Remembering Wake Tech's First President, Colonel Robert LeMay
RALEIGH, N.C. (April 14, 2015) - Wake Tech's first president, Col. Robert W. LeMay, Jr., passed away on Friday, April 10. He was 93 years old.
Col. LeMay came to Wake Tech (then the Wake County Industrial Education Center) in 1965, just two years after the college first opened its doors. He first served as Director of General Adult Education and was named President a year later. He served as President from 1966 to1979.
He presided over a period of explosive growth and expansion at Wake Tech. During his tenure, the institution expanded its original four technical programs -- Automobile Mechanics, TV and Radio Repair, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, and Drafting -- as well as nursing. Several new programs were established, including Engineering Technology, Computer Technology, Architectural Technology, and Business Administration. Under his leadership, Wake Tech's two-year associate degree in nursing program was approved, and Wake Tech received its first accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Col. LeMay was retired from the US. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1965, after more than 21 years of active duty. He was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Syracuse University, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. LeMay Hall on Main Campus was named in his honor, and was later combined with adjacent Pucher Hall during campus renovations. The building is now called Pucher-LeMay Hall. Most recently, Col. LeMay shared his memories in a video commemorating the college’s 50th anniversary.