Wente quote: "I aspire to lead Wake Forest with trust, transparency and teamwork."

Dr. Susan R. Wente

On July 1, 2021, Wake Forest welcomed its 14th president, Dr. Susan R. Wente. Like Wake Forest itself, Wente has a history of taking bold steps in education. She was selected not only for her exceptional reputation as an acclaimed academic and charismatic leader, but also for her vision of Wake Forest as a welcoming, inclusive community that will continue to make positive change in the world.

Wente is a renowned biomedical scientist who served as Vanderbilt’s provost and vice chancellor for seven years and interim chancellor for eleven months. She led Vanderbilt’s efforts to restructure the relationship between the university and its medical center, which affords her valuable insight into the recent partnership between Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health. Never far from the lab or classroom, Wente models Wake Forest’s distinctive teacher-scholar ideal and has continued to mentor and conduct research with undergraduates throughout her administrative career.

Presidential Address

Dr. Wente delivered her second Presidential Address on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. in the Sutton Center.


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Strategic Framework

As a great university, it is imperative that Wake Forest develop a clear vision and direction to further support our mission. Learn more »

Welcome back

President Wente offers thoughts on the start of the Fall 2022 semester. Read the message »


President Wente’s inauguration ceremony was held March 25, 2022. Learn more »

“Great Universities”

Dr. Wente is engaging University stakeholders in discussions around: What is expected of a great university today? Share your input »

President Susan R. Wente in front of Reynolda Hall with Wait Chapel reflected.

Find out more

  • Wake Forest Magazine editor Maria Henson (’82) spoke with Dr. Wente after her selection as Wake Forest’s 14th president. Read the interview »

What They’re Saying

Melissa Jenkins

“Dr. Wente is committed to connecting with people, hearing their ideas, and building a shared vision. She invites all perspectives into the conversation.”

Melissa Shields Jenkins (’01), associate professor of English and member of the Search Committee

Revisit the announcement of Dr. Wente as Wake Forest’s new president, and find out what members of the Search Committee and national leaders are saying about her leadership. Read More »