Planting the Forest

Writer: 
November 30, 2006

Wanting to make the most out of retirement, a group of Duke faculty members and their friends decided more than two decades ago to create a Durham community that would benefit from close proximity to the educational and medical strengths of the university. The planners tapped into the expertise of the university's Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development; interviewed retired faculty and staff members and alumni; and explored the range of retirement options available around the country.

Today, the Forest at Duke is so successful that the waiting list to join grows longer every year. Although not a part of the Kendal Corporation, the Forest at Duke appeals to the same demographic—vital retirees drawn to the meaningful intellectual and social connections such a setting promotes. Residents can catch a free van to campus to attend a cultural or sporting event, and Duke experts are often invited to present lectures and concerts on site. With both independent-living residences and those that include assisted living and skilled nursing care, the Forest at Duke is home to an eclectic assortment of retirees, including such well-known members of the Duke community as longtime track coach Al Buehler and his neighbor, Vice President of Student Affairs Emeritus William J. Griffith '50.

Duke also has a presence at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington, another Triangle continuing-care retirement community located in Pittsboro. Founded in 1999, Galloway Ridge contracts its health and wellness services through the Duke University Health System. And the on-site Duke Center for Living is designed specifically for seniors, with an emphasis on wellness and exercise—yoga, tai chi, stress management, nutrition—to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle.