The months of events, which have been in planning for more than two years, will culminate in a specially commissioned jazz performance by Billy Childs and Diane Reeves on Friday and a reception at the Washington Duke Inn on Saturday, with plenty of panels and programming in between. To mark the occasion, The Chronicle's Julian Spector sifted through the University Archives at the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library to find original documents detailing the process of desegregation at Duke. Some of the documents are available for viewing in the slideshow here.
As the celebration of the 50th anniversary winds down, it leaves a renewed awareness of the role of diversity on campus going forward.
"One of the many goals was to raise awareness among current students, alumni and others about the history of the University, but also to bring attention to the things that have yet to be done," said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. "To say that Duke or any institution like it has fully realized its potential in matters of race and diversity and inclusion is probably unrealistic."