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Betsy Chapman

Throwback Thursday

It’s Throwback Thursday, and here are some pics from the archive back in 1999.  Some fun facts:

Wake Forest University commencement ceremonies, May 1999, featuring Cardinal Arrinze as speaker.

– Our Commencement speaker was Cardinal Francis Arinze

Wake Forest University Founders Day ceremonies, February 1999, with speaker Wole Soyinka. The opening of the new Mackie Student Health Center.

– The Student Health Service moved from its former home in Kitchin Hall to its present location in Reynolds Gym

10 9 15 no arch– There was no arch on the entrance to the Quad, and the Quad was not yet renamed Hearn Plaza (in honor of the late President Hearn)

10 9 15 dorm– And here is a fun shot of what a residence hall room looked like back in the day (yes denim comforters were all the rage!)

— by Betsy Chapman

Seen Around Campus

Our University Photographer, Ken Bennett, does a much better job getting around to all the hot spots on campus than I do.  Here’s a few moments that he captured during the past week or so.

The new stained glass artwork in Davis Chapel, on the campus of Wake Forest University, Monday, October 5, 2015.

The new stained glass artwork in Davis Chapel, on the campus of Wake Forest University, Monday, October 5, 2015.

Davis Chapel has a beautiful new stained glass window that was recently unveiled.  If your Deacs need a quiet place for personal reflection, Davis Chapel is a wonderful place to be.

Wake Forest students and staff practice yoga on the Magnolia Patio under the direction of teacher Elliott Watlington on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

Wake Forest students and staff practice yoga on the Magnolia Patio under the direction of teacher Elliott Watlington on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

A yoga class was held on the Mag Patio.  Yoga is a great way to relax and replenish the body and the spirit (especially in light of midterms and projects and papers), but any kind of exercise, especially combined with being out in nature, has a way of making you feel better.  If your Deacs need a study break, this could be very beneficial.

A pair of Wake Forest students relaxes in rocking chairs on the Magnolia Patio on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

A pair of Wake Forest students relaxes in rocking chairs on the Magnolia Patio on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

Also on the Mag Patio, Ken snapped these folks enjoying the rocking chairs.  One of my favorite spots on campus.

Members of the Wake Forest community run laps around Hearn Plaza to raise money for cancer research in the annual Hit the Bricks for Brian event on Thursday, October 1, 2015. The event is named after football star Brian Piccolo ('65).

Members of the Wake Forest community run laps around Hearn Plaza to raise money for cancer research in the annual Hit the Bricks for Brian event on Thursday, October 1, 2015. The event is named after football star Brian Piccolo (’65).

Last, but certainly not least, this might be my favorite particpant from Hit the Bricks.  We don’t have enough dogs on campus, and I am pro-Bulldog.  Hope he got lots of belly rubs from students during his time on the Quad.



— by Betsy Chapman

A Beautiful Fall Day

10 6 15 quadThe sun is out today and it was a cool and lovely fall morning as I walked to Benson to get my flu shot.  Speaking of flu shots, the on-campus clinic for students is tomorrow; details here.

10 6 15 quad3The maples near Reynolda Hall are just starting to redden right at the tops.  The Quad grass is green and lush – hopefully the sun will dry it so students can take their books outside and read in the grass.

10 6 15 quad2Now that the weather is better, students can enjoy the activity carts on the Quad, which are filled with board games, balls, frisbees, and other goodies.

10 6 15 quad 1Campus Grounds was advertising this morning – didn’t realize they run from dawn until well past midnight.  That’s a great place for students to relax, study, visit with friends.  Plus your students are supporting a local, student-led effort.

— By Betsy Chapman


A Senior’s Reflection on WFU

We had a wet and wild Family Weekend.  Hurricane Joaquin never did make it our way, but rain from the west kept us soaked for most of the weekend.  Still, our Deac families didn’t let the rain get them down, and we had a wonderful Family Weekend – and a very exciting football game – nonetheless.

I had the opportunity to hear a speech by senior Adam Hammer (’16), Student Government president, this past Friday.  He reflects on his time at Wake Forest, and it was so fantastic that I asked him if he’d let me have the text so all parents could see it (he agreed).

Here are his reflections about Wake Forest now that his time here is coming to an end.

— by Betsy Chapman


Good afternoon – I’m excited for the opportunity to speak here today. I’m thankful that my parents can be here as well. The braved Hurricane Joaqun and flew up from Houston for my final parents weekend. It’s a privilege to speak here and address such a devoted group of parents.

Today I’m going speak a little about my experience at Wake Forest, and what I believe to be some of the defining factors of this community’s culture.

When I arrived at wake forest three years ago to begin my freshman year, I was amazed by the work ethic that students displayed.

I specifically remember my first week of school as a first year student. I remember waking up in the morning, leaving my Luter dorm room to enter the lobby and seeing students who I saw the night before studying, were in the exact same place wearing the exact same clothes – they hadn’t moved, they had studied all night, and we were in the first week of school.

It was in that moment that I realized the nick name Work Forest was not a misnomer. I was still buying books, while my classmates were cranking all-nighters.

