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The Daily Deac

Two Parent Perspectives

Happy Black and Gold Friday to all our Deac families out there.  Hope that you are showing your Wake Forest spirit by sporting a little black and gold today.  That’s our standard Friday uniform, and we encourage you to embrace it wherever you are.

I got an email today from Penny Rue, our Vice President for Campus Life, with a link to an article about the transition from high school to college from a parent’s perspective.  The parent just happens to be a famous actor, Rob Lowe, who has written two autobiographies.  This is an excerpt from his second book, and it talks about his feelings when he sent his eldest son off to college.

It is a really moving article.  Poignant and full of all the awareness of how momentous it is to send a beloved child far away to school, how hard it is to let go, even as you are excited.  Here is a little excerpt below – the full article is online.

The clothes are off the bed and zipped into the bags. The bed is tidy and spare; it already has the feel of a guest bed, which, I realize to my horror, it will become. I replay wrapping him in his favorite blan­ket like a burrito. This was our nightly ritual until the night he said in an offhanded way, “Daddy, I don’t think I need blanky tonight.” (And I thought that was a tough evening!)

I think of all the times we lay among the covers reading, first me to him, Goodnight Moon and The Giving Tree, and later him to me: my lines from The West Wing or a movie I was shooting. The countless hours of the History Channel and Deadliest Catch; the quiet sanctu­ary where I could sneak in and grab some shut-eye with him when I had an early call time on set, while the rest of the house was still bustling. I look at the bed and think of all the recent times when I was annoyed at how late he was sleeping. I’ll never have to worry about that again, I realize. I make up an excuse to leave the room and head to my secret corner.

For his part, Matthew has been a rock. He is naturally very even-keeled, rarely emotional; he is a logical, tough pragmatist. He would have made a great Spartan. True to form, he is treating his impend­ing departure as just another day at the office. And I’m glad. After all, someone’s gotta be strong about this.”

Vice President Rue sent a second article as well – this one a bit more scholarly than popular.  It is from a faculty member at Bowling Green University, and it talks about some of the ways students might engage while they are at college, how they can grow.  It is an article grounded in the experience of a seasoned faculty member with years of student observation under his belt, combined in a letter to his daughter Clare, who is leaving for college soon.  Here is the full article:  From_Here_to_Clare.

For our upperclass parents, perhaps these articles will resonate with you.  For our incoming P’18 parents of freshmen, I imagine you might experience a wide range of emotions throughout the summer as you prepare for your students to come to Wake Forest.   You might want to talk with your students about these topics – maybe even write your own From Here to Clare letter?




Pro Humanitate is our University motto.  It means ‘for humanity,’ and the spirit of the motto is that we ought to be taking the skills and knowledge and talent we develop at Wake Forest and put it to work for the greater good.  Our Wake Forest Clubs program is helping with that effort in a blitz of service they call 4Good, or Pro Humanitate Days.

The Alumni website describes 4Good this way:  ”Join your fellow alumni May 30 – June 2, 2014 for Pro Humanitate Days, and together we’ll make the world a better place. Many alumni clubs and Wake Foresters have committed to keeping the Pro Humanitate spirit alive in their communities through service activities including park restorations, garden projects, and food drives.”

There is a full list of Wake Forest Clubs that are working on 4Good efforts.  While the Wake Forest Clubs program is run through the Alumni Office at Wake Forest, those events are open to ALL Wake Foresters – so that means alumni, parents and families, and friends of WFU.  Students too if they wish!

So if you live in one of these areas and want to participate in any of these service opportunities, please sign up and join in.  Tweet or tag your social media posts with #4goodwfu and show us your good work!  And if you aren’t in one of those areas, but you are doing good works of service, tag your posts and send them to us.

University employees have been doing their part for 4Good this week too.  Yesterday a group of Wake Forest staffers volunteered for Habitat for Humanity locally.  The day before some folks volunteered in the campus garden.  Today there is a blood drive – and you can join the crack team of the Daily Deac there, we’ll be donating!  Tomorrow there will be some who deliver meals to hospice.

