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What’s On Tap for Today and This Weekend

[Trigger warning for today’s Daily Deac:  9/11 anniversary mentioned.]

As is frequently my practice on Fridays, I check out the Events calendar online to see what’s coming up for the weekend that may be of interest to your students.  There are more than will be mentioned here, so this is just a sampling.

Remembering 9/11 – Wait Chapel is reserved from 8 am until 5 pm today for a time of individual reflection and prayer as we remember the events of 9/11. The Bells will ring at the conclusion with a special arrangement of songs in remembrance of those that were lost.

Wake the Village – Shop, dine, and explore Reynolda Village while enjoying exclusive discounts for WFU faculty, staff, and students.   Today from 10 am – 10 pm.

Women’s Soccer vs. UCLA tonight at 7 pm in Spry Stadium

The Longest Ride – 8 pm in Pugh Auditorium.  Filmed at WFU’s campus, this film is based off of the popular book written by Nicholas Sparks. It is free for all and popcorn is also provided!

And a couple of Saturday events to mention too:

Late Night Open Mic in Shorty’s – Saturday 9-11 pm.  Come to Shorty’s to either participate or support your fellow Deacs as they showcase their talents in music, poetry, or comedy!

awake all nightaWake All Night Among the Stars – Saturday 9 pm-1 am.  TONS of great options for your Deacs to have fun.

And to all our families who will be observing Rosh Hashanah, I wish you Shana Tova.  There are a number of events planned for the Jewish High Holidays (see information below from Gail Bretan, Director of Jewish Life, for details).

— by Betsy Chapman


High Holiday Schedule and Sign-up: 


Rosh Hashanah. Day 1 & Tashlich Service – Monday (September 14) at 3:30 pm in Davis Chapel

  1. No text study and no Jewish Life Coffee Hour today.
  2. Join us for Rosh Hashanah Services (Day 1), led by Rabbi Dr. Andrew Ettin. 3:30 – 4:30 pm in Davis Chapel
  3. Then we will walk to Reynolda Waterfall for Tashlich services at 5 pm in partnership with Temple Emanuel of Winston-Salem. (Sponsored by WFU Jewish Life Department)

Judaism 101. Topic: What is Yom Kippur? Tuesdays from Noon – 1 pm.  Little Mag Room. Reynolda Hall 215B

Weekly explanation and exploration of Judaism.  For everyone at WFU.  Topic: What is Yom Kippur? Yom Kippur is the holiest of Jewish days. What does this mean?

Sign-up at  or just show up!  If you want lunch, swipe into the Mag Room and bring your food choices to the Little Mag Room.

(Sponsored by WFU Jewish Life Department)

Rosh Hashanah. Day 2 Tuesday (September 15) at 4 in Davis Chapel.

Join us for Rosh Hashanah Services (Day 2), led by Rabbi Dr. Andrew Ettin. 4 – 5 pm in Davis Chapel.

(Sponsored by WFU Jewish Life Department)

(No ScraBible this Tuesday afternoon – Rosh Hashanah services instead)

Mezuzah Ceremony – Wednesday (September 16) at 10:45 am. Davis Chapel

A once in a lifetime experience of affixing a mezuzah to the doorpost of the newly renovated interfaith space of Davis Chapel. Everyone welcome. No experience necessary.  Learn about this ancient practice and participate in the ceremony. (Sponsored by WFU Jewish Life Department and School of Divinity)


Five Senses and an Invitation from the Provost

First news is that tonight is a community forum.  As always, since your students are part of this community and have a voice in who we are and how we want to be, I hope they attend.  The Provost, Rogan Kersh (’86) emailed the campus community an invitation yesterday:

Greetings Wake Foresters!  I hope to see many of you at the Community Forum tomorrow evening [Wednesday, September 9], intended to continue shaping a shared WFU culture of inclusivity and meaningful intellectual exchange.  The Forum builds on last year’s ‘Deliberative Dialogue’ and related campus-climate conversations and proposals.  After a brief introduction, students, faculty, and staff will gather in small groups to engage around the thematic opportunities and challenges central to the Dialogue, with particular focus on the commitments emerging from last academic year and summer’s collective efforts.  Thematic areas (such as curricular revisions, campus policing, and student engagement) along with many of our initial commitments are summarized at the ‘Community in Progress’ website, found at

I thank so many of you for affirming through your engagement to date the shared effort to make Wake Forest a place that embraces all who call it home.  This Forum represents another such opportunity for collective involvement.  We will gather tomorrow [Wednesday, September 9] at 7:00 pm in Benson University Center 401.  I look forward to the conversation.

