Mission Statement & Purpose

Courtesy: Iron Dukes
Release: October 03, 2012
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The mission of the Iron Dukes is to help provide the resources necessary to enrich the lives of Duke student-athletes as they strive to be champions in the classroom and at the highest level of athletic competition, while preparing them to be champions in life by engaging the mind, elevating the spirit, and stimulating the best effort for all.

The Iron Dukes is the fundraising arm for Duke Athletics, providing an opportunity for alumni, friends, other individuals or groups to support Duke Athletics.  The Iron Dukes provides student-athlete scholarships, improvements to facilities, and operation and maintenance budgets for all 27 varsity sports.

Although Duke Athletics is standing stronger than ever before, if we expect to continue the success that has become the tradition at Duke, we must provide the necessary resources to our 27 varsity sport programs by increasing our annual donor base, building our endowment, and enriching the environment with a range of new and improved facilities.

Due to the high cost of educating a Duke student, stronger annual support is critical for the university to continue to offer competitive scholarship opportunities.  Although we continue to raise money to endow scholarships that will sustain our future, annual support is increasingly important to ensure the immediate success of Duke Athletics.

In addition to scholarship support, we strive to provide state-of-the-art facilities that not only offer a competitive advantage for our current student-athletes, coaches, and fans, but also give our coaches the tools for recruiting only the finest academic and athletic talent to be future Blue Devils.  As we endeavor to stay ahead of our peer institutions, especially within our conference, it is crucial that we garner support to fund the construction and maintenance of these facilities.

We can continue to honor our proud winning tradition of the past as we build great Blue Devil teams for the future, but we need you on our team.  Help us strengthen the heart of one of the premier academic and athletic institutions in the country.  Your generosity will afford outstanding young student-athletes the opportunity to pursue a Duke education while competing at the highest level.


There have been many great teams in the history of Duke athletics but probably the most famous collection of players on one team is the 1938 football team. This team was about as close to perfect as a team could be; they won all nine regular season games while remaining untied and unscored upon. The team was penned the "Iron Dukes" because nothing could surpass the defensive line. The team's sterling record earned the Iron Dukes a trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Unfortunately, the magical season ended when USC posted a 7-3 victory. The Trojans spoiled the perfect season with a touchdown in the final 40 seconds of the game. Although the Iron Dukes lost the game, the 1938 squad remains a standard bearer representing excellence in college football.