Site Content

Betsy Chapman

Happy 225th, Samuel Wait!

samuelwaitToday is the 225th birthday of the founder of Wake Forest, Samuel Wait.  One of my intrepid colleagues in our Communications and External Relations department did some research and found these fun facts in honor of his 225th birthday.  We even have a video about it!

Enjoy your WFU history lesson on this Black and Gold Friday (you did remember to wear black and gold, right?)

—————

Our first leader has ties to another Founding Father of some prominence. He grew up in a house in Granville, N.Y., that was later to be owned by Nathaniel Gorham Folger, whose distant ancestors included Benjamin Franklin. Among Folger’s descendants was James A. Folger, founder of the coffee company that bears the family name.

Rev. Wait would insist on proper spelling and word usage if he were grading papers today. His wife, Sally Merriam Wait, the de facto chief administrator of the College in its earliest days, was a sixth cousin of the co-founders of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, George and Charles Merriam.

Samuel Wait attended Columbian College, now known as George Washington University. While he was a student, the College encountered financial difficulties and lost the accreditation necessary to award degrees. Through an accepted arrangement, however, Wait was allowed to graduate officially from Waterville College, now known as Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. In another curious twist, when the Trustees of Wake Forest College were looking for an architect for the Reynolda Campus, they hired Jens Larsen, who had developed the master plan for Colby’s new campus 20 years earlier.

Those financial difficulties at Columbian led Wait to Wake Forest. He was traveling on a fund-raising mission on behalf of the college when, on Feb. 9, 1827, his horse liberated itself from the carriage, leaving the Reverend 10 miles south of New Bern, N.C. Wait hitched a ride back into the town, where he became a pastor just as the Baptist State Convention was beginning plans to create a college in the region. Six years later, Wait accepted the position as Principal of the fledgling Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute.

Wait was born eight months after and 27 miles away from another person with ties to a current top National University: Stephen van Rensselaer IV, whose father founded Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1824.

Wait was born four days after Edward Bishop Dudley, who would become Governor of North Carolina and who, in 1840, would approve a $2,000 loan to cash-strapped Wake Forest College upon the pleas of Wait and others.

 

– Intro by Betsy Chapman; factoids by Rob Daniels

Lovefeast 2014 Facts

20101205lovefeast1250USA Today ran a piece a few days ago called “4 Beloved Campus Christmas Traditions,” and in a surprise to no one here on campus, our Lovefeast was listed in the #1 spot.   If you have attended one (in person or via the Internet), or if your students have told you about their experience attending, you have a sense of just how special this service has been to Wake Foresters.

This year, some of my very creative colleagues decided to honor the 50th anniversary of the Lovefeast in a tangible way – by offering Lovefeast At Home kits for purchase.  The kit included Moravian coffee and Lovefeast bun mix, beeswax candles, anad a Lovefeast program.  The hope was that we might have enough people interested to sell 100.  Turns out, demand was so high that 300 were sold, which was the maximum number my colleagues could realistically produce.

Now that the Lovefeast is over, my colleagues did some analyzing of the Lovefeast kits and web viewing traffic, and the results are pretty interesting.  Read on to see just who and where people were sharing the Lovefeast with those of us on campus.

—————————————————-

Lovefeast 2014 Participation Report

Totals

20091206lovefeast2547In all, people in 45 U.S. States, the District of Columbia and 28 foreign countries participated in Lovefeast in person, via the Internet, or by purchasing Lovefeast At Home kits.

This amounts to an estimated 9,640 total participants: 2,200 in person, 4,440 via webcast and 3,000 through the 300 Lovefeast kits, which were designed to accommodate 10 people each.

Webcast

In all, 4,440 people in 42 U.S. States, the District of Columbia and 23 foreign countries watched at least some of Lovefeast via webcast. At least 8 percent of viewers came from outside the U.S. (Google could not determine the locations of 2 percent of the viewers.) China led all countries with 177 page views from 13 provinces.  (Update 12/18 – we know of at least one set of WF grandparents who were watching online from Puerto Rico!)

Lovefeast At Home Kits

Alumni, parents, and friends from 31 U.S. States, DC, and six foreign countries ordered Lovefeast kits.  By those combined methods, Lovefeast kits were sent to 241 addresses in 32 unique US states, DC, and seven unique foreign countries. Some addresses received multiple kits.