Rogan Kersh
Provost and Professor of Politics & International Affairs


Changing topics, so far this academic year I have not done any of the “Five Senses” Daily Deacs, where I pick a spot on campus and try to describe what I see, hear, feel, etc.   Yesterday I was early to a meeting in Reynolda Hall, so I had some time to observe.  Here are the Five Senses of the lobby outside the Mag Room (aka the Lu leake Lounge) from 12:45 pm Tuesday 9/8.

I see

20090917students0050– 20 or so backpacks of all shapes and sizes on the tables outside the Mag Room.  Students leave them there before they go in to eat.  The Honor System is alive and well.

– A collection of blue sofas and chairs on an old oriental-esque throw rug.

– A female student sitting on the couches in the lounge.  She has a laptop open and is typing purposefully.

– Students sitting down at the Mag Room tables.  They probably appreciate having a tablecloth and a cloth napkin for a change.

– Someone wanting a picture in front of the Donor Wall outside the Mag.  Studying girl was kind enough to help her take it.  The lady who wanted to get the picture complimented her for being so sweet to take it for her.

– A girl with an absolutely magnificent, abundant head of very long hair.  Like Disney Princess length and volume.  Fantastic.

– Administrators and staff members as they pass through the hall.  Reynolda is a happening place.

– People tend to be dining in smallish parties – 2 or 3 pp.  But I do spy a full 6 top of students in there.

– The blinds are open and you can see out the back windows toward the Mag Quad.  It has a great view of downtown.

– One departing group of girls greeting a couple of friends who are entering.  One of the new ones is a guy and he hugs one of the girls hello and compliments her hairdo, asking if it is new.  His tone is appreciative.  I wonder if she is pleased that he noticed?

– The drawer pulls of one of the sideboards in the lounge are lions with circles in their mouths.  This same ‘lion plus circle’ motif was seen on giant earrings when I was an exchange student in Dijon back in 1990.  (It was all big jewelry, all the time.)

– Lots of the students’ backpacks appear to have reusable water bottles in them.  Nicely done, Green Deacs.

– Hairdo complimenter just hugged another girl hello.  He has a 10,000 megawatt smile.  I bet everyone feels at ease around him.


I hear

– The clink of silverware as it hits plates.

– A group of guys leaving the Mag Room.  One is recounting a story of how he slipped out of somewhere very quietly.

– The occasional cough.  One sneeze.

– Many conversations.  There are enough going on so that I can’t make out any details.  The voices are lively, upbeat, laughing at times.

– “That sounds like a real good time!” – can’t tell if that snippet of conversation is sarcasm or if it is genuine.  I also heard them say “so sad” as part of it.

– Ice clinking in glasses.

– The warm, kind voice of the lady who checks you in as you enter the Mag Room.  Bless her, she is always smiling and so friendly.

– Two girls walking out of the Mag room laughing and going “Oh my God!”

– Someone walking down the halls with more of a stomp than a walk.  Very strong strides that you hear every one of.

– The sliding sound of backpacks being slung over backs.

– The sound of a glass breaking – and as it did, TOTAL SILENCE fell in the room.  Everything stopped for just a sec and then it started up again.  I hear the sound of glass shards being picked up.

– “Thank you!”  “Goodbye” etc. as people leave the room.


I smell

– An indistinct food smell.  Vaguely fried, but not distinctive enough for me to make it out.  I can’t see what is on the menu from my vantage point.


I feel

– A refreshing breeze when someone opens the doors that exit out to the Quad and the outdoor staircase.

– A divot in the bottom of the chair I am sitting in.  Clearly, many many students have also sat here.  It could use a bit more stuffing.

– The well worn wood of a long table where I have left my belongings.  My foot is propped up on the lower side of the table.


Nothing to taste, as I didn’t go in to eat.  There’s your Five Senses, Deac friends and family.

