Site Content

The Daily Deac

Phili Roundup and a Big Bag of Rice

Last night was our St. David’s, PA (Phili area) New Student Reception and it was a blast.  We had so many great new families, as well as some wonderfully poised upperclassmen and even some current parents too.  It was a lovely, convivial gathering, as I knew it would be.

From all the new freshmen I have met this summer, I have to say I am impressed.  They are interesting, intelligent (obviously), polite, and charming.  I think it is going to be a great class.

Here’s a few of the ‘get off to a good start’ tips that our upperclassmen gave last night:

- During high school, most of your day was planned and filled by school.  In college, you are going to have very little daily work, but will have a lot of material to cover in between classes and tests.  Don’t let yourself get behind.

- Unlike high school, your professor might not remind you of an upcoming quiz or test.  That information is all on the syllabus, and you need to read and follow that syllabus (and not wait for prompts).

- Be sure to visit your professors’ office hours and get to know them personally.  Go to class and participate.  Those are the building blocks to in-class success – and on the off chance you have an illness or emergency, your professor is more likely to work with you if you have a good track record in class and he/she knows you personally.

- Leave your door open the first couple of weeks in your residence hall – not all the time, not when you are sleeping, just when you are hanging out.  Invite your hallmates in or speak to them, and introduce yourself to them if their doors are open.  That’s how you build hall friends.

- Living in close quarters means that things like colds and such will run through the dorms.  Do a lot of hand washing and hand sanitizer to help keep germs at bay.

- Go to every Orientation activity.  You’ll meet tons of people.  Also go to the Student Involvement Fair (which takes place this year on 9/3 from 3:30-6 pm on the Manchester aka Mag Quad) and sign up for some clubs and activities – but not too many.  You can put your name on email distro lists for groups you are interested in, but can opt out later if that group is not for you.

I also had a fantastic suggestion from an upperclassman parent of something that ought to be added to the “What to Bring to School” list:  a ziploc bag of rice.

A ziploc bag of rice? whatever for?  you might ask yourself.  I know I was puzzled for a sec.

At some point, most of our students will have a cell phone-water mishap.  Could be getting stuck out in the rain, or spilling a drink on it, whatever.  Point is, in the moment your phone is wet and not functional, the cure for a wet phone is immersing it in a bag of uncooked rice.  And that is probably not a staple in most college kids’ rooms.

So the word to the wise is – send them to college with an emergency phone-drying-out ziploc of rice.  That way if they need it, they have it and can start the phone cure ASAP.

Thanks for the great night, my Phili friends.  Here’s a picture of our newest Deacs from the areaphili nsr



Remember Our Dancer, Emily James (’14)

If you are a fan of reality TV – or if we’ve just goaded you on via our Facebook page – you’ll know that Wake’s very own Emily James (’14) is on the Fox show So You Think You Can Dance.  You can scroll down on the main So You Think You Can Dance page and see videos of the dancers, including our Emily.

I am told by a good friend of hers that this week’s episode is a critical one.  Four dancers will be eliminated, and we want to do our part to make sure our girl Emily stays on the show!

The next show is tomorrow – Wednesday, July 30th at 8 pm Eastern.  We hope you will plan to vote (early and as often as the show allows) – the voting page is here.

Let’s show Emily the full support of the Wake Forest family!



Important Reminders and Action Items

How is it possible that it is almost August?!?!  This summer has been speeding by for us – maybe for you as well.  Part of the reason our summer is a blur is because we go to so many New Student Receptions (I look forward to seeing our Phili area Deacs tomorrow night!)  And because I am traveling, we’ll have a couple of lighter days in the Daily Deac.

There are two big action items/important to-dos in the next few days, Deac families.

