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Storage Scholars School Spotlight: Duke University 

Kimberly Hirsch

December 2, 2022

5 minutes

Duke University, Photo Credit
A Bit About Duke University

     Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina. There are over 6,500 undergraduates, most of whom live on campus, and over 8,000 graduate students in all. The vast campus spans 8610 acres which includes 220 buildings! Duke has always been recognized by its blue shield logo, which it has dropped in recent years. The shield can still be found on merchandise but is now viewed as more of a legacy icon rather than an official one since it is no longer part of the Duke brand. While the shield no longer represents the university, its signature colors, blue and white, still do. Attend one of the many Duke athletic events, and you will see the wave of blue and white students who show up with an abundance of school spirit. The Blue Devils fans are some of the loudest and proudest around.  

What Duke University is Best Known For

     Duke is world-renowned for many things. First and foremost is basketball! You don't have to be an alumnus to know and cheer on Duke's Blue Devils! They have a reputation for being the best and have won 5 National Championships. Many Duke players have gone on to have successful NBA careers. 

     One could point out Duke is a very selective university, only accepting 7.7 percent of its applicants. It ranks consistently in the top 10-15 universities in the country. It has a reputable undergraduate program in the arts and sciences and engineering. It is also well known for its high-ranking graduate programs. 

     Duke Chapel, which we'll discuss more later, is well-known worldwide. Many Duke alum come back long after graduation to wed in the chapel. It's an extensive process and reservation system to be able to marry there, yet many who find love at Duke are determined to make it happen.

History of Duke

     Duke University's origins date way back to 1838 when Quakers and Methodists founded it. Today, Duke continues to maintain an affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

     For almost 200 years, the university has continuously redefined and expanded, both in size and academics, and has a reputation as one of the most prestigious universities in the country today. Over the years, it has undergone many name changes. First called Brown's Schoolhouse and renamed several times after that. At one time, it was called Trinity College, its first location in North Carolina. It was finally given the name Duke University in 1924 when tobacco and electric power industrialist (and philanthropist) James Buchanan Duke started the Duke Endowment, which prompted the name change to honor his late father, Washington Duke.

     Interestingly, Duke University was ahead of its time regarding women's equality. The university and its trustees were committed to educational quality, and the construction of a women's dormitory began in 1897 and named after Duke's daughter. A women's college was established in 1930, paving the way for all women to have access to equal education.

Famous Alumni
Duke's own Coach K. Credit:

    Duke University has a long list of notable alumni! Richard Nixon, our 37th president, was a Duke alum, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The list of athlete alum is equally as long, and on it, you will find Grant Hill, seven times NBA all-star, and Christian Laettner, recognized for a winning shot in a big NCAA championship game. And while Mike Krzyzewski is not an alum, he is a legendary basketball coach who was instrumental in the success of the Men's basketball team for four decades. "Coach K" has coached the team since 1980 and led the Blue Devils to 5 National titles, 13 Final Fours, 15 ACC Tournament Championships, and 13 ACC regular season titles.

Life On Campus
Duke Chapel

     With a campus as large as Duke University, it's no wonder the list of notable on-campus must-sees is so long. There is so much rich history and meaning behind so many buildings that I couldn't mention them all here. Among Duke's most visited attractions is Duke Chapel, located in the center of campus. The chapel was constructed in 1932 and can hold 1800 people. It has a stunning Gothic style for which Duke University has become known. The high peaks, ornate arches, memorial statues, and bell tower all on the outside are worth a visit alone, but the inside is comparably breathtaking. Stained glass windows, sizeable pipe organs, and a historic crypt are a few reasons the chapel is so unique and beloved. 

     Over the years, thanks to generous donations, the campus has expanded considerably in size. The original buildings had a Georgian style, while the additional buildings were Gothic, both equally stunning. 

     Aside from gorgeous architecture and top-notch academics, Duke has many social opportunities for its students. There are over 400 clubs and organizations to partake in and 24 fraternities and 18 sororities to join. One-third of the undergraduate population takes part in the on-campus Greek Life. 

     The vast campus comprises divided into the north, south, east, and west. It has multiple libraries dispersed around campus, a beautiful garden, and even a Duke Forest. 

Life Off Campus

    Despite so much to see and do on campus, if you find yourself with a day to spare while visiting, do yourself a favor and take a stroll (or drive) off-campus. The university is nestled in the urban city of Durham. The campus is a part of the Research Triangle Region, so you won't be far from the other two points, UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. The triangle region has the largest concentration of PhDs in the entire nation. 

Favorite Duke Traditions

     As you have read, men's basketball is a big part of Duke life, so it's no wonder it has been one of the most beloved traditions for over 100 years. Each year the Blue Devils go up against their rival team, UNC, which also happens to be just up the road. It's an even match and always an exciting game for both sides. The March 2006 Duke-UNC game was ESPN's most-watched college basketball game ever.

     Another tradition that might seem crazy to outsiders is expected (and even fun) for Duke students–tenting! 1-2 months before ticket sales for the big Duke-UNC home game, Duke students camp out for tickets. They set up a "tent city," and those dedicated enough to wait in line get tickets when they go on sale.  

Storage Scholars and Duke

     Duke has been a partner with Storage Scholars since its early days, helping students with their moving and storage while living in the dorms or even off-campus. The campus is run by Campus Co-founders Ben Armentrout and Holden Buchanan for a more tailored and personalized experience. Students and parents rave about the convenience of having Storage Scholars on campus and the efficiency with which it is executed year after year. Kudos to all the student movers for successful campus move-ins and move-outs. To learn more about Storage Scholars and secure your spot for an upcoming campus move, visit


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