— by Betsy Chapman

Fall Is Coming

It was a hot one yesterday, but with every passing day in September, we get a little closer to fall.  So here’s a few fall things your Deacs can look forward to.

home-page-fall home-page-fall-3Fall leaves – Wake is glorious and transcendent in the fall.  Typically the best of our fall leaves come around mid-to late-October or early November.  So it is likely you won’t see their full glory during Family Weekend, but you’ll get a taste of it.   My favorite fall leaves spot is Reynolda Road near Reynolda Village.  The trees form a canopy over the road and it is a gorgeous drive down that stretch of road.

reynolda road fall WSJCooler weather in the great outdoors – Your Deacs will be able to see the fall splendor on our own campus, by taking a walk through the woods on the walking path to Reynolda Village and Reynolda Gardens, or by taking a drive up Highway 52 and hiking at Pilot Mountain or Hanging Rock.  If they want to venture farther away, the Blue Ridge Parkway is about an hour and a half from campus and makes for a great day trip.

Dixie Classic Fair – held at the fairgrounds just behind the LJVM Coliseum, the Dixie Classic Fair had over 300,000 visitors last year.  There are carnival rides and all sorts of food (and crazy food at that – fried butter, fried oreos, fried snickers bars, etc.)  Your Deacs can go from October 2-11.  It costs $ to buy rides for tickets, but they could get free general fair admission on one day if they bring canned food.  Even if your Deac isn’t a fair kinda gal/guy, it is great people watching. Details here.

Seasonal food – everyone knows about Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but Dewey’s, our local (and FABULOUS) cake bakers will start making pumpkin spice cake squares starting October 1st.  Dewey’s is quite close to campus, just off Reynolda Road in the Reynolda Manor shopping center.  And Krispy Kreme will also be offering seasonal favorites – from footbal shaped donuts to pumpkin flavored ones.

I’m ready for jeans weather and crunchy leaves on the ground and a good stiff fall breeze.  Are you?

And we’ll close today with a bit of business from our friends in Campus Dining:

Dining Update
This is a friendly reminder that the last day to upgrade your students Meal Plan is September 15th! You can also add Food Dollars or Deacon Dollars to your students account through our website at at any point during the semester.


by Betsy Chapman

A Few Words on Academics

First football game of the season was lastnight.  It was a warm one, but the important part is that the Deacs won!  Score was 41-3; recap here.  I’d take a repeat of that score every game day, thank you very much :)

It’s the end of the first full week of classes and probably a good time to say a few things about academics.

The first is about student academic integrity and parental involvement in academics.  We assume that all parents and family members know this, but as a reminder there should never be a situation where a parent or family member is doing academic work for the student.  Your students are held to the Honor Code and their work must be their own. Dr. David Levy, Associate Dean of the College and Chair, Honor and Ethics Council, wrote a great piece on this topic that I commend to all our families.

The second is about students accessing resources that can help them in their classes.  Any time a student is having difficulty in a class, he or she should go to the professor’s office hours for assistance.  There are other great and FREE resources on campus: the Learning Assistance Center (for tutoring), the Math Center, the Chem Center, the Writing Center.

There are also occasional seminars or workshops on academics that are available to aid your students.  There is a series coming up starting next week that may be of interest.  This one is How to Prevent a Panic Attack on Your First College Science Exam.  (Where on earth was this when I was a student?!?!)

The third academic point is about using time wisely while you are a student.  There are a lot of things to do in college – classes and labs, studying and homework, clubs and activities, intramural sports or exercise, hanging out with friends, etc.  How you spend your time is important.  At the beginning of the semester, students (of all class years) are trying to figure out what the right balance is for them – work and play, sleep and fun, etc.  They’ll get there.

One of my favorite sayings about time is from an old Tolstoy story: “There is only one time that is important — Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power” (full version of this great short story is here for any fellow English major types).  So urge your Deacs to make good choices in how they spend their time (and good choices in everything else), but let the choices be theirs.  They will learn from trial and error and need to navigate their own path.

If you haven’t sent a care package to your Deac, think about sending one.  They already miss your homecooked food, I assure you.  And give them a call today :)

As a reminder, administrative offices are closed on Monday for Labor Day.  Classes in the college will run as scheduled unless professors indicated otherwise on their class syllabus.  This is a good time to remind parents of how to get in touch for urgent situations that cannot wait until Tuesday.  If you have an urgent need to reach someone at the university because you have a concern that must be addressed quickly, University Police is our 24/7 contact.  They can assess the situation and determine who best to address your concern. The 24-hour contact number for University Police is 336.758.5591 (non emergency) or 336.758.5911 (emergency). They can get in touch with on-call duty staff 24-hours/day.

