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Phi Beta Kappa Induction

phi beta kappaYesterday I had the pleasure of attending the induction ceremony of the newest members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society.   About twenty juniors and around 50 seniors were invited to join this year.  It was a wonderful event for them and for the many proud family members, faculty, and staff in attendance.  And as an alumna of WFU and a member of PBK as well, I was proud to see these exceptional young men and women being honored.  I knew a few of them and they are terrific.

In addition to celebrating the students, a member of the faculty was given an honorary membership as well.  The professor was Mary Foskett of the Religion department.  I have worked with Mary for many years and she is an exceptional teacher-scholar and has such a heart for both students and scholarship – a most deserving recipient of this honor.

The keynote speaker at the event was Blake Morant, dean of the School of Law (and a PBK member as well.)  Dean Morant opened by asking the audience if we knew some of the most famous members of Phi Beta Kappa (see list here).  He then shared a story about his first job following law school.  He had been on an Army ROTC scholarship and then was part of the JAG Corps (Judge Advocate General).

Disclaimer: Dean Morant is a phenomenal speaker and a very charismatic storyteller, so I can not do his live performance justice.  But it was a good story.

In his first JAG Corps assignment, he was at Fort Bragg here in NC and was working on general contract law, which is evidently one of the most complicated forms of law to practice.  His commanding officer assigned him to work on a contract for a particular piece of equipment – a tank – that the 3 star general of the base wanted to purchase.

Dean Morant researched this exhaustively and found that there was an endangered species of bird on base that was protected by new EPA rules that applied to military bases (as well as the general population) and that the general could not get this tank because of the risk to this endangered bird.

He presented his masterfully written briefing memo to his commanding officer, basically saying the general could not get the tank.  The officer read it and said it was one of the most thorough and well-developed briefings ever – and that Dean Morant would have to be the one to meet the general to tell him no in person.  Evidently the general was a real Patton-style guy and not used to hearing the word “no.”  The prospect of having to break this bad news to the general was fearsome indeed.

Being extremely well rounded in his own liberal arts undergraduate experience at the University of Virginia, Dean Morant relied on his critical thinking skills and tried to think outside of the box (or base as it were) to find other solutions.   He drove all around the base to see if there were other areas that did not have this bird in residence, but would also meet the needs of the general and would allow him to get the tank.  He was able to find a different section of land that had no endangered birds and room for the types of tank drills required.

He amended the briefing memo to show that the general could both safeguard the endangered bird and get him the tank he wanted.  A win for everyone.  But especially for Dean Morant, who had the academic training to think creatively and problem-solve.  He credited his undergraduate experience for helping him develop those skills.

After this story, Dean Morant urged the students to let this induction into Phi Beta Kappa be the *beginning* of a life of great things, not the crowning achievement.  Hard work and a firm grounding in the liberal arts can make anything possible – and he stressed that now more than ever, we need people with liberal arts backgrounds to help look into the problems of the world and find solutions.

Following the induction ceremony, the new members, their families, and faculty and staff celebrated the success of these great students.  It was a great night for all.

Congratulations to all our new members!

Monday Morning News

Good Monday morning, Deac families!  Here’s a little bit of news from everywhere to help you start your week.

This weekend was perhaps the most beautiful one we have had all spring.  It was sunny all weekend, highs in the mid-70s, and all of the flowers and flowering trees seem to be exploding with blooms all at once.  It is hard to imagine a prettier time at Mother So Dear.

