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A Road with a View

As Family Weekend is approaching, let me recommend one of my favorite fall traditions: viewing the glorious fall leaves on Reynolda Road.  This is something you will want to see when you are here, and you can encourage your students to take a walk or drive as well.

If you exit Wake Forest’s campus from what most consider the main entrance out past the Porter Byrum Welcome Center (aka admissions building), you come to a stoplight at the intersection of Reynolda Road and the road leading to Silas Creek Parkway.  Take a left onto Reynolda Road and you’ll quickly pass Reynolda Village on your left.

Drive slowly down Reynolda.  It is bordered on both sides by old, beautiful, very large trees.  In the summer the trees form a canopy of green and provide welcome shade from the heat, and in the fall the trees display spectacular colors.  You will see every shade of gold, yellow, orange, red, brown.

This view never gets old.  In fact, there are many ‘best’ times to travel Reynolda Road and you can get a different feeling or perspective each time.  You can go early in the morning on a cool day and see the leaves and maybe a little fog, dew-covered grass.  You can go around sunset, and if the sun hits the reddest leaves just right, everything is bathed in a reddish glow.  My personal favorite is on very windy days, when the leaves fall gently down like snow.

If you are here Family Weekend, be sure to see Reynolda Road.  You/your students can see it either by car or by taking the nice walking path from campus (down past Winston Hall).  You can walk all the way up to Reynolda Village, past Reynolda House museum to where the stone gates connect to Reynolda Road.  If you step out past the gates, you can look either way and see a terrific view.

It’s been rainy the last few days so I have not taken any good pictures myself this year.  A quick Google search found several beautiful pictures: one from the Winston-Salem Journal (credit to Doug Rice Photo), one on a Flickr website (credit to @NOSAMK) and one I took last year, respectively.

reynolda road fall WSJ

reynolda road kay mason
reynolda road fall 2013
- by Betsy Chapman

Cheering Up with Deacon Greetings

Today is a better day on campus.  Quite windy but not as beastly rainy and foggy as it has been.  And in times like these – bad weather, midterms, papers, projects, other associated malaise – what your students might want is a bit of cheering up.

And we are happy to oblige.

We have a web page for Deacon Greetings – an e-card service you can use to send your student.  You fill out the form, pick a picture you like, and write a personal message to your Deac, and then Internet Magic makes it go to your student’s email.

So if you think your Deac could use a boost, send him or her a Deacon Greeting.  These are available all the time, by the way.  You can either bookmark this Deacon Greetings web page, or it is now on the left hand menu of our Parents’ Page.  If you have suggestions for additional messages or picture choices, send those on to

test deacon greetingMy colleague and genius web designer sent me this one as a test so you can see what it looks like.

Hope you can use this to spread some WFU cheer to your Deacs!



It was a dreary weekend, particularly yesterday.  And today it is still dreary.  Not necessarily cold, but a near constant mist and you can feel the damp.  There was enough fog this morning that you could hardly see the outline of the spire of Wait Chapel from a distance.

Students are finishing up midterms and papers and projects.  I was in the Benson Center midday and student spirit seemed pretty good.  Not sure if that was because they were getting their fix of fast food, or because they were among friends, or maybe they had just aced a test or paper.  Dress was on the casual/rainy weather side, as you would expect.

Many of our students are looking forward to the 3-day weekend that is Fall Break, starting this Friday the 17th.   The weather looks bad for the next couple of days, but is supposed to improve for the weekend.  It would be nice to have a good fall break for them.

A Beautiful Friday

Today is a beautiful day.  Early this morning it was cool enough for it to feel nice and refreshing if you were walking on campus, but not so cool that you needed a jacket.  All across campus, the trees are noticeably changing from all green to every shade of Fall there is.  It looks like rain is coming, so your Deacs ought to get out and enjoy this fine day while they can.

There are several items on the web today worth mentioning.

For all our history buffs out there, and/or families who will be coming here in 2 weeks for Family Weekend, the Old Gold and Black (our student newspaper) ran a story about the names behind some of the campus buildings.  You can see Meet the People Behind the Buildings here.