Giving back.

Doing good.

Leading lives that matter.

Giving to something beyond yourself.

Isn’t that the very best of Wake Forest?

I think it is.

Dr. Maya Angelou

We received the sad news this morning that Maya Angelou, Reynolds Professor of American Studies, has passed away at the age of 86.  There is a very nice remembrance website and guestbook, which I commend to you.

Much will be written about this remarkable woman in the coming days, and we’ll let the experts reflect on her life, her contributions to literature and civil rights and public life.  I will share a couple of recollections here.

She taught a poetry class here at Wake.  It was taught in her home.  I did not take the class, but for the students I knew who did, they said it was one of the most amazing experiences of their lives.  Can you even imagine being 18 or 20, an earnest student of literature, having an author of that stature teaching you, reading poetry, discussing?  It would have been amazing.  My Wake friends on Facebook and Twitter have been posting their pictures of class and their remembrances of Dr. Angelou.  They are all quite moving reflections.

maya turbanWhat I remember most about Dr. Angelou was that this was a woman with an incredible voice.  You think of her as an amazing author with vastly important things to say – and that is true – but her physical voice was something special.  I went to a poetry reading she did in Brendle Recital Hall once.  She came across the stage with such regal bearing.  Sort of a part walk, part strut, part glide.  She had a giant red turban on – I mean really red.  Scarlet.  Gorgeous (the picture to the right isn’t it, and doesn’t quite do it justice, but it is close).  And as she glided out onto the stage, she was singing what sounded like an old spiritual.  Her voice started low and slow, and built to a great big booming crescendo.  I will remember it as long as I live.  She had incredible presence.

She had written the inaugural poem, “On the Pulse of Morning“, back in 1993 for President Clinton’s inauguration.  I was a graduate student at the time in our English program, and I happened to be talking to one of our faculty members who was close to Dr. Angelou.  I told her how much I admired the poem, and the faculty member said she’d be happy to get me an autographed copy.  It was a wonderful offer, but suspecting how busy both the faculty member and Dr. Angelou were, I wasn’t sure when I might actually receive it.

But to my delight, a few weeks later, there was a beautiful copy of the poem – a small red booklet.  And on the page with the title and her name, there was Dr. Angelou’s big bold signature, and the giant word JOY! written above it.

I loved that she signed it JOY!  Everything about her was larger than life – her voice, her clothes, her presence, her talent.

Rest in peace, Dr. Angelou.


We hope you enjoyed a long Memorial Day weekend.  The 3-day break ends and the first session of Summer Session begins.  From this afternoon until July 3rd, we will have a small cohort of summer students here working on things like Organic Chemistry or Accounting 111 or taking (or retaking) some of their requirements.

GraylynPoolThe long weekend also ushers in a different cohort on campus – and that is faculty, staff, and administrators who join Graylyn pool for the summer.  That’s one of the great perks of being an employee at Wake – the possibility to join the Graylyn pool.  Membership is typically filled solely through WFU employees, and that means you get to see your colleagues and their children relaxed and having fun outside of the office.  Or your kids and your colleagues’ kids   having fun and growing up together.  At the pool, you get this great cross-section of academia who might not normally work in the same disciplines, but might get to know each other there and maybe even find ways for future interdisciplinary collaboration.  Throw an equally large mix of administrators and librarians from different offices, and you have a lot of the university represented.  

One of the things my office hears frequently when we have visitors on campus is that people notice the close relationships and genuine friendships between colleagues.  They seem surprised that people are as congenial as they are.   Unlike some other, larger institutions, our schools and departments do not feel siloed (at least not to me).  We communicate, we get along with each other, we celebrate each other’s successes.   Whether that comes from sharing some laughs at the pool, or talking to each other in the ZSR Starbucks or Shorty’s or at some other venue on campus, it comes.  And I think it makes us better at everything we do.


