Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James B. Duke established The Duke Endowment, at which time the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke. In its 2012 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university's undergraduate program 10th among national universities. In the 2011 QS World University Rankings, Duke ranked among the top 20 universities worldwide.
The university has "historical, formal, on-going, and symbolic ties" with the United Methodist Church, but is a nonsectarian and independent institution. Duke's research expenditures in the 2010 fiscal year topped $983 million, the fifth largest figure in the nation. Competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Duke's athletic teams—known as the Blue Devils—have captured twelve national championships, including four by its high profile men's basketball team.
Duke University owns 220 buildings on 8,610 acres (34.8 km2) of land, which includes the 7,200 acres (29 km2) Duke Forest. The campus is divided into four main areas: West, East, and Central campuses and the Medical Center, which are all connected via a free bus service. On the Atlantic coast in Beaufort, Duke owns 15 acres (61,000 m2) as part of its marine lab. One of the major public attractions on the main campus is the 55-acre (220,000 m2) Sarah P. Duke Gardens, established in the 1930s.
Duke students often refer to the campus as "the Gothic Wonderland," a nickname referring to the Collegiate Gothic architecture of West Campus. Much of the campus was designed by Julian Abele, one of the first prominent African-American architects and the chief designer in the offices of architect Horace Trumbauer. The residential quadrangles are of an early and somewhat unadorned design, while the buildings in the academic quadrangles show influences of the more elaborate late French and Italian styles. The freshmen campus (East Campus) is composed of buildings in the Georgian architecture style.
Libraries and museums :
With more than six million volumes, the Duke University Library System is one of the ten largest private research university library systems in the U.S. and is 22nd largest among members of the Association of Research Libraries. In addition to millions of books, there are 17.7 million manuscripts, 1.2 million public documents, and tens of thousands of films and videos.
The William R. Perkins Library system comprises the Perkins Library complex (Perkins Library, Bostock Library, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library and University Archives), Lilly Library (which houses materials on fine arts, philosophy, film and video, and performing arts), the Music Library, and the Pearse Memorial Library (located at the Marine Lab). Besides the main William R. Perkins Library complex, the university library system also includes the separately-administered Ford (business), Divinity School, Goodson Law, and Medical Center libraries.
Key places :
Duke Forest, established in 1931, consists of 7,200 acres (29 km square) in six divisions, just west of West Campus. The largest private research forest in North Carolina and one of the largest in the nation, the Duke Forest demonstrates a variety of forest stand types and silvicultural treatments. Duke Forest is used extensively for research, and includes the Aquatic Research Facility, Forest Carbon Transfer and Storage (FACTS-I) research facility, two permanent towers suitable for micrometerological studies, and other areas designated for animal behavior and ecosystem study. More than 30 miles (48 km) of trails are open to the public for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.
The Duke Lemur Center, located inside the Duke Forest, is the world's largest sanctuary for rare and endangered prosimian primates. Founded in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center spans 85 acres (34 ha) and contains nearly 300 animals of 25 different species of lemurs, galagos and lorises.