“I must say that, overall, Duke prepared me well for life and career.  Academically Duke offers a top-rate education and opportunities that are second to none.  And in terms of life, the opportunities provided by the Newman Center (as the Catholic Center was called in my day) helped to shape my goals to be a complete person, meaning not just well educated, but well formed in Catholic conscience, character, and virtue.”

– Fernando Boschini, Class of 2004

“When I got into Duke, I was ecstatic for every aspect of college life, with the exception of one specific realm.  I had the pleasure of growing up with a very faithful family, and a great parish to stimulate this very faith life I cherished.  Coming to Duke, not only did I not expect a supportive Catholic community, but I downright expected a cold reaction to being a Catholic.  However, a few months before I arrived in August, I received a handwritten letter inviting me to a beach retreat.  I was skeptical at first.  How expensive will it be?  Will it even be that Catholic?  However, I signed up, and hoped for the best.

My expectations were beyond met, and the Beach Retreat was incredible.  Taking place after the first two weeks of school, it was the perfect way to get away from the overwhelming academic rigor that is Duke University, and have some stress free, reflective fun on the coast.  Catholic Beach Retreat was staffed by very competent students, was well organized, and didn’t impose upon anyone.  It was a very down to earth, ease-your-way-in way to get to know the Catholic Center, and to the best of my knowledge, it was warmly received by all involved. And on top of all of that, the retreat, food, and bus trip all being free for the freshman was simply incredible.  I undoubtedly would love to participate, and staff, Beach Retreats in the future.”

– Sam Hofacker, Class of 2015

“Stephen and I met near the end of our freshman year at the Duke Catholic Center freshmen Bible Study. Our friendship deepened as we both became more involved in the DCC our sophomore year, coordinating the welcome cook-out, going to Bible Study, mass, and Holy Hour together and hanging out with our friends at Awakening and DCC social events. After both going on the DCC Spring Break mission trip to Jamaica in 2011, we began dating and soon realized that God was calling us to marriage. We credit the Duke Catholic Center with providing us with a supportive faith environment that helped us to grow in our faith as individuals so we could become a stronger team together in marriage.”

– Hillary Clement, Class of 2013

“Coming to college has been an overwhelming experience, this past semester being the first time in my life that I have been utterly and completely in charge of myself.  I was thrust into a world where I was handed the sole responsibility of taking care of myself, a responsibility that soon consumed me.  By the time Duke Catholic Center Beach Weekend Retreat came around I was so wrapped up in my own little bubble that I almost convinced myself not to go.  I thank God that didn’t happen…  Over the course of one weekend I discovered a support group that brought me out of myself.  Not only have these beautiful people inspired me spiritually and supported me through difficult times but they have also given me the strength and inspiration to be a woman of Christ in a time in my life when it seems impossible.  I owe so much to the people I met because of beach weekend for helping me rediscover in a deeper and more fulfilling way my faith and my relationship with God.  I look forward to returning soon and helping future freshman grow in their faith!”

– Gabriela Gomez, Class of 2015