For students who are interested in looking at room changes or changes to their meal plans, Residence Life and Housing sent an email with instructions and deadlines.  Requests to change rooms for the spring are due November 7th – so anyone contemplating a switch needs to take action.

Any student with a current meal plan who does not have enough meal swipes to make it to the end of the semester can add more swipes. Students can take advantage of the Add On Sale for Meal Swipes by going to Reynolda Hall, Room 12.

Fall Break is coming up next Friday, October 17th.  “Break” is a bit of a misnomer, as it is really just a 3-day weekend.  Students will want to take note of the Student Health Service website re: closing during Fall Break.  On that same website, they also have a list of local service providers when Student Health is closed.

There is a story on the main WFU web site about campus climate and building community.  “Wake has a more diverse student body than ever, and the campus community is taking action and engaging in conversations to ensure everyone at the University feels valued and respected,” it says in the article.  My own WFU experience in the late 80s-early 90s was that you practically had to go abroad to see different cultures or nationalities, we had fewer students of color, and Baptists were the majority religion.  Now our freshman class was 10% international and our school more broadly represents the world in which we live on all fronts.  Which is amazing for our campus community and in helping our students be better prepared for a global world, and it also creates some opportunities to be more inclusive and understanding of others.

Finally, as with every Friday, I hope you are representing WFU where you live by wearing Black and Gold.  I know I have mine on!  Call your students today and tell them you love them, and reconnect with them.  Ask them what they want you to bring when you come for Family Weekend.  They will surely have a list of things from home they want.


- by Betsy Chapman 

Red Skies at Night

Most of the time when I’m gathering material for the Daily Deac, it is during normal work hours.  There’s obviously a lot that goes on after hours that I am not here to catch.

Thankfully, I have some colleagues who can be my eyes and ears in those off hours moments.  One of these colleagues is Ken Bennett, our award winning University Photographer.  I was looking through some of his shots today and found a series of great skylines, including the lunar eclipse and blood moon of the other day.

I don’t know if your students were out and about to see these great sunsets and moon.  Hopefully they were, and got their own good pictures.  If not, enjoy Ken’s fine work and have a glimpse at the Winston-Salem skies.





















































- by Betsy Chapman





Various and Sundry Wednesday

Today’s Daily Deac is a little bit of everything.  Stay with us as we meander through various and sundry notes and observations.

The weather is perfect today.  Sunny, nearly 80.  You’re warm if you stay in the sun, but you aren’t baking.  A walk across campus feels refreshing and not too hot (unless you are carrying a really heavy load in your backpack or messenger bag).

On the Quad around 11 am, there was an animated game of football being played by what looked like kids from late elementary school or early middle school.  They must be here for a field trip.  I must have seen them toward the end of their visit, because their teachers were lining them up to get a picture of them.  So imagine about 20-30 kids, all lined up in the walkway mid-Quad, Wait Chapel in the backdrop.  Evidently the cool colors for the youth of today is neon anything.  I saw lots of neon greens and oranges.

Even on a day like today, there were a fair number of students in the library.  My observation about the students I saw:  those who were sitting in the atrium at tables tended to have their laptops open and appeared to be working on them.  The students I saw peppered in random chairs in the stacks or other areas all seemed glued to their phones.  Now, I didn’t see the content of the atrium table laptop screens, so they could have been IMing their friends (rather than working), so filter that as you will.  I just found it curious that nearly all the students sitting in nooks and crannies were on phones vs. having their heads in a book.

WFU is in the news, as it often is.  I caught a glimpse of Inside Higher Ed, where there is an article about students seeking advice from campus chaplains on career direction.  Our own Andy Chan, Vice President for Personal and Career Development, is quoted in the article:  “I think a lot of times, we get so focused on outcomes — do students have a job, do they go to grad school — that all the energy is focused just on what a student might be skilled at,” he said. “And sometimes that might take a student down a path that’s not the right fit for them as a person.”

There are some noteworthy athletic events coming up as well.  As seen on the WFU home page: “The No. 16 WFU field hockey team will host No. 1 UNC at Kentner Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. Enjoy free hot dogs, pom poms and buttons while supplies last. Wear black to black out the Tar Heels! Admission is free.”  Our field hockey team is amazing, and we really would love to see LOTS more black and gold than Carolina Blue.  So urge your students to support our Deacs.

