Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco industrialist James B. Duke established The Duke Endowment, at which time the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.
Duke is organized into two undergraduate and ten graduate and professional schools. The university's research expenditures topped $657 million in 2009, placing it amongst the largest ten in the nation. In its 2012 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university's undergraduate program 10th among national universities, while ranking the medical, law, public policy, nursing, and business graduate programs among the top 12 in the United States. In the 2011 QS World University Rankings, Duke ranked 19th worldwide. The university has "historical, formal, on-going, and symbolic ties" with the United Methodist Church, but is a nonsectarian and independent institution. Competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Duke's athletic teams—known as the Blue Devils—have captured twelve national championships, including four by its high profile men's basketball team.
The university's campus spans over 8,600 acres (35 km2) on three contiguous campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. Duke's main campus—designed largely by the prominent African American architect Julian Abele—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot (64 m) Duke Chapel at the campus' epicenter and highest point of elevation. The forest environs surrounding parts of the campus belie the University's proximity to downtown Durham. Construction projects have updated both the freshmen-populated Georgian-style East Campus and the main Gothic-style West Campus, as well as the adjacent Medical Center over the past five years