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Family Engagement

a site for Wake Forest parents and families

2011 February

The Barn

If you leave campus on the east side (exiting onto University Parkway near Worrell Professional Center and the water tower), you can see through the woods the construction of “The Barn,” which will be a new on-campus venue for students to use for parties and entertainment.  The site is located near a wooded area that has been the cross country trails (those are being rerouted). 

The Barn will be a large structure with a stage for performing (so students can bring bands to campus), a large area for dancing, a sort of mezzanine, and there is a spillover balcony outdoors for mixing and mingling.  It looks like it is going to be a fantastic venue.  When completed (which should be April of this year), students will have their very own party and social space within walking distance of all the dorms.  During the hiatus when The Barn is being built, there have been parties and bands coming to a large tent in Reynolda Village, which has been a good, walkable alternative to off campus entertainment.

Here is a picture of it mid-construction.  This picture is a little old – it’s much more framed out now.  Now that the walls are visible and the place is taking shape, there’s more and more excitement about it being completed and ready for use.

Rainy Friday

Overnight, it rained buckets.  There are very large pools of standing water on Poteat Field where intramural sports are played, and there are lots of puddles along the sidewalk and in places with dips in the grass.  It is a gray and rainy morning – not too cold, but with a breeze.  Starbucks was practically empty just before 8 am, which is probably not a big surprise.  Our students tend as a whole to want to sleep in.  It’s the ones with 8:00 classes (or the rare morning people) who are in there early.

If you haven’t been keeping up with Campus Life’s posts this week on “A Day in the Life,” today’s features our most excellent Chaplain, Tim Auman, and also student Nancy Aguillon (’13). 

UPDATE: as of late this morning it was sunny and beautiful.  So much for all that rain!

Look Into the Lives of Wake Foresters

Our colleagues in the Campus Life department have been busy this week chronicling the activities of Wake Forest faculty, administrators and students, so you can get a look at what life is like on a day-to-day basis and so you can get to know some of the folks who live and work with your students, either directly or indirectly.

For the administrator perspective, you can read more about our President, Nathan O. Hatch, our Provost, Jill Tiefenthaler, and our Dean of the Library, Lynn Sutton.

You can also get a glimpse into the lives of the following students:  Tré Easton (’13) , Brooks Godwin (’12) of the men’s basketball team, and Lisa Northrop (’11).

Seen on Campus

Here are some of the flyers on campus that your students are seeing this week.  There are ads for women’s health awareness and a motivational speaker, invitations to get involved with Student Union, and a Pro HumanaTENTae event coming up.

Our Fickle Spring Weather

We’ve reached that point in the almost-spring where you really must look at the weather forecast before departing your dorm.  Yesterday was easily mid 60s – sunny, warm, students in short sleeves and shorts, just an ideal day.  Today it was in the mid 50s with a stiff breeze around 8 am, and it got steadily and steadily colder, until by the end of the work day it was about 45 degrees.

Some of the students didn’t realize the cooler weather was coming.  On the way off campus this evening, there were young men in khaki shorts and short sleeves walking briskly to the north end of campus.  It’s just the time of year when the weather is fickle and it’s prudent to check before you leave your dorm room to see if you need a coat.

Still, with so many Wake Forest parents living in places that still have a good deal of snow on the ground (and some with more coming today), 45 degrees doesn’t feel so bad.

Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala

This past Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Distinguished Alumni Awards gala, where three Wake Forest alumni were honored.  The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to alumni whose achievements and recognition have reflected honor on Wake Forest.  There are several criteria for selection: we look for alumni who embody the values and core principals of the University and who have demonstrated extraordinary service to the University, their field, humanity, or society.  This year’s award recipients were: Porter Byrum (JD ’42), Don Leonard (’65) and Sylvia Rousseau (’68). 

Mr. Byrum is an attorney and has had significant involvement in real estate in the Charlotte, NC area; he is a major benefactor of a school in the area and has impacted countless children through their education. 

Mr. Leonard has been instrumental in the development of the Myrtle Beach, SC area and state transportation; his generosity to the football program here helped make the renovations to BB&T Field and Deacon Tower a reality. 

Dr. Rousseau spent her career in educating students on the West coast, including bringing peace to student gangs and encouraging students to dream big about their educations. 

To learn more about the work and accomplishments of these remarkable alumni, you can view videos about each of them.  These are short videos and well worth your time.  As you look at them, you might see glimpses of what your students’ futures could be. 

We all know that Wake Forest students are bright and amazing young people, and that they will go on to do remarkable things for our world, both global and local.  While on campus, we strive to instill in our students the desire to take the knowledge they gain here and turn it into productive work for the good of all humanity.  Seeing the work of these three alumni, they are living our “Pro Humanitate” (for humanity) motto.  You might even want to share these videos with your students.

When you talk to your students, you may want to ask them about their dreams for the future.  We talk about the ‘big questions’ a lot with students:  Who are they?  Who do they want to be?  To what do they want to devote their talents?  How will they get there?  If they want help focusing on those questions, you can help them, and so can we.  Any student can come to the resources available here on campus – faculty, staff, chaplains, the Office of Career Services, trusted advisors and mentors.  It’s one of the greatest blessings of being a Wake Forest administrator or faculty member to help students think about their futures.  Their possibilities are endless.

