The Duke-NUS Wall is constructed with the original Duke Stone, all the way from Durham, North Carolina, and is situated at the entrance of our campus.
Photo by: Kenneth Goh
A Collaboration Cast in Stone
Reproduced from The Official Opening Brochure . Written by Wee Lai Meng, Duke-NUS Senior Communications Manager.
For a young school, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical is stepped in rich history. A distinctive stone wall marks the entrance to the Duke-NUS campus along College Road. The uniquely colored stone, a gift from Duke University, was quarried from the hills of Hillsborough in North Carolina and made its journey out of the USA to Singapore. Called “bluestone” by quarrymen, the stone has seven primary colors and seventeen different shades of color. Of volcanic origin, it is believed to be at least 400 million years old.
In the spring of 1925, the bluestone was inconspicuous, little known and not even then actively quarried. Senior Duke officials brought this stone to the attention of James B Duke who founded Duke University. He was at that time intensely involved in the development and construction of its West Campus and wanted a stone that had a strong character, that would make distinctive and lasting buildings while yet being affordable.
For over seven decades, Duke University has benefited from the attractive union of a unique local stone and an ancient architectural style. The bluestone, so eponymous with Duke University, is now popularly known as the “Duke Stone”. Buildings on Duke’s massive campus in Durham feature the stone widely till this day.
As a fitting tribute to Duke’s first strategic collaboration with Singapore and NUS, the Duke Stone takes pride of place, welcoming visitors, faculty, staff and students from near and far into our “home”. It appropriately symbolizes the collaboration as a hallmark and pioneering effort that is, literally, cast in stone.