‘Bravo!’: Duke alums rave after watching Duke students do Duke student things

Everything was in place. The lawn was perfectly manicured and colored a perfect verdant hue. Metal forks had temporarily been restored to WU. Students were strategically placed all over campus to ensure that everywhere a visitor looked, someone was sure to appear academically engaged. A white picket fence had been erected outside the reunion tent to subconsciously remind the reunion attendees of their suburban homes.

The show was about to begin. 

Continuing the annual tradition of soliciting alumni donations, this year’s performance of an “Average Day at Duke” was a smashing success. The alumni committee went above and beyond to organize a Centennial spectacle to remember.

In anticipation of hundreds of alumni returning to campus to watch Duke students, the alumni committee scurried around campus handing out character sheets for students to play the role of various Duke community members. Coveted roles included “student looking contemplative in an armchair in Perkins” and “guy who high-fives the tour guide.”

Alumni were escorted around the campus, ogling at the various students doing Typical Duke Student Things. “If you look to your right, you’ll see students engaged in a beloved traditional exertion of kinesthetic intelligence,” said one tour guide as he walked through Abele Quad, gesturing at four shirtless Pike brothers playing Spikeball. 

Throughout the journey around campus, tour guides explained to alumni that students were kept fed and happy with a constant diet of free t-shirts and Locopops, and that all mental health problems are resolved in a state-of-the-art Wellness Center with a Counseling and Psychological Services program that distributes stress balls and perfect solutions to all anxiety issues.

“I’m so glad Duke administration has my best interest in mind,” one student loudly chatted to their friend on the Baldwin bench. “I love my university-provided friends through QuadEx!” As the tour guide passed the student, he slyly slipped the student a $5 Duke Dining gift card. 

In a brief moment that threatened to send the whole production crashing down, some unruly outlaws staged a demonstration on the lawn of the Chapel, demanding Duke to divest from fossil fuels and uphold the climate commitment. Thankfully, most alumni simply pulled out their phones to record the event, chuckling to themselves, “Some things never change!”

Alumni looking to see something more exotic were given limited tours of the Lemur Center and the Duke Campus Farm. “What are they doing?” asked one alum, pointing with fascination at a student digging up a carrot.

“It’s called manual labor,” the tour guide answered.

The festivities were not just limited to West Campus. On East Campus, the tour guide invited graduates of the women’s college to relive their glory days by enjoying a dosage of 1950s-era lead poisoning in the gym or frolicking in the dead grass outside Marketplace. 

Alumni were then loaded onto armored shuttles to make the voyage to downtown Durham, where they could ogle at Durhamites safely within the protection of university-sponsored transportation, instead of taking the GoDurham Route 6 like adults. 

Asked about her thoughts on the tour, three-time legacy Sara Jeinfeld (T’86) answered, “I think it’s wonderful what Duke has done with the place. It just makes me want to donate a building!” 

Monday Monday just donated $5 million in exchange for a janitor’s closet in the new Lilly Library and a pasta sauce at Il Forno named after them.


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