Weekend Update – What’s Happening on Campus

This is gearing up to be a great weekend for our students.  The weather will approach 70 degrees, spring is in the air, and the mood on campus is cheerful.  Here’s a quick rundown of some of the things your students can do this weekend.

Friday – February 17th, 2011

Comedian Tim Young
8pm, Shorty’s
Need a good laugh? Come enjoy the hilarious Tim Young in Shorty’s. Tim has been featured on MTV, Comedy Central and HBO. Check him out on YouTube and we’ll see you at Shorty’s! 

Grapes of Wrath
7:30pm, Main Stage Theatre in Scales Fine Arts
Come see The Grapes of Wrath based on the novel by John Steinbeck, adapted by Frank Galati and directed by Sharon Andrews. This ensemble theater piece is only $5 for students. RSVP on Facebook for more information! 

Trains that Passed in the Night
7pm, Reynolda House
Come to Reynolda House to celebrate the opening of their new exhibit on the photography of Winston O. Link. RSVP on Facebook and guess what – admission is free for students!

7pm, Magnolia Room
This is the final event of the Wake Up! event series benefiting Kenya Kids Can. This organization feeds children and brings solar powered computer centers to schools to help better education. The $5 admission goes entirely to the organization. Enjoy food and music by Innuendo and Plead the Fifth. Learn more on Facebook.

Saturday – February 18th, 2011

Day Trip to the International Civil Rights Museum
8:30am to 12:30pm, Greensboro
Breakfast, admission and transportation are all provided for this trip to the International Civil Rights Museum. Sign up in the OMA or Residence Life & Housing offices before 5pm on Friday. Get more information on Facebook.

Basketball vs. FSU
1pm, LJVM
Come to the Joel to support the Deacs as they take on Florida State! We need all of the loud, cheering students we can get. Shuttles start at 11:30am behind Poteat Hall. 

Student Union Film Series: Waiting for Superman
7 and 9:30pm, Pugh Auditorium
This documentary won several awards for its groundbreaking expose on the American education system. This controversial film just came out on DVD this week and will surely have you thinking about whether or not our public education system is sufficient. Watch the trailer here and we’ll see you in Pugh.

Grapes of Wrath
7:30pm, Main Stage Theatre in Scales Fine Arts
Come see The Grapes of Wrath based on the novel by John Steinbeck, adapted by Frank Galati and directed by Sharon Andrews. This ensemble theater piece is only $5 for students. RSVP on Facebook for more information!

Founder’s Day Convocation

Parents, there is a ceremonial event today in the life of the University, and I hope you will encourage your students to attend.  Founder’s Day Convocation will be held at 4 p.m. in Wait Chapel.

Founders’ Day Convocation honors this years senior class, as well as our ACC Championship women’s soccer team.  There will be a senior class video, which was one of the highlights of last year’s event.

In celebration of Wake Forest’s past, present and future, three undergraduate students will read their outstanding Senior Orations. Professor James Powell will explain the longstanding Wake Forest tradition of Senior Orations and introduce each speaker.  This is also an event where we award teaching, research and service awards to faculty and staff.

Best of all, a reception for the Wake Forest community will follow in the lobby of the Scales Fine Arts Center. 

There are very few times where all our campus can come together in Wait Chapel to celebrate each other’s accomplishments.  If you’re texting your student today – especially if they are a senior – tell them to be in the Chapel at 4.

WFU Professor Maya Angelou Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Wake Forest’s own Reynolds Professor of American Studies, poet Maya Angelou, is being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  She is being honored at a luncheon in Washington, DC today.

The Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. 

Dr. Angelou is known for being a poet and author, but she has been a faculty member at Wake Forest, teaching poetry to our students.  I have known some students who have taken her class, and it has been a transformative experience for them.  Many years ago, she did a poetry reading on campus, and I still remember her entering the stage singing – she has a remarkable voice – and wearing a bright red turban.  When she reads poetry, she is electrifying.  Her website has some video of her reading her poetry.  Here you can enjoy “Still I Rise” on video, or read the poem below.

Congratulations to Dr. Angelou for this wonderful recognition.

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise

Warm, Wonderful Weather

These are good times at WFU.  Temps are between the 50s-60s and we’re even predicted to hit nearly 70 by the weekend.  On campus, there are lots of shorts, light jackets, pretty dresses.  The students are ready for warmth and sun.  Pretty soon the available green spaces will be filled with students studying outdoors and catching some sun at the same time.

The ACC football schedule has been released, and the question on everyone’s mind is “When is Family Weekend going to be held?”  We don’t know  yet.  There are many factors in selecting that game, as well as Homecoming and other big event weekends.  We have to look at hotel availability, football ticket availability, when the NC Furniture Market is (because it takes up nearly all the hotels), fall break weekend, etc.

As soon as the date is selected, we’ll post it on the Parents’ Page.  So hang tight until then!