20111204lovefeast0556Foreign Countries Participating

Austria                                Greece                                 South Korea

Belgium                               India                                   Spain

Brazil                                   Ireland                               Turkey

Canada                                Italy                                    Taiwan

China                                   Malaysia                           United Arab Emirates

Colombia                            Mexico                               Uganda

Czech Republic                 Netherlands

Ecuador                               Nigeria

England                              Pakistan

France                                 Poland

Germany                             Saudi Arabia

 

– Intro by Betsy Chapman; factoids by Rob Daniels

Lighthearted Wednesday

All staff tacky TuesdayIt might surprise your students to know that some of the administrators they see around campus actually have pretty great senses of humor.  Because it’s almost Winter Break and everyone is in a lighthearted mood, my colleagues in University Advancement have been making Alumni Hall a fun and festive place.  Yesterday was Tacky Sweater Tuesday, and we had many takers, as you can see in this picture.  Today is a cookie swap day.

festivus pole leg lamp festivus signYour students are too young to remember Seinfeld (unless they watched reruns in syndication), but we are paying tribute to Seinfeld’s Festivus episode.  In our lobby we have a Festivus pole and box to submit our (good-spirited) grievances for the Airing of the Grievances.  There may be Feats of Strength too.  You just never know with our group.  For fans of the movie A Christmas Story, we also have a leg lamp.

Hopefully at your house you are having some fun times too – perhaps your Deacs are finally caught up on sleep and are returning to their normal selves.  And for all our families who are celebrating this week, we wish you a very happy Hanukkah.  May you feel the love of family and friends during this special time.

 

– by Betsy Chapman

Dreary

Today is a dreary, dreary day.  It has been gray and rainy all morning continuing through lunchtime.  As of the moment I am writing this, the Quad Cam is showing consistently miserable outdoor conditions.  Occasionally I have seen a Facilities or Landscaping truck driving on parts of the Quad, presumably delivering things or bringing materials to work on trees or flower beds.  Yesterday there appeared to be a crop of desks being moved from one of the Quad residence halls.  I couldn’t tell if these were new pieces being delivered or old ones being removed.

One of the things that may be on your mind (or your student’s) is final exam grades.  Those are due tomorrow (12/17) at noon.  Grading is entered electronically, and I am not sure if there is any kind of upload needed that would create a lag time in when your students can access their grades in WIN.  My guess is that they will see them if not tomorrow, the next day or so.

If you are curious about your student’s grades, you can ask him or her to tell you the grades or show them to you in WIN.  You can also ask them to grant you Proxy Access to their grades (instructions here).  Wake – like all schools – is required to uphold FERPA, which is a law that protects educational privacy of students.  Families of upperclassmen may recall that there used to be a paper FERPA release that students had to sign and then grades were mailed to parents.  This is all done electronically now.

May the weather where you live be better than in Winston-Salem.  Enjoy having your Deacs home!

 

– by Betsy Chapman

Empty

It is so strange to be on campus for the first couple of days after all the students leave for break.  Campus seems very, very quiet and empty.  You see it in the parking lots and the sidewalks and the main buildings where you normally would see students.

I was on the Quad early this morning and it was almost eerily empty.  Sure, there were some staff members coming to work, but clearly not a typical morning.  The Quad grass and the flower beds were full of frost, and the sun was glinting off it, silvery and pretty.  Oddly enough, Zick’s was closed but playing music; they have speakers that pipe out to the Quad.  It was very peppy and upbeat, playing to a crowd of no one.

Your students are all home now, I hope.  My guess is that they are doing a ton of sleeping (probably much later than you might expect) and have brought you a ton of laundry (we refer to the big haul laundry times as ‘climbing Laundry Mountain’).  If you have pets, they are probably overjoyed to see them since we do not allow pets on campus.  You might be amazed at how much they eat now that they have homecooked meals.

Winter break can be a strange time for your Deacs – happy to be home, missing their friends, trying to readjust to relationships with friends from high school/their hometowns, maybe some frustration with having to renegotiate behavior norms – after all, they are completely independent while they are here, and suddenly they are back to the family’s rules.  They may be feeling pressure about their final exam grades (and your reaction to them), or pressure from loved ones/neighbors/friends asking them about whether they have lined up jobs or internships.

