the time, insisted that the institution be renamed Duke University to honor the family's generosity and to distinguish it from the myriad other colleges and universities carrying the "Trinity" name. At first, James B. Duke thought the name change would come off as self-serving, but eventually he accepted Few's proposal as a memorial to his father.[1] Money from the endowment allowed the University to grow quickly. Duke's original campus, East Campus, was rebuilt from 1925 to 1927 with Georgian-style buildings. By 1930, the majority of the Collegiate Gothic-style buildings on the campus one mile (1.6 km) west were completed, and construction on West Campus culminated with the completion of Duke Chapel in 1935.[10]

Statue of James B. Duke in foreground with Duke Chapel behind
James B. Duke established the Duke Endowment, which provides funds to numerous institutions, including Duke University.

Women at early Duke[edit]

In 1878, Trinity (in Randolph County) awarded A.B. degrees to three sisters--Mary, Persis, and Theresa Giles--who had studied both with private tutors and in classes with men. With the relocation of the college in 1892, the Board of Trustees voted to again allow women to be formally admitted to classes as day students. At the time of Washington Duke's donation in 1896, which carried the requirement that women be placed "on an equal footing with men" at the college, four women were enrolled; three of the four were faculty members' children. In 1903 Washington Duke wrote to the Board of Trustees withdrawing the provision, noting that it had been the only limitation he had ever put on a donation to the college. A woman's residential dormitory was built in 1897 and named the Mary Duke Building, after Washington Duke's daughter. By 1904, fifty-four women were enrolled in the college. In 1930, the Woman's College was established as a coordinate to the men's undergraduate college, which had been established and named Trinity College in 1924. [11]

Expansion and growth[edit]

Engineering, which had been taught since 1903, became a separate school in 1939. In athletics, Duke hosted and competed in the only Rose Bowl ever played outside California in Wallace Wade Stadium in 1942.[12] During World War II, Duke was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[13] In 1963 the Board of Trustees officially desegregated the undergraduate college.[14] Increased activism on campus during the 1960s prompted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak at the University in November 1964 on the progress of the civil rights movement. Following Douglas Knight's resignation from the office of university president, Terry Sanford, the former governor of North Carolina, was elected president of the university in 1969, propelling the Fuqua School of Business's opening, the William R. Perkins library completion, and the founding of the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs (now the Sanford School of Public Policy). The separate Woman's College merged back with Trinity as the liberal arts college for both men and women in 1972. Beginning in the 1970s, Duke administrators began a long-term effort to strengthen Duke's reputation both nationally and internationally. Interdisciplinary work was emphasized, as was recruiting minority faculty and students. During this time it also became the birthplace of the first Physician Assistant degree program in the United States.[15][16][17] Duke University Hospital was finished in 1980 and the student union building was fully constructed two years later. In 1986 the men's soccer team captured Duke's first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship, and the men's basketball team followed shortly thereafter with championships in 1991 and 1992, then again in 2001 and 2010.

The university's campus spans 8,547 acres (34.59 km2) on three contiguous campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. Duke's main campus—designed largely by African American architect Julian Abele—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot (64 m) Duke Chapel at the campus' center and highest point of elevation. The forest environs surrounding parts of the campus belie the University's proximity to downtown Durham. Construction projects have updated both the freshmen-populated Georgian-style East Campus and the main Gothic-style West Campus, as well as the adjacent Medical Center over the past five years.

Recent history[edit]

Photo of Levine Science Research Center on campus of Duke University
The Levine Science Research Center is the largest single-site interdisciplinary research facility of any American university.[18]

Duke's growth and academic focus have contributed to continuing the university's reputation as an academic and research powerhouse.[19]

In summer 2014, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) opened in Kunshan, China. DKU blends liberal education with Chinese tradition in a new approach to elite higher education in China. The DKU Global Health Research Center will conduct research projects on climate change, health-care policy and TB prevention and control.

In August 2005, Duke established a partnership with the National University of Singapore to develop a joint medical program, which had its first entering class in 2007.[20]

The university is part way through Duke Forward, a seven-year fundraising campaign that aims to raise $3.25 billion by June 30, 2017, to enrich the student experience in and out of the classroom, invest in faculty and support research and initiatives. Every dollar donated to Duke's 10 schools and units, Duke Medicine or university programs and initiatives counts toward the campaign's goal.

Among academic achievements at Duke, three students were named Rhodes Scholars in both 2002 and 2006, a number surpassed only by Harvard in 2002 and the United States Military Academy in 2006.[21][22] Overall, Duke has produced 43 Rhodes Scholars through 2014, including 22 between 1990 to 2011.

Also, the first working demonstration of an invisibility cloak was unveiled by Duke researchers in October 2006.[23] In 2006, three men's lacrosse team members were falsely accused of rape, which garnered significant media attention. On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three players innocent. Cooper stated that the charged players were victims of a "tragic rush to accuse."

The university has "historical, formal, on-going, and symbolic ties" with the United Methodist Church, but is a nonsectarian and independent institution.[24][25][26][27]


Complete photo of Duke Chapel on a sunny day
Duke Chapel, an icon for the university, can seat nearly 1,600 people and contains a 5,200-pipe organ.

