The Land of Prestige: A Visit to Duke University–Student Reflection

Day three of our Charlotte trip was one for the books. We ended today on a high note, with the prestigious Duke University. When I think Duke University I think tailored suits, exclusivity, the best of the best, and basketball. The visit to Duke today was nothing short of that. Our bus pulled into the university around 2 PM this afternoon and we were greeted by skylines full of medieval style brick buildings but surrounding all of this were buildings after buildings of new construction taking form.

Due to massive amounts of donations from alumni, families, and fans, Duke is able to undertake renovations on almost all existing athletic facilities. In addition to that, they are also in the midst of constructing new facilities, a massive tower for their football stadium that will house a brand new press box, luxury suites, and training facilities. The university will also be adding a softball field to their facility due to the addition of a softball program beginning in the fall of 2016. But it was not only the new construction and renovations that were impressive, the existing structures exceed collegiate expectations and are a sight to be seen.

CiwvFrNVAAAe3bNThe football team, alone, has their own building including not only a player lounge stocked full with food, but a state of the art weight room, training facilities and a club museum where players and their families can reflect back on the history of the Duke football program while gazing out at the 35,000 capacity football stadium that was originally built in 1924, has recently been renovated and is currently undergoing construction. In addition to all of this they have the coolest tunnel leading from the football facility to the field. The tunnel is deck out in black lights, motivational quotes, artificial turf and Duke branding on every wall. When reaching the end of the tunnel, a wrought iron-like double door opens to lead the team on the field. What an entrance!

Overall, I was very impressed with the facilities at Duke. They held up against the high expectations I had for them. The facilities were prestigious and exclusive, just as I had imagined. The only thing that did not seem exclusive was the staff. They were very friendly and welcoming and truly made our visit one to remember.

–Student Reflection, Chryssi Attig, Undergraduate Sport Management Student

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Duke University-Student Reflection

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 departmCixCiWsUgAA6NXsent 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

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Hilltoppers Loving the HEEL Experience–Student Reflection

IMG_1867As a HUGE sports fan of the North Carolina Tar-Heels, visiting their athletic facilities today was nothing short of Amazing! My dreams came true today. Having the opportunity to visit million dollar facilities of the likes of Dean Smith arena (men’s basketball), Carmichael arena (volleyball/women’s basketball), Kenan stadium (football), Boshamer stadium (baseball), and etc. fueled my enthusiasm in collegiate sports. Karen Sneed, our tour guide, showed nothing but love and enthusiasm for Tar-Heel athletics! She was able to let us view areas of facilities I never thought we would get to see and did not rush us through anything, she let us take our time and ask as many questions as we needed with thorough feedback. The collegiate sports atmosphere is definitely in my heart after the “homey” hospitality shown from Karen and others from the athletic department at UNC Chapel Hill.

We started our tour at the Boshamer stadium where UNC hosts its baseball games. All Carolina game facilities consist of natural grass and is well taken care of. Having a 26.5 million dollar baseball facility that houses about 4,100 seats for students and fans was an epic experience to be in. We had the opportunity to visit suites, locker rooms, training rooms, and even the batting cages and indoor practice area within the facility. Also hosting a baseball hall of fame within the facility is an experience in its own! After witnessing that piece of greatness, another piece of greatness was viewed through Kenan stadium where football is hosted. Kenan stadium has been a part of the Tar-Heel experience since 1927 holds up to 63,000 fans. Its recent remodeling job included an addition to the student success centers as well as for the media and relations personnel. Carmichael stadium is the current home of UNC volleyball and Women’s basketball, as well as gymnastics and wrestling. Formally being home of men’s basketball as well (MJ played here!) hosts a women’s hall of fame area for a must see entertainment site for tourists and fans alike. Housing up to 6,800 seats and a boat load of success banners, the Carmichael arena has a fantastic locker room and training area and plan on having renovations in the next 2 years on its student lounge. Lastly, the Dean Smith center, which is housed a couple minutes outside of the main campus is a story of its own. Being next to the men’s basketball Hall of fame, the Dean Smith center was built in 1986 and has a retro feel to it. Built in 1986 and hosting up to 22,000 fans, the Dean Smith center screams high success and expectations. The most recent renovations of the Smith center was in 2013 and consisted of renovations to the training areas and locker rooms (which we didn’t get to visit).

People, including myself ask how UNC gets all this money for athletics. Karen was nice enough to break down how it all happens. UNC has an operating account, as well as a “special account” geared towards funding. Outside of that, alumni always come back and are able to donate. Each sport also has its own club dedicated to raising money, for example, the baseball teams club is named “Diamond Heels”.

Having this experience got my blood boiling and heart bleeding Carolina blue! Proud I was able to witness this and actually see these facilities and get a feel of bigger collegiate athletics.

–Student Reflection, Andre Scott, Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration

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Jac and Tay take on UNC–Student Reflections

Civibd2WsAEqlaUToday started as an early morning as we left Charlotte and headed to Chapel Hill. We got to visit the facilities of baseball, track and field, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, swimming and diving, and many others. Since UNC has 28 sports we were not able to visit all the facilities, however we were able to visit most of them. Karen Sneed was out tour guide and she was tremendous! The fact that UNC has 28 sports and the facilities for all those sports is absolutely mind blowing. UNC’s athletic facilities are based on tradition and the traditional UNC Tarheel image. One thing that really stood out to us was the hall of fame museums in each stadium. Each of these hall of fames were a piece of history that was very unique and a part of their winning tradition.

The four facilities that stood out to us were the swimming pool, the baseball stadium, the football stadium and the basketball gymnasium. The pool contained one million gallons of water. ThaCiv3qGoW0AA8jB3t may not seem like much but when you actually see that much water in a pool you get to see how big and how much it is. The baseball stadium was recently renovated in 2008 and reopened in 2009. The stadium holds 4,100 people and with standing room 5,000. The Keenan Memorial Stadium, home of Tarheel Football, holds 63,000 people along with a student-athlete Olympic sport lifting room and development room. The Dean Smith Center holds 22,000 people, was built in 1986 and has a lot of the same features as the day it opened. The stadium surprisingly does not have any suites or club seating. This is why we stated earlier that UNC is built on tradition and believes in upholding that tradition. Along with the tradition, baseball, football, and basketball all have their own lifting and training facilities in their stadiums. This was very cool to us because they could hold all their workouts and trainings in their own stadium.

CivxoC1WsAESaRpMost of these stadiums, if not all of these stadiums were named after a big donor that has some history at UNC. It was interesting to see how some of these facilities were multi-purposeful such as the Carmichael Arena that holds women’s basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and gymnastics. The indoor practice facility was used for football, track and field, and other sports depending on the weather. The track and field infield was also used for soccer and lacrosse. It is so interesting to see how many different purposes one facility can be used for.

We are so thankful for Karen and her time spent showing us around the facilities. It is not only eye opening to see other facilities but they were top of the line and it was a great opportunity. We are both very thankful for this opportunity and glad that UNC was a facility we were able to tour!

-Student Reflection, Jacqueline McGill and Taylor McFall, Graduate Students in the Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration – Intercollegiate Athletics

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Welcome to The Triangle

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 8.56.20 AMToday starts extremely early as students will be hitting two of the three institutions that comprise the “Research Triangle.”  Beginning with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and ending with Duke University, students will be given access to not only the athletics facilities, but campus recreation as well.  The state of the art facilities at both institutions will provide for tremendous on site learning for all.  Be sure to check back later this evening to read the student reflections on today’s tours, as well as catch up on what they experienced through our photo gallery!

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