We are three days post-Commencement, and in my building at least you can feel it.  There is so much upfront work and the devil is in countless details, that when it is over a lot of the folks here take a few days off to rest and recuperate.  So it is quiet in our neck of the woods.  For now.

The real work for Parent Programs in the coming weeks is going to be the successful onboarding of new parents and family members – the P’18s (parents of the Class of 2018).  This, like much of our work, is done by web.  If you are a new parent or family member of the Class of 2018, please be sure to visit the New Students website (that is the general page for your ’18 students), but especially the Parents and Families section of same.  That’s where we put content specifically for moms and dads and the family members of the ’18s.

We are currently doing a ton of work on the New Student Receptions program.  Those are receptions in areas of the country where we have a goodly concentration of incoming ’18s, and these receptions give the new students and parents a chance to meet each other and build a WF network over the summer.  Class of ’18 and parents, please sign up for one if one is available.  These are not mandatory, but they are fun.

Parents of sophomores, juniors, and seniors – here is where you can really help us.  We always want to have a few upperclassmen at each of these receptions, so they can be there to help us with Q&A and such.  If you live in one of these areas (or if your student is there over the summer for a job or internship), please encourage your student to email us at and tell us who they are and which one they would like to attend.  We obviously can’t have every upperclassmen in every populated area attend (or we’d outnumber the new ones!), but we would love to have some energetic and caring ambassadors at these events.

And if you are in a part of the country where there is no reception scheduled, don’t panic yet.  One of the goals of the summer for our office is to try and move some of the talking points we cover at these receptions into some sort of online/digital format.  No promises yet about what that might look like, but we are talking about how to make it happen.

Changing topics, here are a few observations about campus now that it is empty.

- it is QUIET.  just not much to see and hear as you walk around the place.

- parking is plentiful (hooray!)

- the weather has been stunning all week – low to upper 70s, sunny, beautiful

- Commencement tent was still up as of the writing of this post (check out the Quad Cam).  The grass appears either to be in better shape than I expected, or the graininess of the visuals hides a multitude of sins

Finally, wanted to have a proud moment about one of my former advisees who just graduated.  Matthew Teller (’14) was one of my freshmen advisees back in August 2010, and I still remember meeting him and his parents the first day or two of school.  As a lower division adviser, I only get to keep my students until they declare their major, but Matthew and I always stayed in touch.  It was a joy to follow his WFU career and to be a thinking partner with him from time to time.  He was a fantastic student and it was a pleasure to watch him grow and mature into a campus leader.  There is a great story on the Commencement web page about him.  I am proud of him like he is my very own.

ZSRx Tweets Online Class

One of the many benefits of being a Wake Forest parent or family member is that you can participate in Wake Forest events.  We have an incredible library staff in the ZSR Library, and in the past couple of years they have really upped their game in terms of offering free online courses to our campus community and larger constituency of alumni and parents.  The courses are all branded as ZSRx (kind of like TEDx) and they have done some cool subjects.

Next week they are launching ZSRx Tweets, which is designed to help you learn what Twitter is and how to use it.  If you are a newbie to the Twitterverse, this would be a great class to take.

And before you get worried about it being a class, let me set your fears to rest.  It is free.  It is self paced.  There is no pressure.  And you learn some cool stuff from the experts.

Information about the course (and sign up link) is below.  Take advantage of this great resource!



We’re excited to let you know that our next course offering, ZSRx Tweets, is gearing up to launch in just a few weeks.

Whether you’re a newcomer to Twitter or a longtime veteran of the Twitterverse, this fun, three-week course will engage you in a discussion of how to get started with Twitter and how we use the ubiquitous micro-blogging service in our personal and professional lives. No experience with Twitter is necessary!

Sign up today ›

As always, ZSRx courses are free and open to the Wake Forest community.  (NOTE: this includes parents and families too!)

The course will officially launch on Tuesday, May 27th, but you can pre-enroll here.

We hope you can join us!

Lynn Sutton, Ph.D., Dean
Z. Smith Reynolds Library
Wake Forest University
Give to ZSR Library!

