Site Content

campus life

New Residence Hall

Happy Black and Gold Friday, Deac families!  Hope you all made wise sartorial choices and are showing your WFU spirit via black and/or gold clothing or WFU apparel wherever you are.

7 17 15 res hallThe big news on campus today is the story online about the new first-year residence hall that will be constructed:

“A new residence hall for first-year students is being planned for the south side of campus next to Collins Residence Hall, on the current site of Parking Lot H.  The design of this residence hall is based on South Hall and will look very similar, according to Dean of Residence Life and Housing Donna McGalliard.

…The as-yet-unnamed residence hall, projected to open early 2017, includes most of the same amenities as South Hall which opened in fall of 2010. The four-story, 220-bed building will total 75,000 square feet. It will be a double-loaded corridor style structure with a mix of single and double rooms.

The residence hall will support Wake Forest’s vibrant student residential community with kitchen and study areas on each floor and amenities such as large recreation lounges where students can play games like foosball or ping pong, and media rooms, perfect for gaming tournaments or movie nights.”  Read the full story.

One of the great benefits of the three-year residency requirement (in my humble opinion) is that with three years worth of students living on campus, the newest students have the ability to live among the sophomores, juniors, and on-campus seniors, who can help mentor them (formally or informally).  To me it was always helpful to have a lot of students, all at their own unique developmental levels, who can offer support, counsel, friendship, and community-building in the residence halls.  You can learn so much from informal interactions with people on your hall or in your suite, and those 2 am conversations over pizza or Krispy Kreme about the meaning of life can be extraordinarly special.

— by Betsy Chapman

Some Better-than-I-Could-Take Pictures

While you can stay in touch with one view of WFU via the Quad Cam, it only shows you that one fixed view of the campus.  Here are a few shots taken this summer by our own University Photographer, Ken Bennett.

7 15 15 chessThere was a campus luau on the Waterfall Field in June – this was a Staff Appreciation Picnic staff and provided much fun for the staff here.  This life sized chess board was on display.

The skyline of downtown Winston-Salem early on a summer morning on Thursday, July 9, 2015.

The skyline of downtown Winston-Salem early on a summer morning on Thursday, July 9, 2015.

This is an arty shot of the downtown Winston-Salem skyine and some very interesting clouds.  When you come to Winston-Salem, do try and get downtown and sample some of the restaurants, the indie movie theatre (a/perture), and such.  It’s great at night or on the weekends.

The cupola of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library is visible through summer foliage on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.

The cupola of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library is visible through summer foliage on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.

And among the trees and the sunlight, you can see the cupola of the ZSR Library peeking through.  I just liked this one.

Not much by way of news from campus, other than we are going to be having two police drills later this month.  If your students are in summer school right now, they should not be alarmed if they see these in action.

— by Betsy Chapman



Family Weekend Registration, Project Wake, and Intellectual Wellbeing

Today’s Daily Deac is a trifecta of upcoming events.

1. Family Weekend

Mark your calendars, Deac families.  Tomorrow (July 15) is when Family Weekend registration goes live.  It’s advertised on the Family Weekend website as registration opening at 10 am (Eastern), so set your timers on your calendar or phone and order your tickets tomorrow.  Events can and do sell out, so register sooner rather than later if you want to have your choice of events and options.

As I hope you know already, Family Weekend will be held October 2-4.  Mark your calendars and make your travel and hotel arrangements if you haven’t already.  Note that the football game time will not be set until 10 days before due to television scheduling.  Game times can range from noon until the evening and everywhere in between.  Family Weekend is a world-class weekend with tons of great activities.  Please do come!

So that is an event announcement for all parents and families.  This one is just for parents of incoming first-year students.

2.  Project Wake

This year, our new students have the opportunity to take part in something called Project Wake: Exploring Difference, Embracing Diversity.  Sign ups are due by July 17th.  Project Wake is an optional program, and  one I highly recommend.  It functions similar to a book club in that students will choose one of 25 possible books to read, they read the book this summer and then at a specified time during Orientation, their reading group comes together to discuss the book.

This is a wonderful way for your students to begin the process of engaging in intellectual dialogue.  They will meet other students in a small group setting (helping to build their social network) and they will also have the benefit of connecting with the faculty or staff member who is leading the discussion.  It’s always a good thing to be able to have an adult in your corner when you are starting out in college – someone who knows you, who you could go to for advice and counsel if needed, etc.

The books are very interesting too.  You might have read some of them in your own book clubs at home (my book club had read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – for me a game-changer in understanding a part of our racial and medical ethics history I had not previously known).  I can also highly recommend Quiet by Susan Cain, which is about introverts (I am one) living in an extrovert ideal.  I read this in my 40s and wish I had read it in my 20s so I could be a little more comfortable in my skin when I was your students’ age.

So if you are a parent or family member of an incoming first-year, do encourage them to join a Project Wake group. Yesterday the Office of Academic Advising had sent out information about Project Wake to students.

