DUKE UNIVERSITY | THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA

Hi there!

If you’ve been following along lately, you may have noticed I’m kinda on a roll, a Duke roll.  Having just returned from attending my son’s graduation from Duke University I have been busy editing the hundreds of photos I shot during the 4 day trip.

A Tour of Duke University | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So, today I thought I’d post a continuation of a prior post entitled “A Visit to the Most Beautiful University in America” to tell you a little more about this great institution.  Our graduation weekend began in the magnificent Duke Chapel for the Baccalaureate Services.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

On the advice of our son, we got to the chapel 2 hours early and waited under these beautiful arches in order to be among the first to enter.  This afforded us a front row seat to the inspirational and heartwarming service.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE CHAPEL | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Here are some photos of the exterior of Duke Chapel, taken as we waited for the Baccalaureate Services to begin.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE CHAPEL | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The Chapel Tower with its 50 bells……

Duke University Chapel | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

plays a beautiful concert every weekday afternoon at 5:00pm and before each service.  As you might imagine, the bells are enchanting to hear.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE CHAPEL | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I found the doors to be magnificent, particularly their intricate black iron hinges.

Duke University Chapel | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This beautiful building, adjacent to Duke Chapel, is the Divinity School.  The Chapel and Divinity School combined form the largest Methodist Church in the world.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE CHAPEL | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Once inside the chapel, I shot some photos of the its interior as we waited for the graduates to file in.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE CHAPEL | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Soon these elaborately carved choir stalls would be filled with the Duke Choir.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE CHAPEL | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Duke Chapel is a magnificent gathering place for many important events at the University.   The 77 stained glass windows depict all of the major stories of both the old and new testaments.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE CHAPEL | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

American universities have been celebrating Baccalaureate Services as a part of commencement exercises since colonial times.

Duke University Baccalaureate Service 2014 | Duke Chapel | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As I learned from the Baccalaureate program, the word Baccalaureate comes from two Latin words; bacca and laurens.

Duke University Baccalaureate Service 2014 | Duke Chapel | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Bacca refers to berries and laurens refers to laurel.  Wreaths of berries and laurel were worn by graduates in medieval times in Europe, thus the term “Baccalaureate”.  You can see Duke University President Brodhead, the last to file into the services, wearing the silver “Chain of Office” which is a wreath of laurels.

Duke University Baccalaureate Service 2014 | Duke Chapel | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

After the services we showed my 87 year old dad (pictured here with my 3 sons) around the University.

A Tour of Duke University | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The campus spans over 8,600 acres,  7,060 of which encompass the Duke Forest. We started at the Admissions Office, a place where Taylor worked giving tours to prospective students.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Ranked number 7 by US News and World Reports, Admission to Duke is considered highly selective. Duke received 32,506 applications for the Class of 2018, and admitted only 10.7% of the applicants who will make up a class of 1720 incoming freshmen.  This building is the Admissions Office, the place that sends out both the fat envelopes to admittees and the skinny envelope to those that sadly don’t make the cut.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | Duke Admissions Office | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Duke is truly a Gothic wonderland.  What makes Duke’s architecture so unique is the use of a local stone, quarried from nearby Hillsborough, NC.  The consistent use of this stone defines Duke University with a richness and warmth that is so evocative of the quintessential collegiate atmosphere.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This stone has 17 different shades that are rich in blues, grays, tans and rust colors.  It was used in the construction of all the original buildings on Duke’s West Campus.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Duke requires its students to live on campus for the first three years of undergraduate life.  Taylor, like the majority of students, lived on campus all four years.  Who wouldn’t want to live in beautiful buildings such as these?

Duke University Dormitory | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This year Taylor lived in what is called Few Dormitory.   Like most other buildings on West Campus, Few Dormitory is made entirely of Duke stone, precisely cut to be twice as long as it is high.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | Few Dormitory | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

He entered thru this magnificent doorway where his room was located just to the right of this grand tower.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comA VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

From the top of this tower there is a magnificent view of the beautiful campus below.  The top of the tower houses a comfortable lounge where students can go to study or relax, surrounded by these ornate windows that fill the room with light.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This is one view from the tower which overlooks the stunning stone rooftops.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Most of the dormitories are built around a quad courtyard like this one.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Other dormitories have grassy quads, lorded over by the stately stone facades of the buildings.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Towers abound everywhere on campus, not just on the chapel……

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

but on many buildings on campus.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This is Duke’s Clock Tower, an iconic symbol of the University.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comA VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And then there are the chimneys adorning the rooftops.  Can you imagine having a fireplace in your dormitory?  I don’t think they are used today because of the fear of fire, but there is little doubt that at one time they were used as a source of heat.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And then there are the archways……

beautiful gothic archways and arcades are everywhere on campus, both single archways and double archways.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Many of the archways are adorned with interesting plaques.

I recognize some of the carvings as symbols of the church, of medicine and of law: the scale of justice.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comA VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The many stones carvings around campus provide both a source of amusement and inspiration for the students.  This carving depicts Age Teaching Youth.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This carving of a child’s face is on the side of Duke Chapel.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

While students fill their minds with great knowledge here at Duke, they can also fill their bellies in the Great Hall.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So, as my son closes the door to Duke University, he takes with him so very much. We will miss you “Dear Old Duke”.

A VISIT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA PART 2 | DUKE UNIVERSITY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Duke University | A Culture of Champions:  Spirit | Effort | Pride

So there you have it…… Duke University | The Most Beautiful University in America.

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All opinions expressed in this post are my own.   All photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.

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Comments

  • Your1Friend

    What a beautiful tour of Duke University! Thank you!

  • Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for your kind comment.