A look into the early 2000s with Duke archives

Jamie Crow | Staff Writer

04/26/2018

Courtesy of Duquesne archives
This headline, which ran alongside the article announcing the inauguration of Duquesne’s Italian campus, boasts of the uniqueness of this program. The first opportunity for students to study at this campus was in the spring of 2001.

As our academic year winds down, we have the chance to look at one that was just gearing up. The beginning of the fall semester in 2000 brought the final address of the university’s then president, the introduction of Duquesne’s Italian campus and a visit from Jimmy Fallon. Needless to say, the Sept. 14, 2000, issue of The Duquesne Duke was an interesting look at life on the Bluff.

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Today, the ability to study abroad at Duquesne’s Italian campus is an opportunity taken by many students. In 2000, however, the program was just getting started. The Duke announced the introduction of the Italian campus in a front-page article. It then explained that the opportunity was being inaugurated with a pilot program that fall, with the study abroad opportunity being offered to all students in the spring of 2001.

Much like today, the program was available to all students regardless of major. Advertising the opportunity to study in the “heart of the Etruscan countryside” rather than the “aesthetically pleasing confines of College Hall,” the article highlighted that the original Italian campus was 30 miles northwest of Rome in a town called Manziana.

The article also quieted some worries about the cost, noting that it is the same as an academic year here, which remains true today. Over the past 17 years, students have jumped at the opportunity to take their education global, marking the campus as a definite success.

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President John E. Murray, Duquesne’s 11th president and first lay president, gave his 13th and final State of the University Address on Friday, Sept. 8, 2000.

Duquesne as we know it wouldn’t exist without President Murray, as the article in The Duke highlighted his many achievements as president. Academic Walk, Vickroy Hall, Fisher Hall, Rangos School of Health Sciences, Bayer School of Environmental and Natural Sciences and Rooney Field were all built during Murray’s tenure.

Over the course of his 12-year presidency, enrollment also increased from 6,000 students in 1988 to 10,000 in 2000. After his presidency, Murray became the Chancellor of Duquesne and was still active in his role as a professor in the law school. He worked as a professor at Duquesne until his death in 2015 at the age of 82.

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A small feature on page six highlighted the sold-out show of “a very up-and-coming star.” He’s someone you might have heard of: Jimmy Fallon. Back then, Fallon was still on Saturday Night Live and the youngest cast member of the show at the time. Fallon’s visit was a hit with the students, who were said to have laughed non-stop at his jokes and antics. The comedy show was organized by the Duquesne Program Council, which still organizes an annual comedian event every year. Who knows – maybe Jimmy Fallon will come back for an anniversary show at some point. We can only hope.

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In the world of sports, the women’s volleyball team impressed at the Stetson Invitational in Florida, finishing second out of the four teams playing. The team had to overcome some technical difficulties when a blown transformer caused a power outage that delayed play for over two hours. The volleyball team’s only loss that weekend was to Cornell, who beat Duquesne by two points in the final match and clutched the invitational victory.

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