Have a great long weekend, Deac families!

— by Betsy Chapman

Gameday Tonight / College Colors Day Friday

wf cutout cheerleaderLastnight was the panel discussion entitled ‘The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race and Symbolism.’  This was a thought-provoking conversation – sometimes painful, often eye-opening – but colleges are a place for difficult conversations and probing tough issues.  I hope your students attended.  If you wished you could have been here, you can watch the program online.

Tonight is our first home football game at 7 pm against Elon (you can find out ways to follow online via  Despite the heat of the last couple of days, the first football game always seems to herald the start of fall.  For those P’19s out there, your Deacs are being encouraged to go to the First-Year Tailgate, described as follows:

Join your first-year class at the first football home game when Wake Forest plays Elon. Prior to the game you will join us at Wake Forest Baseball Park – adjacent to the football field – for free food, music, and getting into the Wake Forest spirit to cheer the Demon Deacons on to victory. Enjoy games, music, and videos. Win prizes, and meet President Hatch and head coaches. You will storm the field as a class and be a part of class pictures and videos. Transportation to the baseball park will be provided. Details about time and place to meet will be available from RAs prior to Game Day. Attendance highly encouraged – GO DEACS!

So that’s tonight.

Tomorrow is Friday, and hopefully our upperclassmen families know that we urge our families to dress in black and gold every Friday to show your WFU spirit.  And this Friday you have an even bigger reason than normal to support Black and Gold Friday where you are: it is College Colors Day, where schools across the country encourage their students, alumni, and parents to wear their school colors.

If you are new to the rivalries within the state of North Carolina and the ACC, we do not want those other schools to be better represented than Wake Forest!  Pride is on the line here, people!  So I would urge you to redouble your efforts to sport black and/or gold tomorrow.  If you’re a social media type, take a picture of you in your WFU finery and use the hashtags #WFU and/or #GoDeacs and pair it with #CollegeColors and help us be seen nationwide and worldwide!  You can also email your pics to and if we get some great shots we’ll post them!

Go Deacs!

— by Betsy Chapman

Lots to See and Do

9 2 15 tablesToday is just packed.  Tons of things to see and do.  This afternoon starting at 3:30 pm on the Mag Quad (aka Manchester Plaza) is the Student Involvement Fair – a wonderful opportunity for students of all class years to get involved in clubs and other activities.

I took a walk around campus at lunchtime and saw some folks setting up and organizing the tables.  Once all our student organizations fill those tables, it will be a fantastic, colorful hive of activity.  Tonight is the panel discussion The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race, and Symbolism at 6 pm in Wait Chapel, with small group studetn discussions to follow.  Tomorrow is our first football game (more on that tomorrow).

What else are your students seeing on campus?  Flyers of all types and sorts.  Many of them are posted on bulletin boards near the first-year residence halls, but flyers also pop up on brick walls and around staircases.  I took a few pictures of some of the flyers your students are seeing as they go about their business on campus (see below).

Many of these flyers have to do with tryouts for club sports or musical groups (great ways to get involved on campus, by the way).  On any given day I could go out and see a whole new group of flyers.  There is that much going on all the time, it seems.  (So in the unlikely event your student says ‘there’s nothing to do at Wake Forest,’ between the flyers and the organizations represented at the Student Involvement Fair, you have seen evidence to the contrary).

As I was on my walk, I did some people watching too.  I saw a couple of students running to get into one of the classroom buildings, with a friend behind them calling to them “you have two minutes – why are you running?”  (The friend kept a leisurely pace and did not run.)

Probably 80% of the students I passed were on their phones talking or texting, unless they were walking with a friend.  I can’t decide if the dogged connection to the cell phone is so they look occupied and won’t give off the impression they are walking alone because they don’t have a friend to go with them, or if they are just multitasking.  Perhaps a bit of both?  I’m just as guilty of walking and looking at my phone, by the way, but I know the reasons I do it.  I wonder what our students reasons are.