Also from the home page: “The WFU men’s and women’s basketball teams will host their annual ‘Black & Gold Madness’ event on Friday, Oct. 24, in Reynolds Gymnasium. The event will follow WFU volleyball taking on Miami at 6 p.m. Both events are free.”  This is a really fun event, the first look at our basketball team.  Hopes are high among the Deacon faithful that Coach Manning will usher in a new era of greatness on the court.

Reminder too that Sweet Honey in the Rock will be on Thursday evening via the Secrest Artist Series.

Finally, I give you the fourth and final photo from our Unity and Respect campaign (and the other three to show the change from week to week).  This has been a meaningful way for campus members to gather and show their unity and respect for all.  I am rather sad it’s stopping, to tell you the truth.

This is a special campus, with special people who give so much to our students (and faculty and staff) every day.  I wish you all could know the folks in this picture.   I am so proud to work among them.

Together Tuesdays 1  Week one






together tuesdays 2  Week two





together tuesdays 3

Week three





unity and respect 4  Week four




- by Betsy Chapman

The Dogly Deac

Today was evidently the final day for the Unity and Respect picture on the steps of Wait Chapel.  In each of the four weeks we’ve been doing this photo, more and more folks showed up.  If you follow Wake Forest University on Facebook, you can see a really fun time lapse video of everyone arriving and lining up for the shot.

Sometime while we were either setting up to take the shot or chatting with folks afterwards, I noticed a student mid-Quad who had a dog on a leash.  Only the dog had broken free and was running just out of hand’s reach of the owner.  Dog owner was desperately trying to get a hold of the leash so the dog didn’t get away.  It only took a couple of jukes and jives and the owner was able to get a foot on the leash and stop the dog.

This got me thinking about dogs on campus.  Students miss their pets from home something awful (pets are not allowed in the residence halls unless they are service animals, I believe is the rule).  As I have said to many parents – your students can call/text/email you, but they can’t do that to the beloved family dog, unless maybe via Skype (and only if their dog is smart enough to respond to Skype).  

So whenever there is a dog around, people come out of the woodwork to pet the dog and get their animal fix.  Most of the time these dog moments are organic and not planned – some local person/nearby resident/faculty or staff member walking a dog across campus on a nice day.  Maybe it is one of the seniors living off campus who has a dog in his/her apartment and bringing it to campus for exercise.

10 7 dog 110 7 dpg 5There are a few more regular occurrences of dogs on campus.  One is our Communication professor, Allan Louden, who for as long as I have worked here has had the most beautiful and well-behaved Golden Retrievers.  Dr. Louden could put his previous dog at a ‘down’ and ‘stay’ outside of Benson and go in and have a leisurely lunch, and his dog would still be there afterwards. Amazing.  He lost his last dog, Miss Ming (for Wyoming), a year or so ago.   I saw him at the Thrive kick off in early September with a new dog, Glacier.  If you are lucky enough to be a Comm major, a Debater, or someone whose schedule is in sync with his, you can see and pet this beauty of a dog.

10 7 dog 610 7 dog 2We have also had service dogs on campus.  My favorite from many years ago was a beautiful yellow lab named Paul.  Paul had lost one of his canine teeth, and it had been replaced by a big silver one, which was a riot to see.  I saw a service dog the other day, a nice black lab.  Not sure if this is the one I saw, but I found a picture in our photo archive.

A semi-regular time to see dogs on campus is during finals (and maybe midterms too), campus groups host Puppies on the Quad, where the Humane Society brings dogs out for students to pet, and walk, and play with (and learn about adoption too, for those in a position to do so).  During Puppies on the Quad, the looks of glee and joy on students’ faces is amazing.

10 7 dog 3 10 7 dog 4And then there are the chance dogs – like the leash-dragger today.  There were a few dogs at Hit the Bricks last week, and I found pictures of them in the archive too.

