Duke approves plans for new alumni center

Writer: 
March 7, 2017

For the first time in Duke’s history, alumni will have a place of their own on campus. Construction of a new alumni center—a four-building cluster that will include event space, meeting rooms, offices, and Duke-themed exhibitions and displays—is beginning this spring, with the goal of opening in 2019.

Situated at the main entrance to campus at Chapel Drive and Duke University Road, the center will be a gateway for the thousands of alumni and visitors who come to Duke each year. Plans are for three new buildings, the largest of which is a 20,000-squarefoot events pavilion that will provide a stunning backdrop for on-campus events such as Reunions and Homecoming, as well as the restoration of the historic home at 615 Chapel Drive. The Chapel Drive house, one of the faculty homes built as part of the original construction of West Campus, was renamed Forlines House in honor of former trustee and Duke Alumni Association president John A. Forlines Jr. ’39. Designed by Connecticut-based Centerbrook Architects & Planners, the buildings will be arranged in a quadrangle behind a grassy lawn. They will be modern in style, with arches and Gothic accents that echo Duke’s architectural roots.

“We think this center will pretty quickly become one of the most-visited places on campus,” says Sterly Wilder ’83, associate vice president for alumni affairs. “Together these buildings are going to create unparalleled opportunities for us to welcome alumni and connect them with the ongoing life of Duke.”