To the Duke Community,
I am very pleased to report that this morning, the Duke University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the Sociology-Psychology Building on West Campus after Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, ’67.
This historic decision reflects Professor Reuben-Cooke’s leadership as one of the first five Black undergraduates at Duke, her extraordinary career as an attorney, law professor, and university administrator, and her long service as a trustee of both Duke University and The Duke Endowment. For her many contributions to the Duke community, Professor Reuben-Cooke received the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Duke Alumni Association’s highest honor, in 2011.
The Reuben-Cooke Building is a fitting tribute for one of the most distinguished members of the Duke community. This iconic building—which predates our campus’s integration by three decades—has stood on Davison Quad as our university has evolved to more fully realize its inclusive values, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke and her classmates.
When the building that now bears Professor Reuben-Cooke’s name first opened, she would not have been allowed to enter it as a student; from this day forward, anyone who passes through its doors will carry on her legacy of accomplishment, engagement and lasting impact.