Commencement Wrap Up

Yesterday was Commencement, and it was an absolutely picture perfect day on campus.  The weather was ideal – cool in the am, warming up to low 70s and sunny.  The mood was jubilant.  The campus was beyond gorgeous.  And what a joy it was to look upon a sea of such happy faces stretching almost the full length of the Quad.  All of our Deac parents and families beamed with pride, and throughout the weekend I witnessed so many hugs, smiles, pats on the back, and happy tears.  A beautiful thing to see.

Of course the really big news and excitement of yesterday was the remarks of our Commencement speaker, Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times who went through a very public and unexpected dismissal from her post.  This was going to be her first public statement since leaving the Times, and her story had been widely run on all the major media outlets – with lots of people speculating on gender equity issues, pay discrepancies, leadership styles and accepted gender norms, “leaning in,” and “glass cliffs.”  You name it, some pundit has been working the angle.   NBC had broadcast from campus on Sunday about her speech.  There was a segment about her (and broader issues of women in positions of power) on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.  Huge deal.  And  the eyes of the world literally were on us.

Our alumnus and Trustee Al Hunt (’65), who is himself a world-class journalist who spent four decades at the Wall Street Journal and now is at Bloomberg, introduced her.  For those who know Al Hunt, he is a great speaker.  Lively, fun, great with an audience.  He is fiercely proud of his Wake Forest connections, tirelessly supportive of his alma mater, and very giving to other people.  (Aside: as a very young staff member, I once had the privilege of picking him up from the Charlotte airport when he was coming to campus, and during the drive he was gracious enough to let me pepper him with questions about Washington the whole time, answering everything I asked.  He was interesting, interested, very smart.  I am absolutely certain that he had work to do in the car, but instead he spent that hour talking to me, and I will always be grateful).  So when he gave Jill a glowing a wonderful introduction and talked about how he mentored her early in her career, and how she was fearless, I could easily see that he would have been just as giving to her as he was to my curious mind.

Then Jill Abramson took the podium and delivered a speech that was smart, classy, full of grit and openness.  I’ve been working Commencements at Wake for 15 years now and I am not sure I have heard a better message.  She addressed head on the fact that she lost a job that hurt, and that now is the time to be resilient:

20140519commencement0977-300x200“Very early last Thursday, my sister called me and she said, ‘I know dad would be as proud of you today as he was the day you became executive editor of the New York Times. I had been fired the previous day, so I knew what she was trying to say. It meant more to our father to see us deal with a setback and try to bounce back than to watch how we handled our successes. ‘Show what you are made of,’ he would say.

Graduating from Wake Forest means you have experienced success already. And some of you – and now I’m talking to anyone who has been dumped – have not gotten the job you really wanted or have received those horrible rejection letters from grad school. You know the disappointment of losing or not getting something you badly want. When that happens, show what you are made of.”

She talked about the importance of the free press, telling truth to power, and why it is important to be true to yourself.  She mentioned some of her journalistic heroes, and told the story of a young boy in New York who had been killed by a speeding taxi, and how she and some colleagues (who had been badly hurt in similar accidents) wanted to be their voice.

Jill Abramson also showed great humor in her speech and connected to some of our own Wake Forest institutions:  ”Some of you have faced danger or even a soul-scorching loss, but most of you haven’t. And leaving the protective cocoon of school for the working world must seem scary. You will have a dozen different jobs and will try different things. Sure, losing a job you love hurts, but the work I revere, journalism that holds powerful institutions and people accountable, is what makes our democracy so resilient. And this is the work I will remain very much a part of.

My only reluctance in showing up today was that the small media circus following me would detract attention away from you, the fabulous Class of 2014. What total knockouts you are.

What’s next for me? I don’t know. So I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you. And like you, I’m a little scared but also excited. You know, I don’t really think Coach Manning could find as much use much use for me, but right after this speech, I have booked a private session with Andy Chan, whose career-counseling operation is a model for universities around the world.”

