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The Daily Deac


We’re getting more and more excited about your students’ arrival on campus – now less than a month away.  And because the Daily Deac has been traveling to New Student Receptions this week (thank you, Phili, for the warm welcome!) – thought it would be a good time to showcase some of Wake Forest’s student traditions.

hot nowToday we feature one of the happiest sights your Deacs will ever see: the seductive red glow of the HOT NOW sign of Krispy Kreme donuts.

Krispy Kreme is one of Winston-Salem’s pride and joys.  Born here in the 1930s, Krispy Kreme’s original glazed donut has brought joy to generations of students.  The donuts are always delicious, but when the HOT NOW sign is on, you know you are going to get warm, sugary, light, fluffy amazingness.

It’s an unofficial rite of passage to make a late night Krispy Kreme run with your friends.  Nothing better than piling your friends into your car, grabbing a couple dozen, and being the most popular people on your hall when you come back with enough to share.

And in the [highly unlikely] event your Deacs don’t eat them all in one sitting, they can recreate the HOT NOW feel by microwaving a donut for maybe 5-10 seconds the next day.

When you come down for Move-In or Family Weekend, you need to treat yourself to some KKs.  Even if you have them where you live, there’s nothing like ones made from the source.  And no, I have no personal interest in Krispy Kreme and am not getting paid to endorse them.  They are so good I can’t help myself :)

— by Betsy Chapman

Books to Consider

Now that it is nearly August and we’re rolling towards the last of the summer hurrahs, maybe you are looking for something to read on the beach or the plane or in the car as you head to a vacation destination.   Well, there is a great list of eye-opening, thought-provoking books already online for your perusal: you could dive into the books our incoming freshmen participating in Project Wake are reading.  In fact, if your incoming freshman is doing Project Wake, maybe you want to read the same book and have a family book discussion?

Of course you don’t have to have a freshman to read these.  Maybe you want to read something that makes you feel like you are going back to college (or going in the first place).  Something that is not in your normal repertoire, but gives you an opportuntity to learn about subjects you hadn’t explored before.

A caveat:  these are books that will make you think.  May challenge you.  May provoke strong or uncomfortable feelings.  They will almost certainly expose you to different opinions and experiences from what you have known.  They might take you out of your comfort zone.  But my hunch is they will stretch your mind in new ways.

There is a reason these books were chosen for Project Wake.  A college education is about challenging the mind.  It isn’t about just giving students safe, sanitized, comfortable material all of the time.  We would be doing your students an injustice if we didn’t ask them to learn about things that are new, maybe even unsettling.  The world is a complicated place, and we all bring different experiences, backgrounds, and voices to our little corners of the world.   Your students will be better prepared for Life After Wake Forest if they are well versed in people, cultures, traditions, experiences, etc. that are not their own.  It will deepen their understanding of others, perhaps their empathy and compassion too.

Here are the titles and links to the books if you want to purchase online.  Parents, if you are coming for Move-In, there are also copies of the books available in the Bookstore.

— by Betsy Chapman

Accidents of Providence, by Stacia Brown – Rachel Lockyer is pregnant, and the father of the baby cannot marry her. Not only is he married to someone else, but now he is imprisoned for treason. The tides of political change are sweeping 17th century England as Cromwell rules the land, but in the absence of a king a kind of religious absolutism is taking control of the justice system.

A Hope in the Unseen, by Ron Suskind – This book follows Cedric Jennings’ imposing journey from a failing inner-city Washington, DC high school to the Ivy Leagues.

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr – This beautifully written book describes the intersection of two lives during World War II. Marie-Laurie is a blind young woman from France, which later becomes occupied by Germany. Werner is an orphan from Germany who is recruited into the Nazi forces.

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – This award-winning novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie deals with race and identity in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.

Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay – Bad Feminist is a smart, fun and important contribution to contemporary feminist debates. This series of essays deals with everything from her love of Sweet Valley High Books, to her domination of Scrabble tournaments, to her survival of sexual assault, to her challenges as a young, black woman college professor.

Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel, by Helen Oyeyemi – An adaptation of the classic Snow White story set in 1950s Massachusetts, Oyeyemi’s novel raises questions about identity, race, vanity, and perception.

Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, by Marie Gottschalk – This book will expose students to the rise of prison-culture in the US in a comparative/global context.

Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar – Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Disgraced is a highly provocative play about stereotypes of religious and ethnic identity in contemporary America. It grapples with competing ideas of Muslim identity.

Everything that Rises Must Converge: Stories (1965), by Flannery O’Connor – This is O’Connor’s second short story collection, published posthumously in 1965. The stories will interest students who find themselves grappling with the many categories of difference that intersected with O’Connor’s life and writing: religious, regional, racial, medical, and gendered.

