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Ordinary Yet Extraordinary

Our final good thing to look forward to during the academic year isn’t an event proper or an activity.  It’s a time of year.   An ordinary week somewhere in October most likely.  But it is extraordinary.


There is something about when fall arrives on a college campus that just feels good.  It’s that first hint of a chill in the morning.  Needing to wear a  light jacket for the first time.  The fact that Starbucks brings back Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  And the trees and the leaves.

Wake is an undeniably gorgeous campus.  And while spring is resplendent in its own way with all the flowers, fall is really a stunner.  We have so many gorgeous trees in every shade of flaming red, yellow, and orange.  When the leaves are on the trees and you can look from the Mag Patio downtown, it is breathtaking.

Fall is a time when students need to get out and take some long walks every weekend.  On campus.  To Reynolda Gardens.  Or even the short drive up to Pilot Mountain to hike.

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What’s Left?

The Daily Deac is at the end of the Things to Look Forward to This Fall series, and what is left?  Today isn’t about an event or a place or a thing, it is about the feeling of being back at Wake Forest as the semester begins.   And we’ll try to project some ideas, in the style we like to do called “Five Senses.”

You see

- Lots of upperclass students hugging and smiling hello as they move back to campus and reunite with friends

- Freshmen traveling in packs for the first few days

- Lines to buy books and people carrying large packages of same.  Feel bad for the science majors; their textbooks are always enormous

- The start-of-semester student uniform: tshirts, shorts, flip flops, cellphones

- Frisbee on the Quad, or people studying on the grass.  Lots of outdoor pursuits.

- People sitting on the walls and decks of the residence hall lounges.  There could be guitars, or grilling, or gatherings.

- Joggers, walkers, and runners


You hear

-  People talking as they walk on campus together

- Phone calls to moms, dads, significant others

- Ordering food in Subway, Benson, and all the other eateries

- Roars from intramural games in progress

- Mostly English, but occasional conversations in foreign languages (frequently Spanish and Chinese)

- the beehive buzz sound of a very full Farrell Hall Living Room


You smell

- The subtle, delicious scent of drying tobacco leaves from the plants nearby (but only on humid days).  This is a smell your kids will forever associate with Wake Forest, I can promise you that.

- Fried food in the Benson Center (Chick Fil A, I’m looking at you)

- Fresh cut grass anywhere there is green space

- Freshly showered and perfumed girls on their residence halls

- The strong waft of coffee as you enter the ZSR Starbucks

- The smell of old books as you move from the Starbucks into the library stacks


You taste

- the first sip of a ZSR Starbucks – and it is delicious

- the crispy edge of a make your own waffle at the Pit’s waffle station

- a perfectly cooked omelet that has all your favorite ingredients in it

- the salty/sweet and delicious late night food runs from Cook Out, Krispy Kreme, delivery pizza

- tailgate food – depending on where you tailgate (and the game time), it could be BBQ, fried chicken, sausage or ham biscuits.  None of it healthy but all of it perfectly suited to a ball game


You feel

- Like there is a lot of energy on campus.  Especially on a Friday night, the electricity is palpable.

- Warm.  It’s hot and sunny.

- Glad to be back.

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Two More to Go

We’re coming to the end of our vacation-week series of Things to Look Forward to in fall 2014.  Semester’s end means finals, and while none of our students look forward to those, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s called Wake the Library.

Wake the Library is a week’s worth of food, fun, TLC, stress relievers, and research help in our Z Smith Reynolds Library.  We have an amazing team of librarians who work tirelessly to keep the library open 24/7 during finals week.  They are there as supporters, cheerleaders, thinking partners, comforters, and subject matter experts.

Wake the Library gives students some especially fun moments of study breaks.  Free food at midnight.  Yoga.  This year there were pinatas.  Graffiti wall.

If you have to be in the trenches of finals, the ZSR staff is who you want beside you.  And they deliver, year after year.

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A Cherished Tradition

We can’t bring you any kind of preview of fall semester highlights without talking about one of the cherished holiday traditions that comes the Sunday before finals begin: the Moravian Lovefeast.

Here is the official description of the Lovefeast:

The Lovefeast at Wake Forest

Moravian student Jane Sherrill Stroupe ’67 organized the first Wake Forest Lovefeast in December 1965.  200 students gathered to celebrate the traditional meal.  Since then, the Wake Forest Lovefeast has grown to be the largest Moravian-style lovefeast in North America, and one of the favorite features of Wake Forest tradition.

