“When the building that now bears Professor Reuben-Cooke’s name first opened, she would not have been allowed to enter it as a student,” Price said in an email. “From this day forward, anyone who passes through its doors will carry on her legacy of accomplishment, engagement and lasting impact.”
In a statement, the university said the renaming of the sociology-psychology building “is part of a larger effort launched by Price to have the university engage with its history and identify opportunities to honor key contributors to the university who have been overlooked.”
A native of South Carolina, Reuben-Cooke — who was active in the civil rights movement as a student — graduated from Duke in 1967 with a bachelor of arts degree, according to the university.
She also was associate director of Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Public Representation, where she supervised litigation before the Federal Communications Commission and federal courts, including the US Supreme Court.
Reuben-Cooke served on Duke’s Board of Trustees from 1989-2001 and was honored by the university in 2011 with the Duke University Distinguished Alumni Award, the school said.