1) tuition is due August 1st.  If your student has authorized you as a third party payer on DEAC, you should have been seeing some electronic reminders of this.  If your student has not granted you third party payer access, all tuition notices will go to the student only (and we hope your student is telling you!)  Here are some instructions about how your student can sign you up.  It is every student’s personal choice of course, but I can’t tell you the number of times I have received a frantic call from a parent about their student being locked out some important process (like registration) from an unpaid bill.  You can avoid that drama if both students and at least one responsible third party viewer can see all notices on DEAC.

2) the period to either waive coverage or enroll in the Student Insurance Program is also August 1.  You must either complete this waiver or enroll in the Student Blue plan, or else the Student Blue plan will be automatically billed to you.  The SIP web site has an FAQ that answers a lot of questions you may have.

Please take care of these promptly so there are no unhappy surprises.  And as always, it is a great time to remind your students that they should be checking their WFU email account very frequently, as that is how administrators and faculty will communicate action items to them.

Looking forward to seeing you, Phili!

Pro Humanitate at work

Don’t know if you have seen the nice article on the main WFU web site about the Pro Humanitate Institute - if not, do read it.  ”The new Institute is consolidating Wake Forest’s various community engagement efforts, including the former Institute for Public Engagement, which sponsored teaching and research along with local outreach, as well as the former Office of Service and Social Action, which facilitated opportunities for students to connect with the community, serve others and explore social-justice issues.”

We don’t just talk a lot about our motto of Pro Humanitate (“for humanity”); our campus community members live out Pro Humanitate in so many ways, large and small, public and private.  I am a big believer in our mission and had an opportunity to link up with one of the terrific projects we support on campus – this one is Campus Kitchen.

7 24 14 campus kitchens1 7 24 14 campus kitchens2 7 24 14 campus kitchens4 7 24 14 campus kitchens5 7 24 14 campus kitchens6The idea behind Campus Kitchen is to use local food from campus and other sources to cook meals for people in need.  Today I worked a shift in the kitchen where I helped prepare a meal for Prodigals, a program in town for men in recovery from substance abuse.

Campus Kitchen has an office in Benson (but is soon moving to their own lounge in a Quad residence hall).  There were four of us volunteering – two current students who are regular volunteers, and a librarian from ZSR and myself – the two newbies.  The CK volunteers loaded a big cart full of cooking supplies and food and we went to the Benson Center catering kitchen to get to work.

We were preparing a meal for 18 men at Prodigals.  Today’s menu was vegetables (a mix of very good looking French green beans and some frozen mixed vegetables), chili with a couple of different kinds of beans plus chicken; a potato casserole dish, and molasses cookies.  The two students helped us get acclimated to the kitchen and we quickly divvied up the jobs – potato cutting, chicken cutting, cookie making.

The process of cooking with strangers was surprisingly delightful.  Everyone chatted and talked a little about their Wake Forest experience, all the while talking about some of the work CK does, peppered in with the intermittent reminders about food safety, proper temperatures, etc.  We cooked together and cleaned up together, everyone doing their part.  It was a really beautiful hour and half of community togetherness working toward shared goals.

At the end of the shift, when all the food was cooked and ready, we took it back to the Campus Kitchen office, where it will be stored until it is time to be delivered.  One of the students told us about the Prodigals agency – she said if you ever want to go there on a Sunday afternoon and volunteer, they are the nicest guys you will ever meet.  They will remember you, and remember your name, and will be nice and so grateful for the help.  I could tell from my fellow volunteers that they liked to cook, liked to serve, liked to be doing something for someone else.  These were terrific people – and as an alumna I am proud to call them Wake Foresters.

After I got back to my office, an email was waiting from the CK automated sign up system: “We rely on volunteers to run 15 weekly shifts, serve over 900 monthly meals, and rescue more than 3,000 pounds of produce a month! We hope you had a great experience with us and that you will come back, bring friends, and think about growing your commitment in the future. ”

This was a fun gig.  I will be back.  And I hope as your students get back in the fall, they’ll consider trying this once or twice.  Pro Humanitate is good for the soul.