Duke University owns 254 buildings on 8,547 acres (34.59 km2) of land, which includes the 7,044 acres (28.51 km2) Duke Forest.[28] The campus is divided into four main areas: West, East, and Central campuses and the Medical Center, which are all connected via a free bus service. On the Atlantic coast in Beaufort, Duke owns 15 acres (61,000 m2) as part of its marine lab. One of the major public attractions on the main campus is the 54-acre (220,000 m2) Sarah P. Duke Gardens, established in the 1930s.[28]

Duke students often refer to the campus as "the Gothic Wonderland," a nickname referring to the Collegiate Gothic architecture of West Campus.[29][30] Much of the campus was designed by Julian Abele, one of the first prominent African-American architects and the chief designer in the offices of architect Horace Trumbauer.[31] 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. The freshmen campus (East Campus) is composed of buildings in the Georgian architecture style.[28] In 2011, Travel+Leisure listed Duke among the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.[32]

The stone used for West Campus has seven primary colors and seventeen shades of color.[33] The university supervisor of planning and construction wrote that the stone has "an older, more attractive antique effect" and a "warmer and softer coloring than the Princeton stone" that gave the university an "artistic look."[33] James B. Duke initially suggested the use of stone from a quarry in Princeton, New Jersey, but later amended the plans to purchase a local quarry in Hillsborough to reduce costs.[33] Duke Chapel stands at the center of West Campus on the highest ridge. Constructed from 1930 to 1935, the chapel seats 1,600 people and, at 210 feet (64 m) is one of the tallest buildings in Durham County.[34]

In early 2014, the Nicholas School of the Environment opened a new home, Environmental Hall, a five-story, glass-and-concrete building that incorporates the highest sustainable features and technologies, and meets or exceeds the criteria for LEED platinum certification. The School of Nursing in April 2014 opened a new 45,000-square-foot addition to the Christine Siegler Pearson Building. In summer 2014, a number of construction projects were completed or else in full swing, including renovations to the David M. Rubenstein David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, housed in Duke's original West Campus library building. The project is part of the final phase of renovations to Duke's West Campus libraries that will transform one of the university's oldest and most recognizable buildings into a state-of-the-art research facility. Renovation work began in late 2012; opening is scheduled for summer of 2015.

In 2013 construction projects included transforming buildings like Gross Hall and Baldwin Auditorium, plus new construction such as the Events Pavilion. About 125,000 square feet was updated at Gross Hall, including new lighting and windows and a skylight. Baldwin's upgrades include a larger stage, more efficient air conditioning for performers and audience and enhanced acoustics that will allow for the space to be "tuned" to each individual performance. The 25,000-square-foot Events Pavilion opened to students in 2013 and serves as temporary dining space while the West Campus Union undergoes major renovations. From February 2001 to November 2005, Duke spent $835 million on 34 major construction projects as part of a five-year strategic plan, "Building on Excellence."[35] Completed projects since 2002 include major additions to the business, law, nursing, and divinity schools, a new library, an art museum, a football training facility, two residential buildings, an engineering complex, a public policy building, an eye institute, two genetic research buildings, a student plaza, the French Family Science Center, and two new medical-research buildings.[36]

A building's Gothic-style exterior and grass lawn in foreground
The Gothic Reading Room of Perkins Library

Libraries and museums[edit]

Duke Libraries, one of the nation's top 10 private research library systems, includes the Perkins, Bostock, and Rubenstein Libraries on West Campus, the Lilly and Music Libraries on East Campus, the Pearse Memorial Library at the Duke Marine Lab, and the separately administered libraries serving the schools of business, divinity, law and medicine.

Duke's art collections are housed at the Nasher Museum of Art on Central Campus. The museum was designed by Rafael Viñoly and is named for Duke alumnus and art collector Raymond Nasher. The museum opened in 2005 at a cost of over $23 million and contains over 13,000 works of art, including works by William Cordova, Marlene Dumas, Olafur Eliasson, David Hammons, Barkley L. Hendricks, Christian Marclay, Kerry James Marshall, D Alma Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas, Bob Thompson, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Carrie Mae Weems, Ai Weiwei, Fred Wilson and Lynette Yiadom Boakye.[37]

West, East, and Central Campuses[edit]

West Campus, considered the main campus of the University, houses the majority of the sophomores, along with some juniors and seniors.[38] Most of the academic and administrative centers are located there. Main West Campus, with Duke Chapel at its center, contains the majority of residential quads to the south, while the main academic quad, library, and Medical Center are to the north. The campus, spanning 720 acres (2.9 km2), includes Science Drive, which is the location of science and engineering buildings. The residential quads on West Campus are Craven Quad, Crowell Quad, Edens Quad, Few Quad, Keohane Quad, Kilgo Quad, and Wannamaker Quad.[39] Most of the campus eateries and sports facilities—including the historic basketball stadium, Cameron Indoor Stadium—are on West Campus.[28][40]

Panoramic photo of a row of three-story Gothic style building exteriors
The main West Campus is dominated by Neo-Gothic architecture. Shown here are typical residence halls.

East Campus, the original location of Duke after it moved to Durham,[41] functions as a freshman campus as well as the home of several academic departments. Since the 1995–96 academic year, all freshmen—and only freshmen, except for upperclassmen serving as Resident Assistants—have lived on East Campus, to build class unity. The campus encompasses 97 acres (390,000 m2) and is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from West Campus.[28] The Art History, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, and Women's Studies Departments are housed on East.[41] Programs such as dance, drama, education, film, and the University Writing Program reside on East. The self-sufficient East Campus contains the freshman residence halls, a dining hall, coffee shop, post office, Lilly Library, Baldwin Auditorium, a theater, Brodie Gym, tennis courts, several disc golf baskets, and a walking track as well as several academic buildings.[41] The East Campus dorms are Alspaugh, Basset, Bell Tower, Blackwell, Brown, East House (formerly known as Aycock), Epworth, Gilbert-Addoms, Giles, Jarvis, Pegram, Randolph, Southgate, and Wilson.[42] Separated from downtown by a short walk, the area was the site of the Women's College from 1930 to 1972.[41]

Panoramic photo of Georgian style buildings lining a grass lawn with a domed auditorium in the background
East Campus, home to all Duke freshmen, features Georgian style architecture. Baldwin Auditorium can be seen on the right side.

Central Campus, consisting of 122 acres (0.49 km2) between East and West campuses, houses around 1,000 sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as well as around 200 professional students in double or quadruple apartments.[43] There are 26 specific houses, accommodating 22 selective living groups (sororities and fraternities), 3 independent houses and 1 administrative house.[43] Central Campus is home to the Nasher Museum of Art, the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, the Center for Muslim Life, the Duke Police Department, the Duke Office of Disability Management, a Ronald McDonald House, and administrative departments such as Duke Residence Life and Housing Services. Central Campus has several recreation and social facilities such as basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, a turf field, barbecue grills and picnic shelters, a general gathering building called "Devil's Den", a restaurant known as "Devil's Bistro", a convenience store called Uncle Harry's, and the Mill Village. The Mill Village consists of a gym and group study rooms.[44][43]

Since 2005, there has been a long-term plan in place to restructure Central Campus over the subsequent 20 to 50 years.[45] The idea is to develop an "academic village" as a key center for the Duke community.[46] This academic village will provide living arrangements for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and some faculty, plus dining, recreation, and academic support spaces while serving as a living laboratory for sustainability.[45][47]

Key places[edit]

A Lilly pond and stoned walkway with various trees in the background
The Sarah P. Duke Gardens attract more than 300,000 visitors each year.

