Wake Forest announces search for 14th president

Gerald Roach – Chair, Wake Forest University Board of Trustee

A message from Chair of the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees Gerald Roach.

Dear Wake Forest community,

Yesterday, President Hatch announced his intention to retire at the end of June. While President and Mrs. Hatch and the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees have prepared for this day for more than a year, it is still difficult to comprehend that it has arrived. Over these 15 years, the Hatches have faithfully led Wake Forest University. They have been model citizens for this community and have inspired a generation of growth and achievement that has transformed Wake Forest. The Board of Trustees is grateful for their exceptional leadership, and we look forward to joining together as a community to thank the Hatch family for their numerous contributions to our institution in the coming months.

This announcement does not change the way Wake Forest University is led. President Hatch will continue to lead our team with the same vigor, vision and good judgment as he has these last 15 years, and he has generously volunteered to continue beyond June 30 if needed to facilitate the transition.

I have never been more proud or more grateful for the dedication and commitment of President Hatch, our administration, faculty, staff and students. These are extraordinary times as we address COVID-19, racial injustice and inequity, and our own personal and family challenges. I have witnessed firsthand that these challenges have brought out the best in Wake Forest, and it is my hope and belief that Wake Forest is a place of comfort and opportunity now more than ever. It is who we are with each other and our communities, as well as what we have accomplished and the opportunities ahead, that make our presidency one of the premier positions in higher education.

The Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee, assisted by an executive search firm, will launch the process of seeking and securing Wake Forest’s 14th president. The Presidential Search Committee consists of trustees, faculty, alumni, parents and a student. These individuals have accepted the responsibility of listening to the thoughts, hopes and aspirations of our community as we envision Wake Forest’s next chapter.

The Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee are committed to an engaging and transparent process. The committee will immediately convene conversations with the Wake Forest community. We look forward to hearing your thoughts about the University’s opportunities as we prepare to embrace a new leader, and we will offer the whole community a way to contribute suggestions and insights via the newly launched Presidential Search website. The website will also provide regular updates on the search. We are excited about the future for Wake Forest and take on this responsibility with the serious and earnest commitment it deserves.

While we search for a new leader and prepare to celebrate the many contributions of the Hatches, I am heartened by the commitment of thousands of Wake Foresters who are invested in our future. By relying on what has brought us to this moment — our collective commitment to excellence, our deep sense of the value of relationships and conversation, dedication to our mission and place in society, and our enthusiasm about the opportunities that lie ahead — we will continue in the tradition of Pro Humanitate with each other and in our communities, and we will continue to build the place that we cherish and call home.

Thank you all for being part of this community and for contributing your best to its ongoing success.


Gerald F. Roach (’80, JD ’82, P ’09, P ’12, P ’12)
Chair, Wake Forest University Board of Trustees