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Upon opening just two years ago, Von der Heyden quickly became the place to see-and-be-seen on campus, usurping the BC (was it ever?) and the ellipticals in Wilson (left side). Now, apparently word has spread beyond the campus limits. Sources tell RM that former Today host and current lightweight evening news anchor Katie Couric was spotted sipping coffee and making sweet love to her Blackberry inside the great glass box. In Durham with her daughter Ellie, a prospective member of the class of 2013, Couric hung out while Ellie took in a campus tour. Some say Couric may have flown down South in a desperate effort to moderate a Democratic presidential primary debate in the Tar Heel State-an honor which as of press time still had eluded her. FYI: If debate organizers are looking for snark over substance, RM is still available.

Spotted: Joan Allen, Academy Award nominee and Tony Award winner, bringing her grace to the Washington Duke Inn. Allen's next role is as a prison warden in August's "Death RacE." Maybe she was doing some undercover work in Edens?

No one ever claimed Duke was a cheap school. Graduation, though, was supposed to be when the University stopped-err-sodomizing its students. Not the case if you want to stay in the WaDuke for commencement ceremonies. Rooms for the May weekend-if you can get 'em-are running at $450 for a parking lot view, with a minimum stay of three nights. The HoJo on Hillandale? $100 per. You miss out on the opportunity to rub shoulders with high society folks like Barbara Kingsolver, author and commencement speaker, but then did you really want to?

The annual student activities fee ostensibly supplies a year's worth of fun, even if your activity mostly consists of shuffling between e-Print and the stacks. But at least one event funded this semester wasn't open to all: the Duke University Union's business dinner at Piedmont for current and future members of the executive board last month. Approximately 20 Union elite dined at trendy downtown restaurant Piedmont, where the Belgian endive and arugula salad goes for $9 and most entrees will set you back at least a Jackson (that's a twenty, for all you pre-meds). Although the menu was prix-fix, Union leaders were mum when contacted about the tab. To be fair, any organization that would shell out $7,000 for one hour of Tucker Max probably shouldn't be expected to keep track of its own finances.


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