Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James B. Duke established The Duke Endowment, at which time the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.
The university has "historical, formal, on-going, and symbolic ties" with the United Methodist Church, but is a nonsectarian and independent institution. Duke's research expenditures in the 2010 fiscal year topped $983 million, the fifth largest figure in the nation. Competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Duke's athletic teams—known as the Blue Devils—have captured twelve team national championships, including four by its high profile men's basketball team.
The university's campus spans over 8,600 acres (35 km2) on three contiguous campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. Duke's main campus—designed largely by the prominent African American architect Julian Abele—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot (64 m) Duke Chapel at the campus' center and highest point of elevation. The forest environs surrounding parts of the campus belie the University's proximity to downtown Durham. Construction projects have updated both the freshmen-populated Georgian-style East Campus and the main Gothic-style West Campus, as well as the adjacent Medical Center over the past five years.
In its 2013 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university's undergraduate program eighth among national universities, while the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) placed it 27th nationally and 35th in the world based primarily on the academic accomplishments of its faculty and alumni. Forbes ranked the university 24th nationally based on factors such as the number of alumni going on to receive PhDs, and Washington Monthly ranked Duke 26th in the U.S. in 2011-12, with the latter also factoring in how the university serves as an engine of social mobility and how well it promotes an ethic of service to country, in addition to traditional research measures. In the 2011 QS World University Rankings, Duke ranked 19th globally, and in the 2011-12 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Duke tied for 22nd globally. In 2012, it was reported that the university spent close to a billion dollars on research in fiscal year 2010 and was ranked 5th nationally in terms of research expenditure.
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“I am not willing to be drawn further into the toils. I cannot accede to the acceptance of gifts upon terms which take the educational policy of the university out of the hands of the Trustees and Faculty and permit it to be determined by those who give money.”
—Woodrow Wilson (18561924)
“When the Prince of Wales [later King George IV] and the Duke of York went to visit their brother Prince William [later William IV] at Plymouth, and all three being very loose in their manners, and coarse in their language, Prince William said to his ships crew, now I hope you see that I am not the greatest blackguard of my family.”
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