3.  Thrive Event on FDOC (First Day of Classes)

This idea of engaging in reading groups and discussions (outside of class activities) is an example of ways our students can exercise their intellectual wellbeing.  Intellectual wellbeing is one of the eight dimensions of wellbeing we are focusing on in Thrive, our ongoing efforts to promote holistic wellbeing on campus.  We’re going to have a Thrive event on the first day of classes (see below).  I was at a meeting the other day with our intellectual wellbeing team to talk about possible activities our group might do for the Thrive event.  All the Thrive teams are working on some fun activities, food, and displays to showcase how students can attend to the eight dimensions of wellbeing.   Whether your Deac is a new freshman or a senior, you’ll want to tell them to go to the Thrive event on August 25th for sure.  More details on that closer to the time.

Three events worth participating in – for you and/or for your Deacs.

— by Betsy Chapman

7 14 15 thrive save the date








2nd Annual
THRIVE Fall Event
Tuesday, August 25th – First Day of Class
Manchester Plaza*

Column A, Column B

Deep. Breaths.

For all our new P’19s, there might be some flutters in your stomachs (or more likely your Deacs’ stomachs) as the new students self-register for up to 8 hours of their fall schedules this week.  Upperclassmen parents, you probably remember the drill yourselves.

This tends to be an anxiety-producer all around:  what should I take? am I choosing the right things? what if what I want is closed before I can register? how do I know what is the best thing to do?

Stop, and take a deep breath.  Or two, or three.

There’s lots of resources out there to understand the academic requirementsregistration process, and advising process – and links on the left menus show places to get more info.  And there are some videos at the top of the Virtual New Student Reception page plus this email from the Office of Academic Advising to the first-years about registration.

The good news for our freshman – you haven’t fulfilled any of your Basic or Divisional requirements yet, so pretty much anything you take within those groups will advance you toward a degree.  The other good news: things tend to work out – so trust the process.

A note to students (and parents!) though, that you might not get your first choice of classes your first semester, because sophomores, juniors, and seniors registered before you (as they should).  So, students, make your choices given your best available options at the time.

Aside: this is a mantra I stress over and over to all the students I meet with:  life is about choices.  And while it would be great to have the luxury of choosing from Column A and Column B every time, sometimes you can choose one, not both.  [I jokingly refer to this as the Betsy Binary.]  So if you have to choose Column A or Column B (not both), rather than lament the fact you can only choose one, just make your best decision and move on, knowing that we can’t have everything exactly as we wish all the time.

Before each registration period while I was a student at Wake, I tried to craft my Dream Schedule (A list), but also had a B-list and a C-list and a D-list schedule, so I had backup plans and options.  If you get lucky, you’ll get some A- and B-list items the first year – if not, your backup classes are still things that will check off requirements on the Course Completion Checklist and move you towards your degree.

In terms of choosing classes, there may be some courses you’ll put your foot down about and say “I must have ENGXXX class with Dr. YYY and if I don’t get it this time, I’ll try again next semester.”  There may be other times when you say “I wanted REL111 with Dr. ZZZ but it is closed.  But I see an opening for REL111 with Dr. AAA and I’m OK with that.”

Part of the exercise of going to college and growing into adulthood is about evaluating options and making choices.  Parents, you can help here by reminding your students that sometimes life is about getting “A or B” not “A and B” – and that’s OK.

— by Betsy Chapman


Stripey Quad

There is a lot of activity on campus this week with summer campers.  There is a large group of what appears to be high schoolers on campus, as well as elementary school kids for sports camps.  It is nice to see students walking about and playing on the upper and lower Quads.   Summers can feel lonely without our normal full complement of students.

It’s been another very hot stretch of days though.  Sunny and high 80s/low 90s with lots of humidity.  Somehow our intrepid folks in Facilities have managed to keep the Quad grass thick and green and lush.  Right now it is very stripey looking from what I assume is a recent mowing.  Check it out on the Quad Cam.

And remember folks, Quad grass under your feet is the best feeling in the world.  I highly recommend trying it barefoot next time you are on campus.

— by Betsy Chapman


Remembering a Great Man

james dunnWake Forest lost one of its elder statesmen on the 4th of July:  Dr. James Dunn, retired professor of Christianity and public policy at the Divinity School.  I didn’t know Dr. Dunn well at all (mostly by sight and through association with other colleagues), but my impression was that he was a heck of a guy.  He smiled broadly and often, greeted people warmly, and was deeply engaged in the community.

Maybe my most lasting memory of him was that he’d had a medical issue some years ago (my memory is faulty, perhaps it was his heart), and yet I saw him back on campus way sooner than I had expected to, and I was surprised at how well he looked.  He seemed as jaunty and exuberant as ever.

The fact that Dr. Dunn passed away on the 4th of July has an ironic twist.  Even as our country celebrated its independence, we lost a man who was known for being a champion of religious liberty and for the separation of church and state.