Finding Zero: A Mathematician’s Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers, by Amir D. Aczel – The invention of numbers is one of the greatest achievements of humankind, evidenced by their acceptance into all facets of everyday life.  The number zero was an abstraction that came relatively late in the history of numerology.  Its discovery had a significant impact on ideas.

Gray Mountain, by John Grisham – This book is set in western Virginia and the main character is a young attorney. The book follows her experiences with issues surrounding coal mine families in Appalachia, including, poverty, health, and environmentalism.

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder – This is the story of Dr. Paul Farmer and his groundbreaking work with Partners in Health in Haiti.  Farmer’s story, as told by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Tracy Kidder, takes us from Harvard to Haiti and beyond as he pursues his calling to cure infectious diseases and bring life-saving medical care to poor communities.

Quiet, by Susan Cain – Introverts can get a bad rap in our society. They can be classified only as “shy”, and because of the different ways their strengths manifest, can be overlooked.  Introverts themselves can also miss opportunities to build on their strengths, thinking they need to behave, think, and speak more like extroverts.  (Aside: this book was a gamechanger in my life.  If you are an introvert – or you love an introvert, work with one at the office, etc. – I cannot recommend this book enough).

Sacred Ground:  Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America, by Eboo Patel – In this prophetic and thought-provoking book, Eboo Patel speaks to the necessary work that must be done to support, strengthen, and promote religious pluralism in the United States.

Sacred Hunger, by Barry Unsworth – A beautiful and unsettling historical novel of the Atlantic slave trade. The book follows William Kemp, a failing merchant who pins his last hope to a slave ship; his son whose love of a rich young woman demands a fortune; and his nephew, a broken man who has lost all he has loved, who sails as the ship’s doctor.

Talking to Strangers, by Danielle Allen – This book revisits an important time in American history and education, Brown vs Board of Education, and invites us to reflect on the need to engage those like and unlike us.

The Book of My Lives, by Aleksandar Hemon – A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Book of My Lives is a memoir published in 2014 by the writer Aleksandar Hemon, who came to Chicago in his mid-twenties just before the outbreak of the bloody civil war in Bosnia separated Hemon from his family and his earlier life in Sarajevo.

The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot – This historical account describes the source of the HeLa cells. Henrietta Lacks was an African American, tobacco farmer, who had a sample of her tumor cells removed without her permission and disseminated throughout the scientific community. The HeLa cells have enabled innumerous scientific discoveries in the last 60 years including over 60,000 publications.  (Aside: also a gamechanger for me in understanding socioeconomic and racial experiences in the US.  And if you really want to read something truly outstanding on that topic, try The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.  It showed me a side of American history I never learned).

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd – This fictionalized story of the real-life Sarah Grimke gives an eye-opening and compelling view into the lives of slave owners and slaves in the 1800s.

Think Like a Freak, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner – This book attempts to examine non-obvious approaches to problem solving. The book isn’t valuable for the solutions to the problems it discusses, but, rather, for the processes it outlines for approaching problems.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, by Naomi Klein – Deploying thorough reporting and compelling storytelling, Naomi Klein argues that the very system that has enabled mankind to prosper — capitalism and the fossil-fuel economy — is now imperiling the health of the earth.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirzig – This is the story of a summer motorcycle trip by a father and son but it is also a reflection on how we perceive and judge the value of seemingly conflicting aspects of science and art, objective and subjective, in our world.









Nailed It!

I spend a lot of time at a computer every day and a lot of time looking for WFU items of interest.  Not sure how many Pinterest fans we have out there, but for those of you who are pinners, you are probably familiar with the amazing looking pins of complicated baking or crafts.  If you’re like me, you think you might be able to do a complicated baking project, but when you try it, you end up with an epic fail.  There is an internet meme – Nailed It! – that shows you the picture of a successfully completed item, and then the version that didn’t go exactly to plan.

ujfjp-pinterest20 nailed-it-hedgehog-cake - CopyHere are two of my favorites: the hedgehog cake gone wrong and the Cookie Monster cupcake fail.

So in digging around Pinterest and the internet, I was looking for pictures of people who really did nail it with their WFU baking.  Some of these were surely made by professionals, but some may be homemade, who knows.

Have you nailed a WFU project in a good way?  Send your pics to and we’ll post a sampling if we get enough.

— by Betsy Chapman

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Student Health Insurance Deadline

Earlier this week, the Student Insurance Program office emailed all students for whom we have not received proof of health insurance waivers (or enrollments in the Student Blue program).  Please ask your Wake Forest student to check his/her email (both Inbox and spam folder) to see if he/she received a notification about health insurance.