Duke Forest, established in 1931, consists of 7,044 acres (28.51 km2) in six divisions, just west of West Campus.[28] The largest private research forest in North Carolina and one of the largest in the nation,[48] the Duke Forest demonstrates a variety of forest stand types and silvicultural treatments. Duke Forest is used extensively for research and includes the Aquatic Research Facility, Forest Carbon Transfer and Storage (FACTS-I) research facility, two permanent towers suitable for micrometerological studies, and other areas designated for animal behavior and ecosystem study.[49] More than 30 miles (48 km) of trails are open to the public for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.[50]

The Duke Lemur Center, located inside the Duke Forest, is the world's largest sanctuary for rare and endangered strepsirrhine primates.[51] Founded in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center spans 85 acres (34 ha) and contains nearly 300 animals of 25 different species of lemurs, galagos and lorises.[52]

Gothic-style four story exterior of a building with castle-like turrets
Entrance to the Medical Center from West Campus

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens, established in the early 1930s, is situated between West Campus and the apartments of Central Campus. The gardens occupy 55 acres (22 ha), divided into four major sections:[53] the original Terraces and their surroundings; the H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, devoted to flora of the Southeastern United States; the W.L. Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, housing plants of Eastern Asia, as well as disjunct species found in Eastern Asia and Eastern North America; and the Doris Duke Center Gardens. There are five miles (8 km) of allées and paths throughout the gardens.[53]

Duke University Medical Center, bordering Duke's West Campus northern boundary, combines one of the top-rated hospitals[54] and one of the top-ranked medical schools[55] in the U.S. Founded in 1930, the Medical Center occupies 8 million square feet (700,000 m²) in 99 buildings on 210 acres (85 ha).[56]

The Orrin Pilkey research laboratory at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC.

Duke University Marine Laboratory, located in the town of Beaufort, North Carolina, is also technically part of Duke's campus. The marine lab is situated on Pivers Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, 150 yards (140 m) across the channel from Beaufort. Duke's interest in the area began in the early 1930s and the first buildings were erected in 1938.[57] The resident faculty represent the disciplines of oceanography, marine biology, marine biomedicine, marine biotechnology, and coastal marine policy and management. The Marine Laboratory is a member of the National Association of Marine Laboratories.[57] In May 2014, the newly built Orrin H. Pilkey Marine Research Laboratory was dedicated.[58]


School founding
Year founded
Trinity College of Arts and Sciences
Duke University School of Law
Graduate School of Duke University
Duke Divinity School
Duke University School of Medicine
Duke University School of Nursing
Nicholas School of the Environment
Pratt School of Engineering
Fuqua School of Business
Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Sanford School of Public Policy

Duke's student body consists of 6,471 undergraduates and 8,379 graduate and professional students (as of fall 2014).[28] The university "has historical, formal, on-going, and symbolic ties with the United Methodist Church, but is an independent and non-sectarian institution."[26][27][59] According to the institution's bylaws, an aim of Duke University is to "assert a faith in the eternal union of knowledge and religion set forth in the teachings and character of Jesus Christ".[60][61] As such, twelve out of thirty-six University Trustees are elected from the "North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church; twelve by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, and twelve by the graduates of Duke University".[62] Former Dean of Duke Chapel, Sam Wells and Michael Schoenfeld, Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations, have stated that the Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church do not have any editorial control over the selections and that "there is no religious test for trustees," stating that Duke's ties to the United Methodist Church are "benign and benevolent" and "primarily historical and symbolic."[61]

Four-story tower on left beset by arched walkway in center and pedestrian bridge connecting tower to three-story Gothic building
Entrance to Bostock Library, which opened in the fall of 2005

Admission to Duke is highly selective; Duke received 32,506 applications for the Class of 2018, and admitted 10.7% of applicants.[63] According to The Huffington Post, Duke was the tenth toughest university in the United States to get into based on admissions data from 2010.[64] The yield rate (the percentage of accepted students who choose to attend the university) is approximately 48%.[65] For the class of 2015, 90% of enrolled students ranked in the top 10% of their high school classes; 97% ranked in the top quarter.[66] The middle 50% range of SAT scores for the prospective students accepted to Trinity College of Arts and Sciences in Fall 2014 is 680–790 for verbal/critical reading, 700–800 for math, and 700–790 for writing, while the ACT Composite range is 31–35 For those accepted to the Pratt School of Engineering, the middle 50% range for the SAT is 700-780 for verbal/critical reading, 760-800 for math, and 720-800 for writing, while the ACT Composite range is 33-35.[67]

Duke University has two schools for undergraduates: Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and Pratt School of Engineering.[28]

Demographics of student body Fall 2014[28][68]
Undergraduate Graduate U.S. Census[69]
African American 10% 5% 12.2%
Asian American 21% 10% 4.7%
White American
48% 50% 63.7%
Hispanic American 7% 4% 16.4%
International 10% 24% N/A
Other/Unknown 4% 6% 3.0%

From 2001 to 2011, Duke has had the sixth highest number of Fulbright, Rhodes, Truman, and Goldwater scholarships in the nation among private universities.[70][71][72][73] The University practices need-blind admissions and meets 100% of admitted students' demonstrated need. About 50 percent of all Duke students receive some form of financial aid, which includes need-based aid, athletic aid, and merit aid. The average need-based grant for the 2013–2014 academic year was nearly $39,275.[28] Roughly 60 merit-based scholarships are also offered, including the Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholarship, awarded for academic excellence. Other scholarships are geared toward students in North Carolina, African-American students, and high-achieving students requiring financial aid.[74]

