Steadfast Scholar Approaching Invisibility Boys to Men


What Title IX has meant for athletic eauity


Devoted to


Cover: Duke swimmer gets read to race in meet against Virginia. Photo by Jon Gardiner

Vol. 93, No. 2


Robert J. Bitwise A.M. '88


Zoe Ingalls


Bridget Booher '82. A.M. '92



lacob Danger '03



Daniel I. Riechers

PUBLISHER: Sterly L. Wilder '83

and Peter Vaughn


Adam Pearse '07

Jared Mueller '09

Will Waggenspack '08

Emily Znamierowski '07


Maxine Mills Graphic Design

PRINTER: Progress Printing



Thomas C. Clark '69, president;

Sterly L. Wilder '83, secretary.

PRESIDENTS, SCHOOL AND COLLEGE ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS: Sheila Rayhurn Cumhest M.R.E. '90, Dinnilx School; Prayson W Pate B.S.E. '84. Prun School n| EiKukvnnc; Amy Schick Kenney '96, M.E.M. '98, iVichi <l.is Schi'id ,if the Environment and Earth Sciences; lonathan Wie>er M.B. A. '94, Fndiia Sch, « .1 , if Business: J. Brett Bennett M.H.A. '86, Dcpdrrmcnr of Health .■Uiiimisnariiin. Tom Winland J.D. '74, School of Law; Roslyn Bernstein Mannon M.D. '85, School o/ Medicine; Carole A. Klove B.S.N. '80, School of Nursing; Holly Eggert Duchene D.P.T. '03, 1 Program in Physical Therapy EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Cl.i\ Felker '51, chair; Petet Applehome '71, i ice chair; Sarah H.irdestv Brav '72; Nancy L. Cardwell '69; Jennifer Farmer '96; Jerrold K. Footlick; Rohhyn Footlick '85; Edward M. Gomez '79; Devin Gordon '98; Kerry E. Hannon'S2;]ohnHarwood'78; Dave Karger '95; Chris Keyes '96; Nora krue. '92; Stephen Labaton A.M./J.D. '86; Hugo Lindgren '90; Sara Lipka '01; Julia Livshin '96; Valerie A. May '77; Michael MUstein 'SN; N. Page Murray III '85; Ann Pelham 74; Lauren Porcaro '9o; Richard Reeves; limRosenfield 'SI; Michael J. Schoenfeld '84; Susan Tifft 73; Greg Veis '03; Jane Vessels 77; James O.Wilson 74; Shelby Oppel Wood '95; Robert J. Bliwise A.M. \SS, secretary SUBSCRIPTIONS: $20 per year (330 foreign) I'htkc \lai;,i:iiic. Box 90572, Durham, N.C. 27708 PHONE: (919) 684-5114 FAX: (919) 681-1659 E-MAIL: dukemag@duke.edu ADDRESS CHANGES: Alumni Records, Box 90581, Durham, N.C. 27708 or e-mail blueJe\ iladuke.edu © 2007 Duke University rublisbed bimonthly by the Office of Alumni Affairs

^ Magazine

Title IX at XXXV by Bridget Booher

The remarkable legacy of Title IX is manifest in the achievements of female athletes,

hut the law is still a target of criticism, and equity remains elusive

The Magic of Metamaterials by Ker Than

New manmade substances hold out tantalizing possibilities, from better microscopes

and military-stealth technology to the Holy Grail of sci-fi fans invisibility

Leap of Faith by Barry Yeoman

Through a combination of rigor, religion, and love, a private middle school with strong ties

to Duke seeks to transform promising youngsters from poor families into academic achievers

Great Scott by Bonnie Vick Stone

Demanding and inspiring, a scholar of women's history and beloved

teacher continues to serve as a role model for students of all ages



Quad Quotes

Iraqi culture suffers, Central Campus evolves, presidential prospects compete


Excellence in teaching, relocation in wartime, dignity in retirement

Full Frame

Budding delights in the gardens


Exploring the world beyond the classroom, reporting on the climate of the campus, finding inspiration in science fiction, making the case for immigration; Sports: a perfect season for women's basketball; Campus Observer: a rock musical for a new i Q&A: the gun-control movement under scrutiny


