Duke University Launches Ambitious Service Program

Duke University will pay the travel and living bills of any student who wants to spend a summer or semester doing volunteer work at home or abroad.

The University wants its students to take part in service-learning opportunities. Starting in summer 2008, any Duke undergraduate who's completed at least two semesters of classes can
take part in DukeEngage.

Duke President Richard Brodhead says the main goal is to, in his words, "make active, thoughtful, creative engagement part of the experience of every student."

Students could decide to help rebuild homes on the Gulf Coast or help with AIDS awareness in Africa. Or they can just focus on local issues in the Durham community.

The school says students will work with nonprofit and non-governmental groups that deal with poverty, housing, education, AIDS or other social issues. Brodhead says they could earn credit for some work, and that existing service programs will continue at Duke.

Duke estimates at least 25 percent of its 62-hundred-50 undergraduates will participate in DukeEngage over the next five