Duke's endowment had a market value of $7.0 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014.[28] The University's special academic facilities include an art museum, several language labs, the Duke Forest, the Duke Herbarium, a lemur center, a phytotron, a free electron laser, a nuclear magnetic resonance machine, a nuclear lab, and a marine lab. Duke is a leading participant in the National Lambda Rail Network and runs a program for gifted children known as the Talent Identification Program.[75][76]

Cathedral-sized arched and intricate windows on chapel are displayed prominently in foreground with larger soaring chapel peaking out at the top
Part of the Divinity School addition, Goodson Chapel

Graduate profile[edit]

In 2009, the School of Medicine received 5,166 applications[77] and accepted approximately 4% of them,[78] while the average GPA and MCAT scores for accepted students from 2002 through 2009 were 3.74 and 34, respectively.[79][80] The School of Law accepted approximately 13% of its applicants for the Class of 2014, while enrolling students had a median GPA of 3.75 and median LSAT of 170.[81]

The University's graduate and professional schools include the Graduate School, the Pratt School of Engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment, the School of Medicine, the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, the School of Nursing, the Fuqua School of Business, the School of Law, the Divinity School, and the Sanford School of Public Policy.[82]

Undergraduate curriculum[edit]

Gray stone building with large Doric columns and grassy foreground, framed by trees
The West Duke Building on East Campus replaced the destroyed Washington Duke Building.

Duke offers 46 arts and sciences majors, four engineering majors, 49 Minors (including two in engineering) and Program II, which allows students to design their own interdisciplinary major in arts & sciences, and IDEAS, which allows students to design their own engineering major.[83] Twenty-four certificate programs also are available.[83] Students pursue a major, and can pursue a combination of a total of up to three including minors, certificates, and/or a second major. Eighty-five percent of undergraduates enroll in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, while the rest are in the Pratt School of Engineering.[84]

Trinity's curriculum operates under the revised version of "Curriculum 2000."[85] It ensures that students are exposed to a variety of "areas of knowledge" and "modes of inquiry." The curriculum aims to help students develop critical faculties and judgment by learning how to access, synthesize, and communicate knowledge effectively. The intent is to assist students in acquiring perspective on current and historical events, conducting research and solving problems, and developing tenacity and a capacity for hard and sustained work.[85] Freshmen can elect to participate in the FOCUS Program, which allows students to engage in an interdisciplinary exploration of a specific topic in a small group setting.[86]

Pratt's curriculum is narrower in scope, but still accommodates double majors in a variety of disciplines. The school emphasizes undergraduate research—opportunities for hands-on experiences arise through internships, fellowship programs, and the structured curriculum. More than 27 percent of Pratt undergraduates study abroad,[87] small compared to about half of Trinity undergraduates, but much larger than the recent national average for engineering students (3.2%).[88][89]


A four-story brick and stone building alongside pedestrian path
The Fitzpatrick Center is home to many of Duke's engineering programs.

Duke's research expenditures in the 2012 fiscal year were $1.01 billion, the seventh largest figure in the nation.[2] In the 2013 fiscal year, Duke University Medical Center received $270 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (exclusive of contracts and Economic Stimulus Program awards).

Duke's faculty is among the most productive in the nation. Throughout the school's history, Duke researchers have made breakthroughs, including the biomedical engineering department's development of the world's first real-time, three-dimensional ultrasound diagnostic system and the first engineered blood vessels.[90] In the mechanical engineering department, Adrian Bejan developed the constructal theory, which explains the shapes that arise in nature. Duke has pioneered studies involving nonlinear dynamics, chaos, and complex systems in physics. In May 2006 Duke researchers mapped the final human chromosome, which made world news as the Human Genome Project was finally complete.[91] Reports of Duke researchers' involvement in new AIDS vaccine research surfaced in June 2006.[92] The biology department combines two historically strong programs in botany and zoology, while one of the divinity school's leading theologians is Stanley Hauerwas, whom Time named "America's Best Theologian" in 2001.[93] The graduate program in literature boasts several internationally renowned figures, including Fredric Jameson,[94] Michael Hardt,[95] and Rey Chow, while philosophers Robert Brandon and Lakatos Award-winner Alexander Rosenberg contribute to Duke's ranking as the nation's best program in philosophy of biology, according to the Philosophical Gourmet Report.[96]

The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index ranked Duke's faculty first in the nation in the fields of Oncology and Cancer Biology, Biomedical Engineering and, Applied Economics. The Public Policy, Statistics, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Medicine and Molecular Genetics departments (among others) all ranked in the top five. Several other departments including Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Nursing ranked in the top ten.[97]


Template:Infobox US university ranking

A four-story Gothic building with three entrance archways and historic balconies with evergreen trees at base and stairwells leading to each entrance
Built in 1932, Old Chemistry has scientific symbols carved above the main doorway.

In the 2015 U.S. News & World Report ranking of undergraduate programs at doctoral granting institutions, Duke was tied for 8th.[98] In the past twenty years, U.S. News & World Report has placed Duke as high as 3rd and as low as 10th.[99] In 2014, Duke was tied for 25th in the world by the QS World University Rankings[5] and 18th in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[100] Duke was ranked the 14th-best university in the world by Newsweek[101] and 31st best globally by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2014, focusing on quality of scientific research and the number of Nobel Prizes.[102] The university also ranks 22nd in the world on the alternative Academic Ranking of World Universities which excludes Nobel Prize and Fields Medal indicators.[103]The Wall Street Journal ranked Duke sixth (fifth among universities) in its "feeder" rankings in 2006, analyzing the percentage of undergraduates that enroll in what it considers the top five medical, law, and business schools.[104] The 2010 report by the Center for Measuring University Performance puts Duke at 6th in the nation.[19] The 2011 Global Employability Ranking as published by The New York Times surveyed hundreds of chief executives and chairmen from around the world and asked them to select the best universities from which they recruited. Duke placed 13th in the world and 9th in the country.[105][106] In 2013, Duke enrolled 139 National Merit Scholars, the 6th university in rank by number.[107] Duke ranks 5th among national universities to have produced Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall Scholars.[108] As of 2012, Duke graduates have received 25 Churchill Scholarships to the University of Cambridge. Only graduates of Princeton and Harvard have received more Churchill awards.[109] According to the 2011 Princeton ReviewTemplate:'s survey on "Top Dream Colleges" among parents, Duke ranked as the 6th dream university.[110] Kiplinger's 50 Best Values in Private Universities 2013–14 ranks Duke at 5th best overall after taking financial aid into consideration.[111] According to a study by Forbes, Duke ranks 11th among universities that have produced billionaires and 1st among universities in the South.[112][113] A survey by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education in 2002 ranked Duke as the #1 university in the country in regard to the integration of African American students and faculty.[114] According to a poll of recruiters conducted by The Wall Street Journal, Duke ranks 2nd in terms of producing the best graduates who have received either a marketing or liberal arts degree. In a corporate study carried out by The New York Times, Duke's graduates were shown to be among the most valued in the world,[115] and Forbes magazine ranked Duke 7th in the world on its list of 'power factories' in 2012.[116]

