10 Fun Facts About Duke

June 22, 2018
  1. Duke’s Tobacco Ties

    Though Duke University can trace its founding to tobacco money, the school’s official policy on smoking doesn’t even permit smoking within 10 feet of residential buildings and dining facilities and it’s completely banned on the campus of the medical center.

  2. Coach K

    Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is the winningest male college basketball coach in history with 976 career wins as of February 11, 2014. Under Krzyzewski (pronounced: She-shef-ski), Duke has won 4 NCAA championships; it’s tied for fifth all-time in NCAA wins. As a testament to his influence on the school’s men’s basketball program, Cameron Indoor Stadium’s basketball court was renamed Coach K Court in November 2000. The area outside the stadium is known as “Krzyzewskiville” or “K-ville” which brings us to fact number three.

  3. When it comes to Duke student attendance at basketball games, only those dedicated enough get in. This is especially the case when it comes to the infamous Duke-UNC rivalry. In order to attend the home game against UNC, Duke students must camp out for 1 or 2 months (depending on whether the home or away game against UNC happens first) in K-ville, which turns into a temporary tent city, with the first tent usually erected over winter break. 

  4. Court Rushing Not Allowed

    Although Duke students all know not to rush the court unless the win is a national championship (because other wins are a given), they do get to celebrate a win over rival UNC another way. When Duke wins, students gather on the Main Quad and burn campus benches in a huge bonfire. These are officially sanctioned by the school and the Durham fire department with permits acquired ahead of time.

    Bonfire in honor of Duke's 2010 NCAA championship
    Bonfire in honor of Duke’s 2010 NCAA championship
  5. Work Hard, Play Hard

    No other phrase describes Duke students better than “Word hard, play hard.” This is most definitely true of the school’s Division I athletes. Duke student-athletes are consistently top performers in academics nationwide. In 2010, for example, Duke student-athletes topped the list of Atlantic Coast Conference schools with 424 selections to the ACC Academic Honor Roll . . . for the 22nd time in 23 years. Duke’s 15 teams also “placed among the top 10% in their sports in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate report, which measures academic success based on eligibility and retention.”[1] Regrettably, our friends farther down the Tobacco Road may not be able to say the same thing . . . shameful. (Sorry, UNC, it—like the class—was too easy.)

  6. Duke Chapel Weddings

    Duke’s iconic chapel is the perfect setting for a wedding for couples who met at Duke. But, because weddings can be booked only one year in advance of the wedding month and sign-ups begin at 8:30 a.m. on the first business day of the month, couples looking to book a specific date in a popular month have had to recreate Duke’s tenting tradition and set up camp outside the Chapel the night before to be first in line when the chapel doors open. 


  7. The Duke Lemur Center

    Established in 1966, the Lemur Center is the world’s largest sanctuary for rare and endangered prosimian primates. Sprawled across 85 acres in Duke Forest, it houses 15 species of lemurs, lorises from India and Southeast Asia, and bushbabies from Africa.

  8. North Carolina’s Research Triangle

    Duke University anchors one of the points of The Research Triangle, a geographic region inscribed by North Carolina State University, Duke University, and UNC Chapel Hill. In the 1950s, Research Triangle Park was home to many high-tech companies and enterprises and, today, it still holds the highest concentration of PhDs in the nation.

  9. The Invisibility Cloak

    Scientists at Duke University created the first invisibility cloak in November 2012 that could perfectly hide centimeter-scale objects. Past attempts at invisibility cloaks have always reflected some incident light, ruining the illusion, but, in this case, the scientists were able to achieve perfect invisibility. 

  10. Tailgate

    One of Duke’s most beloved and infamous traditions must be Tailgate, which has since been canceled due to an unfortunate incident with a student’s visiting underage sibling who was found passed out in a Porta-Pottie (not our most shining moment). In short, it was the ultimate football pre-game complete with copious amounts of sub-par beer, crazy costumes, and dirty Durham bottle service a la fraternity truck beds. Sadly, for the football team, it usually overshadowed the game itself. Festivities typically (used to) commence at 7 or 8am in the Blue Zone parking lot by the football field—it was day drinking at its best. RIP Tailgate, 19XX - 2010.

    For an oral history of the event, Duke’s student newspaper The Chronicle did a good job interviewing key people with institutional knowledge. BroBible attempted to capture the essence of the event in a video, which probably didn’t really do it justice.

    (Disclaimer: AdmitSee does not, never has, and never will condone underage drinking.)


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