On Friday we had the first of two Campus Days for Accepted Students, with about 400 families (1,000 people total) attending.  These events are for students who have been admitted into the Class of 2018.  Some have already committed to WFU, others are kicking the tires between their final top choices.  It is a wonderful day for students and families to experience all Wake has to offer.  One new feature this year was a version of the Campus Involvement Fair at the end of the day, when student organizations manned tables around the Quad to feature the work of their organizations.  Many thanks to all the students who were there to greet the new families, and also to the Spirit of the Old Gold and Black and cheerleaders and dance team.  And of c0urse, our Demon Deacon!  I had also seen a great “Did You Know?” about some of Wake’s points of pride.  Did you know we did all this?  Did You Know

Friday we received an announcement that alumna Melissa Harris-Perry (’94) will return to campus as a chaired professor in the department of Politics and International Affairs.  This is a big get for Wake Forest.  Dr. Harris-Perry is an award-winning scholar and author who has taught at Tulane, University of Chicago, and Princeton. Her first book, “Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought,” won the 2005 W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.  Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges.  She spoke on campus a couple of years ago and she is dynamic , interesting, and passionate.  She is going to be someone who engages students deeply in the classroom, and she will bring with her a wealth of knowledge and connections through her journalism career.

We also learned late last week of a $3 million gift from Blue Cross Blue Shield NC (BCBSNC) to support the University’s well-being initiative.  The $3 million gift from BCBSNC will help us create a campus community dedicated to well-being and support initiatives across eight dimensions: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, financial, occupational, and environmental.  It will support the transformation of Reynolds Gym into a comprehensive center for well-being, fund a new director of well-being position, provide seed grants for faculty research on health and well-being, and support new well-being programs on campus.  This is big news too and very exciting.

Finally, residence hall selection has taken place.  As happens every year, there are some students who did not select a room (for a various of reasons).  If your student is in the Yet to Be Assigned group, here is some information about that process and how it plays out over the summer.

As always, big things are happening at Wake Forest.  And your students are the beneficiaries!



Catching Up from Last Week

The staff of the Daily Deac had a week’s vacation last week, and it looks like we picked an eventful week to be gone.  As you have surely seen by now, Wake has a new basketball coach in Danny Manning.  Here is the official email I received from Ron Wellman, our Athletic Director.


I am pleased to announce that Danny Manning is our new basketball coach. Known as one of the most accomplished college basketball players in the history of the sport, Danny has played for and worked under a number of legendary coaches and he has been successful in his coaching career. 

Danny has spent the last two seasons as the head coach at the University of Tulsa. He was named the 2013-14 Conference USA Coach of the Year after leading the Golden Hurricane to the conference championship and a berth in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Tulsa’s first appearance since 2003.  Manning is currently a finalist for two national Coach of the Year awards including the Jim Phelan Award, to the nation’s top coach, and the Ben Jobe Award, given to the nation’s top minority coach.

We are excited to have Danny as a Demon Deacon, and I hope you will join me in welcoming him, his wife Julie, and their children Taylor and Evan to Wake Forest University! I look forward to introducing Danny to the Wake Forest community next week. 

Go Deacs!

Ron Wellman


The full press release on Coach Manning is available online here.   This is an unconfirmed report, but I had a friend message me yesterday saying that Coach Manning will be introduced to campus on the Quad this Tuesday at 6 pm.  I am trying to find out whether or not that’s true.

In campus news, this week your students are going through Round 2 of registration for fall classes.    They will also be going through residence hall selection and meal plan selection.  If your students have questions about either process, the best places to start are the websites, and then they can talk to their RA or Residence Life or Campus Dining if they have more detailed questions.

Many of you have started thinking about summer storage and shipping options for your Deacs’ belongings.  If your student needs to purchase boxes and tape and just needs to ship items home, our own on-campus Mail Services can provide those options.  They ship belongings home, but do not store boxes for the summer.   Your student can check out the Mail Services office in the basement of Benson University Center to discuss his/her box and shipping needs.

For students who want to ship their belongings home at the end of the semester (or have them stored in Winston-Salem over the summer), Wake Forest has a relationship with Eli’s Pack and Ship.  For more details, see the phone and website information below: 

Eli’s Pack & Ship
Eli Bradley

Families are welcome to select their own vendors or service providers.  However, this company is one with whom Wake Forest has an existing vendor relationship.