Winter break can be a strange time for parents and families too.  If you’re looking for some advice about having your students home for break, here is a good resource from College Parent Central.  Whatever you and your students do, try to make the time together fun, light, and meaningful.  Throw off the illusion of having the perfect Normal Rockwell holiday and just be who you are, and let your students be who they are.

 

– by Betsy Chapman

One Last Motivational Moment

Finals are wrapping up.  There’s today, and then one day more, tomorrow.  Because it is coming down to the wire, and students must be getting tired and weary, I was trying to think of motivational  or humorous pop culture pick me ups.

Here’s what came to mind.  Sure, they don’t directly correlate to finals.  But they are about being in a tough spot, being strong to face a challenge (even one that seems overwheming), or just about persevering through adversity.

Some of these are probably a lot younger than our students and I am showing my age.  But it’s Friday and let’s have a little fun.

One Day More - from Les Miserables

Bluto’s speech from Animal House (warning, mildly NSFW language)

Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gate – from Lord of the Rings

They will never take our freedom – from Braveheart

[a very grainy] Stay Alive – from Last of the Mohicans

So dig in, Deacs!  Finish strong.  You’re smart and talented and prepared and you are going to ROCK your finals!  Do your best and let it rest, and then let the comforts of home and family recharge your batteries during the winter break.

 

– by Betsy Chapman
 

PS – this one always makes me smile when I am facing some sort of adversity.  Obviously only appropriate for the over 21 crowd.liztaylor

Looking for a Holiday Present?

The ranks are thinning.  You can see it in the parking lots and in the [relatively fewer] numbers of students walking across campus.  It’s fun to see students as they are departing, when you catch a hug with a roommate or friend or a kiss goodbye.  They all look ready to go home, and they are.  I hate to say it, but my prediction is many of our students will be home a relatively short time and will start missing Wake.  That might feel bad to you as a parent, but try to think of it as a good thing: they miss their friends and like being a Deac.

ph jewelry signAs the holidays approach, some of us are still trying to figure out what to buy people (guilty here!)  Some of you who are alumni parents might have seen our Pro Humanitate jewelry when you were here for Homecoming.  The Alumni office was selling sterling silver bracelets and necklaces.  The cool part of this story is that the jewelry items are handmade by women in the small, remote village of Suduji, Bali, providing economic sustainability for their families.  Pro Humanitate at work!

My friends in Alumni have told me we have a small amount of inventory remaining, so if you are looking for a gift for your Deac or yourself – this would be a great way to participate in Black and Gold Fridays!! – you can email alumni@nullwfu.edu to order.  The prices are listed below and you can send us a check made out to WFU.  The address is:  Wake Forest University Alumni Office,  P O Box 7227, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7227.

ph jewelrySmall women’s bracelets (black or gold/green)  $45

Men’s black bracelet $53

Necklace $250

Quantities are limited, so this is first-come, first-served.

If your Deacs are still on campus, we wish them luck as they power through the end of exams.

– by Betsy Chapman

Five Senses of Farrell During Finals

We’re midway through Finals Week, and one of the places I hadn’t spent much time peoplewatching was the Living Room of Farrell Hall.   So here’s a quickie Five Senses:

I see…

– The tables and chair clusters of the Living Room are about 1/3 to 1/2 full.  Most of the people here are sitting in groups of 1-2, occasionally a 3.

– More people smiling than I expected for finals week.  I expected ‘grim death’ faces and saw a lot of grins and smiles.  That’s nice to see.

– A pair of women who look like they are moms on a campus tour.  They have Deacon Shop bags and the look of visitors.  As they strolled through the Living Room, they were marveling at it and taking in the whole scene from the top of the ceiling to the windows and more.  You forget what a great first impression Farrell makes when you see it every day and are accustomed to it.

– A female student with what looks like a small white Christmas tree poking out of her bag.  It’s festive as all get out.

– ESPN on one of the big flatscreens.  I am far away from the other one but it looks like CNBC or a financial channel, which would make sense.

– A faculty member meeting a student – presumably one from her class (or a past student).  She is all smiles and encouragement and is asking how things are going.  He seems a little more tentative but my impression is he is grateful for a little pick me up from a professor he likes and respects.

