The Dukes' University, 1880s–2010s

Over the years, Duke students repurposed, satirized, and sometimes challenged outright the university-supported narrative of the Dukes as benevolent and generous entrepreneurs. The January 1951 issue of campus humor magazine Duke and Duchess recounted the history of the Littleworth family, a thinly-veiled satire of the Duke family, and was subsequently shut down by University president A. Hollis Edens. Illustrations on the front cover depict Colonel Jefferson Littleworth (Washington Duke); Diane Littleworth (granddaughter Doris Duke); and Buchanan Littleworth (son James Buchanan Duke).

Published by the YM-YWCA, a center of progressive activity at Duke in the late 1960s-1970s, the annual University Experience acted as an unofficial student guide to life at Duke--in fact, a copy would have been mailed to each incoming first-year student. “Notes on Buck Duke,” written by Duke student Mark Pinsky, outlines some of the more notorious episodes in the Dukes’ lives.

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