It was a beautiful weekend in Winst0n-Salem, if a little chilly yesterday.  This morning there is nothing but grey skies and rain, and it looks like the rain will continue all day.   But if the 5-day forecast holds, it will be 74 by Friday, which is the first of our two Campus Days for Accepted Students.  Nothing beats the Wake Forest campus when it is mid 70s and sunny.

Have a great week, Deac families!

English Class

The Daily Deac returns from break today.  It’s April now, and we hope you are starting to feel the magic of spring wherever you are.

One of the most legendary Wake Forest English classes was “Blake, Yeats, and Thomas,” taught by Dr. Edwin G. Wilson (’43).  That class, along with “British Romantic Poets,” was one you had to plot and plan and pray to get into because demand was so high.

Whether you were an English major or not, there was something magic about Dr. Wilson’s classes.  He has a rich and lyrical voice and a gift for pausing at just the right moment to let the words sink in.

You can’t take his class anymore, as he is retired.  However, here is one of my favorites from his class.




I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars wer20131002garden3282e flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun


Raleigh Reception for Parents

The Daily Deac continues its break this week.  If you are a parent in the Raleigh area and have a student in the School of Business, we hope you have already seen the invitation below.  If not, please go and enjoy a wonderful evening with other Wake Foresters!


Raleigh Reception

Wake Forest University School of Business
Board of Visitors members
Hope Holding Bryant, Dale Jenkins (BS ’78, P ’06, P ’13),
and Doyle Parrish (MBA ’81, P ’17)

Invite you and a guest to a

School of Business Reception 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The First Citizens Center 
4300 Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27609

Reconnect and re-engage with alumni and friends of the School as we continue to transform business education. 

Kindly RSVP by Tuesday, April 6, 2014

Bits and Pieces

Today’s Daily Deac is a little bit of everything.  One of the things on your students’ minds might be the upcoming registration period for Fall 2014 classes.  For freshmen and sophomores who have not declared their majors, they are likely to be meeting this week with their Lower Division Adviser (i.e., adviser you have from freshmen year until you declare your major) and will be getting ready for Round One of registration next week.  For those who have already declared their majors/minors, they will be advised and registered for classes within the major/minor department between March 17 – 28.   Each department governs advising and assignment of registration priorities and most registration procedures during Major/Minor Registration.

The Registrar has a comprehensive web site about registration procedures.  A couple of key points not to miss:  your student needs to make sure to clear any holds on his/her account prior to registration.  He should check his account daily until registration and make sure there are no holds.  Since registration takes place after normal business hours (at the urging of Student Government some years ago), administrative offices are closed – and thus if a student discovers a hold on his registration for an unpaid parking ticket or fee, he will be locked out of registration until the next morning when the office opens and he can pay it.

Second, there is a Google Mail Chat option for students who run across registration issues midstream.  Directions on how to use that are also on the Registrar’s registration web site.  As with so many things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so please urge your students to review the registration web site well in advance.

Changing topics, I also came across the Volunteer Service Corps application for service trips next winter.  If your student is interested in service in Vietnam or India, please urge your student to complete this form: Service Trip Application.Winter.2014.  Applications are due April 7 at 5 pm.

wake will studentI saw this flyer today for the student kickoff of the Wake Will campaign.  Entitled “An Afternoon of Friends, Food, & Philanthropy,” this will take place on March 27th from 11am-2pm on the Mag Quad (aka Manchester Quad).  Free food is always a draw for students.  I hope yours stop by!

It’s raining this morning but no snow so far, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be cold enough for it.  For all our Deac families who are bracing for yet another winter storm, I am wishing you lots of sunshine and warm weather as soon as possible.


Flow House in Vienna

I received word late last week that there are still a few spots available at the Flow House in Vienna for the upcoming fall semester.  Here is a little bit of info about the Flow House that we ran several weeks ago.  I had a family member do a semester there and she said it was incredible.

