HS Insider

A tour of Duke University

We arrived at the Raleigh-Durham airport in North Carolina at about 9 p.m. and the sky was the first thing I noticed. It was dusk and the darkness was framed against a backdrop of white light, and it had unexpectedly rained so there was a shiny quality to the skyline.

We were welcomed with an unexpected flash storm with thunder and lightning and a wall of rain as it grew dark. So we drove toward the Duke campus with no awareness of the beauty around us.

In the morning as I took my first glimpse of the campus often called “the Harvard of the South” and as far as the eye could see was lush greenery. In fact, I learned that Duke is a 9,000-acre campus, 8,000 of which is the Duke forest which surrounds the main East and West campuses where students study.

West campus is a gothic wonderland, while East campus is a mecca of Georgian-type architecture and where first years live. The 6,400 undergraduate students travel 1.5 miles by Duke University bus on Campus Road between East and West to study at this mid-size research institution (there is also a thriving graduate school population housing some of the most acclaimed graduate schools in the nation).

After meandering through the lush, bucolic campus on our own, we sat down for an information session and tour with Samuel Carpenter a senior director of admissions. He was an animated speaker and very informative. Here are my key takeaways for anyone thinking of applying to Duke:

DukeEngage empowers students to address critical human needs through immersive service in the U.S. and abroad. DukeEngage provides one-time funding for Duke undergraduates who undertake a minimum of eight weeks of service domestically or internationally.

Duke has a Southern charm that was engaging. It is a beautiful campus with a world of opportunities. It is a place where students will flourish.

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