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2010 September

Special Places on Campus

Wake Forest is arguably one of the prettiest campuses in the country, and there are many special places on campus. Here’s a sampling of some of the places that provide great beauty, a quiet moment for reflection, a great view, and more.

The balcony off Benson University Center overlooking the Tribble Hall courtyard

Sit in one of the wooden rocking chairs and enjoy the great view as you watch the campus walk by beneath you.

Campus Grounds – the student coffee shop

Warm, rich colors, comfy seating. A great place for a cup of coffee or to study.

Reynolda Gardens

Take the walking path from campus and wind your way through the woods up to Reynolda House Museum of Art and Reynolda Gardens. If you’re driving in the fall, Stratford Road and its avenue of overhanging trees is one of the prettiest spots anywhere.

The swings on Davis Field

Two wooden swings are hanging in the trees on Davis Field on the way to Scales Fine Arts Center. Frequently you’ll see students swinging gleefully and enjoying a spontaneous burst of childlike joy. Our late president, Thomas K. Hearn, Jr., was known to swing on these.

The Mag Patio

With umbrella tables and rocking chairs, this is a great place to study or eat al fresco.

Wait Chapel Steps and the Quad (Hearn Plaza)

There is nothing prettier than sitting on the steps of Wait Chapel looking towards Reynolda Hall on a crisp fall day, or even better at twilight.

Hit the Bricks

Here are a couple of shots from the Quad this morning.  Hit the Bricks is set up, and yesterday they held the time trials.  Congratulations to our “1 Minute Club” runners!

Let’s hope the rain holds off for the event tomorrow.  Go Deacs!

A Must See During Family Weekend – Ed Wilson

If you are coming to campus for Family Weekend, there is an event you should not miss. On Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. in Pugh Auditorium, there is a session on the History of Wake Forest by Ed Wilson (’43), Provost Emeritus and Emeritus Professor of English.

Every school has a Most Amazing Professor who is beloved by generations. Someone who made a profound and lasting impression – and difference – in the lives of those he taught. At Wake Forest, that professor is Ed Wilson.

He was known for teaching ‘British Romantic Poets’ and ‘Blake, Yeats and Thomas’ – two classes that English majors fought desperately to get into. His mellifluous voice – heard here in a multimedia presentation from last fall – is a treasure. He used to read Christmas stories and poetry during holiday celebrations at fall semester exams, much to the delight of all who heard him.

Dr. Wilson has retired from the classroom – and sadly would not have taught your students. He has recently written the next chapter in the History of Wake Forest book series, on the years of President James Ralph Scales (late ’60s to early ’80s).  He is a wonderful, wise man and is affectionately known as Mr. Wake Forest.

Make time to go to his lecture. You will not regret it.

Hit the Bricks

Hit the Bricks is one of the campus’ finest traditions. It’s a service event that the entire campus embraces as part of our commitment to serving humanity – running laps on the Quad (Hearn Plaza) to raise money for cancer.

One of Wake Forest’s most celebrated sons was Brian Piccolo (’68), a football great who later went on to join the Chicago Bears. Tragically, his life was cut short by cancer, but he was immortalized in the movie “Brian’s Song” (a must watch for all Wake Foresters).  Since 1980, Wake Forest students have been directing their philanthropic and charitable efforts towards the Brian Piccolo Cancer Drive, raising $1,000,000 for the WFU Cancer Center.

Hit the Bricks occurs every fall.  Teams of students run laps on the Quad, earning extra points for carrying backpacks with bricks in them as they run. It’s a great competition between teams, both Greek and non-Greek alike.

Students set up chairs in the Quad to watch their teammates and rest while they wait for their shift, there is live music and remarks on a stage throughout the day. Campus administrators and faculty participate as well as students.

For those of you here early for Family Weekend, Hit the Bricks will take place on Thursday, September 30th from 11 am to 7 pm. The winners have bragging rights, but all our students can claim to be doing something remarkable by giving their best in honor of all who are affected by cancer, and in hope for a cure.

You can also get a sense of Hit the Bricks from this local news story on Youtube.

Family Weekend

All across the country – and maybe even the world – parents are preparing to come to Wake Forest for Family Weekend. And while the weather today is unpleasant (rainy and cooler), the forecast for the weekend is glorious. Don’t forget to pack your gold and black clothes so you can show your school spirit!

For those of you arriving for Family Weekend, you’ll want to make sure to go to Family Weekend Registration (in the Benson Center). Registration staff will begin welcoming families at noon on Friday in the Benson University Center Rotunda. Registered families will be able to pick up registration packets, pre-purchased football and event tickets, and t-shirts at this time. Families may also wish to visit Undergraduate Research Day, taking place in Benson room 401 from 3-5 pm. There is a full schedule of events for the weekend, and when you check in at Registration you can ask the Family Weekend staff any questions you may have.

Parents, be prepared for your students to want to go out to eat and to go shopping – two of Family Weekend’s most prized activities. If you haven’t yet discovered mysavu.com, the student entrepreneurial web site that advertises student discounts at local businesses, you might want to start there in considering places to take your student to eat. Or ask your student his or her favorite place. 