The museum as a cultural marker, plus Book Notes

Career Week networking, young-alumni programming, family bonding; Career Corner: bouncing back from a job loss; Retrospective: May Day pageantry; mini-profiles: birds and survival, churches and tolerance, chocolates and charity

Under the Gargoyle

A Nobel Laureate ponders science and public understanding

Between the Lines

Peter Agre knows his science, and you would expect that of a Nobel Laureate in chemistry. He also knows issues, like stem-cell research, that straddle the realms of sci- ence and public policy. Agre argues, in our back-page "Under the Gargoyle," that scientists need to do a better job at engaging with the public.

The public was certainly engaged with a Duke-led effort to construct an "invisi- bility cloak," also treated in these pages. The Pratt School's David Smith, who led the research team, says the media by and large got the story right even as media in- terest "pretty much wiped out months" for him and David Schurig, his postdoctoral associate. The two of them did more than 100 interviews; every segment for broad- cast "would take about half a day or more for the thirty seconds of air time."

A technology-oriented weblog, Engad- get, declared, "Duke scientists build the- orized invisibility cloak. Sort of." But even such sober accounts generated exuberant reader postings. "It's a hell of a lot cooler than that guy in Japan who used a webcam and a projector to make himself 'invisi- ble,' " one poster remarked, in an intrigu- ing if obscure reference. "Making it work with visible light will be quite a challenge," wrote another. "But, if you're going up against an army of robots that can only see microwaves, it might do the trick!"

The research resonated powerfully be- cause of such fantastical associations. Which is not to say that fans of science fiction might not be protective of their territory just like scientists. In a letter to The Chronicle, Greg Filpus, a Pratt sophomore, said that ascribing an "invisi- bility cloak" to the Starship Enterprise was an insult to "the Star Trek universe and the United Federation of Planets." Cloak- ing technology would have been off limits under interstellar agreements that "span three of the five TV series."

Spanning as it does science fiction and technological innovation, the "invisibility cloak" visibly produces good storytelling. Robert J. Bliwise, editor


"My job is the equitable dis- tribution of unhappiness."

Christoph Guttentag, dean

of undergraduate admissions,

on the difficulties attendant

on winnowing admissions

applications, at the winter

board meeting of the Duke

Aiumni Association

"Cheap Chinese goods and labor have pitted the Ameri- can consumer, in love with inexpensive goods, against the American worker, in fear of cheap labor. Unfor- tunately, these are often two sides of the same coin: America's workers are also its consumers."

Gary Gereffi, professor of sociology, in the Baltimore Sun

"If American higher educa- tion feels misunderstood by the government and gener- al public, as it typically does, it should not be for lack of trying."

—President Richard H. Brodhead, addressing the

National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities at its annual

meeting in Washington

"I see him all the time and yell: 'Hi cuz! Hi cuz!' I'm glad I watch the games by myself so people don't think I'm crazy."

Mike Krzyzewski, 57, a

retired water-company

employee from Walkerton,

Indiana, on seeing the Duke

men's basketball coach

on television, in Raleigh's

News & Observer

"My fantasy would be to shrink down and live in my LEGO world. That would be the ultimate."

Cyndi Bradham, a research

associate in the biology

department, while presiding

over a medieval-motif

creation at Chapel Hill's

LEGO-palooza at Morehead

Planetarium and Science Center, in The News & Observer

"The Super Bowl doesn't cut anyone out. A Buddhist, a Jew, a Muslim, a Christian and [an] atheist ... they can all watch."

Orin Starn, professor of cul- tural anthropology, in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Making the U.S. a mecca for high-skilled immigrants is a good thing."

—Jacob Vigdor, associate

professor of public-policy

studies and economics, in

Durham's Herald-Sun

"Cardiac surgery is like bas- ketball. You need teamwork and three or four physicians. Neurosurgery is a one-man, single-man operation."

Takanori Fukushima,

consulting professor of

neurosurgery, in the

Charleston Daily Mail

"This is world culture; it's not just Iraqi culture. And we're losing it minute by minute.."