The Winston-Salem Journal has a nice article about Dr. Dunn’s legacy.  Our Inside WFU web site for staff and faculty also has a lovely tribute.

Your students might not have known him, but they might have seen a kindly older gentleman with a bow tie and a twinkle in his eye at campus events or on the Quad.  My hunch is he would have smiled at your students and said hello, whether he knew them or not.  He was a great Southern gentleman, and he will be missed.


— by Betsy Chapman



Post-Holiday Joy

Who else out there is still reveling in the Women’s World Cup victory?  I spent the evening with a couple of other WFU alumni/staff families and we were having a rollicking good time watching the US team and their amazing performance over Japan.  Way to go, ladies!

And today there is other great news to celebrate: Wake Will, our capital campaign, has reached the $500 million mark – ahead of schedule!  President Hatch sent this message today to all students, faculty, and staff.  Parents and families, you have played a huge role in Wake Will, so we want to be sure you see the message and hear our profound thanks for all you are doing for Mother So Dear.

WL poteat 2WL Poteat 1That’s celebrating our present and future Wake Forest.  Here’s a blast from the past of Wake Forest.  A colleague sent me these pictures, taken in Yanceyville, of the marker for the ancestral home of William Louis Poteat.  Dr. Poteat was an 1877 graduate of Wake Forest and its president from 1905-1927.  He was a professor of biology and a devout Baptist, and is best known for his defense of the teaching of evolution during a time when the topic was extremely controversial among scholars and theologians.

Finally, an article from Slate has been sent to me by a number of folks today and I thought I would share it.  This might be a controversial one, so brace yourselves, Deac families.  This is an article that is excerpted from How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims (the NYT Book Review of same was shared here a week or two ago).  The article is called “Kids of Helicopter Parents are Sputtering Out” and the subtext is that college-age depression is tied to overparenting (there are some studies that show correlations).

I’m a parent myself, and I share this not to point fingers or lay blame (lord knows I hover over my Class of ’27 at times).  But because this is in the news, and because I suspect we share a keen interest in the healthy development of college students, I wanted to offer this article as food for thought.  None of us like to see our kids struggle, but the data seems to show that those college students who have to muddle through things in a more free-range fashion fare better (again, our Stop, Drop, and Roll method).

I wonder what students would say about this article and its premise.

— by Betsy Chapman

Happy 4th of July!

Wake Forest is closed today in observance of the 4th of July holiday.  On behalf of the Office of Parent Programs, we hope you and your family are enjoying a day off and happy times with friends and family.  Hope you get a chance to see some fireworks!

— by Betsy Chapman


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Deac families!  What’s that, you say?  New Year’s in July?  That’s right, we count today as the New Year because it is the first official day of the 2015-16 academic year (which coincides with the new fiscal year for our budget).  So today is a holiday in our office.

Couple of quick hits for today:

– For parents and families in the Class of 2019, the Orientation brochure PDF went live today. To see the Orientation schedule, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link to the PDF version.  Also, are you keeping up with items on the Parents’ section of the website?  We have an Announcements page for you and a lot more!

– We are working on a virtual New Student reception for families in the Class of 2019 who cannot attend one (either none in their area or they did not wish to attend).  While it won’t give you the opportunity to meet other parents and students, it will give you the chance to hear some valuable advice by parents for parents.  Look for that [hopefully] next week.

– The University will be closed this Friday, July 3rd for the Independence Day holiday.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print for today.  Take care, Deac families!


— by Betsy Chapman



6 30 15 1 6 30 15 2Today I am in a meeting in the Benson Center.  This piece of art is hanging right outside the meeting room door.  It’s a Keith Haring, a well known name in the American art world.  Bonus that it is close to our school colors :)

Your students as they walk around the Benson Center have the ability to see this Haring, as well as a lot of other great artists.  There is a good story here:

“The Benson University Center is the home of a unique art collection, established in 1962, conceived by students and purchased entirely with university funds. Since the first buying trip in 1963, every four years a group of students works with an Art Department faculty member to research the contemporary American art scene, then travels to New York to purchase new works. This is the university’s premiere collection, numbering over 160 different pieces by over 100 different artists.”

In addition to the art in the Benson Center, there are some fine works located all over campus in public buildings as well as academic buildings.  You can learn more at the University Art Collections website.  If your student has not discovered our art collection yet (or is an incoming freshman,) he/she is in for a treat.  There is also the Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery in Scales Fine Arts Center, which sponsors exhibits throughout the year.  The Art department website has information about all the art on campus (check the Visual Resources link on the left side menu).

Deac families, if you are here for Orientation (or to move a sophomore, junior, or senior on to campus in August), you’ll have a chance to browse our art too.  Being surrounded by beautiful, interesting, thought-provoking, and even controversial art adds another layer of the depth to the WFU experience.  Savor it.

— by Betsy Chapman