The Student Insurance office sent the message below out today (Friday, July 24) to parents of students with no recorded health insurance.  Parents and families, please check your Inbox and spam folder to see if this affects your household.  The email sent to parents is replicated below.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  We want to ensure that all students have the appropriate health care coverage (and no surprises on their bills because the deadline was missed!)

— by Betsy Chapman


From: WFU Office of Student Insurance

Action needed – Your WFU Student’s Health Insurance Waiver Has Not Been Received

Dear Wake Forest Parents:

We hope your student is getting excited about moving to campus shortly. As you may know, all full-time Wake Forest students are required to have health insurance. All new and returning students must either enroll in the insurance program or request to waive enrollment if they carry comparable personal health insurance meeting the criteria set by WFU.

At this time, we have not received your student’s insurance decision to either waive or enroll in the Wake Forest Student Insurance Program (SIP) and wanted to bring this to your attention so you can take appropriate action.  (If you had waived or enrolled in coverage earlier this week, please disregard this message.)

Your student(s) will be automatically enrolled in the Student Blue insurance plan offered by Wake Forest if s/he does not complete a waiver by Monday, August 3, 2015 at 5pm. The insurance charge will remain on the student account and insurance ID cards will be mailed after August 10, 2015. If a decision is not entered for your student and automatic enrollment occurs, your student will be unable to waive or receive credit for the health insurance premium for fall 2015. 

INTEND TO WAIVE? Then please do so at this time by visiting You will need your current insurance ID card along with the student ID number to complete the waiver. Once you complete the waiver, you will receive a confirmation email from Blue Cross and the health insurance premium will be removed from the student account within 3-5 business days. Please be sure to check your junk/spam folder for an email from, and retain this email for your records. You may check the student account online through DEAC to confirm the waiver has been applied, and credit issued, as it will appear as “Health Ins. Premium Waiver” on the student account. If uncertainty remains, please contact our office for confirmation.

INTEND TO ENROLL? Please enroll now at, and pay the appropriate premium on DEAC (Deacon Electronic Account Center), so you can ensure your student will not have a hold on his/her account. Merely paying the student bill with the insurance charge DOES NOT automatically activate SIP coverage; you must complete the online form. ID cards will be delivered via US postal service 7-10 days following enrollment. Failure to enroll online will delay coverage activation and receipt of ID cards until after the August 3 deadline.

The Student Insurance Plan (SIP) is administered by BCBS of North Carolina. A full plan detail, rates, a schedule of benefits, dependent enrollment information and more information is available at The University also provides a very informative site about the plan at
Should you have questions or comments, please contact the Student Insurance Program staff at or 336.758.4247.


WFU Student Insurance Program
PO Box 7312
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
Phone: 336-758-4247
Fax: 336-758-4227

Wake Early and Late

Few would doubt that Wake Forest is a gorgeous campus.  For many of our students, they tend to be on the nocturnal side and prefer to sleep as late as possible.  But there are some great moments that happen early on this campus, and I hope your Deacs will take advantage of the morning mist and dew, the sunrise, and the opening of the flowers, and not just wait for the pretty that comes with the evening sunset.

Here’s a few shots of Wake early and late.  Not bad, eh?

— by Betsy Chapman

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20131003sunrise3311 20131003sunrise3352 20110829chapel8505


5 Reasons to Love The Pit

Without your students here, it’s been a couple of slow news weeks, Deac families.  We are counting down to move-in for new freshmen: less than 30 days now!  So as we inch ever closer to the start of school, the Daily Deac will look at some Wake Forest institutions.  Today’s feature is The Pit.

pit diversityThe Pit is the affectionate nickname for our main on-campus cafeteria.  The name was derived from the location within Reynolda Hall (the lowest level) as opposed to the quality of its food (although I can testify to the fact that the quality of the food these days is EXPONENTIALLY better than it was during my student days in the late 80s-early 90s, when lunch every Tuesday-Thursday seemed to feature the same bland casserole of turkey, rice, cream of mushroom soup, and paprika).

While my friends in Campus Dining would want me to call it the Fresh Food Company – so named because of fresh ingredients, prepared right before you at many of the stations – it will always be The Pit to me.

Because our students eat in The Pit a lot, some inevitably get tired of the food, but it is huge leaps and bounds better than most cafeteria style dining you might encounter.  Bonus is that there is a lot of variety of cuisines:  you can get everything from deli sandwiches, meat and potatoes, fresh stir fry, brick oven pizza, salads, vegetarian and gluten-free options, and so much more.