Eric Meyers, Bernice and

Morton Lerner Professor of

Judaic studies and director

of the graduate program in

religion, on the continued

looting of Iraqi archaeological

sites and museums, in the

National Journal

"From a public-policy per- spective, this looks a lot like insider trading."

—Kevin Schulman, a profes- sor in Fuqua and the medical school, on doctors who partic- ipate in clinical trials for new drugs or procedures passing information to investment companies, on American Public Media's Marketplace

"People who come to Duke want to see the chapel and Cameron. And not neces- sarily in that order."

Mitch Moser, associate

athletics director, on visitors

to Duke's campus, in The

New York Times

"Obama does not have roots in the civil-rights movement, he doesn't rely on the black church as his base of support, and he sees himself more as a problem- solver than an agitator or an activist."

Kerry Haynie, associate

professor of political science,

on the differences between

Senator Barack Obama and

previous black presidential

candidates like Jesse Jackson

and Al Sharpton, in the South

Florida Sun-Sentinel

"In this year when so much that has been unfair, inac-


curate, and at times down- right false about how Dur- ham is supposedly divided against itself, overcome by community tensions, and driven by supposed town- gown conflicts, it is note- worthy that we can come to you with this consensus proposal."

Provost Peter Lange,

before the Durham City

Council, on a development

proposal for Central Campus

that passed unanimously

"We are part of a generation that believes we can change

the world, and never in human history has there been the commitment, the resources, the courage, the money, and the technology to make our dreams come true. And so we shall over- come. Not someday, but we can overcome today."

The Reverend Andrew

Young, during a keynote

speech at Duke's MLK Jr.

Day celebration

"Being the brown version of a white business isn't enough anymore. If you're going to grow your business

in size and scale, you can't just say, 'I'm only going to serve black people.' "

Alfred Edmond, editor in

chief of Black Enterprise

magazine, on the future

of the black business

community, in a campus talk

"Peace will only come to our world when the chil- dren of Abraham learn to live graciously together."

Sir Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, while deliver- ing the 2007 Kenan Distin- guished Lecture in Ethics

"A little lamer than other lame ducks."

David Rohde, professor of

political science, describing

President George W. Bush,

now in his second term

and losing support for the

war in Iraq even among his

conservative base, in The

Wichita Eagle

"I've got 15 alumni from Duke University in my family."

Actress Hayden Panettiere, seventeen, on her plans to attend college eventually after her six-year contract with NBC for the hit show Heroes is up, in Vanity Fair

March-April 2007


Reflections on Aging

What joy to read "Gray Matters" [November-De- cember 2006] as I also work for the Kendal Corporation and am intimately involved in another long-term-care innovation horticultural therapy. Similarly to John Diffey 70, 1 found the Silent Vigil to be the defining mo- ment in my commitment to social justice. I began my horticultural-therapy career at a home for people with mental retardation, where I developed a cottage indus- try of growing and using everlasting flowers in order to employ forty of the resi- dents.

Ten years ago, my friend Charlotte Bartlett (pictured in "Gray Matters") ap- proached me about helping with the design of the land- scape at Barclay Friends, a facility unique to the Ken- dal Corporation, as it is for assisted-living and skilled- care residents located in a borough.

Responding to the Quaker principle of dignity tor all residents, the Barclay Friends' board of directors made a commitment to hor- ticultural therapy to help provide a homelike envi- ronment and, most impor- tant, a productive lifestyle for the residents. The peo- ple who live at Barclay Friends continue to con- tribute to their community through flower arranging tor public areas, plant prop- agation for gardens, and many garden chores. Edu- cation is also an essential element ot our horticultural-

therapy programming in order to help residents feel alive and vital.

The success of Barclay Friends' program has been noted by other Kendal communities, and I have helped three of these com- munities get their horticul- tural therapy programs up and running. I am proud to be a part of the Kendal Corporation, a visionary leader with a humanitarian approach to long-term care.

Gwynne Ormsby '68 West Chester, Pennsylvania

It is incomprehensible to me how the article "Gray Matters" fails to make even passing reference to one of the biggest and best educa- tional programs for seniors in the country: Duke's own Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (formerly named the Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement).

