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Craven's dark past, Duke's spring plans, Price's thoughts: The most popular news stories from November

Normally at this time of year, students would still be working on final projects, papers and exams. Instead, because the COVID-19 pandemic caused Duke to compress its fall semester, students left campus for winter break in November, much earlier than usual. 

Here are the top news stories from November, the eventful last month of the fall 2020 semester.

1. North Carolina shatters 2016 absentee voting numbers, Durham County in top 5 counties

In case you forgot, there was an election in November, and a lot of people voted. In North Carolina, more than 4.5 million people voted absentee in 2020, including those who voted early and by mail. 

Those numbers shattered 2016 numbers due to a number of factors, the pandemic almost certainly topping the list. Ultimately, Donald Trump won the state while losing the presidential election; Roy Cooper and Thom Tillis won reelection bids for governor and senator, respectively; and Republicans performed strongly in down-ballot races.


Shannon Fang


2. The history of Craven Quad's namesake, a slaveowner and Confederate supporter 

Craven Quad, near the Brodhead Center on West Campus, has housed students for generations. Unbeknownst to many, the residential quad’s namesake, former Trinity College president Braxton Craven, owned slaves and supported the Confederacy during his time as president of the school that would one day become Duke. 

3. Q&A: Former Duke basketball player and Obama aide Reggie Love on the campaign trail, racial justice

Here are some fast facts about Reggie Love:

  1. He worked as Barack Obama’s “body guy” throughout his presidency, helping the former president with whatever he needed.
  2. He played on the Duke basketball and football teams, eventually serving as co-captain of the basketball team.
  3. He left the Dallas Cowboys for Goldman Sachs because he realized he could make as much money with a lot less of the getting-hit-by-football-players part.

Learn more about this Duke alumnus, his work with the Biden campaign and his thoughts on racial justice in The Chronicle’s Q&A.

4. Duke has several contingency plans for start of spring semester

At a faculty governance meeting in November, Executive Vice Provost Jennifer Francis laid out Duke’s four contingency plans for the start of spring semester, ranging from starting as planned Jan. 20 to beginning with an indefinite period of remote learning.

5. Q&A: President Vincent Price on leading Duke through a pandemic, University's anti-racist mission

In an extensive interview, editor-in-chief Matthew Griffin questions President Vincent Price about his decision-making process during the pandemic, presidential leadership, anti-racism efforts and more. What does Price attribute the success of Duke’s semester to? (Hint: it’s not just extensive testing.)


Jake Satisky | Editor-in-Chief

Jake Satisky is a Trinity senior and the digital strategy director for Volume 116. He was the Editor-in-Chief for Volume 115 of The Chronicle. 

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