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Page Background

University’s Mission Statement

James B. Duke’s founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of

the University to “provide real leadership in the educational world” by choosing indi-

viduals of “outstanding character, ability and vision” to serve as its officers, trustees and

faculty; by carefully selecting students of “character, determination and application;”

and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would “most help to de-

velop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.”

To these ends, themission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal educa-

tion to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also

to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participa-

tion as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned profes-

sions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and

professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to

the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment

built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease

and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient

care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses,

for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of in-

formation technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human dif-

ference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a

commitment to learning, freedom and truth.

By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to en-

gage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated

with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the

nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we


Adopted by the Board of Trustees on February 23, 2001.