The full text of her speech is online and it is well worth your time if you didn’t read it.   Or watch the ceremony online.  Jill Abramson hit a home run out of the park.  I am not all worried for her future employment.  Oh, and by the way, Jill Abramson made a game-day call and asked our Commencement office if she would be allowed to stay and shake the hands of each graduate as he/she passed across the stage.  That is a probably two hour gig, nonstop, and she volunteered.  Another speaker who did that:  Colin Powell.  Classy move.

So that was the big news, but there were a million great moments, from Baccalaureate on Sunday through the last names being called and the ROTC cadets being commissioned (always a poignant and proud moment, and thank you for giving those young men and women a standing ovation.  They deserve it.).  To help you live (or relive) the moments, here are some options:

For those who want to experience the full range of Commencement coverage, the Commencement news site has it.

Our amazing University Photographer, Ken Bennett, has posted an online Flickr gallery

For a social media recap, visit our Tagboard site, which collected the best of the Tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram pictures with the hashtag #wfugrad

Revisit the Baccalaureate service with speaker Melissa Rogers.  She gave a knockout of a speech too; read the full text online.

For all of you with graduating Deacs in the Class of 2014, we salute you, and them.  It has been a privilege having your students with us on campus, we are proud to call them our alumni, and we hope you know that our parents and families are just as much a part of Wake Forest after graduation.

It’s Almost Here!

20090518grad_kb7240Welcome, Wake Forest graduates and families!  Commencement weekend is here, and we know this is a weekend y’all have been thinking and dreaming about for a long time (maybe even from the time your students started filling out their college admissions applications!)  Four years have passed and now it is their big day.  What a joy and a privilege it is for us as administrators and faculty to celebrate their success and their transition to Life After Wake Forest.

Because we have a lot going on today, the Daily Deac wants to hit a few highlights.

Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times, is still our Commencement speaker.  If you’ve been following the news, you know there has been a great deal of national conversation about Jill Abramson in recent days following her departure from the Times.  There is tremendous interest in both her and her message, and we anticipate a significant number of national media present to cover the ceremony. President Nathan Hatch said it best, when confirming her plans to speak yesterday: “I cannot think of a better message for the Class of 2014 than that of resilience. Jill Abramson’s accomplishments speak for themselves, and I am confident she will have an inspiring and timely message for our graduates.”

Can’t be on campus but want to hear her speech (and the ceremony)?  Watch the livecast online.  Please share this link with family and friends who cannot attend.

#WFUGrad - We want you to share in the Commencement excitement by joining in our social media efforts.  There will be some of our staff members present at the Baccalaureate picnic, Commencement morning (7-8:50 am) and post-ceremony.  They will have #MyWakeForest boards, and they would love to have you and/or your students share their WFU memories on these boards.  They will take pictures (with your cameras and ours!).  Some of these will end up on Tagboard, which will be displayed prior to Commencement on the big screens (7 am-8:50 am Monday morning).  We encourage you to live Tweet throughout the event and use the #WFUGrad hashtag when you do.  

Do you know where to follow our social media posts?    @WakeForest1834 on Twitter.  @WFUniversity on Instragram.  WFUniversity on Facebook.  Because the Parent Programs office is so busy during Commencement, we won’t be updating our own Facebook and Twitter as much, so be sure to follow these others.

The Commencement web site is your comprehensive resource – if you have questions, look there first


Finally, some tactical thoughts.  Parents of graduates, please pay attention to these (just in case your student is so excited and/or returning from the beach that he/she forgets to do some of these!)

Graduation ticket pickup:  Tickets are not mailed.  Students can pick up their ordered tickets and parking passes in front of the College Bookstore on Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Please be prepared to show ID.  The Bookstore will be open both days for cap & gown distribution.

PLEASE urge your students to line up on time for Monday morning!  This is very important.  Every year we have some students who show up right as the processional begins, or even 15-30 minutes later.  You do not want to have your student’s name not read because he/she has not reported for graduation at the right place and time.  Graduate Assembly Instructions are posted online.  In addition, informational emails from the Office of the University Registrar are sent as the graduation ceremony approaches. Make sure your students read these carefully and respond appropriately.