During the walk, I passed a really adorable girl who was wearing an outfit that was reminiscent of the famous ‘Diana Spencer at the daycare’ shot.  If you are a fan of pop culture or were a royal watcher, you will know the shot I mean.  I saw this young lady and for just a second she was almost in that same Diana pose (except she had a backpack and not a toddler on her arm) and it occurred to me that the student was probably barely a gleam in her parents’ eyes at the time that famous picture was taken.

9 2 15 fall leavesAnd I saw my first official sign of fall.  One of the trees along the main Silas Creek entrance is starting to turn colors.  Fall Wake Forest is an amazingly pretty Wake Forest.  I can’t wait for your Deacs to see it.

— by Betsy Chapman

9 2 15 signs 9 9 2 15 signs 8 9 2 15 signs 6

9 2 15 signs 5 9 2 15 signs 4 9 2 15 signs 2 9 2 15 signs 1 9 2 15 campus grounds


Room Thaw and Re-Cycle

Hopefully all our students are settling in to their schedules and adjusting to their roommates.  Today is the first official day of what is referred to as “Room Thaw,” which is the period in which students can investigate changing rooms with someone else.  And this isn’t just a first-year student thing; sometimes upperclassmen choose a roommate they thought would be great but they turn out to be incompatible.  If your student is contemplating a room change, he/she can talk to his/her RA about the process.

In other campus news, the Office of Sustainability has a new program called Re-Cycle, which is a bike sharing program.  Re-Cycle goes live on September 3rd and will allow students to borrow a bike for the semester or for a shorter term (such as a weekend).  This could be a great option for seniors living in the vicinity immediately off campus, where it is a long-ish walk and a bike might be welcome, or for any student who wants to borrow a bike for a weekend of exploring the area’s trails and lakes.  Information about Re-Cycle is online here.  There is a waiver students will need to sign, (and as a mother myself I feel compelled to say students should be following good common sense health practices like wearing helmets).  You can stress that one yourself.

It’s been another glorious day on campus.  I was out for an early walking meeting and if your Deacs haven’t made it out to Reynolda Gardens, that is a really nice way to start your day.  Saw several students jogging or walking, as well as some faculty and emeriti faculty.  From the center of campus, it is probably around a 3 mile loop if you walk all the way out to Reynolda House and go all the way to the stone entrance on Reynolda Road.  Just enough to make you break a sweat but not too strenuous.  We are all aware of the numerous benefits to getting in a walk or some exercise, but there was a neat article this summer about how getting out in nature changes your brain (for the better, I’d argue).  If you missed it in the NYTimes blog, here’s a link.

Encourage your students to take advantage of our beautiful campus and its surroundings, be it biking, walking (slow or fast), or running!

— by Betsy Chapman


Warm With Gentle Breezes

My P’92 mom is fond of saying the best weather is “warm with gentle breezes,” and that is what your Deacs are getting on this fine Monday.  Around midday I was on the south side of campus for the 11;50 am class change, and it was just delightful outside.  I felt bad for those Deacs who were clearly hustling to their next class, because it was so mild and wonderful outside.  Hopefully they’ll get back out later and soak up some vitamin D.

For parents of sophomores through seniors, you may not be aware that the OPCD (Office of Personal and Career Development) has a new tool at your students’ disposal.  Their old professional platform, DeaconSource, is no longer being used.  It’s been replaced by a new technology called Handshake.  The OPCD is encouraging students to create and update their Handshake profiles, as this can greatly benefit them in their internship/job search and personal development.

From my source in the OPCD, I am told that as a way to spark student interest, their office created a spoof of the Cortez Lewis “Handshake” video (if you hadn’t seen the original video of our redshirt freshman and his impressive handshaking, here it is).  The OPCD Handshake video is online – it is a parody your students might enjoy.  And if your students haven’t gotten to know the OPCD Handshake, urge them to do so.

There are many arrows in the WFU quiver of experiences/resources/services at your students’ fingertips.  The more they use, the more likely they will have the best experience and the best results.

A few pics below.  Lots of puffy clouds, occasionally one would be gray.  But this weather is darn near perfect.

— by Betsy Chapman

8 31 15 2 8 31 15 3 8 31 15

Black and Gold Friday

Happy Black and Gold Friday, Deac families.  If you are sporting WFU colors or official WFU apparel where you are, you get a gold star for the day!  Please join us in wearing WFU colors every Friday and maybe it will help you feel here in spirit.

