Child Care Initiative at WFU

In October 2023 the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees approved plans to establish a child care and early education center for families of faculty, staff, students, and the community. This decision marks a milestone in the decades-long journey of those who advocated tirelessly for this resource. Records from the University Archive reflect the evolution of the University’s conversation around child care, women, and families.

This list is not exhaustive, rather a starting point. If you would like to recommend other sources for this subject guide, please contact us at For updates on child care, consult the WFU Human Resources page.

Records Groups

Academic Affairs Office. Vice President Lu Leake Records (RG22.2) – Includes a series dedicated to the Commission on the Status of Women, 1995-1997, including meeting agendas, minutes, interviews, drafts, and a final report, which recommended child care facilities. See Box 1, Folders 6-19.

Academic Departments Records, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (RG16.30) – Includes histories of the department and its advocacy. See Box 2, Folder 7, “Self Study Document for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program Review” and Box 2, Folder 6 – “Women’s Studies Program Review Report 1, December 1997.”

Board of Trustees Records, 1923-present (RG2.1) – WFU Board of Trustees is part of the University’s governance structure, as the ultimate decision-making authority. Minutes in this collection show the Boards consideration of child care proposals through the years, notably in 1999, 2000, 2008 and 2023.

Office of the President. Thomas K. Hearn, Jr. Records (RG1.12) – The discussion surrounding child care was active during Hearn’s administration. See Box 29, folder 9, “Commission on the Status of Women, administrative response to the report.”

Office of the Provost. Edwin Graves Wilson Records (RG22.1.1) – Provost Ed Wilson appointed a committee to research the issue of child care on campus. The committee issued a report in 1987. See Box 44, folders 7-8, “Child care committee and related materials,” and folder 9, “Child care report.”

Office of the Provost. Women’s Center Records (RG22.4) – WFU’s Women’s Center was established in 2013 as part of the University Office of Diversity and Inclusion. This collection includes organizational newsletters and clippings related to the history of women on campus.

Vice President of Student Life and Instructional Resources. Kenneth A. Zick Records (RG40.1.2) – Includes final “Status of Women” report commissioned by President Hearn with recommendations for child care facilities. See Box 1, Folder 6 “Commission on the Status of Women materials and final reports, 1997” (also available in Vertical Files, Printed Materials Collection RG15).

University Histories

The History of Wake Forest University, Volume IV, 1943-1967 – This volume covers the evolution of the University’s policies after the admission of women in 1942. Highlights include Lois Johnson’s tenure as the first Dean of Women, the formation of the Women’s Government Association, and the beginning of Lu Leake’s tenure as Dean of Women.

The History of Wake Forest University, Volume V, 1967-1983 This volume covers the evolution of the University’s policies. Highlights include the formation of a Women’s Studies program in 1983.

The History of Wake Forest University, Volume VI, 1983-2005) – This volume notes conversations on the need for a “day-care center.” Highlights include faculty advocacy, finance proposals, and the Board of Trustees responses (pp. 75, 301, and 314).

University Publications

Old Gold and Black – Digitized issues of the student paper from 1916 – 2018. Keyword search for coverage of the child care initiative. Samples include:

WFU Reynolda Campus Faculty Handbook Collection – Contains faculty handbooks from the years 2011 to 2023 with references to child care resources in the community.

Born-Digital Records

Faculty Senate – Archived Minutes, Reports and Newsletters – this online archive includes Faculty Senate meeting minutes from 2015 onward.

Inside WFU – An online newsletter for the Wake Forest community. Search the site’s Archives with keyword “child care” for articles from 2020 to present day. Highlights include the October 2023 announcement: “Wake Forest University Child Care Center plans move forward”

WFU Website Archive – Archives of WFU websites available via The site can run keyword searches for posts related to the child care initiative.