DURHAM, N.C. – The Washington Duke Inn provided the backdrop for a special evening Friday, February 1 as student-athletes, coaches and a record number of generous donors came together for the annual Iron Dukes Scholarship and Endowment Dinner.
Through stories shared by current Blue Devil student-athletes, donors were given the unique opportunity to see firsthand the impact of their giving. The gifts made for athletic scholarships support and enhance the lives of Duke student-athletes while leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.
“There is something special student-athletes gain from their college experience that differentiates them from that point on - learning time management and how to be a teammate as well as team leader, coping with a loss and growing from it, how to compete and have fun at the same time, the merits of coaching and being coached and the value of a healthy mind, body and spirit,” said Iron Dukes donor Katy Holister T’81, P’17. “These are all critical to being a good parent, business person and community volunteer throughout life. This is the best form of education that can be provided.”
To begin the celebration, a panel of five student-athletes fielded questions about their Duke experience. Panelists included Lelia Boley (rowing), Hunter Davis (baseball), Shrish Dwivedi (men’s golf), Ade Owokoniran (volleyball) and Hannah Zhao (women’s tennis).
Friday evening’s dinner program featured remarks by Virginia Elena Carta (women’s golf), Faith Suggs (women’s basketball) and Ben Wyatt (football), as well as Deputy Director of Athletics/Development Tom Coffman. Mackenzie Coles (women’s soccer) and Quentin Harris (football) served as emcees as stories of gratitude and student-athlete achievement were shared throughout the event.
“Without a doubt, the best part of the dinner is the student-athlete speakers,” said Iron Dukes donor Bill Baxter T’75, P’04. “But it's the non-sports aspects of their stories and their experiences that demonstrates most powerfully the true value of their time at Duke. Hearing their testimonies makes us all proud and sends us home inspired.”
For more information on the Iron Dukes and ways to support student-athletes, visit www.IronDukes.net.
Please take a moment to enjoy the speeches from the event.