Please share this information with your students!  Studying abroad is a transformational experience, and the Flow House is a magnificent property in a historic section of Vienna.  They may never again have the opportunity to live in such grand Old European surroundings!


There is still time to apply for our study abroad program at the Flow House in Vienna, Austria for Fall 2014. This particular semester is a great way to earn significant credit toward your major/minor and complete divisional requirements. Coursework will include:

  • 6 hours of Economics major/minor credit
  • Divisional credit for ART, ECN and HST
  • 9 hours of Global Trade and Commerce minor credit
  • No prior study of German required

In addition, there are several special scholarships available – including an automatic merit scholarship of $500.00 for students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Likewise, all students who are accepted and commit by April 4th will be given a flight scholarship of up to $1,200.00.

This unique opportunity will not only allow you to earn WFU credit while abroad, but it will also allow you to take advantage of three-day weekends and a 10-day fall break to explore Austria and other parts of Europe.

Apply now at: WFU Vienna application. Admissions decisions will be given within a week of submitting your completed on-line application.

On St. Patrick’s Day

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day today, many people on campus will be wearing green and thinking about some of the various ways this day is celebrated (no doubt there will be some Irish foods and green cakes in the Pit today).  But right under your students’ noses – likely invisible – is a very important piece of Irish studies that I hope they will one day discover.

It’s called the D0lmen Collection, and it can be found in the Rare Books Room of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library.  In 2006, the News Service wrote an article about the collection, saying in part:

“Literary history buffs, Irish poetry lovers and scholars can now enjoy tracing the steps of Irish publisher Liam Miller and his renowned Dolmen Press at Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library.  After nearly 20 years of careful documentation and cataloging, the library announces the official introduction of the archive.

Liam Miller

Following Miller’s death in 1987, Wake Forest purchased Miller’s personal papers and the Dolmen Press Archive. The archive includes manuscripts, papers, correspondence and artwork that track the history of the Dolmen Press and reflect the lives of prominent Irish poets, including William Butler Yeats, John Montague, Thomas Kinsella and others. One of the highlights of the collection is a series of illustrative printing blocks dating from 1902 to 1985, including a few from Cuala Press, the private printing press founded by Yeats’ sisters Elizabeth and Lily.”  (full article here)

Your students may not have such ready access to this sort of historical archive once they leave Wake Forest.  So urge them to take a trip to the Rare Books Room and read, touch, and experience Irish literary and artistic history.

Here is the ZSR’s description of the Dolmen Collection.

Biographical and Historical Note

Liam Miller was born April 24, 1924 in Mountrath, Ireland. Educated in Ireland at Ballyfin College and University College Dublin, he studied architecture.  He married Josephine Browne in 1947, and together they founded the Dolmen Press in 1951.  The Press operated in Dublin from 1951 until Liam Miller’s death in 1987.  A printing division was opened in the late 1950s as an additional revenue source, and was eventually shut down in 1979.  The division took printing jobs from publishers as well as theaters, art galleries, businesses and individuals.

Founded to provide a publishing outlet for Irish poetry, the Press also heavily featured the work of Irish artists.  The scope of the press grew to include prose literature by Irish authors as well as a broad range of critical works about Irish literature and theater.  The life and works of W.B. Yeats is a recurring theme in a variety of works, including the Yeats Centenary Series.  One highlight in the Press’ history was the publication of The Tain in 1969.  Thomas Kinsella’s translation of the Irish epic poem took 15 years from concept to publication and represented a milestone in Irish publishing.  By the 1980s the Press had created the Brogeen Books division for juvenile works, and many of the later publications were under this imprint.

