New Students

Faculty Outings


Duke, Durham and Beyond

During Orientation Week, Faculty Outings provides an opportunity for first-year students to learn about Durham through themed excursions (historic, tobacco warehouse district, canoeing, cycling, Frankie's Fun Park, etc.), and an opening welcome with university leaders.

Faculty Outings facilitate genuine engagement between faculty members and students in comfortable, enjoyable settings in and around Durham. Each outing gives sponsoring faculty an opportunity to be an ambassador for one of their favorite aspects of the community, from theatre performances to bike trails to farmer's markets, and much more.

faculty outing group photo


Spaces are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Transportation and lunch are provided for all activities.

Below is the list of 2019 Faculty Outings. Click on each to expand and view more details. 
All outings will take place on Saturday, August 24th from 9:30am-1:00pm.

Advanced registration is required. Link to sign-up will be sent to your Duke email account. 

Join advertising/media scholar and cat enthusiast Ed Timke on an adventure to Cat Tales Cat Café, the Triangle's first cat café. We will enjoy a coffee or tea while we meet some of the area's friendliest cats, share stories about our favorite pets, and learn about animal protection efforts in the area. Students should be able to interact with cats and must adhere to all cat café rules at all times.

The NC MST is a 1900km long hiking trail being built across North Carolina, from the Smokey Mountains, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, across the piedmont and down to the coast where it runs along the beach to Jockey's Ridge State Park. Locally, the trail runs along the Eno River, some 10km north of the Duke campus, and has been built and maintained by a volunteer group, the Friends of the MST. We will walk a stretch of the trail and have lunch along its banks. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Students will visit a few of the arts venues in downtown Durham - places like the Durham Arts Council, The Carolina Theatre, Pleiades Gallery, Through This Lens Gallery, and the 21C Museum Hotel.

Join Duke University Retiree Outreach (DURO) at Lakewood Elementary School for a morning of garden restoration and cleanup to prepare for the first day of elementary school on August 26th. DURO maintains the garden and provides educational experiences for students throughout the year. We will help beautify the garden, spread fresh wood chips on the garden path, complete other small projects, and take a tour of the school. August is a hot and humid month, so please bring sunscreen, a hat, and bottled water. Also be sure to wear comfortable clothing and sneakers. 

Join U.S. history buff Susan Kauffman for a tour of a nearby historic site that includes the remains of one of the largest plantation holdings in pre-Civil War North Carolina. The site today - which includes four original slave buildings - focuses less on teaching about the family that owned the 30,000 acres than on the lives and work of the 900 people who were enslaved on the properties.

Go-karting, laser tagging, and video game playing. Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Lee D. Baker, will take students to Frankie's Fun Park to, well, have fun. Experience a little local culture as you have fun getting to know new students and Professor Baker while playing miniature golf and racing go-karts.

Join new friends at the Bull City Escape Room for a morning of problem-solving and fun. Then, we will eat at a nearby restaurant. 

What better way to be introduced to Durham than by meeting neighbors over coffee and tacos? Join Duke Chapel staff and West End neighbors on a tour of Durham's West End neighborhood, featuring Pauli Murray House, the first interfaith inter-racial jazz club in NC, the first mosque in NC, Durham Co-Op, Lyon Park Community Center, Azteca Grill, the old Lakewood amusement park, and Cocoa Cinnamon. The West End has a rich culture and history full of great places to eat, shop, live, worship, and meet friends.

Join new friends for a docent tour of the North Carolina History Museum in Raleigh. Our conversations will focus on the story of North Carolina, and the trip will include a short walk to the NC State Legislature and historic state capitol. We'll stop for lunch at Clyde Cooper's BBQ, an iconic restaurant serving downtown Raleigh since 1938.

Join pharmacologist/neuroscientist Rochelle Bloom on an awesome hike in a part of Duke Forest rarely visited by students. Students will see beautiful terrain, with creeks, rock formations, and hopefully a few beavers. Wear running or hiking shoes, but not sandals. Bring bottled water (hat optional). Following the hike, the group will pick up lunch downtown at Durham's bona fide French boulangerie and eat in a nearby park.

