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The Daily Deac

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

Shoutout to the Arts

While Homecoming and Family Weekend are looming on the horizon, there are also other events happening soon on campus that are worth your students’ time.  Here’s a quick shoutout to some of our artistic doings.

The play Our Town by Thornton Wilder is a classic, and it is finishing its run this weekend.  This is your Deacs chance to see not only a great play, but the talents of their classmates and professors who work with the theatre.

9 29 15 MozartThe department of Music faculty is doing a faculty recital of Mozart on Tuesday, September 29th at 7:30 in Brendle Recital Hall.  It’s free, and it should be amazing.  Dr. Peter Kairoff will be playing a solo on the fortepiano, a reproduction of the type of piano that Mozart would have played in the 1780’s.  How many other times will your students have a chance to hear that?

You can take advantage of many different artistic options during Family Weekend.  I’ve searched our Events Calendar for next week and filtered just on arts activities.  Visit the galleries, do as much as you can.  It will be well worth it.

— by Betsy Chapman

Pic of the Day

And it’s a beauty.


A panoramic image of Wait Chapel and Hearn Plaza, on the campus of Wake Forest University, Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

A panoramic image of Wait Chapel and Hearn Plaza, on the campus of Wake Forest University, Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

— by Betsy Chapman

Tuesday Walkabout

Had some early meetings at the center of campus today.  Here’s what I was seeing:

9 22 15 quad– very grey skies; it’s blustery and cool, with a little bit of mist from time to time

9 22 15 ed– sign outside the ZSR Library advertising Mr. Wake Forest himself, Dr. Ed Wilson (’43), provost emeritus and professor emeritus of English, who will be speaking on Thursday. Every school has a legendary professor or two.  Ed Wilson is that person for graduates between the 50s and the late 90s, I’d guess.  Your students should go hear him.

– virtually NO ONE in ZSR Starbucks at 9:45 am.  If your students are looking for a short-line time to get their java on at the ZSR, this could be it.  Tons of seats available downstairs.  I did run into a student I knew and it sounds like things are going well so far this semester (always good to hear!)

– lots of students in coats and long sleeves.  It isn’t super cold temperature-wise, but the mist cuts right through you.

In terms of what I was hearing:

– Intermittent students coughing.  There’s been chatter of students being sick (I’ve heard colds as well as mono).

– Grumbling about exams (or multiple exams) this week.

Couple of final notes:

– ARAMARK/Campus Dining has asked me to pass on this reminder: ” if your student is getting low on Food Dollars, they can visit our website at to add more, or call Charlotte Lindsey at336-758-5607.”

– Last day to drop a class is September 29th.

– Gametime for the WFU-Florida State game on Saturday 10/3 (Family Weekend) is set for 3:30.  That’ll make it a perfect segue from the game to dinner.

And as a reminder, if your student is on a hall or in a suite with someone whose family can’t come to Family Weekend for whatever reason (could be an international student, a family far away in the US, some other conflict preventing parents from attending, etc.) – please consider adopting that student for Family Weekend events.  Happiness never decreases from being shared.

— by Betsy Chapman


Sweater Weather

Today is the first day this semester that you could rightly refer to as Sweater Weather.  The day started out in the low 70s and the temperature has dropped into the mid 60s.  It’s overcast and grey and we’re starting to see some color in the trees.  The forecast for the week looks a little bit rainy, but it won’t crack 80 degrees.  At long last, it is starting to feel like fall.

2015 study abroad fairTomorrow afternoon (9/22) is the Study Abroad Fair from 11 am to 4 pm in Benson 401.  If your Deac is considering studying abroad, this is an event he or she should try to attend.

Studying abroad is a transformational experience for most students.  Many say it is the best semester they spend as a college student.  It was for me.

To be able to go to the program of your choice, you may need to have certain GPA requirements, so it is wise to look into those options sooner rather than later.  The Study Abroad Fair is a great place to get started.

I’ll put in a word about timing of the study abroad semester, too, because this is something my office fields a lot of questions and concerns about.  There are pros and cons to studying abroad in the fall vs. spring semester.  Students ought to be aware of some of the benefits and concessions they might have to make depending on when they decide to go.

A large portion of our students go abroad in the fall of their junior year.  Some of the pros of going abroad in the fall is that students get the chance to go abroad with friends in the same program, or they can visit each other in their respective cities and always have places to stay and people to visit.  A potential con of going abroad in the fall is that when those students return back in the spring, they have to fill in the empty bed spaces from students vacating to go abroad, taking a semester off, etc.  So the returning students may end up living in a residence hall that is not their first choice, and/or with a person they might not previously have known.

So students have to ask themselves ‘What is most important to me?’

If the most important thing is for them to spend a semester in the residence hall of their choice with the roommate of their choice, the answer might be to go abroad spring of their junior year – and understand that there will be fewer Wake students abroad at the same time.

If the most important thing is to be abroad in the fall when their other Wake friends are abroad, then they must understand their residence hall situation might not be what they most want.

I call this the Betsy Binary – sometimes you have to make choices.  You can have the item in Column A (ideal residence hall situation) or the item in Column B (sharing the abroad experience with lots of friends) but perhaps not both at once.  It’s just about setting priorities and being willing to be flexible with the outcomes – also activities that happen a lot during any abroad experience.

— by Betsy Chapman