I quickly learned that this community values grit, and similar to the process of making diamonds, Wake Forest pushes and presses under intense pressure to make a gem, to forge students into leaders – visionaries, and world-changers. And for students that were still buying books, while others pulled all-nighters, iron-sharpened iron, and eventually, all students embodied the culture of Wake Forest.

When the world doesn’t offer a neatly hedged path, this community – both the institution and the students – forge their own path. The university is constantly leading, more specifically, Wake Forest is perpetually pioneering. Trail-blazing runs deep in this community’s DNA. It has been embedded in the dogma of the Wake Forest since its origin. The university has undergone remarkable change since its beginning as an all-white, all-male school dubbed, Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute, but it’s commitment to leading, pioneering, and progressing has never wavered, in fact, pioneering has been the common denominator for years of change at Wake Forest.

Students led the charge for integration in 1962, and Wake became the first private institutions in the south to integrate. Wake Forest was the first major university to adopt a test-optional admission policy, and our institution’s OPCD office is a model for schools across the country, students and faculty alike are constantly pushing the boundaries – this community refuses to be labeled a small southern school in the sleepy-town of Winston Salem, but rather a center for progress, innovation, and a leader for colleges across this nation. Our size may be small, but our influence is far reaching.

Wake Forest has always valued grit, vision, and courage, and students leave these grounds having adopted a fearless pioneering spirit to dream beyond boundaries. Four years here teaches us that the only thing standing between us and our dreams, is the work in between. As I told first year students during my convocation speech, at wake forest opportunity is ubiquitous – anything is attainable for a demon deacon – this community teaches us that the only question is – how much work are you willing to put in?

Alumnus Carl Townsend, Class of 1924, remarked that his favorite word in the English lexicon was the verb “to be”; he states that the greatest contribution Wake Forest has to offer is that “she has a way of instilling into a large percent of her students an intense desire to be somebody.” This quotation from nearly 100 years ago embodies the spirit that defines our Mother, So Dear: still today, a hunger to be somebody and lead peers is not an esoteric feature that only some students and some alumni of this university embody, it exists in all Demon Deacons, and always has.

Attending Wake Forest is the best decision that I’ve made. I’m thankful Wake has pushed me – I’m thankful that the culture of this campus is an incubator for growth. And I’m thankful that at the foundation of this community, there lies a group of parents devoted to this culture and the time-tested ethos of this community. Thank you for all your support and you really mean a lot to this university.

Go Deacs!

— Adam Hammer (’16), Student Government President

Happy Family Weekend, Everyone!

20091030family9670We want to wish all our Deac families a wonderful weekend on campus for Family Weekend!  A few thoughts on making the most of the weekend:

Keep your plans fluid.  Your students might waffle until the last minute in terms of deciding what they want to do.  Roll with it.

Consider including any hallmates/friends/suitemates whose families can’t be here.  It can be a lonely Family Weekend if your own family can’t attend – so add a person or two and it will make their weekend.

Wear your black and gold to the football game.  Cheer hard and stay all the way through.

Be sure to explore campus – take some walks to Reynolda Village, see the leaves and the fall foliage.

Sample local restaurants.  We have some suggestions here in our Dining FAQ.

Speaking of food, if your student is running low on food dollars, you can stop by Reynolda Hall room 12 to get more or go to our website at to do it online!

Have fun.  Hug your Deacs and tell them you love them.  My dad used to slip me an unexpected $20 on his way out the door with a hushed ‘don’t tell mom’.  That’s nice too :)

Enjoy every minute!

PS – The Office of Parent Programs will be tied up in activities all day today, so we won’t be at our phones or getting emails except very sporadically.  We’ll respond to messages as soon as we can.

— by Betsy Chapman

TV Star to Lecture Monday 10/5

The Office of Parent Programs is going to be busy with activities over the next two days, so we will be out and about and not easy to reach via email or voicemail.  If you need to see the Family Weekend schedule or FAQs, visit their website.

So here’s a pre-post about two upcoming events.

First, the Provost’s Office sent an email yesterday about an event this Friday at and for the ZSR:

This Friday students, staff, faculty, and friends of Wake Forest will join in the atrium of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library for our first-ever Love Your Library, where we will also welcome Tim Pyatt as Dean of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library. I invite you to join me as we congratulate Tim and also recognize the national Love Your Library event.

We hope to see you in the atrium of the ZSR on Friday, October 2nd, from 1:00-2:00 pm for refreshments and perhaps a surprise or two!”

Second, your Deacs (or many you as well) might be fans of the show Orange is the New Black, which won at least one Emmy this year.  One of the stars of Orange is the New Black, Laverne Cox, will be here on Monday, October 5th.  This is a wonderful opportunity for your students to hear from a working actress on an acclaimed TV show.  Here’s the write up I received about her appearance on campus:

Laverne-Cox-Poster-791x1024“Transgender actress and advocate, Laverne Cox, currently seen in the critically acclaimed Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, will lecture at Wake Forest University on Monday, October 5, 2015. Cox is the first transgender person to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine, and the first transgender actress to receive an Emmy nomination.

