John Daniel Duke, Ph.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “John Daniel Duke, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 15, 2024,

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John Daniel Duke, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Psychology John Daniel Duke (August 31, 1931-) was born in St. Louis, MO. He attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, earning his A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in psychology (1953, 1958, 1962). He had limited army clinical experience 1954-1956 at Fort Sam Houston, TX and Fort Bragg, NC giving batteries of psychological tests to psychiatric patients, but his academic career has been entirely in Social Psychology and General/Theoretical Psychology. He first taught 1959-1962 at Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC) where he also served as chair of his department. From 1962 to 1968, his appointment was at Montana State University (Bozeman, MT). He became acting chair the last 18months of his tenure there. His published research there and at Appalachian State University (1986-1993) have included these areas: correlates of placebo reactivity and primary suggestibility (hypnotizability); oddities of body perception and drawings; attitude/opinion studies and methodological problems; the effects of early and late enriched environmental stimulation on learning abilities of matched sample rats, tables to help students interpret correlation size differences, and most extensively here at the university, his many studies on grading disparities in practice and how they impact on student GPAs. Duke earned his tenure at Appalachian in 1970, did special work for the Center of Instructional Development, participated in an Off Campus Scholarly Assignment Program, and served a few years in the AAUP and many years in the faculty senate. He took pride first and foremost in his teaching, and he won recognition as Teacher of the Year in his college both at Montana State and at Appalachian. He prepared booklets of notes for every class he taught. At contract renewal time each year, he typically waited until the last day before signing his next contract, usually with a note that Harvard did not call again. He was also editor of the Faculty Voice taking jabs now and then at policy directions taken by the University. Societies in which Duke held membership include the AAUP (Association of American University Presidents), the honorary society Phi Beta Kappa, the American Psychology Association, and state psychology organizations. He poked fun at faculty happenings in "On the Scene," once contributing that he and his staff person had participated in dyadic interactions in Atlanta put on by the ACBL (translation, he played in a weekend of tournament duplicate bridge). Another time in jargon just as specious he got inserted a reference to a weekend of golf at Tanglewood. The editors got wise and did not publish the listing about a made-up professor who won the prestigious Peabody Award. They reported receiving the listing, but stopped the story because when they called the department for more information, the department could not help them. Duke enjoyed his career. In annual reviews when asked to list his "creative activities of the year," it became his tired joke to write "filling out answers to this section of the report." Dr. Duke was awarded emeritus status in September 1993. Dr. Duke has two children by his previous wife, Donna Snyder Duke. His son, Miles is a computer whiz in Atlanta, and his daughter, Cama is a staff leader of the tutorial program for Appalachian State University. He has five grandchildren. Duke remarried Susan Beltz Waggaman in 1992. They live in Vilas in a condo that abuts the willows and one pond of the Willow Creek Golf Course. Duke gave up golf but keeps up his walking, usually walking over 20 miles a week. Susan was an administrative assistant at the Blowing Rock Hospital, but is now retired. As a result of fun teaching in Elderhostel programs put on at Appalachian, Duke with a great deal of help from the Center of Conferences and Institutes initiated and created a unique summer bridge program (Land Cruise Bridge Festivals). Duke taught bridge courses for rising players attracted from a majority of states and from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and Great Britain. Duke took great pride in the high number of students who came two or more summers, including repeat visitors from all three countries that had participating students. Duke remains an avid bridge player and organizer. His founded Unit 244 that serves 14 counties of northwest North Carolina, part of the American Contract Bridge League. He founded two and directed four area country club duplicate bridge clubs, and indirectly has made this area a Mecca for bridge competition. Boone now enjoys five games a week open to the public and five country club invitational games. Retirement finds Duke still steeped in bridge, both as a player and as a teacher. He and Susan have been the bridge directors and teachers on bridge cruises to the Caribbean, to the Panama Canal, to Alaska, and to Hawaii. More such cruises are in the offing. They also fancy long car trips and have crossed the country three or four times. They have also enjoyed Elderhostel programs that have taken them so far to Brazil and to the parks of Utah and to Puget Sound. Sources: Appalachian State University files and long association. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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