To the Duke Community,

As we strive to build an even more vibrant campus community, we too often think that university life is confined to what happens in the classroom, in the lab, in the dorms or on the field or court. Our students and faculty are extraordinary—but it is only through the efforts of our equally extraordinary staff members that we are able to realize our most profound aspirations.

Exploring our beautiful campus on crisp fall days, we may sometimes forget that it takes scores of dedicated security, grounds, and housekeeping colleagues to keep Duke safe and clean. Likewise, behind every successful treatment at Duke Health is a team of nurses and support personnel caring for patients; behind every friendship that buds over breakfast at the Marketplace are food service staff members who arrive before sunrise each morning to prepare healthy meals; behind every innovative learning program are the development, grants, clerical, and financial administrators who ensure that our academic initiatives have adequate funding and operate efficiently. Our most extraordinary discoveries require the support of lab assistants working late to prepare equipment and the facilities and technology staff who keep the lights on and machines humming. 

Duke employs nearly 40,000 extraordinary people on campus and throughout the region, and these few examples don’t begin to describe their vital contributions to our community.  

So in that spirit, I invite you to join me in identifying and celebrating those members of our university community who make Duke Duke. We are currently accepting nominations for the Presidential Awards, our highest recognition of those employees who through their work demonstrate Duke’s core values. I also encourage you once again to take a moment to say thank you to those committed individuals whose work too often goes unrecognized. 

I am forever grateful for the many ways that every person at Duke makes this community more vibrant. Thank you.