"President Susan R. Wente" Archive

Annette L. Ranft named Dean of Wake Forest School of Business

Annette L. Ranft

Annette L. Ranft

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Following the completion of a national search, I am pleased to announce that Wake Forest has appointed Annette L. Ranft as the new Dean of the School of Business, effective July 1.

I am grateful to members of the search committee, chaired by Provost Rogan Kersh, for bringing Dean Ranft to Wake Forest. I’d also like to sincerely thank Michelle Roehm, who has served with dedication and distinction as interim dean in the School of Business since January 2021.

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Spring Semester Welcome Back

President Susan R. Wente shared a welcome back message and video with the campus community. See the full message here »

WFU Remembers General Colin L. Powell

Photo of General Colin L. Powell wearing Wake Forest University regalia standing behind a podium that says "Wake Forest University." He is speaking into a microphone and pointing toward a crowd gathered for the 2004 WFU Commencement Ceremony, where Powell was the keynote speaker.Wake Forest University is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of General Colin L. Powell.

General Powell was the University’s 2004 Commencement speaker. In his first commencement address as U.S. Secretary of State, Powell interspersed national policy with advice for Wake Forest’s 1,597 graduates. Powell said the impulse to do the right thing should apply to both individuals and nations.

“When people are suffering, and you can help them, you help them,” Powell said. “You act. You do what’s right. That’s the American way.”

During the pandemic, Powell participated in a virtual conversation with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in March 2021 as part of the University’s Face to Face Speaker Forum. He and Albright were scheduled to appear in person at Wake Forest on Nov. 9, 2021. Updates will be shared on the Face to Face Speaker Forum website.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with General Powell’s family, friends and those who served with him. We are grateful for General Powell’s service to our country and his example of leading with character and integrity,” said Wake Forest President Susan R. Wente.

This post originally appeared on the Wake Forest News website.

Wake Forest hires SmithGroup for campus space utilization study

Wake Forest University has hired the SmithGroup to complete a campus space utilization study beginning in October and continuing through April 2022. The study will bring into focus the diverse and evolving space and facilities needs of the campus today and for the future. When completed, the study will take into account lessons learned during COVID-19, forecasted future trends for academic work and the administrative functions needed to support it. Wake Forest hopes to identify opportunities to leverage and optimize use of the University’s real estate portfolio in service to the University’s academic mission.

“Careful and thoughtful campus space planning work is critical to positioning Wake Forest for the future,” said President Susan R. Wente. “The SmithGroup is known for its in-depth approach to analyzing space utilization and truly understanding campus needs in order to identify planning priorities and projects with the greatest potential for impact. I am confident they will lead this important process effectively for us.”

Guided by a steering committee of campus academic and administrative leaders, the study will prioritize the infrastructure in which the academic and residential experience takes place. As a member of the steering committee, Dean Michele Gillespie will provide leadership and engagement with the SmithGroup to ensure faculty voices and departmental needs of the College are communicated during the process. The committee will work with the SmithGroup to identify current and future solutions for ensuring that Wake Forest is equipped to offer exceptional academic experiences across all areas of study.

The SmithGroup will deliver a detailed space utilization strategy to assist the University in responding to its unique capacity and utilization challenges and opportunities on the Reynolda campus as well as off-campus University properties. The utilization study will identify investment, innovation and opportunity areas to ensure support for the University’s educational mission and continued investment in excellent academic, residential, research and athletic facilities that support a vibrant collegiate experience. Additional goals for this project include:

  • Addressing the need for additional instructional space, academic offices and support service space on Reynolda campus;
  • developing strategies to expand existing dining venue seating and assessing the need for a new dining facility;
  • identifying potential academic and/or administrative uses for University-owned commercial properties;
  • assessing recently acquired real estate for its potential academic, administrative, student activities and recreational uses;
  • and assessing spaces currently under University lease for future use.

“The buildings and spaces where we teach, learn, work and live on this campus are a huge part of what makes Wake Forest so special,” Wente said. “We will continue to invest in all of our physical spaces – academic, residential, athletics and administrative – to ensure we are able to offer environments that inspire creativity, deep learning, thriving, success and community connection.”

More information and ongoing updates about the space utilization study will soon be available on the WFU facilities website.

SAC meeting on Sept. 24 to include President Susan R. Wente and more

Staff Advisory Council logo

The next Staff Advisory Council (SAC) meeting will be held Friday, Sept. 24, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Topics and speakers include:


Wake Forest President Susan R. Wente Read more

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