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Grew Up In Durham, Works at Duke

Grew Up In Durham, Works at Duke

Hank Woods is a native of Durham and now works at Duke

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Editor's Note: The Blue Devil of the Week highlights a different Duke employee each week. Email us to nominate a coworker.

Hank Woods, right, posts with his wife, Mendy, and daughters Addison and Finley during a family vacation. Woods said he loves spending time with his family outside of work, especially wathcing his girls ride horses. Photo courtesy of Hank Woods.

Name: Hank Woods
Position: Assistant vice president, Duke Annual Fund
Years at Duke: 12 years

What I do at Duke: Each year, the Duke Annual Fund seeks to raise unrestricted support for Duke's schools and several units that serve the entire university community. I work with an outstanding staff that oversees direct marketing and face-to-face fundraising activities with more than 1,000 volunteers from the Duke community. We also collaborate with partners at University Development and in the schools and units for a true, collective effort. Individually, I work with a portfolio of Duke major and principal gift prospects that give significant Annual Fund gifts in addition to restricted support such as financial aid endowments, capital projects and more.

If I had $5 million, I would: Save the vast majority of it for retirement and my children's education, but I'd also invest in my children's equestrian interests. Horses are their passion and it has been amazingly rewarding to watch their development and love for the sport grow. I would also give some to charity like the Annual Fund and buy a new car.

My first ever job: I started working at an A&P grocery store in Durham when I was 14 and continued there for two summers stocking shelves.

My dream job: To follow David Cutcliffe as the next head football coach at Duke after he retires. I grew up in Durham and I'm a long-time Duke fan, so I'm so appreciative of everything he's done to get Duke football headed in the right direction.

If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: Anything related to my children who are 9 and 13.

The best advice I ever received: Be passionate about what you do and love the people with whom you engage in your work. I'm fortunate because that it's easy to do at Duke.

What I love about Duke: There's so much that Duke does to make the world a better place, especially right here in Durham. As a Durham native, I've loved seeing the progress the city has made and the investments from Duke to make that possible. We work with a board of 42 volunteers from around the country and it's so fun to expose them to all the good that's happening in Durham when they are on campus.

When I'm not at work, I like to: Play golf and watch our girls ride their horses.

If I could have one superpower, it would be: The ability to be in multiple places at one time. I travel a fair amount for work, so I tend to miss activities or social events with my family and I hate missing anything.

An memorable day at work for me: The first was the day I closed a $5 million commitment for Duke from a volunteer I have worked with since early in my Duke career. This illustrated the complexities of these types of gifts and just how much partnership around campus is required to make a gift this size come to fruition. Second, I have a pretty good sense of humor, so I will always remember my first day as director of the Annual Fund when all of my staff submitted their resignations - in jest, I think. Many of them are still here so I take that as a good sign, but it was a memorable way to get started in the new job.

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