It’s Been a Tough Week

As your students are moving into finals (which start Monday), they would probably tell you it’s been a tough week here.  On Tuesday, the campus lost Morgan Judd, who passed away after a brief illness.  There is a beautiful article in the Cincinnati Enquirer celebrating her life.  While I did not know Morgan personally, I did see her at ball games as our seats are very near where the dance team stands, and my impression was of a very beautiful, very talented girl.  Having lost a sibling unexpectedly myself, I feel this loss very keenly.  My heart breaks for her family and her many friends, and I would ask the larger Wake Forest family to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Yesterday the campus heard of the shooting incident at Virginia Tech, our ACC friends and academic collaborators to the north.  Violence is always extremely unsettling, and no doubt some of our students have friends at Virginia Tech that they worried for as the news was unfolding.  Ironically, on Wednesday of this week, the WFU Crisis Management Team met for a half-day, comprehensive drill to go over what we would do in the event of a major campus emergency.  To then see the VT incident the very next day was pretty surreal, but also very instructive, because it was fresh in my mind and I could see what VT was doing, where that paralleled with the kinds of emergency plans we had discussed.

I think it is important for parents and families to know that we  have an exceptionally skilled team in place in the event of a natural disaster or other campus crisis.  If you are not familiar with our Wake Alert system, please be sure to read through the general information as well as Frequently Asked Questions.  In the event of an emergency, the main WFU web page would show a Wake Alert banner at the very top of the web page, which would provide information and instructions.

Last but certainly not least, finals loom large.  Finals week is always a time of stress for students.  As parents and family members, some kind and loving outreach to your students (via text, IM, calls, care packages) is always welcome this time of year.  Remind your students to take good care of themselves while they study – get enough to eat, enough sleep, etc.  And if students want or need some extra support given the events of the week, they can be in touch with many sources of help, including the Chaplain’s Office, University Counseling Center, their RAs, etc.

Soon your students will be home with you for the winter break.  Cherish that time and pamper them, please.  Nothing beats the TLC of being home for the holidays after finals.

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