You might say a word to your students about alcohol and the ceremony.  Alcohol is not allowed in the ceremony, and if a student arrives with it, it will be confiscated.  Regrettably, every year we do have a few students who arrive at Commencement and seem intoxicated.  Students can be removed from the processional for their own safety if they are intoxicated.  Please urge your students to show up for Commencement in good shape.

Check campus weather. Graduation exercises are held outside and last less than three hours, but temperatures in May can vary widely.  Take note of the rain plan (and hope we don’t need to use it!)

Be aware of arrival instructions and Commencement logistics for families.   The Daily Deac also did an April blog post with a  reminder about some of the other practical matters.

If you need a copy of the Commencement Weekend booklet for the weekend, download the PDF here.

Travel safe, and bring good weather!

Rain Rain Go Away

This is why we put the Commencement tent up early, for days like these.  It is a gray and stormy day, and looks like the rain will continue throughout the day.

As you can imagine before a massive event like Commencement, the whole campus is all-hands-on-deck for the preparations.  So the Daily Deac will be very light this week.

The set of pictures below span two different days: yesterday afternoon, when it was glorious, and this morning right before the rains came.   This morning the Quad was all full of the big stacks of 200+ chairs and those were being moved on trucks to locations across the bricks.   Parking lots are roped off to allow all the deliveries and the equipment.  This is a major operation.

For all of you at home, please begin all supplications for the ideal weather – low 70s, sunny, warm with gentle breezes.  There is no better Commencement weather than that.

5 14 14 photo 2 5 14 14 photo 4 5 15 15 photo 1 5 15 15 photo 2 5 15 15 photo 3 5 14 14 photo 1


Graduation…Now What?

Today’s Daily Deac was written by John Montana, Associate Director for MA Enrollment Management in the Wake Forest University School of Business. 

Before bringing you John’s words, let me make this brief editorial note.  This MA program he describes is a fantastic opportunity for students.  I have known several students who have gone through the program and each of them saw outstanding results in terms of their business knowledge and the job offers they ultimately received.  This can be a tremendous opportunity for our soon-to-be graduates looking for their next move after Commencement.  Please consider it!


Graduation is an exciting time for students and their parents.  As your Wake Forest graduate begins the next chapter in life, new questions will emerge.  Amongst those, what is the best way to apply your student’s experience toward an interesting, rewarding career with future growth potential?

As you weigh the possibilities with your graduate, we invite you to consider the Master of Arts in Management (MA) program at the Wake Forest School of Business. This 10-month program allows liberal arts, science and engineering majors to build on their undergraduate degree, enabling them to pursue careers in a broader range of fields. The MA degree offers a core business curriculum, hands-on learning, and dedicated career services to give recent graduates a competitive edge in today’s market.

Wake Forest graduates can also take advantage of the MA Honors Program to be considered for preferred admission to the MA in Management program.  Wake students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 are eligible for guaranteed admission to the Master of Arts in Management Program* and be qualified for scholarships from $7,500 up to $25,000.

There is still time for your graduate to join our next class, which will include at least 30 current Wake Forest classmates.  Don’t miss this opportunity to discuss the MA option for your graduate.  Schedule a brief phone consultation today or set up a time during Commencement week to speak with one of our admissions representatives.

For more information, contact John Montana via phone at 336.758.5025 or email (

Read more about the benefits of MA in Management program in the Businessweek article “Why B-Schools Must Educate the ‘Whole Person’” written by Derrick S. Boone Sr., associate dean of the Master of Arts in Management program.

* Applicants required to complete all components of the application process, including a personal interview and submission of a standardized test score (GRE or GMAT). Wake Forest students with a cumulative GPA below 3.2 are welcome and encouraged to apply to the MA in Management Program through the standard application process and will automatically be considered for scholarship award.