On Monday night, Duke’s campus erupted into a jubilant conflagration as students gathered to celebrate Duke Divinity School’s national publicity victory.
Anticipation for the Divinity School’s network television debut had been building all weekend. Students, many of whom were painted Duke Divinity blue, began to fill Cameron Indoor Stadium late Monday afternoon, in hopes of catching a glimpse of the school’s famous boat/cross/rainbow logo on the big screen. Their enthusiastic support of Duke Divinity School was rewarded at approximately 10:26 p.m. when two signs bearing the DDS name appeared briefly on CBS.
The euphoria that followed took its toll on the student body. After wildly cheering the Divinity School’s national television debut, most students needed a rest. Reports indicate that students were glued to their seats for the next hour, not really doing anything at all. They stored up their energy until approximately 11:40 p.m. when, as if on cue, the entire student body decided to honor the United Methodist church’s logo by starting an immense bonfire.
“We’re gonna remember this forever! I love Duke [Divinity School]!” exclaimed one undergraduate reveler. Perhaps the only thing burning hotter than the campus benches was national interest in the Divinity School, one of Duke’s oldest professional schools. “Duke Divinity School” was even a trending topic on Twitter for a brief time.*
Some students found the promotion distasteful. According to graduating-with-high-honors senior Rich Goodier, “While I understand better than anyone the crunch the school is feeling in these lean economic times, I nevertheless believe that the body of Christ, including its institutions, is called to resist capitalist modes of exchange and self-commodification (a belief I’ve written about here: richgoodier.wordpress.com). I hope to foster the end of this shameful self-promotion in the Church, and would love to embody this message in vocational ministry at a Baptist church in need of a dashing, theologically-trained young man whose exemplary life bears witness to Christ.”
With a more positive take on the event, average undergraduate junior Nolan Smith offered his reflections a few days later. “I wasn’t in Cameron that night; I had to be in Indiana for something. But when I watched the tape, I saw something that I’ll never forget. I’m not sure what that lady was talking about in her interview, but I do know this: Duke Divinity School loves CBS. That just means so much.”
*The part about Twitter is actually true, as is the fact that at least 50% of the tweets also contained the words “douche” or “douchebags”. Don’t shoot the messenger.
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