In U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Graduate Schools 2016," Duke's medical school ranked 8th for research.[117] The hospital was ranked 12th in the nation by the 2013–2014 U.S. News & World Report Health Rankings of Best Hospitals in America.[118] The School of Law was ranked 8th in 2016 by the same publication.[119] Duke's nursing school ranked 6th in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 rankings,[120] while the Sanford School of Public Policy ranked 16th overall in 2012, with its Environmental Policy and Management program ranked 2nd.[121] Among business schools in the United States, the Fuqua School of Business was ranked 4th for its Executive M.B.A. program, 5th for marketing, 6th for nonprofit, 9th for management, and 13th overall by U.S. News & World Report in 2016, while BusinessWeek ranked its full-time MBA program 1st in the nation in 2014.[122][123] The graduate program for the Pratt School of Engineering was ranked 28th while the biomedical engineering program was ranked 4th by U.S. News & World Report.[124] Taking the U.S. News & World Report Professional School Rankings in 2008 based on Mean Reputation Score, Duke ranks 7th among national universities.[125] Times Higher Education ranked the mathematics department tenth in the world in 2011.[126] Duke's graduate level specialties that are ranked among the top ten in the nation include areas in the following departments: biological sciences, medicine, nursing, engineering, law, business, English, history, physics, statistics, public affairs, physician assistant (ranked #1), clinical psychology, political science, and sociology.[127] In 2007, Duke was ranked 22nd in the world by Wuhan University's Research Center for Chinese Science Evaluation. The ranking was based on journal article publication counts and citation frequencies in over 11,000 academic journals from around the world. A 2012 study conducted by academic analytics ranks Duke fourth in the nation (behind only Harvard, Stanford, and MIT) in terms of faculty productivity.[128] The study takes into consideration books and journal articles published, grants, honors and awards received, and how often faculty members are cited in their specialties' literature. In 2013, Duke Law ranked 6th in Forbes magazine's ranking of law schools whose graduates earn the highest starting salaries.[129] The data utilized by Forbes was generated by Payscale.com, and the ranking also showed that Duke Law grads earn the second highest mid-career salaries in the country. In 2013, Duke's Fuqua School of Business was ranked 6th in terms of graduate starting salaries by U.S. News & World Report. In the same year, a ranking compiled by the University of Texas at Dallas ranked Fuqua 5th in the world based on the research productivity of its faculty. The MEM (Masters in Engineering Management) program has been ranked 3rd in the world by Eduniversal [130] In 2013, Forbes ranked Duke 4th in the nation in terms of return on investment (ROI). The ranking used alumni giving as a criteria to determine which private colleges offer the best returns.[131] In the same year, Above the Law ranked Duke Law 6th in the nation in its ranking of law schools based on employment outcomes [132] In 2013, Business Insider ranked Duke's Fuqua School of Business 5th in the world based on an extensive survey of hiring professionals.[133] In the same year, Forbes magazine ranked Fuqua 8th in the country based on return on investment. In 2014, Linkedin named Duke the 3rd best undergraduate university in the US for media professionals. Duke also ranked 4th for investment bankers, 7th for finance professional and 8th for software developers. The ranking was based on career outcomes.[134] In 2014, US News ranked Duke as the 20th best global research university. The ranking was based on 10 indicators that measure academic research performance and global reputations.[135]

Student life[edit]

Residential life[edit]

A large Georgian-style building exterior with six Ionic Columns and red brick with large arched windows
East Campus' Union building, home to the freshman dining hall

Duke requires its students to live on campus for the first three years of undergraduate life, except for a small percentage of second semester juniors who are exempted by a lottery system.[38] This requirement is justified by the administration as an effort to help students connect more closely with one another and sustain a sense of belonging within the Duke community.[136] Thus, 85% of undergraduates live on campus.[137] All freshmen are housed in one of 14 residences on East Campus. These buildings range in occupancy size from 50 (Epworth—the oldest residence hall, built in 1892 as "the Inn") to 190 residents (Gilbert-Addoms).[138][139] Most of these are in the Georgian style typical of the East Campus architecture. Although the newer residence halls differ in style, they still relate to East's Georgian heritage. Learning communities connect the residential component of East Campus with students of similar academic and social interests.[140] Similarly, students in FOCUS, a first-year program that features courses clustered around a specific theme, live together in the same residence hall as other students in their cluster.[141]

Sophomores, juniors and seniors can choose to reside on either West or Central campuses, although the majority of undergraduate seniors choose to live off campus.[142][143] West Campus contains six quadrangles—the four along "Main" West were built in 1930s, while two newer ones have since been added. Central Campus provides housing for over 1,000 students in apartment buildings.[144] All housing on West and Central is organized into about 80 "houses"—sections of residence halls or clusters of apartments—to which students can return each year. House residents create their house identities. There are houses of unaffiliated students, as well as wellness houses and living-learning communities that adopt a theme such as the arts or foreign languages. There are also numerous "selective living groups" on campus for students wanting self-selected living arrangements. SLGs are residential groups similar to fraternities or sororities, except they are generally co-ed and unaffiliated with any national organization. Many of them also revolve around a particular interest such as entrepreneurship, civic engagement or African-American or Asian culture. Fifteen fraternities and nine sororities also are housed on campus, primarily on Central. Most of the non-fraternity selective living groups are coeducational.[145]

