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Again Avuncular
Presidential e-mail note to students addresses recent events

Short-lived tradition: Tailgate veered from harmless fun to dangerous excess.
Short-lived tradition: Tailgate veered from harmless fun to dangerous excess.
Larsa Al-Omaishi/The Chronicle

After a fall full of publicity about several embarrassing incidents—widespread sharing of a recent alumna’s sex slideshow, a series of apparently misogynistic party invitations e-mailed by fraternity members to Duke women, and the cancellation of the popular Saturday morning party known as Tailgate after an intoxicated minor was found passed out in a portable toilet—President Richard H. Brodhead sought to bring a measure of perspective, and admonition, to the recent events.

In an e-mail message to students in November, Brodhead invoked the famous letter sent by President Terry Sanford twenty-five years ago that challenged fans in Cameron Indoor Stadium to “cheer and taunt with style” instead of with profanity. Echoing the earlier letter’s avuncular tone (it was signed “Uncle Terry”), Brodhead sought to address “the most boorish student conduct” by students this fall, which has created, fairly or unfairly, “a wildly distorted image of Duke.”

“Tailgate, a community celebration that regularly veered into excess and even danger, had to be canceled last week,” Brodhead wrote. “Cartoonish images of gender relations have created offense and highlighted persistent discomforts. Like every other college in America, we have too much drinking on this campus. We’ve had our eyes opened to the serious costs of apparently harmless fun.” The president continued by challenging students to face up to “features of student culture that strike you as less than ideal,” to “speak openly about them, and have the courage to visualize a change.” He then expressed appreciation that students have already begun to do so.

“Duke’s best tradition is that it’s not stuck in traditions. You’ll show yourselves true Duke students to the extent that you regard this university as yours to envision and yours to make. I challenge you to make it something great.”

Read The Chronicle's coverage of Brodhead's letter.



Historian Honored
John Hope Franklin's legacy made permanent in Tulsa
The influence of John Hope Franklin, the acclaimed late professor emeritus of history, remains strong after his death, and thanks to his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a foundation operating in his name, that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

The John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, dedicated this fall in Tulsa, tells the stories of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot and the roles African Americans played in Oklahoma’s growth. The park, which took two years to construct, contains a towering monument on those themes by sculptor Ed Dwight.

Franklin grew up in Tulsa and witnessed the riot as a child. After graduating from high school, he was prohibited from attending the University of Oklahoma because of his race. He left the state for undergraduate studies at Fisk University and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Before coming to Duke, Franklin was a professor of history at Brooklyn College and the University of Chicago. In 1995, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Learn more about the park and view a map of the location.




One for the Rhodes
Honoring a student with an interest in energy
Portrait of Jared Dunnmon Dunnmon: Oxford bound.
Les Todd

Duke senior Jared Dunnmon has been selected for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship—the forty-third student in Duke’s history to receive a Rhodes. Dunnmon is an A.B. Duke Scholar and past recipient of a Goldwater Scholarship, which is aimed at top students in science, mathematics, and engineering. He was chosen from among 837 applicants at 309 colleges and universities throughout the country.

Dunnmon, from Cincinnati, is a mechanical engineering and economics double-major whose research has focused on novel and renewable energy sources. Working with Duke engineering professors Earl Dowell and Jonathan Protz, Dunnmon designed and tested clusters of microturbine devices in a wind tunnel to determine how much power they could produce from unusual types of wind, such as those that blow between tall urban buildings.

At Duke, Dunnmon has served on a committee that helped develop an academic certificate program in energy and the environment. He has also worked as an environmental-policy intern for the mayor of San Francisco through the DukeEngage program, sung with the Duke Chapel Choir, and served with student organizations related to sustainability and social entrepreneurship.

At the University of Oxford, Dunnmon plans to research the use of renewable fuels and other fuelefficient measures in both industrial gas turbines and jet engines.

Rhodes Scholarships, created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, provide two or three years of study at Oxford. The thirty-two recipients are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential, and physical vigor, among other attributes.

Jared is a second-generation A.B. Duke Scholar, an honor shared by his father, Preston Dunnmon ’80, M.D. ’84, M.B.A. ’02. His mother, Kara Haas Dunnmon ’80, also attended Duke, and his brother, Evan, is a freshman.



Marshall Scholars Named
Three seniors bound for postgraduate study in the U.K.

Seniors Nicolas Altemose, Katherine Buse, and Alessondra (Allie) Speidel have been awarded Marshall Scholarships to continue in their respective fields of study after graduation.

Altemose, an A.B. Duke Scholar, is majoring in biology and has been engaged in genomics research since his freshman year under Huntington Willard, director of the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy. He also cofounded an organization dedicated to fostering interest in science and research for high-school students. He intends to continue genomics research at the University of Oxford.

Buse, also an A.B. Duke Scholar as well as a Faculty Scholar, is majoring in English, with a focus on the role of catastrophe in contemporary fiction; she also edited The Archive, the student literary magazine. Through Duke's Franklin Humanities Institute, she organized a speaker series on “The Future of the Human Body” involving faculty members from across the humanities and medical sciences. She plans to enroll in one of only two master's programs in science-fiction studies in the English-speaking world, at the University of Liverpool, where she will study science fiction and contemporary literature.

Speidel, who is majoring in biomedical engineering, plans to concentrate in biomedical research and translational medicine at Imperial College London. At Duke, she is a Baldwin Scholar and, as a Pratt Fellow, has worked in the lab of biomedical engineering professor Kam Leong. She is also a member of the women's tennis team and has been part of the Collegiate Athletic Pre-Medical Experience program, which exposes female varsity athletes to the field of medicine through a variety of clinical experiences. Her ambition is to become a physician-scientist.

Established in 1953 to commemorate the Marshall Plan, the scholarships are awarded each year to a maximum of forty young Americans to finance graduate-level studies at a college or university in the United Kingdom. Since the founding of the program in 1953, twenty-two Duke students have received Marshall Scholarships.




Speaker Roundup
Journalists and novelists share their stories
Novelist Dave Eggers speaking at Duke
Staggering: Eggers shares insights into latest nonfiction work.
Megan Morr
  • David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times, political pundit, and former Duke visiting professor, at the Sanford School of Public Policy. He spoke about ways to bridge the country’s ideological divide in the wake of the 2010 midterm elections.
  • Dave Eggers, novelist and nonfiction writer, in Page Auditorium. He spoke about his recent book, Zeitoun, the true story of a Syrian immigrant in post-Katrina New Orleans.
  • Jane Mayer, investigative journalist for The New Yorker, at the Sanford School of Public Policy. She spoke about covering U.S. counterterrorism operations, specifically the CIA’s program of extraordinary rendition and the interrogation techniques used by its agents.
  • W.S. Merwin, poet laureate of the U.S., in the Gothic Reading Room in Perkins Library. He read a number of poems, including some composed after the publication of his most recent collection, Shadow of Sirius.
  • Olga Tokarczuk, Polish novelist, in the Breedlove Room in Perkins Library. She read from her latest novel, Bieguni.
  • Bob Woodward, investigative reporter for The Washington Post, at the Sanford School of Public Policy. He spoke about the division in the White House over the war in Afghanistan, the subject of his recent book, Obama’s Wars.