Lots of things to mention today.

– First: the weather.  It is GLORIOUS.  At the start of the workday here (8:30 am) it was cool and delightful.  Sunny, but not hot.  It was the kind of day to sit outside and enjoy just how beautiful it was – and I saw some colleages and students doing just that.

– The first full week of class is coming to a close.  I spent the morning in a first-year residence hall.  The Faculty Fellows (faculty who commit to spend some time each week in a freshman residence hall to get to know students, offer programming etc.) of this particular hall had a table of free breakfasty foods and drinks set up in the lobby, and they invited academic advisers for those residents to join.  So we had a merry band of folks who would greet the students as they came and went, encouraged them to grab a donut or some coffee or fruit (bananas were a huge hit!)  There were a lot of students who were surprised and delighted to find free food, and I will say that the students were all incredibly polite.  Families, you raised these early risers well!

– From conversations I had (or overheard) in the res hall, some of our first-years are a bit shell shocked at the amount of work they have.  Or they are worried that everyone else in their new class had AP/IB/Honors level [insert class here] and they did not and are worried about falling behind.  And/or they are looking at their hallmates and classmates and thinking ‘holy mackerel, they all seem smarter than I am.  I don’t belong here.’  Deep breaths, parents.  This. Happens. Every. Year.   Our newest students are thrown into a new environment and they are not feeling secure yet – and I was the same way when I was here.  So if you are hearing that, tell them it is normal to be nervous in new situations.  And rather than carry around that panic and worry yourself, go back to our tried and true Stop, Drop, and Roll method.  Don’t give them the answer or fix their issue – but ask them questions that help them do it themselves.  ‘Gosh honey, during Orientation did anyone talk about academic resources to help you?  Where might you look to find them?  Which people on campus have you talked to?’ etc.

– I’ll wager that many of our Deacs are going to want to let off some steam this weekend.  The first several weeks of school can be times of experimentation and excess for all classes, but can be especially so among our first-year students.  There is a good reference online, What Parents Need to Know About College Drinking, that provides some tips for freshmen parents; look for Parents of a College Freshmen – Staying Involved on page 5.  It’s worth a read – and not just for the P’19s out there.  P’16s-18s still want to be engaging with your students about alcohol and reducing high risk behaviors.

– Related to the above, a frequent Friday tip from the Daily Deac is to contact your students sometime today.  Research by Meg Small at Penn State showed parental communication on weekends (30 minutes or more of general conversations not specifically related to substance use) decreased the high risk use of alcohol on those weekends.  More detail here – but this is a good practice.  That subtle reminder of home, family love and expectations, etc. might be the thing that helps temper behavior.

– And let’s close today on a high note.  Walking along the south part of campus, our terrific student organization DoRAK (Do Random Acts of Kindness) had chalked some great positive messages on the sidewalks.  These were things like “You’re going to do well!”  “You are beautiful just as you are!” etc.  Rock on, DoRAK!  Everyone needs a boost sometimes, and your chalk might have made someone’s day.  I’ll add a couple things in that vein below that I particularly like from

Have a great weekend, Deac families!

— by Betsy Chapman

261-c-caught-up-in-who-likes-you-card_grande 240-c-new-white-on-failure-card_2b14cc2a-2012-4d5a-a942-934e4283d95e_grande 196-m-strangers-on-internet-print-8-x-10_grande 154-c-dont-shush-your-inner-voice-card_grande





The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race, and Symbolism – Sept. 2nd.

I received the email below from the Office of the Dean of Students yesterday and wanted to share it with parents and families in the hope that you will encourage your students to attend this event.  One of the highest goals of university life is to engage students intellectually and to do so in a manner of civil discourse.  We might not always agree, but we can learn from each other and have constructive debate and dialogue.

Your students will have the opportunity to hear from several prominent national voices in this program, as well as hearing from the president of our own Kappa Alpha Order on campus, Edward Tillinghast (’16).  Following the panel discussion, our students will have the opportunity to take this national conversation back down to a local level in facilitated students-only small group discussions about the broader issues of race and inequality, inclusion, and the values of our campus.

No matter where your student stands on the Confederate flag yeah or nay continuum, I would urge their open and honest participation in this endeavor.  To make the most of our community, we need to hear student voices that represent all opinions.  When we seek to understand others’ perspectives, even when they differ from ours, we increase our capacity for understanding and empathy.