Greek and social life[edit]

A large group of individuals gather in a parking lot alongside a tent campground with lightposts
Cameron Crazies gathering in K-ville

About 30% of undergraduate men and about 40% of undergraduate women at Duke are members of fraternities and sororities.[137] Most of the 17 Interfraternity Council recognized fraternity chapters live in sections within the residence halls. Starting in 2012, the nine Panhellenic Association sorority chapters decided to live in houses (clusters of apartments) on Central Campus. Not all sorority members live with their chapters, though, as membership exceeds house space. Eight National Pan-Hellenic Council (historically African American) fraternities and sororities also hold chapters at Duke.[146] In addition, there are seven other fraternities and sororities that are a part of the Inter-Greek Council, the multicultural Greek umbrella organization.[147] Duke also has Selective Living Groups, or SLGs, on campus for students seeking informal residential communities often built around themes. SLGs are residential groups similar to fraternities or sororities, except they are generally co-ed and unaffiliated with any national organizations.[148] Fraternity chapters and SLGs frequently host social events in their residential sections, which are often open to non-members.[149]

In the late-1990s, a new keg policy was put into effect that requires all student groups to purchase kegs through Duke Dining Services. According to administrators, the rule change was intended as a way to ensure compliance with alcohol consumption laws as well as to increase on-campus safety.[150] Some students saw the administration's increasingly strict policies as an attempt to alter social life at Duke.[151] As a result, off-campus parties at rented houses became more frequent in subsequent years as a way to avoid Duke policies. Many of these houses were situated in the midst of family neighborhoods, prompting residents to complain about excessive noise and other violations. Police have responded by breaking up parties at several houses, handing out citations, and occasionally arresting party-goers.[152] In the mid-to-late 2000s (decade), the administration made a concerted effort to help students re-establish a robust, on-campus social life and has worked with numerous student groups, especially the Duke University Union, to feature a wide array of events and activities. In March 2006, the university purchased 15 houses in the Trinity Park area that Duke students had typically rented and subsequently sold them to individual families in an effort to encourage renovations to the properties and to reduce off-campus partying in the midst of residential neighborhoods.[153][154]

Duke athletics, particularly men's basketball, traditionally serves as a significant component of student life. Duke's students have been recognized as some of the most creative and original fans in all of collegiate athletics.[155] Students, often referred to as Cameron Crazies, show their support of the men's basketball team by "tenting" for home games against key Atlantic Coast Conference rivals, especially University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).[156] Because tickets to all varsity sports are free to students, they line up for hours before each game, often spending the night on the sidewalk. For a mid-February game against UNC, some of the most eager students might even begin tenting before spring classes begin.[157] The total number of participating tents is capped at 100 (each tent can have up to 12 occupants), though interest is such that it could exceed that number if space permitted.[158] Tenting involves setting up and inhabiting a tent on the grass near Cameron Indoor Stadium, an area known as Krzyzewskiville, or K-ville for short. There are different categories of tenting based on the length of time and number of people who must be in the tent.[158] At night, K-ville often turns into the scene of a party or occasional concert. The men's basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, occasionally buys pizza for the inhabitants of the tent village.[159]


Student organizations[edit]

A Gothic-style exterior showcases Cathedral-like windows with intricate framework and dark, colorful stone, with bushes and grass in the foreground
Duke's West Campus Union building has restaurants, offices, and some administrative departments. The Chronicle's editorial office, the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, and the Center for LGBT Life are all located in the Union.

More than 400 student clubs and organizations operate on Duke's campus.[160] These include numerous student government, special interest, and service organizations.[161] Duke Student Government (DSG) charters and provides most of the funding for other student groups and represents students' interests when dealing with the administration.[162] The Duke University Union (DUU) is the school's primary programming organization, serving a center of social, cultural, intellectual and recreational life.[163] Cultural groups are provided funding directly from the university via the Multicultural Center as well as other institutional funding sources. One of the most popular activities on campus is competing in sports. Duke has 37 sports clubs, and several intramural teams that are officially recognized. Performance groups such as Hoof 'n' Horn, the country's second oldest student-run musical theater organization, a cappella groups, student bands, and theater organizations are also prominent on campus.[164] The Duke University mock trial team won the national championship in 2012.[165] The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee provides guidance to the administration on issues regarding student dining, life, and restaurant choices.

Cultural groups on campus include the Asian Students Association, Blue Devils United (the student lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group), Black Student Alliance, Diya (South Asian Association), Jewish Life at Duke, Mi Gente (Latino Student Association), International Association/International Council, Muslim Student Association, Native American Student Coalition, Newman Catholic Student Center, Languages Dorm, and Students of the Caribbean.[160][166]

Civic engagement[edit]

A glass building with a metal blue devil on top and arched details in the interior
The von der Heyden Pavilion is a popular place among students for gathering and studying.

