Lula M. “Lu” Leake joined Wake Forest as Dean of Women in 1964. Before retiring in 1997, she held multiple leadership positions at the University including assistant vice president for planning and dean of the summer school. Across those leadership roles, Dean Leake was a guiding light for many Wake Foresters, and a leader who consistently advocated for the value of a holistic liberal arts education, one where students’ academic lives and social lives were congruent. 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 was a mentor, a champion, and a trusted friend to students, staff, and faculty.

The Lu Leake Fund was seeded by Dean Leake’s estate, which she left to Wake Forest upon her passing in 2015.  In honor of the 60th anniversary of Dean Leake’s arrival at Wake Forest, the Women’s Center is working to raise enough money to endow the Lu Leake fund, ensuring that resources will be available to advance academic and practical work situated at the intersection of gender and our lived experiences for generations of Wake Foresters to come.