Do you like to sample different kids of foods? Come learn more about Durham by sampling cuisines through a "progressive lunch" with Duke biologist and foodie, Mohamed Noor. We'll drive around the various restaurants and get small portions so you can get a feel for what Durham has to offer. We can also chat about biology, Duke, Durham, or anything you like. Please wear comfortable shoes for walking and have a bottle of water. While Durham has a lot to offer everyone, since some advance ordering is needed, this particular outing is not ideal if you have food allergies or other substantive restrictions (e.g. vegan, gluten-free, soy allergies). 

Why do neighborhoods change so quickly in Durham? Why is Ninth Street called 'Ninth Street'? Learn the answers on this two-hour walking tour starting on East Campus and going through the neighborhoods of Trinity Park, Trinity Heights, Walltown, Watts-Hillandale, Old West Durham, and Ninth Street. We'll see the homes of Richard Nixon, Carp Card, father of Duke Basketball - and Wallace Wade, whose bowl games paid for Cameron Indoor Stadium. We'll hear about Duke's original plans to build in Walltown and go up a hidden alley where a songwriter for Nora Jones and Lou Rawls was born (on a kitchen table). Then we'll head through an old cotton mill village and end with free lunch at Blue Corn Cafe on Ninth Street.

Students will have the opportunity to take a walking tour of Downtown Durham, leaving from East Campus and visiting the Durham History Hub, the Farmer's Market, and other Durham landmarks. Brunch and ice cream will follow!

Visit Durham Farmer's Market to see what's up, and check out the local farmers, arts, and food trucks. We'll walk to Rise to pick up a take-out brunch of the 'best dang biscuits' in Durham, or get brunch from the food trucks. We'll go check out The Parlour at noon, or Ninth Street Bakery if we are early, for a snack while we take a look at the Main Street restaurant row in downtown Durham.

Students will have the opportunity to go to brunch with Luciana Fellin and Saskia Ziolkowski, to get to know them, have questions answered, etc.

Our walking tour from East Campus to downtown Durham and back will include lunch and a chat with owner Kelli Cotter at Toast in Five Points, a talk on connecting Duke with the world via fiber, a view of construction in the area, and the history of roadways, impact on Durham via the Durham History Museum. You'll come away with an understanding of infrastructure and its impact on a city and a university.

This interactive bus tour will explore neighborhoods and historical sites that have contributed to the development of Durham and its relationship to Duke. New students will discover ways to be more than just a visitor in Durham during their time at Duke by becoming an involved community member learning lessons beyond the "wall". New students will also have the opportunity to talk to faculty members and learn about schools and community programs that support the development of Duke and Pre/k-12 students alike through academic service-learning courses and other community-engaged initiatives.

Students will visit the Duke Faculty Club for a thoroughly informal conversation with several Duke faculty members, along with (even more informal) swimming and other recreational opportunities. Please be sure to bring sunscreen, a swimsuit, and a towel. 

Did you know that Duke has a farm, and that it started as an undergraduate student initiative? This farm grows tons of food (literally!) for Duke eateries during the academic year, and also feeds academic and co-curricular work at Duke through classes, farm workdays, social events like annual contra dances, student internships, and special programming like Duke Immerse and Alternative Spring Break. Join us for a tasty day at the Duke Campus Farm. Come dressed to get dirty; we will have a tour of the farm, do some planting/harvesting/weeding, and taste farm-grown produce!

We will start at East Campus and walk toward downtown. We'll see some of Durham's historic buildings, check out a farmers' market, and stop by the Durham History Hub. We'll have brunch downtown, tour an art gallery, and get ice cream! Make sure to wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water (preferably a reusable bottle).

Join biologist Ron Grunwald, and Lily the Wonder Dog, for a leisurely paddle in canoes on the Eno River to one of Durham’s favorite swimming holes. No experience necessary. Bring a hat, sunscreen and a water bottle.


NOTE: Registration links will no longer work once all spaces have been filled in a trip. Students will receive confirmation via email of their outing registration.

If you have any questions about the Faculty Outings or require a specific accommodation, please contact the Office of New Student Programs at 919-684-3511.