A Decade of Building a Diverse & Inclusive Campus Community

A look at efforts to strengthen our campus community and promote growth among students, faculty, staff and visitors

Part of the A Decade at Duke Series
Students participate in International House Orientation Peer (IHOP) event


Students participate in Duke conversations

From making the most of the college experience to global issues to favorite household pets, no topic is off the table at a Duke Conversations dinner. The student-led organization connects students and faculty members outside the classroom. They meet for discussions over dinner at faculty members’ homes.

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Duke Rubenstein Scholars Class of 2020

When David Rubenstein enrolled at Duke in the late 1960s, he was the first member of his family to attend college. He was also the recipient of financial aid that made it possible for him to do so. In 2017, Rubenstein made a $20 million gift to endow a year-old scholarship program for exceptional first-generation, low-income students. What is now known as the David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program provides rigorous academic experiences, personal enrichment and professional development -- and covers the full cost of a Duke education.

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Girls Sample STEM at Pratt School of Engineering

Over 140 middle and high school girls from across North Carolina attended the second annual Girls STEM Day at Duke

Over 140 middle and high school girls from across North Carolina converged at the Fitzpatrick Center in Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, where they enthusiastically explored robotics and artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and chemistry through hands-on workshops led by TriWiSTEM mentors and volunteers representing 43 companies and institutions from across the Triangle region.

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Sunset over the Karsh Alumni and Visitor Center Courtyard

Situated at the main entrance to campus at Chapel Drive and Duke University Road, the newly opened Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center now serves as a gateway for the thousands of alumni and visitors who come to Duke's main campus each year. The center is not only the first stop for visitors and prospective students, but also a place for current students and alumni with spaces for both informal meetings and larger events such as Homecoming and undergraduate Reunions Weekend. 

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Students participate in International House Orientation Peer (IHOP) event

A number of Duke programs and offices work every year to help new international students adjust to American academic norms as well as life at Duke and in Durham. For example, Duke’s International House is a central resource for all Duke students and hosts an annual series of orientation events specifically for international students. These events help students meet classmates, become acquainted with campus and also address practical needs like setting up bank accounts and local phone numbers. 

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Duke Covers Sexual Reassignment Surgery On Student Insurance

Spring day in February

In 2013, the university announced its student health insurance plan would cover sexual reassignment surgery for transgender students. The university was the first in North Carolina to cover the service, which also includes pivotal aspects of transgender health care such as counseling, hormone therapy and surgery.

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Duke LIFE Awareness Week Dinner Fall 2019

Duke LIFE (Low-Income, First-Generation Engagement) is a part of the Office of Undergraduate Education that is dedicated to welcoming and advocating for students on Duke’s campus who identify as such. It supports and works in conjunction with the Duke LIFE student group. The students host events designed to bring the Duke first-generation and/or low-income community together and create relevant identity development programs and activities. Such events included a conference to encourage more first-gen / low-income students from a diverse group of schools to feel confident sharing their personal stories of challenges and successes as well as an inaugural "cording ceremony" at commencement.

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Celebrating 50 Years of Black Faculty Scholars in Duke's Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Samuel DuBois Cook

In 1966, Samuel DuBois Cook became the first African American professor to hold regular rank facuty appointment at any predominantly white college or university in the South when he was appointed professor in the Duke political science department. Fifty years later, the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences held a celebration to recognize the outstanding contributions of Black faculty members with primary appointments in Trinity.

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The Duke Arts Renaissance

Students practice Modern Dance during an evening class taught by Andrea Woods Valdés in the Cube at the Rubinstein Arts Center.

Leading academic programs, critically-acclaimed presenting organizations and embedded visiting artists create connections between campus, the cultural momentum of Durham, NC, and international thinkers, makers and performers. The 2018 opening of the Rubenstein Arts Center marked the culmination of Duke's arts renaissance, which began in 2005 with the opening of the Nasher Museum of Art and continued with two recent auditorium renovations. 

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NASA’s annual powwow brings attention to Duke's Native American population

Duke University Native American Student Alliance sponsors the 8th Annual Powwow on the CI Quad, West Campus

The Duke Native American Student Alliance, with support from the Center for Multicultural Affairs, now hosts an annual powwow on Abele Quad. With music, dance, song and tribal regalia, the powwow provides cultural connections and visibility on campus for Native American members of the Duke community.

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Entrepreneurs Share Leadership Lessons at Women's Conference

More than 50 Duke women spent their Saturday with Duke alumnae leaders in entrepreneurship as part of the “Lessons From Women Entrepreneurs” conference. Hosted by Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the event focused on themes of mentorship, negotiation, confidence, and resilience.

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One Day at The Perk

The Perk on the afternoon for the first day of finals

Von der Heyden Pavilion is the glass-encased pavilion wedged between Duke’s languages building and Perkins Library. The Perk is the pavilion’s coffee shop, though plenty of folks refer to the entire place as The Perk. Others call it Vondy. Regardless of nickname, the space has become Duke’s social crossroads where students study, professors grade papers and baristas sling frothy cappuccinos to a crowd that swells every hour or so as classes let out.

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Former Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera and Duke President Vincent Price talks with Professor Esther Gabara during a visit to the Pop América exhibit she curated at the Nasher Museum of Art

The Duke Endowment, a private foundation based in Charlotte, awarded the funds for Trinity College to hire up to six junior-to senior-level faculty scholars with expertise in African, Asian-American and Latinx studies. The expansion of knowledge in these areas reflects the changing demographics and cultures of the Duke student body and beyond, Trinity Dean Valerie Ashby said.

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