The Graduate School weclomed more than 1,000 graduate students to campus during orientation week on August 20-24. Students participated in information sessions, social events, and workshops on various aspects of graduate student life, such as mentoring, safety, taxes, and Responsibile Conduct of Research training.
Duke president Vincent Price, Graduate School dean Paula D. McClain, and convocation speaker Richard J. Powell welcomed new graduate and professional students to Duke at the Graduate and Professional Schools Convocation at Duke Chapel on August 22. In his keynote address, Powell, the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art & Art History, drew upon the chapel's architecture and history and channeled its designer, Julian Abele, as well as Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes as he encouraged students to embrace the unexpected.
"I don't have enough time this afternoon to sing the praises of perfecting your skills of improvisation in graduate and professional school," Powell said, "but being able to contend with the unexpected (in terms of disappointments and, often correspondingly, totally unforeseen, out-of-the-blue opportunities) can make the difference between scholastic malfunction and pedagogic triumph.
" 'We build our temples for tomorrow,' wrote the poet Langston Hughes, 'strong as we know how,' he added, unwittingly channeling Duke University Chapel architect Julian Abele and we, the scholars and builders of futures to come."