You Oughta Know
Must-attend events. As we mentioned, Fuqua is a fun environment and the students host many, many social events throughout the year. Below are some of the activities that students have said you “must attend” to have a complete Fuqua experience. This will give you just a small taste of life at Fuqua, and how it differs from many other business schools.
Fuqua Fridays. The aforementioned Fuqua Fridays offer a weekly opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to mingle; many are often themed, so it’s not only food and drink. Different student clubs often choose to host one, and themes have included celebrations of different cultures (Indian, Asian, Latin, African-American), a marketing brand challenge that pits branded products against private label brands in creative ways, and Casino Night, where students get to play games such as blackjack, poker, and roulette.
FuquaVision. Many business schools produce an end-of-year follies show to highlight all the awkward moments, inside jokes, and common experience of the year. At Fuqua, they produce a show after every quarter! Each FuquaVision production includes skits and videos lampooning all aspects of Fuqua life.
Winter ski trip. First-year and second-year students descend upon a different ski resort each year for the annual ski trip. Everyone goes all-out for their costumes during the themed parties each year, particularly the perennial ’80s party.
MBA Blue Cup. Each year, Fuqua competes against cross-town rival, UNC Kenan-Flagler, in a series of intense competitions for the MBA Blue Cup title. Events include golf, ping pong, bowling, volleyball, and other sports, with bragging rights extending a full year!
MBA Games. Fuqua invites business schools from around the country to compete against one another in various light-hearted competitions to raise money for Special Olympics. MBA Games events include dance-offs, tug-of-war, the izzy dizzy bat race, the business suit relay, and briefcase toss, among others. The weekend also includes a couple of parties and good times had by all.
LDOC. LDOC (Last Day of Class) is a campus-wide event hosted by Duke undergraduates featuring A-list musicians performing on the campus quad.
Beach Week. Hundreds of second-year students invade the beach homes of North or South Carolina in the gap between their final classes and graduation. This is the last big party for Fuqua students before they have to face “the real world” again.
Where to live. Almost all Fuqua students live off campus, and the majority live in just a handful of complexes. American students without families tend to live in Station 9, Trinity Commons, and the Lofts at Lakeview, which are closer to Fuqua and near nightlife. International students and Americans with families more often live at Alexan Place, Pinnacle Ridge, and Alexan Farm, which are about 15 minutes away from Fuqua but are much less expensive.
Getting around. The cost of living in Durham is substantially lower than in cities like New York, Boston, and San Francisco, meaning students can maintain a relatively comfortable standard of living without breaking the bank (or maxing out their student loans). However, public transit is minimal, and many of the apartments are far enough from campus that you’ll need a car, so make sure to budget for that—and if you’re a city kid without a license, that’s one more test you’ll have to take (after the GMAT, of course). The driving averse will want to consider the one of the several apartment complexes within biking distance to campus.
Facilities. The Fuqua School of Business has grown significantly in the past 30 years and, at roughly 500,000 square feet, it is quite an impressive sight. What began as one large building is now several state-of-the-art buildings all linked together. These buildings house innovative technology to enhance productivity, teamwork, and strategic decision making. Ample team rooms fill the Fuqua School along with the newly expanded Ford Library, computer center, auditoriums, and classrooms. All of the Fuqua MBA programs, from the full-time program to the numerous executive programs, are housed in the Fuqua complex, although some of the executive degrees are distance-learning programs. At the heart of Fuqua is the Fox Student Center. Opened in 2002, the Fox Center, with its indoor winter garden and outdoor terraces, has been compared to a grand hotel lobby.
The Fuqua complex also includes the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center, a 112,000-square-foot facility named after the founder of Wendy’s. The center includes guest rooms, executive suites, a 230-seat luxury dining room, and a full bar where many Fuqua students congregate prior to Fuqua Friday events. The Thomas Center is primarily used by the school’s executive education and executive MBA students. One of the newest additions to the Fuqua Campus is Breeden Hall, added in 2008. The new building spans 91,400 square feet with state-of-the-art classrooms, team rooms, auditoriums, and a rooftop terrace.
Cross-campus interaction. Although the Fuqua School of Business resides in close proximity to other distinguished Duke University graduate schools, there is little interaction between Fuqua students and other Duke graduate students. This is partly due to the business school’s self-contained facility, which hosts an abundance of Fuqua-related activities and services. Because the center boasts a state-of-the-art facility and robust activity calendar, graduate students from other Duke University programs are often spotted enjoying Fuqua amenities. Undergraduate Duke students and Fuqua students also rarely interact, partly because there is no formal undergraduate business school. Nevertheless, the business school’s convenient location relative to the football stadium, lacrosse field, and ever-popular Cameron Indoor Basketball Stadium provides ample opportunities to enjoy the full collegiate experience with the entire student body.