I applaud Kappa Alpha’s leadership for wanting to initiate this conversation on our campus, and to our talented campus offices who have helped bring this event to fruition.

As I so often say, Wake Forest is a rich buffet of many experiences.  The more you taste, the fuller you will grow.  There will be few times in life, I suspect, that your students will have access to a national panel of this stature.  They should not miss it.   And if you as parents and families want to participate from afar, a livestream webcast of the panel will be available at

— by Betsy Chapman


Wake Forest University’s chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order, Pro Humanitate Institute, Division of Campus Life, and Office of Diversity and Inclusion invite all members of the university community to attend this important panel discussion. After the panel discussion, WFU students are invited to participate in facilitated student-to-student small group discussions.   To register for the post-panel students-only discussion, click here.

The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race, and Symbolism

Wednesday, September 2

Wait Chapel

5:30 PM (doors open for WFU); 6:00 PM (start)

This event is free and open to the community.  Flag Panel Discussion 9.2.15

The panel discussion will be moderated by Melissa Harris-Perry, Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and Presidential Endowed Chair in Politics and International Affairs.  Panelists will include:

  • Bree Newsome – A filmmaker, singer, songwriter and community organizer, Newsome made headlines when she climbed a flagpole and removed the Confederate flag flying at the state capitol in Columbia, S.C.
  • James Ian Tyson – Tyson is a grassroots organizer who was arrested alongside Bree Newsome after they removed the flag from the South Carolina state capitol grounds.
  • Katon Dawson – Dawson was first elected Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party in 2002, was unanimously re-elected twice, and served on the Republican National Committee from 2002-2009. A leading voice in removing the flag from the South Carolina state capitol, he is now president of Dawson Public Affairs.
  • Alicia Garza – An organizer, writer, and freedom dreamer, Garza is Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. She is also the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter.

“The events of this summer led to an outcry that focused national debate on symbols of the Confederacy as reflections of inequality and racism in America today.  Like many people throughout the country, members of our chapter discussed these issues and reflected deeply about our identity, our symbols, and our responsibility to bring about positive change in the world around us.  By engaging in formal campus dialogues and informal conversations that foster learning and self-awareness, we are given the opportunity to address harmful biases, better ourselves and our community.

We hope you will join our chapter at this important program.”

– Edward Tillinghast, Kappa Alpha Order, Wake Forest Chapter President

“An academic environment is the ideal place for a thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation about the intersection of racism, symbolism and the South.  The unique and timely perspectives of each panelist will challenge, motivate and inspire those seeking social justice on our campus and in our community.”

– Melissa Harris-Perry


The students in Wake Forest’s chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order actively engaged in campus dialogues about race and inclusion throughout 2014-15.  They were aware that the party they cancelled early in the Fall 2014 semester had negatively impacted the community and understood their responsibility to learn from the incident and help Wake Forest move forward.  Over the summer, the chapter’s leadership asked Campus Life staff about ways they could help the community start the year differently in 2015-16.  When the murders in Charleston brought focus on Southern iconography, the chapter – often associated with the confederate flag – began preparing a statement to inform the Wake Forest community that they do not support display of the flag.  This statement will appear in Thursday’s edition (8/27) of the Old Gold and Black.  They also asked if the university could help them develop a program that would support/encourage student dialogue about these issues.  Campus Life staff invited the Pro Humanitate Institute to a meeting with the KA chapter president and alumni advisor to discuss the possibilities.  Melissa Harris-Perry immediately suggested the program that is now occurring on September 2.  This event would not be possible without Melissa’s ability to contact and secure these national figures.

This program is occurring because of the leadership demonstrated by the brothers of Wake Forest’s Kappa Alpha Order.  The fraternity president will open the program, brothers are serving as Program Ushers with leaders from multicultural organizations on campus, and brothers are serving as small group discussion facilitators during the post-panel conversations with other students trained by Pro Humanitate.  This program is also occurring because of the leadership, reach, and support of Melissa Harris-Perry.  Additional support for this event is provided by staff in Pro Humanitate, the Division of Campus Life, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  Funding for this program has been provided by the Diversity and Collaboration fund.

A livestream webcast of the panel will be available at