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Duke Wands at the Ready!

Student Affairs creates magical read-aloud Harry Potter experience for students

Harry Potter glasses and lightning scar

The Student Affairs team has a message for Duke students: We are here for you, and we miss you! Spring just isn’t the same without seeing your faces and talking with you on the quad, in the residence halls, and in person — we know you miss campus and each other, too.

We wanted to bring a little light, a little fun, and a little comfort to our students even while we are apart for a little. But how? The answer appeared, well, magically--Harry Potter! Many faculty and staff love Harry Potter and we know many of you do, too.

So, we’re reaching out to connect by sharing a chapter of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone each night, read aloud by Duke staff and faculty. It’s kind of a virtual Sorting Hat, putting us in your house, wherever you are.

All members of the Duke community will be able to access the series via Warpwire by logging in with their Duke NetID. A new chapter will be posted at 7 p.m. each weeknight and announced on the Student Affairs social media accounts (Facebook:, Twitter: @Duke_SA, Instagram: @dukestudentaffairs).

“We wanted to show our students how much we miss connecting with them in real time here at Duke,” said Vice Provost/Vice President of Student Affairs Mary Pat McMahon. “Many of our students grew up reading Harry Potter, and many of us are reading – and re-reading- the series with our families during the pandemic. This was a labor of love for the creative team from Student Affairs who organized this project. We are very grateful to our partners and readers from across campus, as well as Rowling’s agency, the Blair Partnership, for making this project possible.”

In addition to voicing Chapter 2, Gary Bennett, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, helped to recruit faculty and university leadership to participate in the effort. “We all look forward to seeing our students back on campus soon,” he said. “In the meantime, it’s great to participate in this as one of the many ways faculty and staff are reaching out to students to stay connected.”

“We also hope J.K. Rowling’s universal themes of courage, friendship and perseverance will help sustain us all in the days ahead,” McMahon added.

Thanks for sharing a little magic with us. Wands at the ready!