On behalf of the Office of Parent Programs, we wish you safe travels to campus and a great Family Weekend.  Go Deacs!

The Evolution of the Demon Deacon

Today’s Old Gold and Black has an article on the Evolution of the Demon Deacon mascot:

“The white-haired gent with a fierce snarl, gold and black top-hat, and butt-like chin has been a well-known image since the early 1940s — but where did he come from?

As early as 1895, Wake Forest (then called Wake Forest College) claimed the colors gold and black in athletic competitions and debates, and for about two decades, used a tiger mascot that was designed by a student.

The school’s literary magazine, called The Wake Forest Student, described it in this manner:

‘At last, Wake Forest has a college badge. It is a very neat button designed by Mr. John M. Heck and contains a tiger’s head over the letters WFC. The colors are in old gold and black.’

At the time, the mediocre Wake athletic teams earned the nickname ‘Old Gold and Black’ from the color scheme of their uniforms, and were also often referred to as the ‘Baptists’ because of the school’s religious affiliation.”

Read the full article online, or browse the entire online issue of the Old Gold and Black. And if you want to know more about the history and traditions of your student’s school, the Traditions Council published an excellent brochure about Wake Forest traditions. If you’re returning for Family Weekend next weekend and want to be up on all things Wake Forest, you can give the “Little Black Book” a read.

College Rivalries

Yesterday I had lunch with a group of students (largely freshmen and sophomores) and we discussed everything from the weather to campus life to the differences in dorms. These were all terrific young men and women, and clearly very excited to be at Wake Forest. Happily, this group all seemed to be doing well and they have settled in nicely to campus life.

At some point the talk turned to college sports – and the various rivalries that exist. Some alumni would tell you that Duke is Wake Forest’s greatest rival and most disliked opponent; others would tell you that it is UNC Chapel Hill. We all agreed, however, that the most satisfying Quad Rollings come after a win against either of these teams.

In other sports-related news, ESPN commentator and Duke alumnus Jay Bilas is coming to campus on October 7 as part of our Voices of Our Time speaker series.  Bilas will tip off Wake Forest’s Homecoming weekend as he shares his insights about the state of college athletics and the NCAA. President Hatch and Athletic Director Ron Wellman will join Bilas in the conversation.

Voices of Our Time is free and open to the public. So parents, encourage your students to attend – and join us if you are able. This will no doubt be a very interesting evening!

Dixie Classic Fair

With the official arrival of fall, the calendar turns to an annual event that is beloved by the local community and students alike – the Dixie Classic Fair.  The fair features rides, animals, competitions and displays, and food. Lots and lots of food. Things like deep fried candy bars, funnel cakes, and frozen bananas.

Discount tickets for students are available in the Benson University Center. Because the fair is happening on the same weekend as Family Weekend, some parents may want to check out all the offerings.

Where in the World Are Wake Foresters?

There is a great new map on the Center for International Studies page that shows a map of the world and all the places where Wake Foresters study abroad.  On the page, scroll down to where it says “Wake in the World” and you can see for yourself.  It’s a pretty impressive list of places, literally spanning the globe.

Studying abroad is something that many of our WFU students do – around 60% take part in a foreign academic program, international service trip, or even do a domestic semester away from campus such as the Wake Washington program. Most students who have studied abroad report it to be one of the most formative experiences of their young lives. Having studied abroad myself through the Wake Forest program in Dijon, France, I can say my time abroad was the best and most meaningful semester of my time on campus.

Parents, talk to your students about the possibility of spending some time abroad – whether it is a semester, a few short weeks or over a holiday break. Most students can find a way to study abroad, even in majors with rigorous course sequencing, if they begin the process early. Students who are interested should look at the Center for International Studies pages on getting started and their FAQ (frequently asked questions).

Former CEO Teaches Business Students

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a seminar on leadership, which was led by John Allison, Distinguished Professor of Practice in the School of Business and former CEO of BB&T Corporation. While he was teaching a leadership class to staff members, he also instructs our business students. Which is a pretty remarkable thing – a former CEO of a major financial institution is in residence here and serving as a faculty member and mentor to young minds. 

John Allison’s profile is available online, and having sat in the class, I can vouch for him being an impressive person. But one of the things that impressed me the most was his philosophy on leading. He told us some of the beliefs that best served him in his career:

  • you must have vision and purpose
  • your principles need to be in harmony
  • you must choose to be responsible for yourself (because you are the only person that can change you)
  • you must mean what you say and know what you mean
  • it is important to keep your agreements
  • most failures of leadership are failures of self leadership
  • he always felt he “had to earn the right to be the boss every day, by his actions” 
  • In a certain sense, he said, nobody leads – people choose to follow you (or not) based on your actions.
  • A leader has to be the most ethical person on the team; he or she sets the culture

With as much recent news of business failures and unethical behavior, it was so refreshing to hear a former CEO-turned-faculty-member discuss principled leadership, values and ethics. For those of you with business students, make sure your students take advantage of opportunities to hear John Allison. There is much to be learned from this leader.