Two other quick items:

1) work is going on at the top of Wait Chapel – looks like painting or wood repair.  I took this picture on the way back from my cooking shift.  That is a crazy high up scaffold.

2) the Wake website is going to be down for part of the day on the 26th and 27th.  So if you try to access our web sites then, you are going to see some redirecting to other sites.  Not to worry, this is temporary.  Here are the details:  ”Due to planned network maintenance, many WFU.EDU websites will be unavailable on Saturday, July 26 from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. Sunday, July 27.  While maintenance work is taking place, the campus computing network will not be available. Additionally, most computing services, such as Google Mail, WIN, Sakai, and Banner will not be available.  If an emergency occurs during this time, information will be available on the Wake Alert website at”

Some Interesting Stats

We’re coming down to the home stretch of our New Student Receptions, and I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the statistics of these gatherings for new students and their parents or family members, as well as current students.

33 receptions total

438 of the incoming freshmen families registered to attend a reception

76 current students registered to attend a reception (NOTE: this number is probably larger than 76, because most of our reception hosts had their WFU students attend)

21 alumni (non staff members) registered to attend a reception; some were current parents

20 WFU staff members traveling to these 33 receptions.  At the end of the season I’ll total up the mileage from these events – it will be a big number.

We have also had some wonderful interactions with families during and after the events.  Maybe the two most meaningful I witnessed personally were these:

- I had two upperclassmen women come up to me at a reception and tell me they’d met at this same reception a year ago as incoming freshmen and became best friends

- A mom came up to me after a reception and said (paraphrasing here)  ’before this event, my anxiety level about sending my student to college was up here [gestured toward her neck].  Now that we’ve met so many nice people, that anxiety is way down here.

And for those of you not living in a reception area, we are still trying to work out a ‘virtual’ route – less about you guys meeting and mingling (as our students have Facebook for that), but more to share the tips and good ideas that have come out of the events.  More to come once we flesh it out.

tampa nsrFinally, a great pic from the Tampa New Student Reception the other night.  They all look pretty excited about Wake!

Some Food for Thought

Some of my friends and colleagues are kind enough to point out articles about parents and parenting, thinking they might be interesting food for thought for our Deac families.  Today I am going to bring you a few of those types of articles.  Note that the Daily Deac isn’t making a value judgment about whether these are good or bad – that is for you to decide.  But I share them with you in good spirit.

The first one might be coming a little late for those of you with upperclassmen, because you have already experienced having your Deacs home for the summer after Independent Life at College.  This article is called “The Other Nine Months,” and it is about when your college student returns to live home after freshman year has ended.

The second article is written by the mother of a 10th grader, and it is entitled “An Open Letter to My Teenage Son About Drinking.”  Topic is self evident, and the writer states her family’s opinion and values in it.  She also challenges the assumption that all teenagers will experiment with drugs and alcohol – why should that be the norm? – and wants to be sure her son is aware of her ideas and ideals:  ”I get it. My son is growing up, and he’s going to have to make choices for himself.  I want him to spread his wings and discover who he is.  And as much as some people think I’m living under a rock, I do know that he is going to make mistakes along the way.  But, I want him to know where I stand on engaging in behaviors that are at best risky and at worst illegal or life-threatening.  I never want my son to say that I wasn’t clear about my feelings — so I’m writing them out here, for all to see.”  (Aside: as we have said often on the Daily Deac, summer is a great time to have those tough conversations – about alcohol and all other difficult issues.)

Finally, we offer “The Real Goodbye,” which was quoted to us last night by a WFU professor and incoming freshman parent at our Winston-Salem New Student Reception.  This article is poignant and talks about students’ increasing independence (and simultaneous letting go of their parents).

Seen and Heard

Today I had occasion to walk all about campus, and thought I’d show you a little bit of what I saw and heard.

