Peeking at Duke

We just peeked in at Duke University on our way out of North Carolina, and not knowing much about the campus at the time, we only visited the university’s West Campus where Duke Chapel dominates the setting.


After our visit, we learned that Duke University spreads its students (6,500 undergrads, 8,000 grad students) among three campus (East, West, and Central) and 9,000 acres in Durham, North Carolina plus a marine lab in Beaufort. All freshmen live and attend classes on the oldest of Duke’s campuses, the 97-acre East Campus known for its stately Georgian architecture. After freshman year, students move to West or Central Campus.


Just 1.5 miles away, Duke’s West Campus or main campus covers 720 acres. Here is where the majority of learning and living take place. With its tall trees and 1920s’ Gothic architecture, the campus has a fairy tale like appearance. All students are required to live on campus, and over 1,000 undergrads live on Duke’s nearly 200-acre Central Campus.

While Duke has over 46 arts and science majors and four engineering majors and 49 minors, the top five include biology, public policy studies, economics, psychology, and biomedical engineering.

Duke 1

Have you added up the acreage and wondered, like I did, about the remaining 7,000 acres? At 7,000 acres in size, Duke Forest, located west of West Campus, is the largest private research forest in North Carolina and one of the largest in the country.

Duke’s mission statement emphasizes leadership, and community contribution in addition to engagement of the mind and elevation of the spirit. Its motto is “Eruditio et Religio” in Latin or “knowledge and religion” in English.

Duke 2

Trip taken December 2013.

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