Durham, NC - When Carolyn Watson started at Student Affairs and worked at her office's front desk, she heard the question four or five times a day: "Where is the Page Building?"
The only problem, there is no "Page Building" at Duke. There is, however, a Page Auditorium connected to the Flowers Building, where Watson works.
"Oh, we got that all the time," said Watson, now a payroll specialist with Student Affairs' Resource Administration. "We still get it all the time, and it's usually students looking for some kind of performance in our building."
Watson laughs when she talks about the name confusion, something she said can be common around Duke. From the University campus to Health System, there are plenty of parking lots and buildings, and plenty of names to call them. From changing the bland "PG IV" to the simple "Bryan Center garage," there are lots of examples of alternate names for Duke locations.
Pat Thibodeau is all too familiar with the issue as associate dean for library services at the Medical Center Library. Her workplace is housed in the Seeley G. Mudd Building, or some other variation, depending on whom you ask, she said with a chuckle.
"Lots of people call our building the Searle Center Building and our library the Searle Library, so I just have a laugh and explain that the `Searle Center' is actually just a conference center on the bottom of five floors," Thibodeau said. "Even when I came to interview 18 years ago, I heard some people call our library the `Searle Mudd Library' and I was quickly told `no' about that name. I just think it's all kind of funny."
The Searle-Mudd confusion isn't the Health System's only mix-up. There's Duke University Hospital, which is commonly referred to as "Duke North" and Duke Clinic, also known as "Duke South." Duke University Hospital got its nickname after the addition of the "North Division" of the hospital opened in 1980 and Duke Clinic because of its location (south) of Duke University Hospital.
The proper names for the buildings are "Duke University Hospital" and "Duke Clinic."
One of the more common nicknames is given to the parking garage attached to the Bryan University Center, known as the "Bryan Center garage." The building is officially named "PG IV," as one of Duke's large parking garages throughout campus. But that's not the only confusion when it comes to parking.
"An employee parked in the Allen Lot and received a parking ticket for an incorrect permit," Landis said. "His reason for appeal was that he had a D permit, and D clearly falls between the letters A and G."
Even Duke employees who have been around for decades laugh about their own confusion. Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said when she was an undergraduate at Duke in the 1970s, she made an easy mistake - mixing up the Social Sciences Building, or "Soc-Sci," and the Sociology-Psychology Building, known as "Soc-Psych."
When trying to find a freshman class in the Sociology-Psychology Building, she unwittingly went to the correctly numbered classroom, but in the Social Sciences Building instead.
"There were similar classes taught in both buildings, so it was even more confusing," Wasiolek said. "But once you learn a building's name like that, you don't forget."