Wilhelmina M. Reuben-Cooke image

Wilhelmina M. Reuben-Cooke

  • Trustee, 2007–2019

Ms. Reuben-Cooke, a highly accomplished and well-respected lawyer hailing from Georgetown, S.C., was one of the first five African American undergraduate students to attend Duke University. She was elected Duke’s May Queen and later distinguished herself as an attorney, college educator and administrator. She worked first with the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and then with a public interest law firm, Citizens Communications Center. In 1986, she was invited to teach at Syracuse University College of Law. After six years, she became the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. She was also elected to serve on Duke University’s Board of Trustees. In 1983, Ms. Reuben-Cooke received the Duke University Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor awarded to alumni. A descendant of a long line of missionaries and educators, she placed a premium on spiritual and family life and community service. Her experience in a wide variety of fields made her a valued member of The Duke Endowment’s Board of Trustees from 2007 until her passing in 2019. Duke University in 2020 renamed its Sociology-Psychology Building in her honor.