Wilhelmina Matilda Reuben-Cooke


Wilhelmina Matilda Reuben-Cooke, one of the first five African Americans undergraduate students at Duke University, died Oct. 22.

In her honor, Duke University lowered its flags on Oct. 26. A memorial service will be held at the Duke University Chapel on Dec. 14, 2019 at 3 p.m.

In 2013, a $1 million scholarship fund was established to honor Wilhelmina and the four other first black undergraduates at Duke.

Last month, the University of the District of Columbia established the Wilhelmina M Reuben-Cooke scholarship fund to honor her many contributions to the David A Clarke Law School and throughout the University.

Reuben-Cooke was born in Georgetown, on Dec. 13, 1946.

She was the eldest of six children of the late Reverend Dr. Odell R. Reuben, President of Morris College, and the late Dr. Anna Mays Daniels Reuben.

She was named in honor of her parents’ mothers. On June 22, 1968, Wilhelmina Matilda Reuben married Air Force 1st Lieutenant Edmund Douglas Cooke, Jr. of Springfield, Ohio, and together they reared two daughters.