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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 individuals 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 develop our resources,

increase our wisdom and promote human happiness.”

To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education

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

development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders

in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions 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 information technologies; and to

promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference 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 engage

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 do.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees on February 23, 2001