The lecture will be held in Wait Chapel on the Wake Forest Campus and will begin at 7:00 pm. Doors will open at 6:00 pm for students, faculty, and staff – you must show your Wake Forest ID. Doors will open to the general public at 6:30 pmand close at 7:00 pm to avoid disruption of the speaker. The event is free and open to the public.

Following her lecture, Cox will answer questions from the audience.Cox’s campus visit is a collaborative effort organized by the Wake Forest University LGBTQ Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Union, the Women’s Center, The University Theatre, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, and the Documentary Film Program.”

Will your students ever again have the opportunity to be one of 2,400ish people in a room with a major TV actress and activist?  This is one of the bites of the Wake Forest smorgasbord I hope your Deacs take.  Chances like this don’t often come after college – certainly not for free.

For all of you who are en route (or will soon be) for Family Weekend, we wish you safe travels and can’t wait to welcome you to Mother So Dear!

Go Deacs!


— by Betsy Chapman


Just a Reminder

My office has fielded some inquiries about the weather for this Family Weekend and the uncertainty of Hurricane Joaquin churning out in the Atlantic.

For reassurance’s sake, I can tell you that we have staff whose jobs it is to do emergency planning.  The University’s emergency manager and Crisis Management Team stays alert to such weather situations.  There is also a small army of other folks who would be tapped in the event of a crisis.

For today, I try not to wonder what the weather will bring.  Because that picture will become clearer in time.

For now, parents and families, know that there is a Wake Ready website that has information about emergency preparedness.

In the event of an emergency, Wake Alert is the place to go.  I wouldn’t be updating the Parents’ Page or Facebook in a true emergency, because I will be deployed doing other things.  You can follow Wake Alert on Twitter.

For the moment today, we are sunny – and VERY glad to be!

— by Betsy Chapman

Soggy View

It’s still a soggy one here, Deac families.  Rather than me going out and trying to take some shots in the rain to give you a sense of campus, I am relying on the great work of our University Photographer, Ken Bennett, to give you an idea of what your Deacs are seeing and experiencing of late.

Send us some sun.  Please!

— by Betsy Chapman

Students walk across Tribble Plaza on a rainy early spring day on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

A tree is reflected in a puddle in front of Salem Hall on the Wake Forest campus on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

Wake Forest students walk across campus during a severe thunderstorm on Wednesday, October 27, 2010.

Wake Forest students walk across campus during a severe thunderstorm on Wednesday, October 27, 2010.

Mother So Drear

We just closed out on the rainiest Homecoming weekend that I can recall in my 16+ years as a staffer.  It started raining late last week and it continued virtually uninterrupted all weekend.  The rain puttered into a fine mist at points, but we hadn’t seen any sun at all.  I’d hoped we’d be able to get a good look at the blood moon/eclipse lastnight but it stayed cloudy and dreary the whole time.

The forecast does not look great as of this moment for Family Weekend either – so keep your eye on the weather and pack accordingly.  I suspect the alumni here for Homecoming might have cleaned the Deacon Shop out of parkas and waterproof gear – so you may wish to have yours handy.

A couple of announcements of note:

  1. tomorrow (Tuesday 9/29) is the last day to drop a class.  Your Deacs need to move fast if they plan to drop anything.
  2. the Office of Academic Advising sent out an email to all freshmen about the drop date and some other check ins.
  3. the Learning Assistance Center is hosting a “Study Smarter, Not Harder” workshop the first week of October.

You can keep an eye on the weather at the Quad Cam.  Please note in the bottom left of the screen, one of our maples is starting to come into its color.  This skyline is going to get exponentially prettier in the weeks to come – if we can get rid of this rain.

— by Betsy Chapman

The Wake Forest Magic

It’s Homecoming, and a dismal and rainy forecast, unfortunately.  Wherever you are, send some good vibes and sunshine our way.  We have a lot of alumni from the 50th anniversary reunion class (and earlier) down to the 5th year reunion class who all want to have a great time at Mother So Dear.  Instead of this “liquid sunshine,” I am sure they’d prefer the real thing.

I was sitting in on a presentation this morning with Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College, and she was talking about the Wake Forest Magic.  Most of our students have felt that magic at times – as have our faculty and staff or administrators.  It’s hard to put your finger on what that magic is, but you know it when you feel it.

Dean Gillespie talked about how our students have some moment of revelation, or clarity.  A moment when something changed for that student.  Changed the way the student looked at Wake Forest, or looked at their capacity to learn, or changed their view of the world.

She was in a room of alumni and some WF parents and a few people offered up their “Magic Moment.”  One expression I quite liked from that discussion was someone realizing they had the power to learn anything, AND they had the people around them to help them do it.

For those of you P’19s, it is probably too soon for your Deacs to have experienced the Magic Moment.  But if you have sophomores, juniors, or seniors, that might be a good conversation to have at Thanksgiving or during winter break.  What have been your transformational moments at Wake Forest?  It would be good to get them to reflect on it – and I bet it would be fun for you to hear it.

Hope you are wearing black and gold in celebration of a [very rainy] Black and Gold Friday.  And remember to talk to your kids and tell them you love them every Friday, or send them a Deacon Greeting.

— by Betsy Chapman