So here are five reasons your Deac should love The Pit.

1. Make your own waffles.  Any time of day, the waffle iron is there for you if you need that white flour, carby kind of fix.

2. Omelet station.  You can choose from a wide variety of veggies and breakfasty type meats to go in your omelet, and you can watch it being prepared right in front of you.

3. Pineapple.  There is a large salad and fruit bar where you can get all sorts of fresh fruit.  Even in the winter, the pineapple is usually of the extra sweet and juicy variety.   If pineapple isn’t your Deac’s jam, maybe it would be strawberries or honeydew or some other great fresh fruit.

thanks at the pit 14. Desserts.  There are always big, soft cookies, but my personal favorite is when they have sheet cakes.

HBWF pit cupcakesthanks at the pit 25. Special occasions.  The staff of Campus Dining does a great job celebrating holidays and having fun, festively-themed foods and decorations.

— by Betsy Chapman

Interesting Article on College

One of my Wake Forest classmates, a faculty member at another institution, shared a link to this article today on Facebook.  While it is geared towards incoming freshmen, the advice is sound at any age.

At the start of each academic year, your students have the opportunity to shape their college experience.  The choices they make will help determine whether things move in the direction your Deacs wish them to go.

Parents, no matter what year your student is, find some time this summer to talk to him/her about accountability, responsibility, and authority.  Not lecture, mind you, but a conversation.  Listen to your son/daughter and what he/she might think.

Share some of your own experiences in your life with accountability, responsibility, and authority, and especially talk to your student about times you have failed.  Your student needs to know that occasionally you got it wrong, and you turned out OK – so that when he/she gets something wrong in college, it isn’t the end of the world.  You have been there too, and you can be trusted to hear about your student’s struggle.  Helping debunk the myth of perfection, and stressing that it is natural – expected even – to make a mistake, can help bring down your student’s stress levels and fear of upsetting you.

Take a look at the article and see what you think.

— by Betsy Chapman

Is Someone You Love Going to College? Their Success Depends on Three Words

By Jeff Beals

It’s that time of year – college students are making their way back to campus. Soon picturesque quads across the nation will be filled with backpack-toting collegians walking under perfectly azure skies crunching fallen leaves underfoot.

Thinking about the annual return of students to campus reminded me of a note I received from a reader several months ago. He asked me to write an article about college success. He wanted me to offer advice to students about to enter college. I told him I would be happy to do that but wanted to wait until the article would be timely. Well, that time is now.

If you have a son, daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew or anyone else you care about who will be starting college this fall, please read on. If YOU are going to college, it’s especially important to read on…

By the way, I’m actually quite comfortable addressing this question and fairly well credentialed in doing so. Before entering the for-profit business sector 14 years ago, I was dean of student affairs at a private college.

The keys to college success are quite similar to those of the professional world.

Three Words

Responsibility. Authority. Accountability. Success ultimately comes down to three words. I used to harp on those three words when I would meet with new students and upperclassmen. In order to succeed, each individual must take total responsibility for his or her own life. You must graciously accept credit when it is due, and more importantly, you must be the first to stand up and take the blame when you have made a mistake.

If you get an “A+” on a term paper, it’s because you did the necessary work, not because you got lucky. If you’re late for class, it’s your fault, not because you got stuck waiting at a railroad crossing (you should have left earlier). People who adopt this belief are almost always more successful than those who make excuses.

Every individual has responsibility for himself or herself. Nobody else can or should make decisions for you. Fortunately, each of us has the authority to carry out that responsibility. Nobody has the right to take away the power you have over your own life. Finally, we are accountable for the decisions we make – good or bad. You live with the consequences of your decision-making and actions.

While responsibility, authority and accountability come with a burden, they are also liberating. Success begins and ends with you. People who abide by these three words enjoy more success and lead richer lives.

No Passivity Allowed

Students must take the initiative to make things happen. Successful people live active rather than passive lives. To persist in college, you must deliberately make things happen. Those students who sit in their residence hall rooms waiting for something to happen tend to turn into professionals who sit in their offices wondering why other people are so much more successful.

Get Involved

It may sound counter intuitive, but one of the best ways to succeed academically is to get involved outside the classroom. I saw it all the time when I worked as a college administrator – students who dropped out of school during their freshman or sophomore years tended to be isolated and not interwoven into the campus fabric.

Getting involved in a campus club, organization, Greek organization or athletic team helps you develop relationships with fellow students. These relationships consequently bind you emotionally to the school. If you are having a good time and benefiting from meaningful experiences and relationships, you’re more likely to work hard and do what it takes to stay there.