On the Quad:

7 21 14 campus hydrangea- close to Efird and Taylor and Huffman and Poteat we have some gorgeous hydrangea bushes – really big and thick.  This one here is just outside Davis Hall.  One solitary purple one, but it was pretty.

7 21 14 campus tour- there was a big tour group walking along the Quad.  It is overcast again today and not as beautiful as a sunny day (in my opinion), but one benefit to these visitors is that it is also cooler than a typical July day.  I listened to the tour guide for a couple of minutes and this young man appeared to be doing a great job.

7 21 14 campus flowers- these planters outside the entrance to Reynolda appear new – or newish, maybe I haven’t seen them – and they are lovely.  There are twin planters at the entrances to Benson up the main entrance stairs.


In Reynolda:

7 21 14 campus 1- some new and colorful artwork on the steps leading to the 2nd floor.  I love that we rotate student pieces as well as purchased artwork.  I neglected to get the artist info, but I really liked the look of this one.

7 21 14 campus women center- a banner (new? newish?) outside the Women’s Center.  If your female students haven’t taken advantage of some of the offerings of the Women’s Center, urge them to do so this fall.


At the ZSR library:

7 21 14 campus fire drill- a fire drill!  When I arrived, the occupants were all on their way out the door for a brief fire drill.  Evidently there is a lot of construction going on this summer and I am told there was a fire drill either yesterday or late last week.  Not sure which of them was accidental.  And yes, there was the requisite sound of alarm going off – thankfully it was short lived.

- toward the library parking lot near Luter Hall, they are removing some of the trees.  Evidently the soil can’t support the trees as close together as they are, so they are removing some in hope that the others will flourish.  No pictures of that one, but there are orderly piles of red clay where the trees were removed.


Gloomy Monday

This is one of those rare summer weeks when it is predicted to be overcast and/or rainy for several days in a row.  Normally it is hot – upper 80s, low- to mid-90s – right about now, but we are only supposed to get to the mid- to high-70s today.  It has sprinkled a little, but looks like it might open up at any minute.  Or it might just stay gray and threatening.  You just don’t know.

I went to the center part of campus today for a lunch meeting in the Benson Center.  Benson was pretty empty at 11 am.  As I had my lunch, I could see out the windows of Shorty’s to summer school classes letting out – a sudden influx of college students walking across the Manchester (Mag) Quad.  There appeared to be some sort of summer camp taking place, as there were a lot of tween-type students all in matching t-shirts doing some activity on the Mag Quad.

One of the many construction projects taking place right now is the renovation/upgrade of the salad bar area of The Pit (aka Fresh Food Company) in Reynolda Hall.   When I walked through the Pit, there was a large section hidden behind construction drywall, and I am told they are upgrading or redoing the old salad bar area.

A second very visible construction project is taking place on Water Tower Field (across from the Worrell Professional Center).  Water Tower Field, which is used by a lot of the student intramural groups, has been plowed up and is a mess of red clay right now.  We are supposedly putting down field turf there (instead of plain grass).

There is no shortage of summer college tours taking place.  I saw a big tour group this morning, and that seems fairly typical of the summer, when families are free to go on the big College Tour Roadtrip.  One major change from my time is the sheer volume of schools families look at.  Back in the Dark Ages when I was looking, most of my friends looked at 3-5 schools total.  Now it seems students are looking at as few as 7 or 8 schools and as many as 20 or more.   The times, they are a changin’, Deac families.

Your W-S Dining Recommendations

Yesterday we asked our Daily Deac readers to submit their suggestions for places to eat during Family Weekend.  And man, did you come through for us!  We had a lot of responses from parents and families weighing in (no pun intended!)  Many thanks to all who sent their recommendations.

I’ve done a little editorializing and linked to restaurant pages where I can.  So without further ado…here’s what you told us.