– The sun break through the clouds and hit the tall Living Room windows.  The sun fractures into pieces on the floor, broken up by furniture and the columns in the windows.  It makes an interesting pattern on the floor.

– Finals fashion – aka nothing fancy.  Lots of sweats and casual shirts.  Still a lot of equestrian boots on girls.  Surprisingly, most of the guys are clean shaven.  I expected a lot of two day stubble.

 

I hear…

– The squeak of chairs as they scrape the floor.  Sometimes its a dull wooden sounding pull, other times a real scrapy metallic squeak.  The wood sound is much easier on the ears.

– Very little by way of conversation.  It is not as quiet here as it was in the Reynolda Hall lobby when I camped out there the other day, but it is a lot quieter than Farrell normally is.

– The sound of milk being steamed for a latte at Einstein’s.  At first it sounds like a normal milk steamer, but quickly it reaches a high pitch squeal that almost sounds like a fire truck or ambulance.  I hope that was an aberration and that people don’t listen to that all day.

– Coughing (this time it’s mild).

– The tearing off of receipts from the Einstein’s cash register.

– Two guys at the table next to me talking.  They appear to be trying to work out some sort of problem (math?) One of them keeps suggesting numbers and the other doesn’t seem to think they are the right answer.

– This conversation from young men greeting each other.  Guy 1:  “How’d you do?”  Guy 2:  “A-“.  I’m not sure which of them said the following, but I could make out “thrilled as hell” and “let’s go get a beer.

 

I smell…

– Hot, melty cinnamon sugar.  Someone must have just toasted a cinnamon bagel at Einstein’s.  The smell is not the bagel proper, it smells like some of the cinnamon sugar dropped off and was melting on the toast rack or bottom of the toaster.  It isn’t a burned smell yet – still delicious.

– The citrusy tang of a navel orange that I brought with me (a holiday gift sent with love from my P’92 mom who is the biggest WFU fan ever.)  As I peel it, the smell makes a nice halo around my table.

 

I taste…

– The aforementioned navel orange.  Though I have to admit, cinnamon sugar would taste pretty good right now.

 

I feel…

– The cool marble (more likely solid surface) table I’m writing on.  The chairs here are comfortable too.

– Exposed :)  – one of my colleagues who is a Daily Deac reader stopped by to say hello and quickly realized what I was there to do.  Normally I feel pretty much incognito because I never know who reads unless they tell me.  This was a good chuckle.

 

So there’s your Five Senses of Farrell during Finals.   Prior to walking in to Farrell, I had a certain image of what I thought it would be like – tense, quiet as a tomb, deadly serious – and it wasn’t that at all.  Nice to be surprised sometimes.

Ribbons, Claim Our Space (2)One final thought – here is an image from the Quad yesterday at the Claim Our Space event.  This is just one picture, but there were ribbons on a lot of the trees and it looked terrific.

 

– by Betsy Chapman

Finals Continue

Last night was the “Late Night Breakfast” – which is held in the Pit from 10pm-midnight.  Faculty and staff work alongside our ARAMARK/Campus Dining staff to serve breakfast to students.  We know our students are studying for finals and need a break – maybe some carbs and protein too! – to power them through as they burn the midnight oil.

LNB is always a fun affair.  There’s great music – thank you, Wake Radio! you were playing some great tunes – and it is fun to see students’ reactions to administrators they may know who are serving food or helping take trays to tables, etc.  The Demon Deacon was there as well, high fiving students, sitting at tables and looking at books with them, even dancing.

Speaking of dancing, there were a few moments of pure, unadulterated awesomeness lastnight.  Occasionally one or more students would break into a spontaneous dance – tons of energy and verve, great to see.  At one point, there were a couple of students and a couple of staff doing a line dance together.  The coup de grace for me was a young man in a white t-shirt and red shorts.  He was cutting a rug like nobody’s business.  Really amazing.  I credit both his dancing skills and his confidence.  He was rocking it and it was a joy to see.

My job lastnight was to click a counter as students came in the door.  Normally when they come in, they have to show their ID and swipe it to use a meal from their meal plan – but last night’s feast was totally gratis, paid for by Campus Life.  When students would try to show me their card, I got to tell them ‘this one’s on us, compliments of Campus Life.  Eat, drink, and be merry!’ and you would think I had just handed them a $50.  Free food for tired students facing finals is always a win.  All told, we served 513 students between 10 pm and midnight.

