Fun Facts About Duke University

December 12, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Fun Facts About Duke University

Duke University at a glance

1838 marked the beginning of Duke University, which is a private institution. A quick look at Duke University can help one understand the value of the university and its history in American culture. As such, people do not realize that the fun facts about Duke University can be of great importance.

The city of Durham, North Carolina, which encompasses the Duke University campus, provides various activities, such as shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The Bull Durham Tobacco produced by the Blackwell Tobacco Company is where the city got its nickname, “Bull City.” It is a requirement for students to live on campus during their first three years at Duke, and the dorms for first-year students are located on the East Campus.

The Duke Blue Devils are best known for their exceptional men’s basketball program, one of the country’s top five most successful college basketball programs, and for maintaining a fierce rivalry with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels.

Duke University signage

This program is also one of the best-known in the country. At Duke University, there are over 700 student organizations, including fraternities and sororities, sports clubs, and organizations for various causes and interests.

A total of ten schools and colleges make up Duke University; most of these schools and colleges cater to both undergraduate and graduate students. The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program is widely considered to be the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship that Duke University has to offer.

This program is open to students attending Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It gives approximately 18 students from each class the opportunity to receive a full scholarship for four years and participate in exclusive academic and extracurricular opportunities at both universities.

One of the fun facts about Duke University is that there are a few notable alumni. Melinda Gates, along with her ex-husband Bill, co-founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; former NBA player Carlos Boozer; and Ron Paul, who served in the United States Congress and ran for president three times.

Duke University in numbers

Looking at the statistics of Duke University, you can have a clear vision of this particular university. The acceptance rate at the prestigious Duke University is only 6%, making it one of the most competitive programs in the country.

At Duke University, the student-to-faculty ratio is 6:1, and the school has classes with fewer than 20 students in the majority (70%) of its offerings. The undergraduate student body at Duke University has a total enrollment of 6,883 students (fall 2021), with male students making up 48% of the student body and female students making up 52%. 81% of the students at this school live in housing owned, operated, or otherwise affiliated with the college, while 19% call off-campus housing their home.

At Duke University, 38 percent of full-time undergraduate students are eligible for some form of need-based financial aid, and the average scholarship or grant award for students with financial needs is $55,084 per year.

Facts about Duke University

The links between Duke and Tobacco

Information about Duke University shows that you can trace its beginnings to the funding provided by the tobacco industry. However, despite this fact, the official policy of the university regarding smoking does not even allow smoking within ten feet of residential buildings or dining facilities, and it is strictly prohibited on the campus of the medical center.

The story of Coach K

The basketball coaching career of Mike Krzyzewski is one of the fun facts about Duke University that many basketball fans still talk about. With 976 career victories as of February 11, 2014, the head basketball coach at Duke University is the most successful male college basketball coach in the history of the sport. Krzyzewski, pronounced “She-shef-ski,” has led Duke to four NCAA championships, tying the school for fifth place all-time among NCAA winners.

Mike Krzyzewski

In recognition of his contributions to the success of the University’s men’s basketball team, the court where games are played at Cameron Indoor Stadium was given the name Coach K Court in November of 2000. “Krzyzewskiville” or “K-Ville” is the name given to the area immediately outside of the stadium.

No reservations about rival games

It is not a surprise that one of the fun facts about Duke University is about the rivalry between Duke and the University of North Carolina. Only Duke students who demonstrate sufficient dedication are permitted to enter the arena during basketball games. This is especially true regarding the well-known competition between Duke and UNC.

For Duke students to be able to attend the home game against UNC, they are required to camp out in K-Ville for one or two months (depending on whether the home or away game against UNC occurs first). K-Ville transforms into a temporary tent city, and the first tent is typically set up during the winter break.

Burning benches instead of rushing to the court

Even though every Duke student is aware that they should not rush the court to celebrate a win unless it is a national championship (because other wins are a given), they still get to celebrate a victory over Duke’s rival UNC in another way. One of the more notable and fun facts about Duke University is that after a Duke victory, students assemble in the Main Quad.

This is where they will start a massive bonfire in which they will burn campus benches. These have the green light from the school administration and the fire department in Durham, and permits have been secured in advance.

Duke Chapel weddings

The iconic Chapel at Duke is an excellent choice for the wedding of couples who first became acquainted while attending Duke. However, it is to be noted that hopeful couples can book weddings only one year before the wedding month, and sign-ups begin at 8:30 a.m. on the first business day of the month. For that reason, couples who want to book a specific date in a popular month have been forced to recreate Duke’s tenting tradition and set up camp outside the Chapel the night before to be the first in line when the doors open.

Ceiling of Duke Chapel

The Duke Lemur Center

Established in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center is the largest sanctuary in the world for rare and endangered prosimians. The center is named after its namesake, the lemur. It is located in Duke Forest and encompasses a total area of 85 acres. It is home to 15 species of lemurs, lorises from India and Southeast Asia, and bushbabies from Africa.

North Carolina’s Research Triangle

The Research Triangle in North Carolina Duke University is one of the points that anchors The Research Triangle, a geographic region that North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill inscribe. In the 1950s, many high-tech companies and businesses made their home in what is now known as Research Triangle Park. This has continued to be the location with the highest concentration of PhDs in the country.

The Invisibility Cloak

One of the more fun facts about Duke University is their attempt to replicate something from the Harry Potter series. The first invisibility cloak was created in November 2012 by researchers at Duke University. This cloak was able to perfectly conceal objects that were a few centimeters or smaller. In previous attempts at creating invisibility cloaks, some incident light was always reflected, which ruined the illusion. However, the scientists successfully created a completely invisible cloak in this case.


An unfortunate incident involving a student’s visiting, an underage sibling who was found passed out in a porta-potty resulted in the cancellation of Duke’s most well-known and well-loved tradition, the Tailgate. This was because the sibling was found passed out in a porta-potty (not our most shining moment). To summarize, it was the ultimate football pre-game, with copious amounts of beer of questionable quality, wacky costumes, and dirty Durham bottle service in the style of fraternity truck beds.

The unfortunate reality for the football team was that it typically overshadowed the actual game. The festivities (used to) start around 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning in the Blue Zone parking lot, located right next to the football field. Day drinking was at its finest during these events. RIP Tailgate, 19XX – 2010.

Now that you know the fun facts about Duke University, you should have an easier time deciding if you will enter this university. Wherever you might want to enter, you can get help with AdmissionSight with the help of our world-class guidance. With the help of experts, choosing the best university that suits you best shouldn’t be hard with the help of AdmissionSight. You can talk to us today to get started.

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