We live a block from the East Campus, in part so we can more easily attend OLLI classes. Indeed, the existence of this program was one of the chief reasons we moved to the Triangle for our retirement in the first place.

I urge you to do some more research about this wonderful (but apparently of low visibility in the Duke community) program. Maybe even do an article about it!

Andrew W. Bingham Durham, North Carolina

Editor's note: "Gray Matters" focused on residential retire- ment communities. For infor- mation about OLLI, see www.

leammore.duke.edu/olli or read the magazine's "Wise Beyond Their Years , " July- August 2005.

Thanks to Teachers

I wish to respond to the ar- ticle by Jacob Dagger, "The Art of Enlightenment," in the November-December issue of Duke Magazine , for I found it more than just an interesting composition about university teaching. When I read the article, I had just turned in my grades halfway through my forty- third year of teaching reli- gious studies. Yet I found the comments downright inspiring. Discussion of Robert Korstad's approach in his course on "The Insurgent South" cannot be [applied] immediately to my course on "Old Testament Literature," with little pos- sibility, of capturing the original voices of Amos or Isaiah in their "historical speeches," but I shall be using some recorded read- ings of biblical passages by modem actors hereafter, thanks to this issue of Duke Magazine.

Moreover, I was inspired by the example of professor I.B. Holley, who has been writing his lecture outlines on blackboards for sixty years. In the fall of 1952, he and professor Harold Parker inspired me to become a history major, and the methodology and careful reading of texts have influ- enced my research and teaching ever since. Since I have to go another seven- teen years to even match

Dr. Holley 's pace, he has clearly outrun my endur- ance.

The entire issue is in sharp focus as to what an education at Duke is like in the twenty-first century, and it makes those of us who passed through those Gothic conidors some fifty years ago proud to have studied there. For example, the Full Frame photograph of a student logging onto her computer in front of Lilly Library could not have happened fifty years ago, nor could students then have turned in papers as e- mail attachments or on Blackboard discussion links, but the sense of excitement in the education of young minds, which is happening all over the world today, clearly comes across in this issue. Bravo!

Bill Huntley Jr. '55, Ph.D. '64 Redlands, California

The writer is a professor of religious studies at the University of Redlands.

I found the November- December 2006 issue of Duke Magazine most inter- esting. I was particularly im- pressed with Jacob Dagger's article discussing excellence in teaching. The mention of professor emeritus I.B. Holley was especially pleas- ing, since I considered him the best teacher I experi- enced in Trinity College. In his engineering-history classes of 1947, he graded our notes early in the course to [ensure] we were listen- ing and heeding. His lec- tures were so constructed


that one could detect each main point and all sub- points, and he expected you to note them in outline form only.

I spent much more time with engineering-school teachers such as professors Harold Byrd, Brewster Snow, and Aubrey Palmer, among others who made great impressions on me. I trust Duke will continue to put emphasis on excellent teaching.

William D.McRae B.S.C.E. '52 Dallas, Texas

On Ideology

It was enjoyable to read in the September-October issue yet another article plumbing the curious phe- nomenon of conservative paranoia with respect to the left's "intellectual corruption of the American university," as David Horowitz has put it ["Leftward Leanings"]. Why in the world would it surprise anyone that liberal- ism is dominant in a popu- lation cohort of brighter- than-average individuals?

Richard Allen '51

Gainesville, Florida

I just finished reading the letter to Forum by Lewis P. Klein Jr., '51, in the Novem- ber-December 2006 issue.

Mr. Klein argues that the U.S. government's World War II policy of imprison- ing without trial Japanese Americans was intended to facilitate a government pol- icy of propagandizing hatred of Japan and to protect Japanese Americans from physical danger, made clear and present by the vandal- ism of cherry trees and the invective of Bob Hope. Mr. Klein's comments fail both the factual record and logic.