The Wake Forest Lovefeast consists of a sweetened bun and creamed coffee.  It is served to the participants by dieners (German for servers).  During the meal, music is offered by the Wake Forest Concert Choir, Handbell Choir, Flute Choir, and the Messiah Moravian Church Band.  During the service of song and scripture reading, handmade beeswax candles decorated with a red paper frill are distributed to each worshiper.  The candles are lit while the worship space is darkened except for a large illuminated Moravian Advent Star for the singing of the final hymns.”

For students who want to celebrate the Christmas season with lots of holiday magic, this is the ‘can’t miss’ event.  Read the Daily Deac’s preview of last year’s Lovefeast.

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Looking Ahead

Happy Monday, Deac families!  While the Daily Deac is on vacation, we’re still bringing you good news from campus.  This week we’re looking at Things to Look Forward to in 2014-15.  Our series continues with Project Pumpkin.

Project Pumpkin is a Halloween carnival that is put on for local schoolchildren.  Around 1,000 local at-risk schoolchildren come to campus to trick-or-treat in a safe, fun environment.  Project Pumpkin is designed and led by Wake students, who organize a theme, brainstorm and staff carnival games, face painting, and more.

This is a great day on campus.  It gives our students a reason to dress up and be silly for an afternoon, and it also gives them contact with younger kids (and for those who have much younger brothers or sisters at home that they dearly miss, this is a way to have some kid time!)  Most importantly, it lets our students do for others in the spirit of our motto Pro Humanitate (for humanity).  Don’t we all feel good when we know we are making a little kid happy?

Particularly for freshmen parents, encourage your student to look for sign ups for Project Pumpkin after the semester begins.  Our new students can meet a lot of other upperclass Deacs that way.

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More Good Things

We’re continuing our preview series of Things to Look Forward to in 2014-15.  And today we are all about Hit the Bricks.

Hit the Bricks is a wonderful campus tradition that combines philanthropy and service with genteel intercampus rivalry, music, fun, and teamwork.  Students form teams and run (or walk) laps on the Quad all day in hopes of winning bragging rights on the giant leaderboard.  Their entry fees and any additional donations go to fund the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund, which was named in honor of Wake Forest football great Brian Piccolo (of Brian’s Song fame).

If you are the parent of a freshman, start telling your Deacs now that they need to be looking for sign ups for Hit the Bricks after the semester starts.  Get a group from their hall or student organization they join and be part of the running teams!  And if not, make sure they come to the Quad and watch for a while.  It is a combination of sweat, pride, sofas dragged out of lounges for good views, music, and more.  Faculty and staff do Hit the Bricks too, and one team in particular can hang very well with these young 18-22 year old legs.

Read our Daily Deac preview of last year’s Hit the Bricks.

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Things to Look Forward to in 2014-15

The crack team at the Daily Deac is taking a few days off, and so for the next week or so we won’t be covering the day-to-day as it happens, but rather giving you a preview of things to come for the fall semester.  Both in the vein of campus activities and traditions, and in some of the everyday moments that make this such a great campus.

Hope you enjoy.

2012-move-in-football-group-shot 2012-move-in-cars 20120824move-in3015 move-n-family 20110826move-in6953 20110826move-in6638Move-In Day for the freshmen – one of the sweatiest yet most fun days of the year.  1,200ish new Deacs and parents all arriving together and beginning a shared experience.

There is tons of help to move things into your room – you’ll pull your car up to the grass in front of the residence hall and tons of helpers unload and move your things up to your room so the next car can do the same.

Then it’s a whirlwind of picking up keys and laptops and ID cards, meeting the roommate and hallmates and RAs.  Big, long day.  Fun day.  I met my very best Wake friends on Day 1.  So might you.




President’s Garage

Here’s a little “did you know?” for this morning, Deac families.  Did you know that one of the greatest spaces on campus is not on campus at all, but is at the President’s house, which is just a mile or two away from campus?

It’s the President’s Garage.  Located on the same property as the President’s house, this garage has been fully renovated for student use.  It has a giant tv, cable, DVD, comfy chairs and tables, a small kitchen, and an outdoor seating area with basketball hoop and a number of outdoor games like cornhole.

To reserve the Garage, students need to fill out this Reservation Form and submit it for approval.    There is a maximum capacity of 25, and no alcohol is allowed.  But this is a great space for a gamewatching, a casual gathering of friends, a fun Friday night movie watching party, and more.

See the virtual tour here.

If your students don’t know about this gem, pass it on to them!


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.


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.