Wake Will Lead extends the momentum of Wake Will: The Campaign for Wake Forest to claim a leadership position in signature strengths and emerging opportunities. The undergraduate college, the graduate school, professional schools, campus life, Reynolda House and athletics department have all accepted the challenge to identify how they will lead in their respective fields as we seek to invest $400 million beyond our original goal in the Reynolda Campus by 2020. By raising a total of $1 billion in a decade, Wake Will Lead with a culture of philanthropy capable of funding University aspirations and reducing our dependence on student tuition.

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Presidential Signatures

Wake Will Lead by investing in our signature strengths and emerging opportunities that prepare students to thrive in an unpredictable and dynamic world. When applied to our personal model of education, these signatures reflect closely held Wake Forest traditions, yet evoke questions only answered by innovation and an investment of philanthropic resources. The questions we must address for the current generation of students include:

College to Career


The President’s Trust for College to Career will prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist and careers that value critical thinking. A successful career, and a successful life, require broad, transferable skills and adaptability. In the uncertain and dynamic 21st-century world of work, Wake Forest is recognized as among the best at preparing students and supporting alumni, for work and life after college. Our graduates are able to attain and thrive in the most competitive careers because of the personal attention and holistic education valued at Wake Forest.

Leadership & Character


The President’s Trust for Leadership and Character will prepare students for tests of everyday leadership and character. A strong community requires ethical leaders and engaged citizens. Unfortunately, today’s polarized and self-absorbed world offers few models of ethical leadership. Wake Forest is known for the depth of tradition, character and service implied by our motto, Pro Humanitate. It is also known for the innovation of scholars conducting rigorous academic research to address questions of character, including how it is developed and how it is measured.

Transcending Boundaries


The President’s Trust for Transcending Boundaries will prepare students for a global society requiring intercultural competence. The artificial bubbles created by geography, society, and smartphones act as echo chambers that surround us with people, practices and ideas that affirm the value of the status quo. U.S. News & World Report ranked Wake Forest number one among national universities for the proportion of students who study abroad for credit. Our students are uniquely prepared to enter new environments, equipped to engage with new people and ideas, guided as they reflect on new experiences, and challenged to transcend the boundaries that limit success.

The Engaged Liberal Arts


The President’s Trust for The Engaged Liberal Arts will make it possible to hire and support the best faculty to mentor the best students. This simple promise has defined Wake Forest for generations, and it remains the single best strategy to prepare students to thrive in an unpredictable and dynamic world. U.S. News & World Report ranked Wake Forest among the top five national universities for our commitment to undergraduate teaching. As a result, employers compete for Wake Forest graduates because they are prepared to collaborate widely, think broadly and challenge conventional wisdom.

Wake Downtown


The President’s Trust for Wake Downtown will make it possible to educate students in promising fields of study in advantageous locations. Engineering and biomedical science rooted in a liberal arts tradition will produce highly capable problem solvers able to lead new and existing industries to create previously unimagined products. Wake Forest undergraduate students are ahead of their peers when beginning graduate study, often finding that hands-on experience with high-end science instrumentation earned them the equivalent of the first-year graduate experience. Our new location in Wake Downtown creates 115,000 square feet of space for up to 350 students in a combination of classrooms and science labs equipped with the latest technology.

The Worthy Professions


The President’s Trust for The Worthy Professions will make it possible to develop professionals worthy of the title. In an age when one can go online to diagnose illness, start a business, get ordained, and create legal documents, Wake Forest prepares professionals ethically and intellectually equipped for a rapidly changing world. When we fulfill this promise, the School of Business, School of Divinity, and School of Law will graduate market-ready, ministry-minded, and service-oriented professionals with a commitment to their congregation, customers and clients, as well as their industry and community.

School & Unit Plans

Wake Will Lead is an idea and charge designed to reach every corner of Wake Forest. Each area of the University has accepted the challenge to strengthen our community of learning through a commitment to innovation while honoring the spirit of Pro Humanitate(Specific fundraising initiatives will be added in the order they are finalized)