More than 1,730 undergraduate students will make the Duke University campus in Durham, NC a home away from home beginning with move-in day on Tuesday, Aug. 20.
The first-year students and their families will get help unloading cars and moving boxes into the East Campus residence halls from advisory counselors, residence assistants, Duke administrators and even President Richard H. Brodhead.
After moving in, they will embark on a week filled with academic and social events designed to introduce them to the Duke and Durham communities.
“Our orientation welcome week enables us to create a sense of connection to the university and the broader community for first-year students,” said Maddie Jothimurugesan, program coordinator for New Student Programs. “Our students arrive on campus from all corners of the world. It is essential to give them time to adjust to their Duke surroundings before they commence their academic endeavors.”
The class of 2017 represents 49 U.S. states and more than 80 countries. As in years past, the most-represented states are North Carolina (199), California (158), New York (136) and Florida (132).
Twenty-seven percent of the entering class is Asian, Asian American or Pacific Islander, 11 percent is African American and 13 percent are foreign citizens. Most come from public high schools.
“Like the classes that preceded them, this group of incoming students is incredibly talented and committed, and bring a wide range of experiences, backgrounds and interests to the Duke community,” said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions. “Forty-five percent of them applied early decision, so I think we’ll see a particularly strong sense of enthusiasm for the exceptional opportunities Duke will offer them.”
On Wednesday, President Brodhead will join the dean of undergraduate education Steve Nowicki to officially welcome students at an 11 a.m. convocation ceremony in Duke Chapel. The event will be streamed live on YouTube.
Students can tweet about their experiences at Duke during orientation week using the Twitter hashtag #Duke2017.
Later on Wednesday evening, the new students will convene on the East Campus quad for the annual class photo. The students will spell out “2017” for this longstanding tradition. The event can be viewed live on Duke University’s Google Hangout.
On Thursday evening, the students will venture into Durham for “A Night on the Town,” enjoying dinner and music at the American Tobacco Campus followed by a performance at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The John Brown Big Band, led by a Duke jazz professor, and The Beast, a jazz and hip-hop fusion band, will provide entertainment.
On Friday, the students will share their first academic experience together, gathering in two separate sessions to discuss this year’s summer reading selection, “Let The Great World Spin,” a novel by Colum McCann. A week later, on Friday, Aug. 30, McCann will give a talk at 7 p.m. at the newly remodeled Baldwin Auditorium.
Also on Friday the students will have a chance to participate in their first pep rally at Wallace Wade Stadium organized by Duke Athletics.
On Saturday, faculty members will take students on several excursions into Durham, including a visit to the Durham Farmer’s Market, a hike through historic Durham neighborhoods, a canoe trip down the Eno River and a tour of Duke’s Lemur Center. That evening they are invited to dress up to attend “A Night at the Nasher,” where they will view an art exhibit related to the summer reading.
Sunday morning at 11 a.m., the Rev. Luke Powery, dean of Duke Chapel, will preside over the first worship service of the academic year. A 4 p.m. talk at Duke Chapel by author Maya Angelou, another longstanding tradition, will be the highlight of Sunday afternoon. Classes begin Monday, Aug. 26.
Motorists traveling to and around Duke’s East and West campuses should allow for extra travel time due to road construction, street closings and delays. Newcomers are advised not to rely on GPS navigation.
During Tuesday’s move-in all parking areas on East Campus will be cleared of vehicles from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrances to East Campus will be closed to everyone except students and their families.
For a full schedule of orientation week activities for the Class of 2017, go to the Student Affairs website.
Learn more about Durham.