Lula M. "Lu" Leake joined Wake Forest as Dean of Women in 1964. Before retiring in 1997, she held several other positions at the University including assistant vice president for planning and dean of the summer school. In 1996 she received the Medallion of Merit, the University’s highest award. As the first woman at Wake Forest University to hold a senior leadership role, Lu was often referred to as a “trailblazer.” She paved the way for many women on our campus and sought to bring other women along with her. She touched many lives on campus; from students who looked to her for guidance and mentorship, to colleagues who considered her a role model and a trusted friend.
Sixteen years after Lu retired from Wake Forest, the Women’s Center was founded to support women and promote gender equity through advocacy, education, and community building. Although women now make up a majority of our students, women are still underrepresented in many areas of campus life including STEM classrooms, as full professors, and in senior administrator roles. It is critical that students see women as leaders and that all members of our community are aware of the history of women’s leadership on campus. This endowed fund will bring Lu Leake’s memory to life, year after year, and allow us to recognize and celebrate our history of women’s leadership at Wake Forest University.
Make a gift now to support the Women's Center in memory of Lu Leake!
The Women’s Center at Wake Forest University strives to create an educational and professional environment that supports women and promotes gender equity. Our initiatives encourage students to explore gender as a critical component of their identities and experiences, from their interpersonal relationships to their postgraduate aspirations.
We offer a range of opportunities, including discussion hours, workshops and enhanced student-faculty interactions. Some of our programs are designed as women-only spaces, but most of our initiatives are open to all members of our campus community.
Last year, we reached 3,348 people through our programs, provided 109 trainings and events, and provided funding and guidance to 10 student organizations engaged in gender equity work on campus. Your gift will allow the Women’s Center to establish an endowed fund to honor the memory of Lu Leake and to continue to foster a culture supportive of women’s leadership.
"Throughout my time at Wake Forest, the Women's Center has always been there for me, showing me genuine love and support."
- Mare S. ‘21
“The Women’s Center is a place of community where I always feel welcome, heard and encouraged. [At the Women’s Center] I have grown both professionally and personally.”
- Kiah S. ‘21
"There are no words for how thankful I am for the Women's Center at Wake Forest. These women have played an instrumental role in my undergraduate experience. They have inspired me, encouraged me, and most importantly, empowered me as a Wake Forest woman. The Women's Center is a place where Wake Forest women are championed. I am truly honored to be a part of this incredible group of women."
- Jenny F. ‘22
“She was a trail blazer. We stand on her shoulders. Thank you, Dean Leake.”
- Linda M. Bridges
“What a great lady!! She opened many doors for women at WFU and I was honored to be able to call her friend.”
- Dana Key Hutchens