Liam Miller was also a book designer.  Liam Miller’s major design projects stemmed from the post-Vatican II changes to the Catholic Church missals, mass books, etc.  Occasionally, jobs for the printing division were also works that Liam designed.  In addition to his role with the Dolmen Press, Miller was very active in the Dublin community.  An avid philatelist, he served for many years on the Irish Department of Posts and Telegraphs’ Philatelic Advisory Committee.  Passionate about live theater, Miller helped revive the Abbey Theatre and the Abbey’s Peacock Theatre.  He became director of the Lantern Theatre, and frequently used his architectural skills to design and create sets for the Lantern’s productions.  An authority on Yeats and Irish theater, he wrote and spoke frequently on these topics.

Collection Overview

This collection consists of information relating to the publications and printing jobs of the Dolmen Press, the administrative and financial documents of its operation, and the design work and personal papers of Liam Miller.  The Publications and Printing and Design Series include author correspondence, general business correspondence, typescripts, proofs, art, galleys, reviews, paste-ups, dust jackets, and printing notes.  The Administrative and Financial Series consist of general business files, correspondence, publication files, awards, events files, office documents, personnel information, exhibition files, samples, bank files, invoices, journals, ledgers, receipts, and reports.  The Liam Miller Personal Papers Series features biographical information, correspondence, typescripts of speeches and writings, notes, journals, programs, original and reproduction art, and photographs.  The Printing Blocks Series contains illustrative printing blocks used for Dolmen publications. The documents range in date from 1890 to 1987, with the bulk of the documents dating from the 1960s to mid-1980s.

Major individuals, businesses and subjects found in the collection include Abbey Theatre,  Tate Adams,  Juanita Casey,  Austin Clarke,  Padraic Colum,  Columba Press,  Jack Coughlin,  Brian Coyle,  Mia Cranwill,  Dawson Gallery,  T.P. Donnelly,  Douglas Hyde Gallery,  W.A. Dwiggins,  George Fitzmaurice,  Thomas Flanagan,  Four Masters Press,  Eric Gill,  S.W. Hayter,  Seamus Heaney,  Humanities Press,  Irish Book Publishers Association,  Maurice Kennedy,  Anthony Kerrigan,  Kingdom Books,  Thomas Kinsella,  Lantern Theatre,  Louis LeBrocquy,  James Liddy,  Lilliput Press,  Liturgical Books,  Donagh MacDonagh,  Louis MacNeice,  Wolf Mankowitz,  Hugh Maxton,  John Montague,  Merrill Moore,  Richard Murphy,  Flann O’Brien,  Sean O’Casey,  Brendan O’Reilly,  Oxford University Press,  Pilgrim Press,  Anthony Porter,  Kathleen Raine,  Elizabeth Rivers,  Robin Skelton,  John Millington Synge,  Talbot Press,  Thoor Ballylee,  Arland Ussher,  Veritas Press,  William Morris Society, The  Yeats Association,  Jack Butler Yeats, and  William Butler Yeats.”

Senior Oration Finalist – Fahim Gulamali (’14)

Last but certainly not least, the Daily Deac concludes its coverage of the Senior Oration finalists.  Congratulations to all the students who made the Top Ten.

Today we invite you to enjoy “The Stronger Pull of Love” by Fahim Gulamali (’14).


The renowned Muslim poet Jalaluddin Rumi once said, “Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” Rumi’s words have poignantly portrayed the feelings of my evolution as a first-year student, to my senior year  here at Wake Forest.  I came in to this university as a pre-med student; a potential biology major; a ‘heterosexual’; and an insecure human being. Today, I am leaving as a worldly religious studies major; an unfaltering feminist; a proud gay person; and so much more. I know that I would not have been able to come into my true self if, in my senior year in high school, I had not released my inhibitions and let the universe, a term I now understand as God, pull me towards the institution that I have come to love—Wake Forest University.

I spent my childhood in an imaginary space, one filled with magic and possible impossibilities. I would gallop on my trusty steed while trying to battle Voldemort to save Hogwarts. I would wrap myself in a bed-sheet and find myself flying to different parts of the world. I was happy because I gave the universe opportunity to draw me to my true loves.  I was so in tune with the universe, that I sprinted towards all that drowned me with love and happiness.

