University Center Activities & Events (ucae)

About Us

We are University Center Activities & Events and we're happy to meet you! Our extraordinary teams provide a wide array of services available to the Duke community and campus visitors. Commonly referred to as UCAE we support event planning and campus programming needs. 

Check in with us on the UCAE Facebook page and visit our office in person soon. We look forward to getting to know you. 



We envision a collaborative organization that harnesses the individual creative talents of a diverse staff and facilitates a model of student learning and development that is unique amongst our peers. Through excellence in both student and event services, we aim to create a holistic environment that incorporates a best practices approach in both the transformational and transactional, where learning and mentorship is embedded within the daily lives of students and staff alike, and resulting in personal development and transferable skills.


  • An organization that is student-centric and recognizes learning takes place both in and out of the classroom,  and that creates opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and skills in new settings.
  • An organization that is exemplary of the best practices in entrepreneurship and fosters innovation.
  • An organization that provides integrated support services that embrace and further the strategic goals and initiatives of the Division and the University.
  • An organization that is agile and resourceful and channels realized efficiencies into furthering the goals and mission of the department.
  • An organization that seeks to maximize revenue in order to support department and Division objectives and minimize reliance on general allocation resources.

Administrative Leadership Team

Strong leadership is critical to the long-term creation of value within UCAE. The Administrative Leadership Team provides strategic direction, guidance, and vision. Led by Chris Roby the Administrative Leadership Team provides oversight for all activity within UCAE while providing leadership to each team.  

Student Activities

Leadership development and student organization support are the cornerstones of the Student Activities team.  Visit this group to learn more about programs and services including student organization support, leadership development, Leadershape, DiDA, the Arts Annex, Launch, DukeGroups, HubTix, and more. The staff of the Student Activities team serves in an advisory capacity to DUU, DSG, duARTS, dPS, SOFC, and a variety of other groups.  Student Activities is led by David Pittman and consists of the Student Involvement Team, Fraternity & Sorority Life, as well as the Center for Leadership Development and Social Action.

Event and Production Services

What happens behind the scenes makes exceptional events possible.  The Event and Production Services team is responsible for the planning and execution of all sizes of events on campus, from sporting events to graduation. The Event and Production Services team also oversees much of the reservations on campus including those managed with 25-Live. Event and Production Services is led by Chuck Catotti and consists of the Media Services Team, Conference and Event Services Team, Ticketing and Theater Operations Team, and the Technical Services Team.

Business and Finance

Whether you’re looking for help translating your budget, paying a vendor, and everything in between, the Business and Finance Team is Dedicated to helping you achieve success with your financial stewardship. Under the leadership of April Billings this team is responsible for departmental accounts, student organization accounts, office management and serving as UCAE's liaison to payroll and HR. This team is led by April Billings.

Need to connect to a particular UCAE member?

Download our Staff Directory here.


Signature Programs

First Big Week

First Big Week is an exciting Duke tradition that welcomes undergraduate students back to campus in the fall with community-focused activities, events and performances. The events held during FBW introduce first-year students to the greater Duke community while promoting a borderless, responsible social scene.

Check out the DukeGuides App for the most up-to-date information about event locations and times 

You can find the most up-to-date First Big Week information on DukeGuides - First Big Week Guide.
Please check there for updates to events.

First Big Week Logo


The mission of LAUNCH, a student-led program, is to enhance student involvement and leadership development at Duke University. The LAUNCH team provides web-based resources, individual and executive board appointments, retreat planning assistance and workshops to facilitate peer to peer development for the purpose of enhancing individuals and groups in the Duke community.

Dive deeper into LAUNCH here. 


The Duke Innovative Design Agency (DIDA), sponsored by the University Center Activities and Events, is a student-staffed marketing and design center founded as a resource for recognized student organizations and departments at Duke.  The DIDA team aims to assist the Duke community in their efforts to establish their graphic identities and effectively publicize their programs and events by offering creative, budget-minded, and Duke-specific branding and marketing solutions.  The DIDA team takes a collaborative approach to building client relationships; DIDA staff members work closely with clients to determine the appropriate marketing needs and preferences.

Follow this link to book an appointment with DIDA!

Where is DIDA located?

DIDA is located in the basement level of the Bryan Center however we do not accept walk-in appointments. All requests for service should be submitted by booking an appointment. Follow this link to book an appointment with a DIDA Designer.

When is DIDA open?

As DIDA is staffed by undergraduate students, it will be closed during all University holidays and undergraduate student breaks, as specified in the Duke University academic calendar. Please note that DIDA only operates on days when spring and fall semester classes are held. Our opening and closing dates for each semester are the first and last days of classes. 

What services does DIDA provide?

DIDA team members provide officially recognized Duke student groups and Duke departments with design services that range from logos, tshirts, posters, and beyond. We ask that each project request contain only one type of design. Larger scale projects with multiple components should be discussed as a special consideration outside of DIDA's normal scope. 

How does my organization submit a request to DIDA?

All requests for service should be submitted by booking an appointment. Follow this link to book an appointment with a DIDA Designer.

Please note that DIDA cannot guarantee acceptance of all projects. If the team determines DIDA cannot meet your requested deadline due to current work load and capacity limitations, we will contact you to discuss the deadline and determine the status of your project. 

How long does it take for DIDA to turn around a project?

In order to maintain a high standard of quality, the DIDA staff requires a minimum 2 weeks (variable depending on queue) to turn around a project. If you are able to provide ample time for your requests you will improve the chances we have in being able to work together effectively!

What if I don’t like what the designer’s done?

Clear communication is the most critical facet of a successful DIDA experience.

While we do our best to follow the specifications detailed during your appointment, our designs may not meet your expectations the first time every time. DIDA allows clients to provide feedback on a maximum of three drafts. Your responsibility is to respond promptly with feedback. Do not be afraid of hurting our feelings with your criticism! Be direct and polite, and we will gladly work with you to produce an ideal design for your needs.

Can my organization print projects at DIDA?

DIDA does not offer printing. There are various printing options available on and around campus. We strongly discourage using e-print to paper campus because it's not very enviromentally friendly and it's fairly ineffective. 

How does payment work?

DIDA's services are free of charge for current Duke recognized student organizations and departments.