More than 75 percent of Duke students pursue service-learning opportunities in Durham and around the world through DukeEngage and other programs that advance the university's mission of "knowledge in service to society." Launched in 2007, DukeEngage provides full funding for select Duke undergraduates who wish to pursue an immersive summer of service in partnership with a U.S. or international community. As of summer 2013, more than 2,400 Duke students had volunteered through DukeEngage in 75 nations on six continents. Duke students have created more than 30 service organizations in Durham and the surrounding area. Examples include a weeklong camp for children of cancer patients (Camp Kesem) and a group that promotes awareness about sexual health, rape prevention, alcohol and drug use, and eating disorders (Healthy Devils). The Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, started by the Office of Community Affairs in 1996, attempts to address major concerns of local residents and schools by leveraging university resources.[167] Another community project, "Scholarship with a Civic Mission," is a joint program between the Hart Leadership Program and the Kenan Institute for Ethics.[168] Another program includes Project CHILD, a tutoring program involving 80 first-year volunteers; and an after-school program for at-risk students in Durham that was started with $2.25 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation in 2002.[169] Two prominent civic engagement pre-orientation programs also exist for incoming freshmen: Project CHANGE and Project BUILD. Project CHANGE is a free weeklong program co-sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Duke Women's Center with the focus on ethical leadership and social change in the Durham community; students are challenged in a variety of ways and work closely with local non-profits.[170] Project BUILD is a freshman volunteering group that dedicates 3,300 hours of service to a variety of projects such as schools, Habitat for Humanity, food banks, substance rehabilitation centers, and homeless shelters. Some courses at Duke incorporate service as part of the curriculum to augment material learned in class such as in psychology or education courses (known as service learning courses).[171]

Student media[edit]

The Chronicle, Duke's independent undergraduate daily newspaper, has been continually published since 1905 and now, along with its website, has a readership of about 70,000.[172] Its editors are responsible for selecting the term "Blue Devil". The newspaper won Best in Show in the tabloid division at the 2005 Associated Collegiate Press National College Media Convention.[173] Cable 13, established in 1976, is Duke's student-run television station. It is a popular activity for students interested in film production and media.[174] WXDU-FM, licensed in 1983, is the University's nationally recognized, noncommercial FM radio station, operated by student and community volunteers.[175][176]


Duke University teams are known as the Blue Devils. They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sub-level for football), primarily competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports since the 1953-54 season.[177] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, fencing, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball. Duke plans to add softball as its 27th varsity sport in spring 2018.

Duke's teams have won 15 NCAA team national championships—the women's golf team has won six (1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2014), the men's basketball team has won four (1991, 1992, 2001, and 2010), the men's lacrosse team has won three (2010, 2013, and 2014), and the men's soccer (1986) and women's tennis (2009) teams have won one each.[3]

Duke Blue Devils mascot leans against sign with tents in background
Duke Blue Devils mascot. This is an older design; an updated mascot was introduced in 2008.

Duke consistently ranks among the top in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Directors' Cup, an overall measure of an institution's athletic success. For Division I in 2013, Duke finished ninth overall and fifth in the ACC.

Duke has won 126 ACC Championships since claiming football, men's lacrosse and men's golf in the league's first year in 1953-54, including the Blue Devils ACC Championships in football and volleyball in 2013-14.

Since 1999-2000, Duke has captured 52 league crowns, second most in the ACC, and has won at least one ACC Championship each season since 1979-80 and at least two every season since 1990-91. Since hiring David Cutcliffe as head football coach in 2007, the Duke football program has become one of the strongest in the ACC. The Blue Devils won the ACC Coastal Division in 2013, but lost to No. 1-ranked Florida State in the conference championship game. Duke then played Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, losing 52-48 to the Aggies, who were led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

The Blue Devil mascot's origins are rooted in an elite French alpine fighting unit that garnered accolades and much global attention during World War I and its aftermath for its flowing blue capes and blue berets.[178] Duke's mascot origin is considered to be military and patriotic rather than anti-religious.[178] Historically, Duke's major rival has been the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, especially in basketball. The rivalry has led the fanbases to identify the two differing shades of blue in relation to their respective university—calling the lighter powder blue "Carolina blue" and the darker blue "Duke blue".[179]

On the academic front, eight Duke varsity athletics programs registered a perfect 1,000 score in the NCAA's multi-year Academic Progress Report (APR) released in May 2014. APR scores for football and men's basketball were the highest among ACC schools in conference-sponsored sports. Overall Duke totaled the highest APR scores in 10 of the ACC's 25 sports.

List of Athletic Sports[edit]

Baseball, Basketball (M), Basketball (W), Cross Country, Fencing, Field Hockey, Football, Golf (M), Golf (W), Lacrosse (M), Lacrosse (W), Rowing, Soccer (M), Soccer (W), Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis (M), Tennis (W), Track & Field, Volleyball, Wrestling

Men's basketball[edit]

Interior of basketball stadium showcasing court, rafters, and empty stands
Duke's famous Cameron Indoor Stadium

Duke's men's basketball team is one of the nation's most successful basketball programs.[180] The team has captured four National Championships (fifth place all time), while attending 15 Final Fours (third place overall) and 10 Championship games (tied for second).[181] Duke has the most Atlantic Coast Conference championships, with 19, and has the most National Players of the Year in the nation, with 11.[182] Seventy-two players have been selected in the NBA draft, while 32 players have been honored as All-Americans.[183] Duke's program is one of only two to have been to at least one Final Four and one National Championship game in each of the past five decades.[184] The program's home facility is historic Cameron Indoor Stadium, considered one of the top venues in the nation.[185]

The team's success has been particularly outstanding over the past 30 years under coach Mike Krzyzewski (often simply called "Coach K"), who also has coached the USA men's national basketball team since 2006 and led the team to Olympic golds in 2008 and 2012, as well as World Championship gold in 2010 and 2014. Their successes include becoming the only team to win four national championships since the NCAA Tournament field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985, 11 Final Fours in the past 25 years, and eight of nine ACC tournament championships from 1999 to 2006.[186]

Football stadium with two teams on the field and stands full on sunny day
Wallace Wade Stadium


The Blue Devils have won seven ACC Football Championships, have had ten players honored as ACC Player of the Year (the most in the ACC),[177] and have had three Pro Football Hall of Famers come through the program (second in the ACC to only Miami's four). The Blue Devils have produced 11 College Football Hall of Famers, which is tied for the 2nd most in the ACC. Duke has also won 18 total conference championships (7 ACC, 9 Southern Conference, and 1 Big Five Conference). That total is tied with Clemson for the highest in the ACC.[187]

