As Robertson Scholars, students not only have access to two renowned universities, Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill. They also enjoy the recreation, resources and culture of the two communities that are contiguous with these campuses - Durham and Chapel Hill. These two cities, along with the state capital Raleigh, form the three points of the Research Triangle, home to one of the largest concentrations of Ph.D.'s and M.D.'s in the world. The Research Triangle Park, established in 1959 by leaders in business, academia and industry, is now the largest research park in the United States. Cited by by Business 2.0 as the #1 next boom town, by Forbes magazine as the #2 best place for business, and by Collegia as the #2 college destination based on the resources and diversity of the area, the Research Triangle is an innovative, dynamic locale where the minds of the world gather to envision and construct the future.
Known as the "City of Medicine" and "the Bull City," Durham is a small town (with about 234,000 residents) with an urban, cosmopolitan feel. To quote the Duke Admissions Web site, "You can think of Durham as one part relaxed Southern living, one part cosmopolitan energy, and one part academic and scientific innovation. Added to this are hospitality, humor, community, and amazing weather. What we're saying is that Durham is a great place to be."
With the vibrant student population of Duke University, the funky architecture of renovated tobacco warehouses, the eclectic cuisine of celebrated restaurants, and musical options ranging from blues festivals to raucous rock concerts like the Rolling Stones, Durham has a diverse and eccentric vibe that typically is found only in much larger cities.
Whether they are sipping a cup of coffee at a cafe on Ninth Street, listening to music at a listening station in Brightleaf Square, participating in a book discussion at a locally owned book store, taking in a Durham Bulls minor league baseball game, Duke students can find thousands of ways to immerse themselves in the life of the city.
Acclaimed by Sports Illustrated as "the purest example of a college town that is defined by a university," Chapel Hill is in many ways an extension of the campus. It is where sports victories are celebrated and Halloween is feted. The predominantly student clientele of Chapel Hill influences the composition of vendors and restaurants on Franklin Street. With over 50 restaurants, ranging from French to Ethopian, Argentinean to Mediterranean, Northern Italian to Southern American, fast food to haute cuisine, students have a wide range of eating options. The numerous venues that serve up diverse musical genres earned the city Rolling Stone's designation as one of the top 10 "campus scenes that rocks."
Chapel Hill's system of bikeways and greenways, open daily from dawn to dusk, makes it easy to navigate the city by foot, wheelchair, bicycle, roller skates, or roller blade. By daylight, Franklin Street is alive with shopping and enterprise. At nighttime, the city remains vibrant with the sounds of street musicians and the bustle of students, professors and locals headed to their favorite shops, theaters, nightclubs and restaurants.
Because both cities are ideally situated within three hours of the Atlantic Coast and the Smoky Mountains, students at the two universities easily take advantage of North Carolina's acclaimed beaches and mountains. With RDU International Airport about 30 minutes away, travel destinations beyond the boundaries of the state are nearly inexhaustible.