It was when Dr. Roger McClendon came to Duke for his residency in 1983 that he got his first true understanding of NCAA athletics. Cheering on Duke basketball and football in the campus’ iconic stadiums against top-notch rivals came as a thrill.
“When I finished my residency, I had come to understand what it meant to be a Duke fan,” said McClendon, chief of neuropathology and surgical pathology in the Duke Department of Pathology. “When I left for Georgia, where I practiced medicine for four years, I bought a satellite receiver just so I could get Duke basketball games.”Read More
And when McClendon returned to Durham in 1992, he found a way to reconnect to Duke Athletics through the Iron Dukes, an official group of fans who provide financial support to help enrich the lives of Duke student-athletes. Iron Dukes contributions help support scholarships and renovations to Duke facilities.
From now through Feb. 19, the Iron Dukes is looking to grow the family of Duke Athletics supporters among faculty and staff. Employees who become Iron Dukes members by pledging a donation by June 25 will be entered into a raffle for two tickets to the Duke men’s basketball game against University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on March 5 in Cameron Indoor Stadium. During the membership drive, any Duke employee who joins will also receive an Iron Dukes memento.
A tax-deductible membership begins at $100 and 100 percent of donations support scholarships for student-athletes and enhancements their athletic experience. Member perks include a subscription to Duke Athletics publications, invitations to Iron Dukes-only events and special access to tickets for football and basketball, including single game men’s basketball tickets. As part of the drive, those donating at the $250 level will receive a pass for free access to home Olympic sport events for spring 2016, which include lacrosse and baseball. A full list of benefits can be found on the Duke Athletics website.
Iron Dukes donations are eligible for payroll deduction. Employees can sign up using the Duke@Work portal.
Tracy Killette, administrative director for medical staff affairs at Duke Raleigh Hospital, has been an Iron Dukes member for eight years and sees her support as an extension of being a lifelong Duke fan. Killette, who graduated from Duke in 1986, said she joined because it helps her feel more connected to Duke Athletics.
“It gives you a chance to attend games, which is great, but it makes me feel like more than a fan,” she said. “I feel that by contributing and supporting these athletes, I’m a small part of what happens on the field.”
Learn more about joining the Iron Dukes in this video: