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It’s a Beautiful Day

Today is a gorgeous day on campus.  We are having one of those late fall warm snaps where it’s 77 and sunny.  It is a day where you don’t need a coat, and if you are standing in the sun or hoofing it pretty quickly across campus, you’ll feel warm.

Walking across campus today, people seemed in really good moods.  Maybe it is the warmth, or the sun.  On the Quad I saw a couple of students playing ping pong at the outdoor table, some administrators eating lunch at the cafe tables, and several clusters of friends walking and talking in twos and threes.  Everyone struck me as being happy to be outdoors and enjoying the beautiful day.

Down at Benson, the weather inspired a lot of folks to take their Food Court lunch outdoors, or if they were dining in Shorty’s, to request a table outside.

Supposedly next Sunday or Monday the high will be only 51, so enjoy it while you can, Deacs.

— by Betsy Chapman



Catch Up Wednesday

After a day that was full of rain yesterday, we have graduated to merely grey and a small chance of rain.  If you look out the windows and see trees losing their leaves and grey skies, you might expect it to feel a little colder than it actually does.  I’ve added some of our great Ken Bennett’s pictures at the end.  He’s captured some real stunners of fall in the Forest.

There a few items leftover from the weekend and earlier this week that bear mentioning here.

Our football team lost a heartbreaker on Friday night against Louisville.  But you could argue we had a sort of moral victory – when one of our Deacs was injured and had to be taken off the field, his teammates surrounded him and supported him, prompting ESPN to post this heartwarming video “Wake Forest reminds us what sports are all about.”  Never prouder to be a Deac.

Our field hockey team – a perennial powerhouse since the early 2000s – finished the regular season strong, ranked 5th in the nation.  They head to the ACC Tournament on Thursday as the #2 seed.

Men’s soccer continues its domination of the pitch, winning its first regular-season ACC championship.  They get a bye for the first round of the ACC Tournament and are set to play their first game on Sunday, 11/8 at 1 pm in Spry Stadium.  Be there in big numbers, students!  This is such an exciting time.

Moving from the athletic front to the artistic…while I did not attend this in person, I have heard several glowing reviews about the University Theatre’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest.  “Run, don’t walk to see it” was what my friends and colleagues told me.  There will be additional opportunities for your Deacs to see it this coming weekend.

And what promises to be a terrific event tonight at 7 pm is Irish poet Ciaran Carson.  “Wake Forest University Press will host Ciaran Carson for a lively reading on Nov. 4. The reading will begin at 7 p.m. in the Ring Theatre of Scales Fine Arts Center, and Carson will be available for a meet & greet and book signing following the reading.  Refreshments will be served.

The poet Ciaran Carson in Royal Avenue, Belfast, N.Ireland.

Carson is a highly acclaimed Irish poet, prose writer, translator, scholar of the Irish oral tradition, and traditional musician. His black humor, satire, and playful and serious interests in wordplay make him, as Ben Howard described in a retrospective of Carson’s career in Shenandoah, ‘one of the most gifted poets now writing in England and Ireland.'”

Our Secrest Artists Series will be back on November 12th with a dance concert featuring Kegwin + Company.  “Founded in 2003 by Artistic Director Larry Keigwin—choreographer of the current Broadway show If/Then— Keigwin + Company presents Keigwin’s electrifying brand of contemporary dance, with a theatrical sensibility of wit, style, and heart. Our performance will feature their signature work Mattress Suite.”  Please see the full description of the program for important details about the content of the program.

Big time speaker news on the horizon – our fall Voices of Our Time speaker: “Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent for The Atlantic and author of The New York Times bestseller, ‘Between the World and Me,’ will speak Nov. 17 at Wake Forest. Part of the University’s Voices of Our Time speaker series, the talk will begin at 7 p.m. in Wait Chapel. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved online at or by calling 336-758-5237….Known for writing about culture, politics, and social issues, Coates is a finalist for the National Book Award.”  More information here.

I think you get the idea – there is a lot going on right now.  And for many of our students, they are focused on work and worrying about grades and papers and projects, it would be easy for them to skip some of these great bonus activities in favor of work.  But these kinds of activities could be once in a lifetime chances to see great speakers, or winning our conference, or to indulge in the arts in inspiring and provocative ways.

ManifestoSo urge your Deacs to consider picking one of these events (or the many others on the Events Calendar) and treat it as ‘me time.’  Stop the gerbil wheel of work and take time to have some deep breaths and to do something fun.  Sometimes the best thing we can do for our health and wellbeing is to do something just for ourselves that brings joy and peace and fun.  I saw this manifesto on a web site called Greatist – and while this manifesto leans toward the realm of physical health, you can swap out any of the physical fitness references for emotional wellbeing (or any other dimension of wellbeing for that matter).

Food for thought anyway.

— by Betsy Chapman
One of the swings on Davis Field is framed by fall color on the Wake Forest campus on Friday, October 30, 2015.

One of the swings on Davis Field is framed by fall color on the Wake Forest campus on Friday, October 30, 2015.

Farrell Hall on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Farrell Hall on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Photos on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Photos on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.


A Sad Weekend in Winston-Salem

There were a lot of good things that happened this weekend (soccer and field hockey victories, a great opening weekend at the University Theatre).  I tried to write about those today but can’t quite find the right words, given the fact that there was also some terrible news this weekend: a student at Winston-Salem State University was killed and another was injured in a shooting on the WSSU campus, about six miles away from Wake Forest.

Our hearts go out to the students, faculty, and staff at Winston-Salem State, and to the loved ones of the victims. Anyone connected to higher education has a heavy heart when a tragedy like this occurs on a college campus – probably no one more so than parents.  I’m a mom too and I get it – I worry for your kids as well as my own.  Any news of violence and college students is especially distressing.

At times like this it is probably worth talking about emergencies and how we interact with our students in those moments.  Please know the safety of our students is our highest priority, and we are committed to informing them of any situation that poses a threat to our campus. Any time there is a security event that has taken place on our campus, or if there is a credible threat to our campus community, our students would be promptly notified of the situation. There are several ways to inform students of emergencies on campus such as mass email, outdoor alert system, cable TV, text messaging and the Wake Alert website.

Regrettably, there are occasional acts of robbery, assault, or other violence in the Winston-Salem area and we do not notify students of every such act when there is no direct, credible threat to the WFU community. Instead, we alert our students in situations that might likely have a direct impact on this campus. It is imperative students pay attention to the messages we need them to see – ones that have immediate impact on campus safety.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you – and more importantly, your student – to visit the University’s emergency notification website called Wake Alert at  Another terrific resource is Wake Ready, which is about emergency preparedness:

I hope you will join me in offering your thoughts and prayers to Winston-Salem State University and especially to the family members, friends, and loved ones of the victims.

— by Betsy Chapman


Happy Friday

Wake Forest students enjoy crisp fall weather as they walk across campus on Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

Wake Forest students enjoy crisp fall weather as they walk across campus on Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

Happy Friday to all our Deac parents and families.  It’s felt like a long week on campus.  Our first-year students and sophomores have been in the process of meeting with their academic advisers to plan their spring 2016 schedules; juniors and seniors meet with major advisers.  As I talk with other adviser friends of mine, there are some common refrains that many of us hear during these meetings, particularly from first-year students:

Concern about a particular midterm grade – some students are surprised (and unhappy) with a particular grade.  The best bet for those students is to go talk to his/her professor about their class performance and get suggestions on how to improve.  Augment that with going to the appropriate support office (Math Center, Writing Center, Chem Center, Learning Assistance Center) for extra help.  The reality is, students who might have had all As in high school will likely find that an unsustainable model for college.  But as long as students are doing their work, not procrastinating, seeking extra help, studying well, etc., they have done their best – and ought to feel good about that.  They also worry about what you, their parents or families, will think about their grades.  To the degree that you can help take that pressure off them, they will feel a lot more at ease.

Anxiety about registration time – registration is set up in two rounds: in the first round students pick up to 8 credit hours, then they complete their schedule one week later.  Registration times are assigned randomly, but with an effort to trying to be fair – so if you have an ‘early’ registration time the first week, a student will likely have a ‘late’ registration time the next week (that way, no one lucky student gets to go first twice and grab all the best classes).  Your students may tell you “I can’t get any classes I want” – but if you probe further, likely you will find that translates to “I couldn’t get the specific professor/time I wanted.”  There are almost always spots open in 8 am classes, so students need to be open minded and not lock in to a specific time slot (read: after 10 am) or a specific professor.

Concern about not yet knowing what their major will be – many of our students enter Wake Forest thinking they are going to go to the Business School here, or ultimately want to go to medical school.  And while some of our students go on and do just that, many others find along the way that some of the prerequisites for those paths don’t play to their strengths.  And then they are forced to say “What do I do now?”  The OPCD (Office of Personal and Career Development) has some wonderful assessments students can take to help identify their interests and strengths.  They also have a great page about choosing a major and being able to see what types of jobs students with those majors have landed.  That can be a great, and reassuring, resource.

Related: this past week, Dr. Kate Brooks – Executive Director of Personal and Career Development – was featured on the TODAY Show to discuss “how to land your dream job.” Dr. Brooks is a nationally recognized career specialist with more than 20 years of experience in higher education. She is the author of a best selling career coaching book, “You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career,” and was named No. 6 on 2013 Career Services Insights Survey for the “10 Most Visionary and Forward-Thinking Leaders in Career Services and Recruiting in 2013.” Check out the story here.

I think it’s also the time of year when students are dealing with seasonal allergies, and/or colds or some sort of bug (I was felled by an awful one last week).  So some of them might be feeling a little extra droopy.  Would be a great time for you to think about sending a care package with some TLC from home.

As always on Fridays, we urge you to call your Deacs.  This Friday in particular might be an especially good time.  We referenced earlier in the week an email sent to parents about trying to reduce high-risk drinking behaviors associated with Halloween and the last home game of the season.  Parents’ attitudes and influences are important, as stated in the email: “Research has shown that parents are one of the biggest sources of influence on their child’s drinking habits. Conversations with your student can help reduce the risky use of alcohol, and we encourage you to speak with your son or daughter about your concerns about their use of alcohol, especially in a risky manner.”

importance of being earnestA great activity for your Deacs this weekend would be to go see the University Theatre production of The Importance of Being Earnest.  This is a terrific play by Oscar Wilde, and even better, it’s a chance for your students to see the immense talents of their friends, hallmates, classmates, and faculty who are involved.

Looking ahead to next week, here’s a little reminder for something coming up on Monday.  If your students want to learn some effective strategies for studying, they should attend the following program:

The Learning Assistance Center’s “Study Smarter, Not Harder” workshop series will introduce WFU students to a number of helpful strategies that will improve academic performance. Our second workshop for the fall semester is scheduled for Monday, November 2, from 5:00-6:00 in Greene Hall 145. This workshop will focus specifically on reading strategies, performance anxiety, and using Zotero.

— by Betsy Chapman

Fall Leaves

Here are a couple of beautiful shots of campus taken recently during the rainy weather.  Fall is just about at its peak right now.

If your Deacs haven’t taken a drive (or a walk) down Reynolda Road, the leaves are stunning.  Reynolda Road has trees on both sides of the street that form a sort of canopy over the road, and it is as pretty as it gets.  They should take a walk or a drive out the main entrance of campus and go left on Reynolda.  It’s a great view.

Fall leaves decorate Hearn Plaza on the campus of Wake Forest University on a rainy fall day on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

Fall leaves decorate Hearn Plaza on the campus of Wake Forest University on a rainy fall day on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

Fall leaves give color to trees in front of Collins Residence on the campus of Wake Forest University on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

Fall leaves give color to trees in front of Collins Residence on the campus of Wake Forest University on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

— by Betsy Chapman

Project Pumpkin and more

Project Pumpkin is today, and I am hoping that the forecast improves.  There is an 80% chance of rain for the day, and it’s pretty grey and foggy this morning.  Theoretically you will be able to tune in to the Quad Cam in the 3-5ish timeframe to be able to see (if at a distance) the fun of Project Pumpkin.  I fear though that if there is a lot of rain (or threat thereof), much of the action would take place inside Wait Chapel or the gym as a rain location.

Just saw a notice of an event coming up this Thursday.  This is an event I’ve seen covered at other schools, but I think this might be the first time we are doing it here.

Sigma Phi Epsilon PREPARE, and Trailblaze are coming together to bring Walk A Mile In Her Shoes to Wake Forest University. Walk A Mile In Her Shoes is an event focused on raising sexual assault awareness in a very hands on, or should I say feet on, fashion. Basically, the event requires all participants to don high heels, yes, especially the men, and walk a mile. The event is intended to be an active learning session, as it will physically show how hard it is for women to walk in high heels, and is designed to educate the Wake Forest community about the causes of sexualized violence. It will also provide them with personal experience to empower the community to further develop and implement this knowledge both in their interpersonal and political life.

The event will take place Thursday 10/29 on Wake Forest’s Hearn Plaza (upper quad) from 3PM to 6PM, with set-up and registration from 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM, and a debriefing about the walk lasting from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM. Registration/Participation is FREE!!!!

Sign-up here!

The event is open to fraternities, sororities, student groups, administration, and the student body in general. Registration will be going out for teams of 4 to compete for the fastest mile time, and the rights to both a trophy and claiming the proceeds from the event to PREPARE in their name.

Registration for spring 2016 courses will begin next week.  Students should be meeting with their major adviser (juniors and seniors) or their lower division adviser (freshmen and sophomores) to talk about courses.  There is a great deal of information about registration on the Registrar’s web site; some of it is on the main page, then there is a section just about registration.  Students should consult this page (and see the menus at the far left for additional registration sections) as needed.

One VERY IMPORTANT reminder about registration is that students’ accounts must be in good standing (read: no unpaid charges) to be allowed to register.  Students should check in WIN under Virtual Campus – Check Your Holds and Registration Status to make sure they don’t have any holds or unpaid bills that would prevent them from registering.

I always tell my advisees, check your holds a day or two before you register, so you have time to take care of any holds, then check again on the morning of registration.  At students’ request, registration got moved to the evenings a few years ago – which was good because you no longer had possibility of a class conflicting with your registration time – but the downside is that if you have an unpaid bill, you can’t fix that problem after business hours; you have to wait until the next morning when that office opens to clear the bill.

So a word to the wise…students (and parents if your student created a third party access for you on DEAC) should check for holds before registering.  Students don’t want to find out the hard way they are blocked from registering.

— by Betsy Chapman

CEO of Habitat for Humanity speaking at 6 pm

We try to talk about (and live out) our Pro Humanitate motto in many different ways on campus.  We also try to expose our students to national and international thought leaders on a variety of topics.  Having access to big ideas from recognized leaders can be the thing that lights the flame of inspiration in one of our students.

Tonight they have access to this kind of big name speaker and university initiatve on leadership.

Pass this along to your Deacs if you see fit.

–by Betsy Chapman

On Tuesday, October 20 at 6pm in Brendle Recital Hall, Wake Forest will welcome Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity as part of The Leadership Project. This initiative is designed to champion leadership development and to bring students inspiring stories from leaders who represent a variety of professional paths.

Reckford will offer insight into his personal experiences and what has shaped his leadership philosophy through a conversation with President Hatch. Attendees will also be invited to ask questions from the audience and from twitter as part of the experience.

Visit to find out more about the Leadership Project and Jonathan Reckford.


Fall Break

Not surprisingly, it is a very quiet day on campus.  None of the normal hustle and bustle on the :50th of each hour as classes change.  Parking is a breeze – everything’s empty.  Here are the only real signs of activity I have seen in a couple of brief forays outside:

– a handful of our ROTC cadets, all decked out in camo, presumably returning from a training activity

– one solitary student walking towards Farrell Hall in shorts and a hoodie, headphones on

– one jogger on campus

Your Deacs, if they are here, were sleeping late this morning.  This was a strange morning, too: there was a very pretty sky with lots of pastel pink and orange, and while it was only slightly overcast (and you could see plenty of clear sky), it sprinkled rain.

10 16 15 quad camIt’s been an interesting sky all day, actually.  Not completely dark, nor is it ever sunny.  It’s layered like a trifle.  Here’s a snap from the Quad Cam.

If your Deacs ventured home for the [very short] break, do not be surprised if they spend far more time sleeping than you would care for, or if they are making you climb what I always refer to as “Laundry Mountain,” or if they are trying to eat you out of house and home.  They’ve just finished midterms and are tired.  Give them that extra TLC and enjoy your time with them.

— by Betsy Chapman

Another Gorgeous Fall Day

It’s another beautiful day in the Forest.  Started out cool – around 50 – but now that it is lunchtime and the sun is out, it is quick to warm you if you are just standing around soaking up the rays.

This weekend the temperature is supposed to drop dramatically, and it will certainly be Coat Weather; check out the 5 day forecast.

pumpkin patchOne of the fall traditions in Winston-Salem is the pumpkin patch on Reynolda Road.  A local church, Maple Springs United Methodist, has been running a pumpkin patch for 37 years.  They have all sorts of pumpkins for sale, big and small.  If your Deacs have a car – or if they are one of the many students I see jogging down Polo Road and making the turn onto Reynolda Road – no doubt they have passed it.  For those who need a little fall decor for their rooms, there are lots of tiny pumpkins to be had.