Somewhere between the  summer of middle and high school, I buried myself in self-loathing and insecurity. I weighed a mere 110 pounds and my hair began to thin. I had  become conscious of my ‘otherness’—the fact that I did not fit into society’s stereotype of a ‘masculine’ person—and I invested my energy in hiding who I truly was from the world. I joined a flag football team when I had no interest in football and dated a couple of girls, while secretly spending time with someone of the same sex to whom I was attracted. Nothing was right in my life because I buried myself in my reserves and cut myself off from that which I genuinely loved. I was unhappy. And then, in my senior year of high school, I accepted the offer to attend Wake Forest University.

From the moment I stepped onto this campus, I started to evolve. Retrospectively, I began to  grow into myself. I let go of my worries and what others thought of me. I dabbled  in the things such as WakeTV, service trips through Global Brigades, and Amnesty International. Really, anything that caught my attention. I let my classes mold me, challenge my belief system, and ultimately help me learn more about myself than ever before. I allowed my friends to empower and support me in every decision I made, and to take care of me when those decisions led me down rocky roads. I delved into every opportunity that Wake Forest offered me, and I grew stronger when I was faced with opposition. Certain recollections flood my memory when the true essence of Wake Forest came to play a role in my life-the week of April 22, 2012, when I “came out” to the world as a gay person.

That specific week, I was learning about the role that the queer community plays within various religious institutions in Dr. Lynn Neal’s ‘Religious Intolerance in the United States’ class. This was when I realized that I could not hide a part of my identity any longer. I had grown so much already—I had let myself be pulled in the direction of so much love, and I did not want to stop. I called one of my mentors on the way back from volunteering at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital on April 26 and said the words —‘Imran, I think I’m gay. No—I KNOW I am. I have always felt it.” These words liberated me. They let me breathe more than ever. I was already at an academic institution that I loved, studying subjects I was passionate about, surrounded by supportive friends and professors that had become my family, and it was time that I was true to the world and myself.

That week, I confirmed everything that I had learned about myself and the Wake Forest community that surrounded me. Faculty and staff embraced me with open arms. Religion Department Administrative Coordinator Sheila Lockhart even went to the extent of opening her home to me when I thought my own home would reject me. My friends showered me with love and affection when I was learning to become comfortable with who I was while also grieving my old self. I slept over at different friends’ homes because I was too afraid to be alone. These human beings shared a part of their hearts with me so I could fully embrace that which I loved. They embodied the motto of this university—Pro Humanitate. They did not let me fall.

Today, I ask each and every one of you to let go and be free. To follow what you love and let your heart and universe be the guide to pull you in the right direction. I also ask you to help others realize the freedom that comes from following their intuition and pursuing what they truly love, as my friends did when I was afraid to do so. Be a voice for those who have been silenced by what philosopher Michel Foucault would refer to as the ‘the dominant discourse’—a voice for my gay identity in a majority heterosexual world, for example. In the end, let us all release our apprehensions and surrender to the stronger pull of love.

Events After Spring Break

If your students are looking for things to do the week they get back from Spring Break, there are a plethora of options on the Events Calendar.  Lectures, sporting events, Student Union ‘short courses’ and more.

I want to draw your students’ attention to one of the events, and that is “The Big Disruption – the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.”  There is more information on the Big Disruption website, but I would submit to your students that this is a great opportunity to hear from campus leaders and alumni who are nationally-recognized experts in higher education.

College has changed from yours and my days, Deac families.  There seem to me to be so many more campus life offerings and and development opportunities for our students than there were during my own days knocking about Wake Forest as an undergrad.  And I suspect that the institution of college will need to change and innovate and be more nimble and flexible, to borrow words from President Hatch.

Your students are in the thick of it right now as college students.  This is a chance to have them hear more about what might be ahead by the time their children go to college.