I’m still holding out for a Take Your Dog to Work Day.  I bet student morale would soar :)


- by Betsy Chapman





Seen and Heard Around Campus

It was a crisp fall weekend, Deac families.  Very cool temperatures in the mornings, warming up in the afternoon to the 60s or maybe even 70, but it definitely feels like fall is coming.  Now, that’s not to say we won’t be back up to 80 by midweek as they are predicting, but at least for today and tomorrow it is low 70s and fall-like.

I was up at the center of campus at the start of the school day, and I’ll give you a few quick impressions of what I saw and heard.

– many of the students I saw walking to/from class were wearing sweatshirts or hoodies or light jackets.  There were a few people in short sleeves and shorts, and either those students are from chillier parts of the country (and our ‘cool weather’ is still ‘quite warm’ for them), or they did not check their weather app.

10 6 3- if you peeked into what had been Leighton Tennis Stadium, adjacent to Reynolds Gym, you would have seen that all the lights have been pulled down and there are big backhoes tearing up the courts.  The courts are being demolished to make way for the new two-story addition to Reynolds Gym.

– in case you missed the actual view of the backhoes, you knew they were there any time the equipment backed up, as you got the familiar-toned “BEEP! BEEP!” that comes whenever they hit Reverse.

10 6 4- the flower beds near Reynolda Hall look magnificent.  Lots of different types of flowers and tons of colors.  Over the weekend I saw frost on roofs near my neighborhood, so I am not sure how long these flowers will last before a hardier winter plant goes in those beds.

10 6 2- there are two great trees (maple, I think) near the left side of Reynolda if you are facing Reynolda from the Quad.  They turn the prettiest shades of orange and red in the fall.

10 6 5- I happened across this nice shot of the Chapel flanked by trees in the foreground.  I have no idea why the toilet paper is there.  We lost to Florida State in football over the weekend, so that clearly was not it.  It could be from an old roll too I suppose.

10 6 1- when I got back to Alumni Hall, one of my colleagues had brought out our Demon Deacon pumpkin.  If you are still the type to carve your own pumpkins and you are up for a challenge, might I humbly suggest you consider this design? ;)

Have a great week, Deac families!  And if you are the parent of a freshman, just a reminder that we do weekly messages just for you!  Visit the Information for First-Year Families page to see a weekly message that (we hope) might relate to your student’s experience.

Hit. The. Bricks.

Today is the big day.  Hit the Bricks is here and it is awesome!  If you check out the Quad Cam, the best place you can see students running is as they cross the front of Wait Chapel.  You can catch a glimpse on the far left near the arch.

There is also a ton of activity in the Quad grass.  There are tents set up, lawn chairs, sofas, banners.  Students throwing footballs to each other, or frisbees.  And along the sides of the walkway, student organizations have set up tables and stations, sometimes as the ‘trade off’ place for the key card that is being used this year to track laps.  Other times they are selling food.  Everywhere you look, there is something cool to see, or eat.

A nice thing is that there are a lot of positive vibes from the student tables as you walk or run by them.  Some one made a sign saying something like “GREAT JOB! KEEP GOING!” and it was a sight for sore eyes as I was struggling my way around.

Some of your kids, let me tell you, are remarkably fast.  Ridiculous even.  They are in the best shape of their lives, and it shows.  I had no idea when I was their age that I was in the best shape I might ever be in.  I hope your kids realize it!  To be able to run that many laps with a backpack full of sand and still look refreshed is a miracle.

All through the day, music is played on loudspeakers.  Upbeat, popular stuff.  Pharrell’s “Happy.”  They are playing some older stuff too – everything from Beyonce to the Beastie Boys to the Beatles.  “Baby you can drive my car…”  Some of the students on the sidelines are singing along to some of the songs, and for a while there was a girl dancing in a tutu on top of the wall mid-Quad.

Occasionally the music is interrupted when they make an announcement.  Certain points in the day you can get extra laps for doing something special: going a lap without your feet touching the ground (we saw scooters and bikes), and there was a wacky costume lap too. Supposedly at 4 there will be a Danny Manning lap (not sure what will happen there).  I happened to witness four ROTC cadets run a lap while carrying a fifth cadet on a stretcher.  That was Impressive.

