Senior year '13-'14
Senior year saw the University in flux both physically—as Duke pushed forward with renovations—and administratively, with several key administrators stepping down.
The start of the school year saw the debut of three structures—the brand-new Penn Pavilion and completely refurbished versions of Baldwin Auditorium and Gross Hall. Serving as a dining hall for two years while West Union is closed for renovations, the Pavilion will ultimately function as a space for special events.
The beginning of the renovations to West Union were felt by students, particularly the demolition of part of the Bryan Center Plaza and the closing of several popular eateries. Several food trucks were added to campus to help bolster the dining culture.
It was the final year for two of Duke’s top administrators—Provost Peter Lange and Victor Dzau, President and CEO of Duke University Health System. The longest serving provost in the University’s history with 15 years in the position, Lange will be replaced by Sally Kornbluth, James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. Dzau will become president of the Institute of Medicine in July, though his replacement has not yet been named.
Students coalition DukeOpen made a splash in the Fall with a campaign to increase the University’s investment transparency. Visible protest techniques—including a banner in front of the Allen Building and interrupting a Board of Trustees meeting—garnered attention from students and administrators alike. Administrators agreed to some, though not all, of the coalition’s aims, including expanding the University’s investment advisory group and adding a social choice fund.
The University continued to pursue its global ambitions, with Duke Kunshan University receiving approval from the Chinese government in September. Set to open Fall 2014, DKU spent the 2013-2014 school year beginning to recruit students from Duke and elsewhere.
Winter 2014 proved to be snowier than normal—”Snowmaggedon” led to four days of canceled classes in January and February, the most that the University has had in at least 10 years. The first Duke-UNC men’s basketball game of the season also fell victim to the snow and was rescheduled shortly before tip-off.
The senior class lost one of its own when Becky DeNardis was killed in a car accident during Spring Break on a trip with Duke’s Outdoor Adventures Program. DeNardis was remembered by friends and family for her warmth and intelligence.
The football team built on its success from the year before—achieving its first winning season and national ranking since 1994. The team won the Coastal Division for the first time before losing to Florida State in the ACC Championship. For the second consecutive year, the team played in a bowl game, but suffered a 52-48 loss to Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A bowl.
After a loss to Notre Dame, the men’s basketball team fell out of the top 10 in the AP Poll for the first time since 2007. The team ultimately exited the NCAA tournament in the second round with an upset loss to Mercer.