Fall Break is this Friday.  That’s kind of a misnomer, as it is really only a 3 day weekend.  If your Deac is staying in town and wants some ideas of things to do in town, here are a few suggestions:

– Take a hike.  Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock are within 45 minutes’ drive of campus (more or less).  Or stay closer to home and walk from campus through Reynolda Village and on the trails behind the big lawn.

– Want to get a little farther away?  Drive northwest to the Blue Ridge Parkway and see the fall leaves.  Or go southwest towards Asheville and go to Biltmore House (or just spend time in Asheville, a really cool little city).

– Head downtown to a/perture theatre and see an indie film.  Pair it up with a little something from one of my all time favorites, Camino Bakery, across the street.

There’s more to do locally than just that.  Smitty’s Notes, a local web site, has tons of listings of events, restaurants, and other things of interest.  Here’s a few of the events scheduled this weekend according to Smitty.

— by Betsy Chapman

Upcoming Registration Period

You can tell that it’s midterm time because there are students who look tired and grumpy.  I have heard a bit from students currently in Accounting 111 (a prerequisite course for students who want to apply to the Business School).  It is considered by many to be a difficult class, and there is always some post-exam grumping about how hard the tests are.  The period around high-traffic exam times are a great time for care packages, by the way.

Mid-semester is also when students start planning for their spring semester’s schedule.  Your students will soon be meeting with their lower-division advisers (for freshmen and sophomores who have not yet declared a major) or with their major adviser to talk about what they want to take next semester.

For students who already have declared a major or minor:

“Students with declared majors and/or minors, including those currently abroad, will be advised and can be registered for classes within the major/minor department between October 19th – October 31st. Each academic department governs advising and assignment of registration priorities and most registration procedures during Major/Minor Registration. Automated Waitlisting is not available.” (from Registrar’s web site)

For first-years and sophomores who have not yet declared a major:

“Registration rounds start the week of November 2.  In the first round (Nov. 2 – Nov. 8, 11:59 pm) students can register for up to 8 hours.  In the second round (Nov. 9 on), students can complete registration up to 17 hours.  Each student can register at any time after his/her assigned time and up to the closing time for each round.  Registration times are set based on completed hours, so most second-year students will begin registration on Wednesday of each week and most first-year students on Thursday, although some will have earlier start times if they are sophomores by credit hours.” (from an email sent from the Office of Academic Advising to all lower division academic advisers)

So know that your students will soon be engaged in advising and registration.

Here are a couple of other tidbits that were emailed to students:

Information about pre-health careers and related majors:

Are you considering focusing on pre-med, pre-dental, or pre-vet? As Dr. Lord cannot meet with every student individually to help plan course schedules for the spring semester, please plan on attending one of the following group advising sessions to make sure you are on the right track.

Tuesday, October 20th
First Year Students: 6:30-7:30
Sophomores: 7:30-8:00
Juniors & Seniors: 8:00-8:30

Wednesday, October 21st
Juniors & Seniors: 5:00-5:30
Sophomores: 5:30-6:00
First Year Students: 6:00-7:00

All sessions will be held in Winston Hall, Room 125

(Please note: The group advising session is NOT a replacement for your lower division or major advising meeting with your academic adviser.)

Information session for prospective business majors:

In advance of spring 2016 registration, the School of Business will be holding freshman information sessions next week, October 19th through October 22nd.

​Please see below for the dates, times and locations. ​

These sessions will incorporate information about the prerequisites, the admissions process and the majors offered in the School of Business. Please plan to attend if you have an interest in or questions about the School of Business​. Our major advising and registration deadlines will preclude individual student appointments or email exchanges in October and early November.

Please arrive promptly at the time listed, if you plan to attend a session.

Feel free to share this email with others who might be interested!

Monday, 10/19/2015, 3:30 pm, 104 Farrell Hall

Tuesday, 10/20/2015, 3:30 pm, A17 Farrell Hall

Wednesday, 10/21/2015, 2:00 pm, 104 Farrell Hall

Thursday, 10/22/2015, 11:00 am, 155 Farrell Hall


— by Betsy Chapman