Before I leave for the week, wanted to give you the Alphabet of Gratitude, Wake Forest style. Here are 26 reasons I am grateful to be a Wake Forester. What are your reasons?
A – Abroad. Studying abroad was the best semester I ever had, and I grew more there than in any other semester. Transformational.
B – Babcock Residence Hall. My favorite of all the halls I lived on (ah, to have a sink in the room!)
C – Counseling Center. It was there for me as a student when I needed it. And it’s there for your Deacs now.
D – Divisional requirements [bear with me here….] Left to my own devices, I would have skipped the sciences altogether, maybe humanities too. But being forced to take a sampling of courses in all the divisions has helped me be conversant in places I might not otherwise.
E – Ed Wilson (’43), Provost Emeritus and Professor of English. No explanation needed.
F – Friends. The friends I met at Wake are still the people I am closest to and love most in the world. They aren’t my blood family, but they are my Family of Choice.
G – Grass on the Quad. Walking barefoot on it right before Commencement, when the grass is at its most lush, is one of my great pleasures.
H – Huffman Hall. Back in 1988 I sat on the fire escape and watched the dignitaries arrive for the Presidential Debate (we called it “The Grapple in the Chapel”). Still one of my favorite memories.
I – Individuality. I love that we have students who are preppy, and ones with tattoos, and ones with purple hair, and Republicans and Democrats, and people from all religions (or none at all), and international students, and Southern accents – all jumbled in one place. We all learn from each other.
J – Jeremy. Most of you don’t know him, but the very best part of my Wake Forest experience was meeting my wonderful husband here when we were in grad school and later marrying him in Wait Chapel.
K – Krispy Kremes. The quintessential Winston-Salem treat.
L – the Lovefeast. It is the prettiest holiday service I have ever been to. And even now just the whiff of a beeswax candle transports me back to the first one I went to.
M – Move In Day. Every year it is a joy to watch 1,300+ new faces arrive and to imagine what wonderful things they might do while they are here (and beyond).
N – New Student Receptions. I love, love, love going to those in the summer and meeting new Deac families and helping them feel a little better prepared (and less anxious) to start school.
O – Omelettes in the Pit. Those made to order omelettes are so good.
P – Poteat Field. Mostly because I think it is fun to say the word “Poteat.”
Q – Questions. Not the ones you ask in class, but the Big Questions you chew on with your college friends late at night: what is love? what is the nature of God/the divine? what is important enough for me to fight for? how should we best live our lives?
R – Rolling the Quad. This may be a controversial one for some, but I do love the school spirit and the camaraderie that comes from a big win and the joy of celebrating together.
S – Staff. We have so many wonderful folks here in every area of campus: the faculty, administrators, support staff, everyone. I especially love when I see someone from the Pit greet a student by name or by saying “have a good day, baby!” I know someone cares about them 🙂
T – Tutoring. Whether that is in the Learning Assistance Center, Math Center, Writing Center, Chem Center – I am grateful that we have folks who give of their time and talent to help students learn those tougher subjects. I am certain I only passed biology through the tutoring I got from one of my best friends.
U – the University Theatre. Some of my most beloved friends were from the Theatre department, and every production I go to today reminds me that we have amazing talent on campus.
V – Victories. Athletics has given us so many of them, but there are little victories every day: the lightbulb goes off in a student’s head and suddenly he/she understands something, you get funding for an important grant. All the victories.
W – Wait Chapel. It is our tallest building, a beacon of light at night, and the place where we celebrate together, and sometimes mourn together – it is the “together” that matters.
X – Xenon. Not the gas proper, but the Periodic Table bench outside of Olin. It’s a great piece of student art, and one that Class of ’27 Deac used to LOVE looking at when we’d bring him to campus as a little boy.
Y – YOU! I am grateful every day that so many of you read the Daily Deac and allow me to be part of your Wake Forest experience.
Z – Z Smith Reynolds Library. It has some of the most amazing, helpful librarians in the world (some of my best friends), plus Starbucks, plus the Rare Books Room.
That’s the ABCs of my WFU gratitude. I’ll be back to blogging next Monday. Until then…
wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!