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Duke University

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Date: Feb 03 2005
Major: Biology (This Major's Salary over time)
I am a duke alum, Duke parent '04, and alumni recruiter. I keep in touch with the kids whom I've interviewed and have been on campus many times in recent years. A few comments keep popping up when I talk to my son and the other kids—First, amazing profs who are very accessible, but there are a few profs who are famous researchers, but not good teachers—you can avoid them if you ask around! Second, gorgeous surroundings - the Chapel, the Duke Forest, the Gardens; Third, the facilitities—state of the art sports and labs; Fourth, amazingly insane school spirit—if you really can't stand sports, don't go there. Fifth, complaints about the city of Durham—it isn't Boston (but at least it's better than New Haven!)—more like Providence. There's plenty to do on campus, though. I have never heard a complaint from my son or any of the other kids about a lack of things to do. Sixth, racial friendliness, but segregation. My son's roommates Freshman year were minority, they came up smiling and had their pictures taken with him at Graduation, but he said he had rarely seen them since Freshman year except to say hi in passing. They were always with their minority friends.

Seventh, low level of political activity—kids claim this is because they are just too busy with classwork. Eight, a general feeling of progress and exciting growth on campus that definitely seems to be lacking at other top schools. Duke consistently ranks in the top 5 or 6 schools in the country, right behind H,Y,P… but everyone acts as if they have yet begun to grow and develop. There is construction all around for new buildings, labs, research centers. New ideas and initiatives are encouraged by the administration… Everyone wants to try for more, higher, better, stronger, deeper… it is an exciting place to be. My younger son and I have visited over thirty campuses, but he is grumbling more and more as I force him to travel because he has already decided that he will apply early admit to Duke. If he does, and gets in, I will have no complaints!

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