The U.S. government has disavowed the reason- ing proffered by Mr. Klein and acknowledged the error of the policy. In 1988, both houses of Congress passed, and President Reagan signed, Public Law 100- 383, which provided in part [that], "The Congress rec- ognizes that ... a grave injustice was done to both citizens and permanent res- ident aliens of Japanese ancestry by the evacuation, relocation, and internment of civilians during World War II. [T]hese actions were carried out without adequate security reasons and without any acts of espionage or sabotage docu- mented by the [investigat- ing] Commission, and were motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.... For these fun- damental violations of the

basic civil liberties and con- stitutional rights of these individuals of Japanese an- cestry, the Congress apolo-

I gizes on behalf of the

| Nation."

§ If Mr. Klein's reasoning were extended, the U.S. government would be justi- fied in imprisoning Muslims to facilitate the pursuit of President Bush's "crusade" against Islam, and in im- prisoning African Americans to protect them from the impending physical danger made evident by race-based violence, burnings of Afri- can-American churches, and the existence of groups in the United States that advocate violence against African Americans.

Should China ever in- vade the United States, rather than being impris- oned without trial, I would prefer to take the risk of liv- ing in my home. Any hon- est person over the age of zero will confirm what I've stated here.

David Chen '90 San Francisco, California

Klein's letter about the conflation of Guantanamo residents and Japanese Americans in Relocation Centers (to use the legalis- tic term) is passing strange.

First, Roosevelt did not need to sign the execrable executive order for propa- ganda purposes. The animus toward Japan and the Jap- anese could not have been more thorough. Some of it became generalized toward Japanese Americans whether native-born i.e. citizens

or aliens, and there were indeed instances of mind- less prejudice. Was it as severe as prejudice toward blacks in the South before the civil-rights era?

Probably not. Incidentally, there was never any sabo- tage, and a small number of Japanese deemed security

Why in the world would it surprise anyone that liberalism is dominant in a population cohort of brighter-than- average individuals?

risks were picked up early and either deported or imprisoned.

Second, despite the press campaign against Japanese Americans, there were few overt acts against them, perhaps equal to the num- ber of expressions of per- sonal sympathy. Certainly the camps were not estab- lished to provide protective custody. Nor were they designed for family life. I saw them.

The reader should con- sider some details: Hawaii had a Japanese- American population of about six dig- its. None was taken into protective custody, and the Hawaiian economy and war effort would have suffered without them.

Many Japanese Ameri- cans enlisted while in the camps and formed the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a highly decorated unit. An analogous unit was established by Hawaiian volunteers. In the Pacific, Japanese Americans served in intelligence and as inter-

March-April 2007

preters and translators.

It is now generally accept- ed that the evacuation was unjustified, that it impaired the war effort, and that it harmed loyal Americans.

Leonard Broom Ph.D. '37 Santa Barbara, California

More Lacrosse Lessons

To the brave journalists at Duke Magazine: Why has there been not one single letter even faintly critical of the most politically cor- rect university president of an important American university in the history of the U.S. printed in your magazine?

At least 90 percent of the Duke alumni I have con- versed with recently about the reunion this spring or about business matters on a daily basis have been in- censed at the conduct of the president booting those kids out of the school and the Duke community until the case was resolved favor- ably. Now, in allowing them to come back if they so choose at such a late and seemingly "safe" date, he

has brought even greater shame to our exalted insti- tution of higher learning.

What this great universi- ty needs is something that many of the better colleges and universities do: to find a leader and a president who has gone to Duke and is already a member of the greater Duke community not some politician who has climbed the ranks of educational sinecurity [sic] by being politically correct

and playing the . . . game to get a plum assignment. Are there not any qualified candidates who have gone to Duke and been a part of our great school who are qualified and interested in the job?

Frankly, I find that hard to believe. I am afraid that Brodhead's conduct in this entire affair will damage the school, its reputation, and its ability to raise money for the endowment more than anything that has been pre- viously charged or implied by any members of Dur- ham's exotic dancer indus- try or its friends and part- ners in the county district attorney's office.