The most famous Duke football season came in 1938,[188] when Wallace Wade coached the "Iron Dukes" that shut out all regular season opponents; only three teams in history can claim such a feat.[189] That same year, Duke made their first Rose Bowl appearance, where they lost 7–3 when USC scored a touchdown in the final minute of the game.[188] Wade's Blue Devils lost another Rose Bowl to Oregon State in 1942, this one held at Duke's home stadium due to the attack on Pearl Harbor, which resulted in the fear that a large gathering on the West Coast might be in range of Japanese aircraft carriers.[190] The football program proved successful in the 1950s and 1960s, winning six of the first ten ACC football championships from 1953 to 1962 under coach Bill Murray; the Blue Devils would not win the ACC championship again until 1989 under coach Steve Spurrier.[191]

David Cutcliffe was brought in prior to the 2008 season, and amassed more wins in his first season than the previous three years combined. The 2009 team won 5 of 12 games, and was eliminated from bowl contention in the next-to-last game of the season.[192] Mike MacIntyre, the defensive coordinator, was named 2009 Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).[193]

While the football team has struggled at times on the field, the graduation rate of its players is consistently among the highest among Division I FBS schools. Duke's high graduation rates have earned it more AFCA Academic Achievement Awards than any other institution.[194]

In 2012, the football team became bowl-eligible for the first time since the 1994 season.

In 2013, the team posted a school record 10 wins including wins over #14 Virginia Tech and #23 Miami. The season culminated in a Coastal Division Championship and a narrow loss to Texas A&M in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Notable people[edit]

Duke's active alumni base of more than 145,000 devote themselves to the university through organizations and events such as the annual Reunion Weekend and Homecoming.[195] There are 75 Duke clubs in the U.S. and 38 such international clubs.[196] For the 2008–09 fiscal year, Duke tied for third in alumni giving rate among U.S. colleges and universities according to U.S. News & World Report.[197] Based on statistics compiled by PayScale in 2011, Duke alumni rank seventh in mid-career median salary among all U.S. colleges and universities.[198] A number of alumni have made significant contributions in the fields of government, law, science, academia, business, arts, journalism, and athletics, among others.


Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States graduated with a law degree in 1937.[199] Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole,[200] 33rd President of Chile Ricardo Lagos,[201] former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Juanita M. Kreps,[202] congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul,[203] U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs and former Chief of Staff of the United States Army Eric Shinseki,[204] and the first United States Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients[205] and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey are among the most notable alumni with involvement in politics and government.


In the research realm, Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator who has spent his entire 39-year research career at the Duke University Medical Center, shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Dr. Brian K. Kobilka of Stanford University School of Medicine, who was a post-doctoral fellow in Lefkowitz's lab in the 1980s. Duke graduates who have won the Nobel Prize in Physics include Hans Dehmelt for his development of the ion trap technique,[206] Robert Richardson for his discovery of superfluidity in helium-3,[207] and Charles Townes for his work on quantum electronics.[208] Other alumni in research and academia include Turing Award winners Fred Brooks[209] and John Cocke,[210] Templeton Prize winning physicist and religion scholar Ian Barbour,[211] MacArthur Award recipient Paul Farmer,[212] and former Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton Theodore Ziolkowski.[213]


Louis Isaac Jaffe (1888–1950), journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, attended the university while it was called Trinity College.

Prominent journalists include talk show host Charlie Rose,[214] The Washington Post sports writer John Feinstein,[215] Chief Washington Correspondent for CNBC and The Wall Street Journal writer John Harwood,[216] CBS News President Sean McManus,[217] chief legal correspondent for Good Morning America Dan Abrams,[218][219] and CNN anchor and senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Judy Woodruff.[220] Basketball analysts and commentators include Jay Bilas,[221][222] Mike Gminski,[223] Jim Spanarkel,[224] and Jay Williams.[225] Magazine editors include Rik Kirkland of Fortune[226] and Clay Felker, founder of New York Magazine,[227] who died in 2008.


In the area of literature, William C. Styron won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1968 for his novel The Confessions of Nat Turner and is well known for his 1979 novel Sophie's Choice.[228] Anne Tyler also received the Pulitzer Prize for her 1988 novel Breathing Lessons.[229] In the arts realm, Annabeth Gish[230] (actress in the X-Files and The West Wing), Ken Jeong[231] (actor in The Hangover and Community), Randall Wallace[232] (screenwriter, producer, and director, Braveheart, Pearl Harbor, We Were Soldiers), Mike Posner[233] (singer, songwriter, and producer, Cooler Than Me, Please Don't Go) and David Hudgins[234] (television writer and producer, Everwood, Friday Night Lights) headline the list.


On the business front, the current or recent President, CEO, or Chairman of each of the following Fortune 500 companies is a Duke alumnus: Apple (Tim Cook),[235] BB&T (John A. Allison IV),[236] Boston Scientific Corporation (Peter Nicholas),[237] Chesapeake Energy (Aubrey McClendon),[238] Cisco System (John Chambers),[239] General Motors (Rick Wagoner),[240] JPMorgan Chase (Steven Black),[241] Medtronic (William A. Hawkins),[242] Morgan Stanley (John J. Mack),[243] Norfolk Southern (David R. Goode),[244] Northwest Airlines (Gary L. Wilson),[245] PepsiCo (Karl von der Heyden),[246] Pfizer (Edmund T. Pratt, Jr.),[247] The Bank of New York Mellon (Gerald Hassell),[248] and Wachovia (Robert K. Steel).[249] Kevin Martin was Chairman of the FCC,[250] and Rex Adams serves as the Chairman of PBS.[251] Another alumna, Melinda Gates,[252] is the co-founder of the $31.9 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the nation's wealthiest charitable foundation.,[253][254] and Federal Reserve Bank Senior Vice President Mike Alix.


Management and ownership of professional athletic franchises include Adam Silver (NBA commissioner), John P. Angelos[255] (Executive Vice President of the Baltimore Orioles), Aubrey McClendon[256] (partial owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder), John Canning, Jr.[257] (co-owner of Milwaukee Brewers), Danny Ferry[258] (former general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers), Stephen Pagliuca[259] (co-owner of Boston Celtics), and Jeffrey Vinik[260] (owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning).

Finally, several athletes have become stars at the professional level, especially in basketball's NBA. Shane Battier, Corey Maggette, Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, Kyrie Irving and J.J. Redick are among the most famous.[261]


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