DURHAM, N.C. -- It’s not every day that Duke student-athletes get an opportunity to dress up and share their Duke story in a room full of their biggest supporters, but when they do, donors get a unique glimpse of the impact of Iron Dukes giving.
The annual Iron Dukes Scholarship and Endowment Dinner, held on February 26, 2018 in Blue Devil Tower, brings more than 300 student-athletes, donors and staff together to thank those who make these athletics scholarships possible. These gifts support and enhance the lives of Duke student-athletes while leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.
“The Iron Dukes Scholarship event is one of the most impactful and favorite events of the year for me. It continues to grow my love and appreciation for Duke Athletics and our amazing student-athletes. I attend many sporting events across campus from Men’s Basketball, to Football, to Field Hockey but the scholarship banquet allows you to interact with the student-athletes on a deeper level. Each year, it amazes me how truly special and talented these young men and women are. This event is surely something I will continue to attend and makes me want to continue investing in the Duke student-athlete,” commented Iron Dukes donor Susan Sabiston.
To begin the evening, former Duke football player Dave Harding T’12, G’14 asked a panel of four student-athletes a variety of questions ranging from their Duke experiences to personal favorites. The panel included senior Gabe Brandner (football), freshman Ashleigh Rodriguez (softball), junior Kyra Lambert (women’s basketball), and senior Josiah Hanko (men’s track).
During the dinner program later that evening, a trio of student-athletes, senior Tara Christensen (rowing), freshman Steve Mann (baseball) and senior Schuyler DeBree (women’s soccer), led by emcees Chris Taylor (football) and Ayssa Chillano (field hockey), shared their gratitude and unique Duke stories in front of a record number of attendees.
“The Iron Dukes Scholarship and Endowment dinner is a tribute to our student-athletes, their coaches and the administrators who run the well regarded, nationally recognized Duke University athletic programs. Our family is honored to be able to support Duke both academically and athletically. These young men and women personify what we admire in the youth of today,” added Iron Dukes member Roger Hamilton T’64, P’00, P’05.
Please take a moment to enjoy the speeches from the event:
Tara Christensen Speech
Steve Mann Speech
Schuyler DeBree Speech
Tom Coffman Speech