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Seriously folks, is there not a single member of the Duke Magazine staff, the administration, or faculty that is critical of President Brodhead's conduct con- cerning this matter? Because hundreds of alums I talk to feel strongly about all these events and are disgusted by the official Duke reactions or lack thereof. Is there not a single man or woman of strong conscience or opin- ions left at my dear old

George St. George Biddle Duke '82 Edgar, Montaiia

As an alumnus of Duke

who cares about the future

of the university, I am writ- ing this letter to protest the mishandling by the admin- istration of the accusations by a single woman against three students of the Duke community. One opportu- nity after another to take the high ground and be supportive of these students according to the Constitu- tional principle of presumed innocence until guilt is proven was lost.

Instead of showing im- partiality, the administra- tion caved in to the worst instincts of both the local community and the media by firing the lacrosse coach, by canceling the lacrosse season, and, finally, by sus-

pending the three accused students. The president of Duke is the one who has to take responsibility for his administration's incompe- tent response to this whole ugly affair. I am sure that I was hardly alone among Duke alumni in my amaze- ment at his pathetic per- formance on 60 Minutes when being interviewed by the late Ed Bradley, who seemed to be more objec- tive regarding the contro- versy than the man who is supposedly the leader of the Duke community.

Now the president has invited the [two] humiliated students to return to Duke. What incredible arrogance!...

What he should do now is to accept his role in giving encouragement to a corrupt district attorney, which added greatly to the misery that the three innocent stu- dents and their families have endured.

I believe that President Brodhead should make a public apology to the stu- dents and their families and offer to pay the legal costs that they have had to absorb alone. Finally, for the good of the university and Duke's reputation as a community of caring individuals, Presi- dent Brodhead should do the right thing and resign. John F. Reiger '65 Chillicothe, Ohio

Being a Duke graduate means belonging to a network of leaders meet them this summer in Venice, Italy.

DUKE MBA Internationa

March-April 2007



Engaging Students

As part of Duke's decades-long focus on applying knowledge to address social problems, a new $30 million initiative called DukeEngage will make civic en- gagement an integral part of the undergrad- uate experience.

DukeEngage will provide full funding and faculty and administrative support to all un- dergraduates who want to stretch beyond the classroom by tackling social issues at home and abroad, and, in turn, learn from those beyond-the-classroom experiences. Projects could range from learning about education challenges in Africa while volun- teering in a rural school to gaining insights

into natural disasters while working with Gulf Coast flood victims.

"The lasting products of a university edu- cation are the qualities of mind and charac- ter that students carry forth into their adult lives," said President Richard H. Brodhead when the initiative was announced in Febru- ary. "We give our students superb academic training, but we also want them to become active citizens and creative problem-solvers, using their education to make a real-world difference. Duke has always placed a special emphasis on using knowledge for the greater social good. Today we're committing our- selves to making this opportunity a part of every Duke undergraduate's experience."

Beginning in the summer of 2008, any

Duke undergraduate who has completed at least two semesters of classes will be eligible to participate in an immersive summer or semester-long service project with Duke sup- port. Duke funding will include travel ex- penses and a cost-of-living stipend to cover the full experience. To ensure that students receiving financial aid are able to partici- pate, Duke will assume responsibility for their "summer earnings" requirements and cover the costs of their service experience. Forty percent of Duke undergraduates re- ceive financial aid. The university also will provide stipends to faculty and staff mem- bers who serve as mentors to the students.

Currently, more than 80 percent of Duke students volunteer with organizations such



as Engineers Without Borders and the Ronald McDonald House. Each year, about 500 un- dergraduates participate in some form of service-learning, combining classroom work with public service, and nearly 100 devise their own summer service projects.

DukeEngage will encompass three types of learning opportunities:

Projects that Duke sponsors or organiz- es, either through a class or an existing serv- ice-learning program;

Projects that Duke coordinates with outside providers or community partners;

Projects that students themselves initiate (in collaboration with faculty or staff mem- bers) through individual grant proposals.

Students who participate in DukeEngage will work on projects that encompass a full spectrum of public-service issues, in local, national, and international communities. University officials estimate that over the next five years, at least 25 percent of Duke's 6,250 undergraduates will participate in DukeEngage, in addition to existing com- munity-service activities.

"Duke is already strong at producing a special kind of graduate, a person of trained intelligence who is highly knowledgeable about the world and has a strong desire to take on its most challenging concerns," Brod- head said. "Going forward, we want to make this a signature of Duke undergraduate edu- cation."