Artisan (aka Millennium Artisan – downtown upscale restaurant right next to Camino Bakery (another favorite of the Daily Deac)

Breakfast Of Course (aka Mary’s Gourmet Diner) – fun and funky breakfast eatery downtown.  Daily Deac is a big fan of Mary’s.

Diamondback Grill – they have a casual bar side and a sit-down-restaurant side.  The crab hushpuppies appetizer is amazing.

Firebirds - I have not eaten here, but I know and trust the recommender’s taste

Five Points - Ditto to Firebirds

Fratelli’s Italian Steakhouse - close to campus on Reynolda Road near Graylyn

Milner’s – low country Southern American

Mozelle’s – tucked downtown, this is a great fresh Southern bistro.  They make a fantastic tomato pie.  This restaurant was mentioned by multiple families.

Noble’s Grille – “Our new favorite!” according to a Deac Dad.  This, along with Ryan’s, is one of the hot spots for a fancy meal.  Wood grill, wine-country inspired cuisine, and a huge favorite of the Daily Deac as well.   This restaurant was mentioned by multiple families.

Paul’s Fine Italian Dining – “I have to say, born and raised in New York and now living in NJ, I NEVER thought I would find one of  the best Italian restaurants in Winston-Salem NC. But I did, and it is Pauls. Not only is his food out of this world he and his staff are just as good.  Feels like you are eating in an Italian grandmother’s house. THE BEST!!!!” – from a Deac Mom.  Daily Deac’s take: don’t let the location and the unassuming decor fool you.  Paul’s is out of this world.  My favorite appetizer is the Spiedino alla Romana (brochette of bread and cheese in a special sauce).

River Birch Lodge - a menu with rotating themes and specials, and a lodge-type feel to it.

Ryan’s – one of two perennial favorites for ‘mom and dad, take me to a fancy meal’ restaurants.  Great steaks and seafood.  This restaurant was mentioned by multiple families.  

Sweet Potatoes – specializes in Southern food and – yes – sweet potatoes feature heavily on the menu.   “We have always enjoyed Sweet potatoes for its unique menu” said one Deac Mom. 

Spring House – for nicer dinner, inventive Southern cuisine

Village Tavern – in Reynolda Village, close enough for a nice walk from campus.  Casual but delicious fare.  Homemade potato chip appetizer is always a favorite with college students.

West End Cafe - in the West End of downtown.  This is a great place for lunch, and they have dinner specials nightly.

1703 - A local Deac mom said this of 1703:  ”One of our favorite restaurants (in addition to the ones already mentioned) is 1703. The food is always excellent, the service great, it is convenient to campus, and they have a nice area for outdoor dining. It is somewhat expensive, though, but well worth it, especially for a special occasion”

Casual lunch options:

Carving Board – gourmet side dishes, salads, soups, and sandwiches.  A local favorite.  The spicy sesame noodles are not to be missed.

Hero House – a sub shop that has terrific Greek food (W-S has a series of great Greek restaurants) as well as subs and burgers

The Loop Pizza Grill – pizzas, salads, and more

Mama Zoe’s – Mama Zoe’s has a huge variety of homestyle, comfort foods on the menu

Olive Tree – another local Greek favorite for subs, salads, and more

Red Hot and Blue:  “Awesome BBQ. Close to the school, huge portions and good prices. Don’t worry if you don’t see many people in parking lot.  It usually is not so busy during the week.” – a Deac Mom





Tell Us What You Think, Deac Families

Family Weekend registration went live on the 15th of the month.  So people are starting to think about the fall and this signature event from Student Union.

One of the frequent questions we get in the Parent Programs office is: ‘where should we take our students to eat during Family Weekend?’  There is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question.  A lot depends on your taste, what kind of cuisine you are looking for, what sort of price limits you are considering.

And rather than have us answer from the Parent Programs office, we’d love to hear from you!  What are your recommendations for a good restaurant for a Family Weekend dinner, or for any other time you’re in town.

Email us at and we’ll compile the results here.