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What appears below is a newspaper article about an April Fools prank that I put together for the main website of my employer Duke University. If you would like to see what the homepage looked like on that day, click on "View demo page" above. To view the 9 images in succession, just reload that page.


The Herald-Sun, 4/1/2000. Durham, NC

Elvis loved Duke tenderly

Photos on the university's Web site show the King enjoying campus life

The Herald-Sun

A little known fact bout Duke University: Elvis was a fan. And they have photos to prove it.

For one day, today, these never-before-seen photos will rotate on Duke's main Web site at In them, the King can be seen partying with frshmen, studying biology and even helping inaugurate President Nan Keohane. back in 1993.

Webmaster Vince Budnick said it took a few months of intermittent work to gather and touch up the photos from the university archives.


And while Budnick admits he wasn't even a big Elvis fan, after Duke officials green-lighted the project, he really couldn't say no.

Of the nine photos, Budnick said his favorite shows Elvis at Duke's Marine lab, peering over, group of undergraduates studying a baby sea turtle. Everything in that photo makes Elvis look good, he said, from the tint of his skin to his windblown hair.

Elvis is also seen as a "famous fan" of the women's field hockey team, with undergraduates on a tour of an Italian archeology site, and strolling across the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in full white jumpsuited, rhinestone studded regalia.

Homepage snapshot depicting Elvis at President Nan Keohane's inauguration.
In this image from Duke University's Web site, Elvis
can be seen walking behind President Nan Keohane

But the photo that clearly details the close relationship between the university and the King is the rare shot of Elvis walking just two steps behind Keohane and former University Marshal Pelham Wilder at Keohane's inauguration. Dressed neatly in a white suit with black lapels, the King had an actual role in the ceremony.

According to the photo caption, "In a ritual unchanged for most of a century, after the procession of pink cadillacs. the university mace is passed to the new President by a noted southern dignitary in blue suede shoes. The ceremony is followed by the traditional fried banana feast ...... and a good cigar."

Dennis Meredith, director of Duke's Office of Research Communications, conceded that many people will see the pictures as an April Fool's Day joke.

Elvis reportedly died in 1977. after all.

But, Meredith said when he took the photos to Keohane for approval for the Web site, she "thought it was an honor" to show the King at her inauguraion. After doing this project, Budnick said current Duke students should keep a more walchful eye about campus.

"Elvis is everywhere," he said.

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