A new dawn for the dean

Steve Reinemund announced today that he will step down as Dean of the Wake Forest School of Business at the end of this academic year, effective June 30, 2014.

“Steve has demonstrated nothing short of transformational leadership and exemplary service as dean,” said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch. “His tenure at Wake Forest includes an extraordinary list of contributions, but his greatest legacy will be his unwavering commitment to developing passionate, ethical business leaders driven to achieve results with integrity. Our students, faculty, staff and alumni have benefited greatly from his values-based approach to business education.”

Reinemund was appointed dean of the School of Business in 2008. His experience as a 23-year PepsiCo veteran who led the corporation as chairman and chief executive from 2001 to 2006, and retired as chairman in 2007, helped cement relationships with some of the world’s greatest business leaders and Wake Forest students, faculty and staff. As a result, the School’s national visibility and reputation improved, and Wake Forest consistently ranks among the nation’s best business schools.

“I came to an outstanding university in 2008 and thanks to the dedication and commitment of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and friends of the School, we have made the unified Wake Forest School of Business truly a world-class institution,” said Reinemund. “Our vision of achieving excellence in education at Wake Forest and providing an exceptional experience for our students and alumni has been, and will continue to be, a primary focus.”

Some of his major accomplishments include integrating Wake Forest’s undergraduate and graduate business programs, which recently united under one roof in Farrell Hall. The $55 million, 130,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building, designed to optimize student, faculty and staff interaction and collaboration, opened for classes in July 2013.

During his tenure, Wake Forest enhanced all of its business programs to provide a multitude of educational experiences that foster hands-on collaboration and teamwork, enable students to explore their passions and find meaningful employment, and develop students into authentic leaders committed to their profession and society.

Reinemund spearheaded a significant investment in the career development resources dedicated to undergraduate business majors, led the evolution and growth of the School’s one-year Masters of Arts in Management program, oversaw significant growth in the Master of Science in Accountancy program and grew the MBA program for working professionals. The 2012 opening of the Wake Forest Charlotte Center in Uptown Charlotte – which is not only home to Saturday and Evening MBA programs, but also hosts University-wide events and programs – marked a major milestone in the School’s history. In addition, he recently initiated a program redesign effort for the full-time MBA program that will position it for the rapidly changing business landscape and evolve it into one of the most innovative in the nation.


To build relationships and good health, Reinemund hosted a three-mile foot journey around campus.

And while regular interaction with deans and former C-suite executives would be a rare occurrence for students at many universities, it’s become a weekly tradition at Wake Forest. Each Thursday morning during the school year, Reinemund hosted Dawn with the Dean, a three-mile foot journey around campus he started because of his belief that exercise leads to both healthier bodies and sharper minds. The popular event also has opened the door for increased camaraderie between graduate and undergraduate students and faculty members.

Wake Foresters can expect to see Reinemund running around campus for the foreseeable future. He will remain an Executive-in-Residence, a role that will allow him to teach classes, mentor students and bridge connections for the University.

A national search for the next dean will begin soon. Details will be forthcoming.

“We would like to thank Steve for his incredible service and tremendous leadership. We have been lucky to call him Dean, and we are thrilled that he will remain an integral part of Wake Forest University,” said Hatch. “The School of Business remains steadfast in pursuing its goals for the future: becoming a top-20 school nationally in every program offered, securing meaningful employment for 100 percent of graduating students and, most importantly, preparing ethical business leaders to lead lives that matter.”

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