Duke Benches

Duke students build benches.

Here’s how it works:

  • Duke supplies the materials at the beginning of the semester all interested social groups;
  • Each participating group designs, builds and paints their unique bench;
  • Before the Duke/Carolina game, the participating groups meet to decide if they will burn a bench.

Yes, that’s the tradition that dates back to 1986.  Benches will burn if Duke beats Carolina or Duke wins a national championship.  Since the early 2000’s, though, benches have become works of art.  Bench wars are responsible for tipped benches from competing social groups (but no vandalism) and some groups go so far as not volunteering their bench for burning.

To see the Duke benches, just go to the student living space located in the Abele Quad on West Campus.  You can also see benches at Freshman East Campus living spaces, such as the one above.

Hmm … wouldn’t the Champagne Courtyard be the ideal place for a Duke bench?