The Duke Endowment of Charlotte and the Bill 6k Melinda Gates Foundation of Se- attle are providing $15 million each to en- dow DukeEngage. The program's national advisory committee will be chaired by David Gergen Hon. '93, a Duke trustee and former White House adviser who is professor of pub- lic service at Harvard's John E Kennedy School of Government and director of its Center for Public Leadership. James Joseph, former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa and director of the U.S. -Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke, will lead the faculty advisory board. The board's vice chair is biologist Sherryl Broverman, who has helped lead a service- learning project in Kenya in which Duke students are working to build a boarding school for girls in Muhuru Bay.


Ben Abram, architect for intellectual gatherings

It's a long story, actually, how Ben Abram came to invite Winston-Salem rapper Se7en to dine at the Washington Duke Inn last fall and to speak to students in Alspaugh, the freshman dorm where he was a residential adviser.

Abram was enrolled in adjunct assistant professor of music Robi Roberts' rap and hip-hop appreciation class. Through that class, he met DJ Chela, a local club DJ, who for a time hosted a weekly radio show on WXDU, the campus radio station. One night, Abram was hanging out with her in the studio, and Se7en came on the show to talk about black empowerment issues. "They were going on the air, spinning rhymes about what they were passion- ate about," Abram recalls. He was in- trigued. Se7en invited Abram to a show he was attending in Durham, and, in return, Abram invited Se7en to come and speak to his students in Alspaugh.

It's a long story, but it's really not all that uncommon for Abram. In his four years at Duke, the senior, recently named Young Trustee, has gained a reputation as someone who makes connections with people. "Ben's good at keeping up with people and finding out what they're about more so than anyone I've ever met," says junior Lee Pearson, whom Abram met when both were East Campus residential advisers last year.

His task became easier when Duke instituted a program during his junior year called "Duke Conversations" to en- courage students to invite interesting figures activists, teachers, politicians, athletes, musicians like Se7en to campus to chat intimately over a meal or in a small group setting. The univer- sity agrees to foot the bill for travel and expenses on the condition that the speaker is not paid an honorarium.

Abram took the idea and ran with it, initially using the program to supple- ment the programming funds he re- ceived from residence life to host events in Alspaugh. When he moved off campus this year, he began hosting dinners in his off-campus house, often shuttling the speakers off afterwards to address a freshman dorm or campus organization.

"People say Duke lacks intellectual

engagement," Abram says. "If that's true, then it's only because of not hav- ing appropriate venues, not because students aren't intellectually engaged."

During the fall semester, a dozen or more invited guests crowded around the civil and environmental engineer- ing and public-policy studies double- major's table to dine and converse with speakers ranging from David Folkenflik, media correspondent for National Public Radio, to Sonal Shah A.M. '93, vice president of Goldman, Sachs & Co., to Jeff Smith, founder of political-activism organization the Oregon Bus Project.

Pearson, a frequent attendee, says that the presentations and discussions brought together people whose social and intellectual paths might not otherwise cross. "Most of the time, I didn't know half the people in the room, and that was true for everyone. Ben just knows so many people in dif- ferent circles, in different schools and departments."

Abram admits that often the group slants left, but that's not for lack of try- ing. He invited noted campus conser- vative Stephen Miller, a senior, to one event, and Miller ultimately attended, but not before calling back to ask, "Is

this really just a dinner invitation, or are you setting me up for something?"

Politics don't get in the way of good discussion, either. Of speaker Paul Teller '93, deputy director of the House Republican Study Committee, Abram says, "Yes, he's a Republican. Yes, he's really far right. But when it came to fis- cal policy and government intervention and the way he saw the government shaped right now, we had a lot of agreement in the room."

At times, Abram's networking instincts don't go as expected. Abram tells a funny story about a time he introduced journalist Fiona Morgan, whom he'd booked for a conversation, to her own husband, who works as a researcher for Abram's academic advis- er, public-policy professor Joel Fleishman, at a cocktail party. You win some, you lose some.

"College is about bridging perspec- tives, making connections. You've got to do that for yourself." With his dinners, Abram is once again doing just that.

