Idyllic campus life was not spared the brunt of the H1N1, or swine flu, scare when it spread across the globe this spring. Administrators made special preparations for commencement weekend and altered summer plans in the wake of the pandemic threat.
In a letter to Duke parents and students sent in advance of the graduation ceremonies, President Richard H. Brodhead detailed the precautionary steps the university was taking to nullify, or mitigate, the virus' spread. Hand sanitizers were provided at all major events and in all the restrooms on campus, Duke Medicine's urgent-care centers throughout Durham remained on call, and a special website was established to provide further details and updates on the flu outbreak and the university's response.
The Duke in Mexico summer program was canceled amid health concerns, as well. Students remained in Durham for the program's six-week duration. In-class learning, which included two course credits in Spanish, was augmented with field trips to Hispanic communities within North Carolina.