Celebrate and Look Forward

Duke University was established in 1924 when James B. Duke, through the Indenture of Trust, designated a gift that transformed Trinity College into a comprehensive research university. In 2024, Duke University launches a celebration of its centennial—a historic opportunity to recognize Duke’s extraordinary past, communicate the impact of the present and look toward the potential of Duke’s future.

This is a moment of transformation for Duke, when we can see more clearly than ever before how we might lead in the century to come.

It’s also a moment of extraordinary continuity, as the seeds of our current and future excellence that were planted and cultivated throughout our university’s first hundred years come into bloom.

President Vincent E. Price

Our Stories

Centennial book cover art
  • Duke Decades: 1930s video thumbnail
    Duke Decades

    Duke Decades: 1930s

    Step back into the 1930’s at Duke University! During this decade, students moved to campus by train, horse-drawn carriages led the homecoming parade and the May Day Pageant was a beloved campus event.

    Watch now »

  • Duke Decades: 1920s video thumbnail
    Duke Decades

    Duke Decades: 1920s

    Step back into the 1920’s at Duke University! During this transformational time period, Duke was named and established in 1924 when James B. Duke, through the Indenture of Trust, gave a gift that turned Trinity College into a comprehensive research university.

    Watch now »

  • Explorers

    Hertha Sponer

    Sponer, fleeing oppression and sexism in her native Germany empowered by the election of Adolph Hitler found a new home in America, where she became the first woman to hold a faculty post in Duke’s Department of Physics.

    Read more »

  • Ed Maio headshot
    Trailblazers

    Ed Miao

    Dr. Ed Miao’s corner of immunology research involves the rather dramatic plot twist that occurs when a cell confronted by an enemy pathogen basically blows itself up to stop the invader from causing more damage to the body.

    Read more »

Explore Duke’s History

Find resources where you can learn more about the events, milestones, moments and people that made Duke’s first hundred years.

Centennial Store

Celebrate 100 years in style.