I am an undergraduate student of Western Kentucky University’s School of Kinesiology Recreation and Sport studying Sport Management. Today, I had the unique opportunity through this Study Away Symposium to visit one of the more prestigious and historic campuses in Duke University. Duke was established in Trinity and moved to Durham, North Carolina in 1892, where the University is currently being run by President Richard Brodhead. When I graduate I would like to find a job in collegiate sports, so I was anxious to tour Duke’s athletic facilities to compare them to all colleges I’ve experienced throughout my lifetime. With Duke being a private college I initially expected the campus to have an old fashion look and atmosphere.
Contrary to my thoughts, Duke is privately funded and creates a revenue through varies variables including very generous Alumni donations. These variables will combine to make Duke’s $3 billion “Duke Forward” project in which their athletic programs will receive more than $180 million for construction and new renovations. Duke had already started a large portion of construction through majority of their campus and to my surprise looked like a brand new university all together with a couple exceptions to certain areas. With about 276 staff members, I don’t think I can say I’ve been around any athletic department who can collect such a large amount of donations and revenue. My favorite part of the tour was by far Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke’s basketball arena, which is said to have a capacity of over 9,000.
Cameron is historic because of the basketball legacy Duke has created. I think Cameron was distinctive because it was old, small and out dated but continuously attracts recruits, fans and intimidates opposing teams. I can only image how the atmosphere feels when games are packed out there. The facility and operation’s staff focus is to create the best environment and updates in facilities for fans at their games at all cost. I learned that you also have to be able to compromise and make decisions that are best for the program, and keeping Cameron stadium the way it is at Duke works for them. Overall the tour was fun and a good learning experience and I’m blessed to be able to take part in it.
–Student Reflection, Prince Holmes, Undergraduate Sport Management Student