"I wanted to engage with my friends, but also have them engage with each other. This was sort of the'dot, dot, dot' to get the conversation going."

—Jacob Dagger

March-April 2007 11



Eric Mlyn, director of the Robertson Schol- ars Program since its inception, chaired the provost's committee that recommended DukeEngage and will be the founding direc- tor of the program. The initiative also in- cludes the creation of a Duke Center for Civic Engagement that will serve as a uni- versity-wide clearinghouse for civic-engage- ment and service-learning projects. The center will be housed in the provost's office and will serve as the administrative umbrel- la organization for all current and future undergraduate civic-engagement activities at the university.


Speakers Take Center Stage

Paul Rusesabagina, the Rwandan hotel manager whose story was the basis for the film Hotel Rwanda, captivated a packed Page Auditorium in February with personal reflections on the country's 1994 genocide. He explained the background for the conflict, saying, "Why do people hate each other? Simply because they have been taught to hate each other by leaders who al- ways divide in order to rule," and described his experience in the hotel whose residents he protected almost single-handedly.

Rusesabagina was one of several prominent speakers at Duke earlier this year, who spoke on a wide variety of issues now in the na- tional spotlight, ranging from religious tol- erance to the global reach of art museums.

In delivering the 2007 Kenan Distin- guished Lecture in Ethics in January, Jon- athan Sacks, the United Kingdom's chief rabbi, discussed the ways in which extremist religious views are threatening global socie- ty. At the center of conflicts between groups like the Sunnis and Shiites and Christians and Muslims, he said, is a lack of apprecia- tion for shared values values that could be explored and explicated through scrutiny of the narratives that are at the basis of the various faith traditions.

A week and a half later, retired Marine General Anthony Zinni shared his highly critical view of the Iraq war and stressed the need for more creative thinking about the

future of the Middle East during the Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture. "This argu- ment over 23,000 troops is absurd," Zinni said of President George W. Bush's recent pro- posal for an escalation of troop numbers. "Either you fix it, you contain it, or you leave it, and none of those is going to be easy," he added, referring to the continuing violence in Iraq. "But make up your damn mind."

The following day, Joseph Wilson, the husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, made his first public appearance since the beginning of the perjury trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney. In 2003, Wil- son wrote an op-ed column in The New York Times saying that Iraq had no intentions of buying uranium "yellowcake" from Niger. Shortly after, his wife's identity as a CIA operative was revealed to the press.

"You have the right and the individual responsibility to stand up to your govern- ment," Wilson told the audience in Page Auditorium. "The essence of good citizen- ship is participation."

In February's annual Semans Lecture at the Nasher Museum of Art, Thomas Krens, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, outlined his vision for a global art museum. The Guggenheim, he said, is avidly "building a brand." The Guggenheim brand, which began when a former auto showroom in midtown Manhattan became a gallery for modern art, has stretched to Venice, Beijing, and Bilbao, where the Frank Gehry building has provided a great boost

for economic development even as it's helped alleviate political tensions in Spain's Basque region.

In the near future, the Guggenheim has plans to expand to Abu Dhabi in the Mid- dle East. The ambitious project, which will involve internationally acclaimed archi- tects, will comprise several museums that will be granted extraordinary resources for building collections. Art museums, Krens told the crowd, should be unabashedly "a force for change."

Other prominent speakers featured on campus this semester have included Andrew Young, a top aide to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and a former mayor of At- lanta, who spoke in Duke Chapel in honor of King's birthday, and Lord Carey of Clif- ton, who as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002 advocated for resolutions for the ordination of women in the Church of England and against practicing homosexu- ality or blessing same-sex unions throughout the Anglican Communion.

Knowledge in the Service of Society

Knowledge in the Service of Society a central theme of Duke's newest strategic plan was the topic of a half-day, four-panel conference in February at the Doris Duke Center. More than 150 students, faculty and staff mem- bers, and visitors explored themes such as how to translate the theory of service into practice, how service enhances rather than detracts from the generation of knowledge, and the relationship between civic engage- ment and campus culture.

President Richard H. Brodhead