Collegiate involvement also makes the campus seem “smaller.” This is important, because going to college can feel intimidating to freshmen especially at large universities.

Time Management

While earning good grades takes hard work, you don’t want to be studying 24-7. Your undergraduate experience should be one of the most fun and memorable times of your life. You can enjoy the best of your academic and social lives if you are a good time manager.

As in the professional world, time management habits are one of the single most significant factors that separate the successful from the not-so-successful. If a student is lacking in time management, there are several on-line resources that provide tips, advice and exercises.

Find a Mentor

Mentorship has been proven over the years to be a highly effective path to success. New students should seek out mentors on campus. They could be professors, staff members, and most likely, an upperclassman who leading a successful college career. Having a role model and a source for advice makes it easier for a freshman to live a life of responsibility, authority and accountability.

Mentor-mentee relationships tend be informal, developed over time as people get to know each other and build friendships. That said, many colleges have formal mentoring programs in which incoming students are matched with upperclassmen who have agreed to serve as mentors and follow a designed program.

Be On Campus

Finally, there’s no substitute for just being on campus. I’m a big believer of on-campus living. By being on campus around the clock, you fully immerse yourself in the experience.

However, I understand that on-campus living is not logistically or financially possible for all students. In those cases, students should spend their free time on campus. Instead of going home right after class, stick around. Do your studying in the student center, the library or the quad. Eat your meals on campus. Just being there makes it more likely that you will succeed.

Like so many things in life, college requires that you throw your whole self into the experience. Make it your passion. Be a college student with all your heart. There are some things in life that you can do half-heartedly. College is not one of them. You need to give it your all and be fully committed.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps companies increase their profits and associations achieve their missions through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques.

Big Storms

We had a couple of big thunderstorms in the past couple of nights – heavy rain, big winds, and more.  Today, the Manchester (aka Mag) Quad looks like mud soup.

It’s been really hot here as well, high 90s and muggy.  This definitely feels like July weather.

Slow news day on campus, folks, so here are some summery,vacation type pictures of Mother So Dear if you are missing us.

— by Betsy Chapman

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New Residence Hall

Happy Black and Gold Friday, Deac families!  Hope you all made wise sartorial choices and are showing your WFU spirit via black and/or gold clothing or WFU apparel wherever you are.

7 17 15 res hallThe big news on campus today is the story online about the new first-year residence hall that will be constructed:

“A new residence hall for first-year students is being planned for the south side of campus next to Collins Residence Hall, on the current site of Parking Lot H.  The design of this residence hall is based on South Hall and will look very similar, according to Dean of Residence Life and Housing Donna McGalliard.

…The as-yet-unnamed residence hall, projected to open early 2017, includes most of the same amenities as South Hall which opened in fall of 2010. The four-story, 220-bed building will total 75,000 square feet. It will be a double-loaded corridor style structure with a mix of single and double rooms.

The residence hall will support Wake Forest’s vibrant student residential community with kitchen and study areas on each floor and amenities such as large recreation lounges where students can play games like foosball or ping pong, and media rooms, perfect for gaming tournaments or movie nights.”  Read the full story.

One of the great benefits of the three-year residency requirement (in my humble opinion) is that with three years worth of students living on campus, the newest students have the ability to live among the sophomores, juniors, and on-campus seniors, who can help mentor them (formally or informally).  To me it was always helpful to have a lot of students, all at their own unique developmental levels, who can offer support, counsel, friendship, and community-building in the residence halls.  You can learn so much from informal interactions with people on your hall or in your suite, and those 2 am conversations over pizza or Krispy Kreme about the meaning of life can be extraordinarly special.

— by Betsy Chapman

Mr. Palmer Goes to Scotland

APFor those of you who love golf and love Wake Forest, there are a lot of great Deac names to cheer for – but I daresay Arnold Palmer is at the top of everyone’s list.  A true legend.

At the British Open, his team won the Champions Challenge, with Mr. Palmer himself hitting the opening shot.  You can read more about it here in Golf Digest.

There are some Deacon faithful at St. Andrews this week.  One of our Wake Forest parents took this shot as Mr. Palmer made his way up the 18th fairway and was kind enough to share it.

I was lucky enough to be with Mr. Palmer once at an event, and helped escort him to where he needed to be.  You’ve never seen anything like it.  It was like walking with a king, or having the Red Sea part in front of you.  He is instantly recognizable, of course, and everyone just sort of stops and smiles and nods a hello as he goes by.  And let me add that as this happens, he was the nicest gentleman you could imagine – smiling and nodding back.  Gracious beyond measure.   So proud he is a Deac.

— by Betsy Chapman