It is super fun to see what all the students are doing, as well as the staff and faculty teams.  Some groups are wearing matching shirts, or have some identifying logo or color.  The truly competitive teams have a lot of strategies they use to win.  The one that looks to be the most effective is to have each team member sprint a lap, then pass the key card to the next guy or girl, and then you recover until the other nine team members have run and it’s your turn again.  Some of the more recreational teams divide it up in time slots.  I ran some (but mostly walked) for my adopted department of the Z Smith Reynolds Library in a 50 minute shift.  Every team’s gathering point has a person or two there to cheer you on as you go by – clapping, yelling encouragement, etc.

It is a day of terrific camaraderie and no small amount of sweat.  But it is one of those events where you know you are contributing to the Greater Good, and it is a gorgeous sunny day and it makes you feel glad to be alive.

htb 2014 2htb 2014 2I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t tired.  I am exhausted.  My shift was in the midday heat and it took a lot out of my Class of 1992 body.  So I am recovering at the tables outside of Subway, drinking some Gatorade at a shady table.  Here’s a couple of pics from my vantage point.

Great job to all our organizers, all the students, faculty, and staff who ran/walked.  And here’s to all the people we know and love who are fighting cancer.  May we find a cure and heal you all.

Hit the Bricks Is Tomorrow!

20111006bricks3846Tomorrow is one of my very, very favorite days on campus: Hit the Bricks.  The Events Calendar describes Hit the Bricks as follows:

“Hit the Bricks is a Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund philanthropy now in its 12th year. Relay teams of students, faculty and staff will walk and/or run on the brick pavers around Hearn Plaza to help raise awareness and funds to find a cure for cancer.

Engraved Bricks are awarded to the winning teams for 5 separate divisions. Food, music and games are presented throughout the 8 hours of the event.

20100930bricks3115All participants who are present at 7 pm will walk a final remembrance lap to honor those family and friends who have fought the good fight against cancer.”

There is a Hit the Bricks website where you can read more about the history of the event, rules and FAQ, etc.  But I will give you the scoop here as well.

There are teams of 10 runners, and the goal is to run (or walk) a lap around the Quad.  Each runner has a baton that gets scanned at a station once a lap, so there is an autotally of your team’s performance.  If you are a hardcore person with a strong back, you can run with a backpack that has (I believe) 15 lbs of sand in it, and you get two scans per lap.  (Many of our students have those strong young backs and can run with backpacks.  I myself cannot.)

20100930bricks7117The event starts at 11 am, and throughout the day there are speakers, music, breaks to award prizes, and a big leaderboard that gets updated regularly.  There is a lot of genteel competition between the teams.  Some are quite competitive – both student teams and faculty/staff teams – and there are some more recreational teams.

20091001bricks3916One of the great parts is that students come out all day and watch, even if they are not running.  Student organizations bring lawn chairs or even sofas out onto the Quad to cheer on their teams.  It is an amazing display of school spirit and unity in the fight against cancer.

I can’t think of anyone who has not had a friend, family member, or loved one affected by cancer.  This event helps honor those who have the disease, and the money raised goes to cancer research.  It’s a win for everyone.

20100930bricks2606I’d urge you tomorrow to keep the Quad Cam up in a browser window.  You won’t be able to see all of the action, but you can get a sense of what it is like.  There will be a walking lane and a running lane on the Quad, and at 7 pm there will be a final, silent lap to honor those we have lost to cancer (or who are dealing with the disease right now).  Normally after the last lap there are luminaries and a speech on the steps near Wait Chapel.  You won’t be able to hear it but you’ll be able to see it.

If your Deacs are running Hit the Bricks, kudos!  And if yours are not, urge them to go to the Quad sometime between 11 am-7 pm to soak in part of the camaraderie of the day.

PS – The Daily Deac will be part of the ZSR Library team.  I am not a good runner.  My mantra is “not fast, but not last.”  I’ll never be able to hang with these 18-22 year olds who are in the best shape of their life (or some of our competitive staff/faculty teams of real runners), but I’ll represent just the same.   My hope is to be able to do some updates from the Quad when I am not running.  If not, a recap the next day.

Go Deacs!