In other campus news, today from 12-2 there was an opportunity for students to come together on the Quad to ‘Claim Our Space.’  The Claim Our Space flyer gives the background about this student-initiated project.  Students could tie a red ribbon around the trunk of one of the Quad trees, and/or they could write a message on a notecard and tie that up there.  My time there was just before the start of the event so I didn’t get to see it in full swing.  Hopefully there will be some pictures.

A final word on finals.  Think back and remember how you felt during your own finals week.  Students are stressed out, tired, and it’s hard to feel cheerful with exams looming.  However, at the Daily Deac, we’re trying to find some light moments.  A quick search on finals week memes brought up some funnies.  Your students might not be ready to laugh at these, but maybe you are..?

finals meme 2 finals meme 3 finals meme 4 finals meme 5

 

 

– by Betsy Chapman

The Lovefeast

llovefeast1277I hope that many of you joined us via livefeed at the 50th anniversary Lovefeast lastnight.  This was as packed as I’ve ever seen it.  Not only was it SRO in the chapel proper, they had an overflow seating in the newly-renovated Davis Chapel and it, too, was packed.

There were a couple of wonderfully appropriate moments at what is always a warm and heartening service.  One was that Jane Sherrill Stroupe (’67) was present.  She had organized and led the first Lovefeast, with the help of alumnus and Chaplain Ed Christman.  Jane was present lastnight and led the assembly in the Moravian Blessing right before the communal meal of a Moravian bun -with its hints of ginger and winter spices – and coffee.  (And for those alumni reading, the coffee is scads better today than in the late 80s/early 90s, when it looked a bit grayish and was very very sweet.  This tasted great!)  You can read Jane’s story in the Winston-Salem Journal’s coverage of the Lovefeast.

The guest of honor was Ed Wilson (’43), Provost Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of English.  He was and is Wake Forest to generations of alumni, and whenever Provost Wilson was speaking, students made a point of going to hear him.  So it was especially fitting to have him speak.  I know the alumni tuned in via livestream on the web must have been giddy when they realized he was to speak.  Few Wake Foresters could be as beloved as Ed Wilson – with possible exceptions of Ed Christman our former Chaplain (who could not be with us lastnight, but was watching from his room in Salemtowne, a local retirement community), and our late, great dean of Admissions, Bill Starling.  I used to think of the Eds and Bill as the WFU holy trinity, no blasphemy intended.  They were the big 3 pillars of our Wake Forest lives for so many years.

20091206lovefeast2793If you missed the Lovefeast lastnight and want to watch it today – the link is live on this page.  It is beautiful music, warm reflections on the holiday season, singing , and the thrilling moment when the chapel is put into darkness and one by one your Moravian beeswax candle gets lit by that of your neighbor, until the whole chapel is ablaze with light.

In all the years I have gone to the Lovefeast, last night I learned something new.  It’s always a bit hot in the chapel during the ceremony – everyone arrives bundled up in winter coats, and when you take them off there’s all that body heat in there.  That heat gets sustained from 2,400 people squished up close to each other.  But after the candles were lit, one of my dear friends next to me was telling his young daughter “do you feel the breeze yet?” and she waited (and so did I) to feel it – and my friend explained that once all the candles are lit, the flickering of the flames makes for a small breeze.  When multiplied by 2,400 candles flickering at once, there is a palpable breeze.  Which comes right at the moment you need it, and is so subtle you might miss it if you didn’t have someone point it out to you.

This was a night for students, faculty, staff, young families, local townspeople and alumni from near and far.  The Lovefeast always unites us, and always sends us home little better and happier than when we arrived.  It is a good, good night.

Speaking of good nights, your students are in finals now.  We have resurrected a longtime tradition, the Late Night Breakfast.  Tonight at 10 pm to midnight, students can come to the Pit for an evening breakfast – all the carb-loading needed to fuel the finals prepping.  The servers and helpers are all faculty and staff – so we take care of getting your kids fed, trays to their tables, etc.  It’s a nice night and very festive – urge your Deacs to partake!

 

– by Betsy Chapman