Amy Privette Perko (’87) was a member of the Wake Forest women’s basketball team from 1983-87 and was inducted into the Wake Forest Hall of Fame in 2000. Perko ended her career as the program’s all-time leading scorer and currently ranks third in program history with 1,722 points. The guard still holds the program record for career steals (287) while her 38 points against Appalachian State on Jan. 3, 1986 are the eighth-most in Wake Forest single-game history. She was named to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America team three times and earned All-ACC honors twice. Perko was also honored as an ACC Legend in 2005.
When did you graduate from Wake Forest?
1987, B.A., Summa Cum Laude
What was your major and/or minor?
What does being a Demon Deacon mean to you?
Being a Demon Deacon means that I am part of a special family that continues to produce so many supportive and important relationships. Wake Forest has always been part of my life as I grew up a Deacon fan and had a goal of wearing an “old gold and black” uniform one day. Being a Demon Deacon also inspires me to live out the institution’s Pro Humanitate commitment for a lifetime.
Why are you still involved in Wake Forest Athletics?
Wake Forest continues to emphasize the values that I believe are critical to the growth and development of young people.
Why do you feel it is important to give back to the University?
My days as a Wake Forest student-athlete were incredibly valuable and central to my growth. I want to contribute to efforts so that young women and men will have the same opportunities.
What is your current occupation?
Chief Executive Officer, Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
What is your favorite memory of your time at Wake Forest?
In our first round ACC game my junior year, I hit a last second shot to propel our basketball team to a victory over Duke—the first time our women’s basketball program had advanced beyond the first round. Hitting a last second shot was a scenario I had dreamed of when I pretended to play for Wake Forest as a kid on my driveway goal, so the moment actually happening is one that sticks with me. After the game, then Duke coach Debbie Leonard congratulated me and said that it was a moment I would remember forever. She was right. Her graciousness in defeat is also remembered.
What makes you most proud of Wake Forest?
I’m proud that Wake Forest provides a living and learning environment that fosters enduring relationships, often linking families and friends across generations. These relationships are bolstered by Wake Forest, which remains rooted to its rich traditions even while it breaks new ground with educational innovations and an expanding campus. Alumni experience a strong sense of community and support for each other.
When you come back to Wake Forest, you always…
Walk on Reynolda Trail and visit the Quad.
I was there when…
Thomas Hearn, Muggsy Bogues and I were in the same freshman class (Thomas Hearn began his 22-year WFU presidency in 1983).
Who is your favorite coach at Wake Forest, current or past?
It is tough to name my favorite coach given my long history with Wake Forest. I have a special note written to me from legendary basketball coach Bones McKinney in his book Bones; attended several Carl Tacy basketball camps as a kid that then assistant coach Dave Odom helped lead; worked a Five-Star basketball camp for Dave Odom; was an undergraduate with men’s golf coach Jerry Haas; and in my senior year, helped recruit then high school senior Jennifer Mitchell (Hoover), who became a legendary player and is doing a fantastic job leading the women’s basketball program. I am grateful to former WFU women’s basketball coaches Wanda Briley, Lori Bailey and Joe Sanchez for the opportunities they provided to me and the things I learned from them. Finally, I’ve always admired the success and inspirational leadership of Dianne Dailey, Jen Averill, and the late Skip Prosser.
(Please note: This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of Gold Rush.)