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Shoutout to the Arts

While Homecoming and Family Weekend are looming on the horizon, there are also other events happening soon on campus that are worth your students’ time.  Here’s a quick shoutout to some of our artistic doings.

The play Our Town by Thornton Wilder is a classic, and it is finishing its run this weekend.  This is your Deacs chance to see not only a great play, but the talents of their classmates and professors who work with the theatre.

9 29 15 MozartThe department of Music faculty is doing a faculty recital of Mozart on Tuesday, September 29th at 7:30 in Brendle Recital Hall.  It’s free, and it should be amazing.  Dr. Peter Kairoff will be playing a solo on the fortepiano, a reproduction of the type of piano that Mozart would have played in the 1780’s.  How many other times will your students have a chance to hear that?

You can take advantage of many different artistic options during Family Weekend.  I’ve searched our Events Calendar for next week and filtered just on arts activities.  Visit the galleries, do as much as you can.  It will be well worth it.

— by Betsy Chapman

Pic of the Day

And it’s a beauty.


A panoramic image of Wait Chapel and Hearn Plaza, on the campus of Wake Forest University, Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

A panoramic image of Wait Chapel and Hearn Plaza, on the campus of Wake Forest University, Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

— by Betsy Chapman

Tuesday Walkabout

Had some early meetings at the center of campus today.  Here’s what I was seeing:

9 22 15 quad– very grey skies; it’s blustery and cool, with a little bit of mist from time to time

9 22 15 ed– sign outside the ZSR Library advertising Mr. Wake Forest himself, Dr. Ed Wilson (’43), provost emeritus and professor emeritus of English, who will be speaking on Thursday. Every school has a legendary professor or two.  Ed Wilson is that person for graduates between the 50s and the late 90s, I’d guess.  Your students should go hear him.

– virtually NO ONE in ZSR Starbucks at 9:45 am.  If your students are looking for a short-line time to get their java on at the ZSR, this could be it.  Tons of seats available downstairs.  I did run into a student I knew and it sounds like things are going well so far this semester (always good to hear!)

– lots of students in coats and long sleeves.  It isn’t super cold temperature-wise, but the mist cuts right through you.

In terms of what I was hearing:

– Intermittent students coughing.  There’s been chatter of students being sick (I’ve heard colds as well as mono).

– Grumbling about exams (or multiple exams) this week.

Couple of final notes:

– ARAMARK/Campus Dining has asked me to pass on this reminder: ” if your student is getting low on Food Dollars, they can visit our website at to add more, or call Charlotte Lindsey at336-758-5607.”

– Last day to drop a class is September 29th.

– Gametime for the WFU-Florida State game on Saturday 10/3 (Family Weekend) is set for 3:30.  That’ll make it a perfect segue from the game to dinner.

And as a reminder, if your student is on a hall or in a suite with someone whose family can’t come to Family Weekend for whatever reason (could be an international student, a family far away in the US, some other conflict preventing parents from attending, etc.) – please consider adopting that student for Family Weekend events.  Happiness never decreases from being shared.

— by Betsy Chapman


Sweater Weather

Today is the first day this semester that you could rightly refer to as Sweater Weather.  The day started out in the low 70s and the temperature has dropped into the mid 60s.  It’s overcast and grey and we’re starting to see some color in the trees.  The forecast for the week looks a little bit rainy, but it won’t crack 80 degrees.  At long last, it is starting to feel like fall.

2015 study abroad fairTomorrow afternoon (9/22) is the Study Abroad Fair from 11 am to 4 pm in Benson 401.  If your Deac is considering studying abroad, this is an event he or she should try to attend.

Studying abroad is a transformational experience for most students.  Many say it is the best semester they spend as a college student.  It was for me.

To be able to go to the program of your choice, you may need to have certain GPA requirements, so it is wise to look into those options sooner rather than later.  The Study Abroad Fair is a great place to get started.

I’ll put in a word about timing of the study abroad semester, too, because this is something my office fields a lot of questions and concerns about.  There are pros and cons to studying abroad in the fall vs. spring semester.  Students ought to be aware of some of the benefits and concessions they might have to make depending on when they decide to go.

A large portion of our students go abroad in the fall of their junior year.  Some of the pros of going abroad in the fall is that students get the chance to go abroad with friends in the same program, or they can visit each other in their respective cities and always have places to stay and people to visit.  A potential con of going abroad in the fall is that when those students return back in the spring, they have to fill in the empty bed spaces from students vacating to go abroad, taking a semester off, etc.  So the returning students may end up living in a residence hall that is not their first choice, and/or with a person they might not previously have known.

So students have to ask themselves ‘What is most important to me?’

If the most important thing is for them to spend a semester in the residence hall of their choice with the roommate of their choice, the answer might be to go abroad spring of their junior year – and understand that there will be fewer Wake students abroad at the same time.

If the most important thing is to be abroad in the fall when their other Wake friends are abroad, then they must understand their residence hall situation might not be what they most want.

I call this the Betsy Binary – sometimes you have to make choices.  You can have the item in Column A (ideal residence hall situation) or the item in Column B (sharing the abroad experience with lots of friends) but perhaps not both at once.  It’s just about setting priorities and being willing to be flexible with the outcomes – also activities that happen a lot during any abroad experience.

— by Betsy Chapman

Big Concert News – Brad Paisley October 10th

Your students might have found out about this on Wednesday, but this is pretty big news, worth a Daily Deac share.  Country singer Brad Paisley is doing a free concert on campus on October 10th.  Full details from the Wake Forest news story are below.  Students are supposedly receiving information about how they can request tickets and the associated details; I have not seen that email yet so I don’t know what the rules are for tickets.

Also in the news, Residence Life and Housing has announced that it is time for Mid-Semester Health and Safety Inspections.  They were kind enough to send me a flyer (which presumably is also going to all your students’ rooms).  Students would be well-advised to read the checklist and ensure they are in compliance with saftey regulations and are not in possession of anything that would get them in trouble. The flyer is here: Midsemester Health and Safety Inspections pt1 and Midsemester Health and Safety Inspections pt2.

If you haven’t talked to your student today – on Friday – give him or her a call.  You know the reason now, right?  Talking about the room inspection or the concert could be good conversation pieces perhaps.

Have a great Black and Gold Friday, folks!

— by Betsy Chapman


Country music superstar Brad Paisley will perform a free concert on Manchester Plaza for the Wake Forest University community on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Wake Forest is among nine IMG College partner schools Paisley is visiting as part of the “Country Nation College Tour presented by Zaxby’s” to provide free entertainment for college communities. IMG College, serving more than 200 universities nationwide, is a division of WME | IMG, which also represents Paisley and made possible the college tour.

The show will be a ticketed event open only to Wake Forest students, faculty, staff and their guests.

Paisley is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer whose talents have earned him numerous awards, including three GRAMMYs, two American Music Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards and 14 Country Music Association Awards (including entertainer of the year), among many others. He has been a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001. Paisley has written 20 of his 23 #1 singles with the first being his 1999 hit “He Didn’t Have to Be” and his most recent, “Perfect Storm,” from his chart-topping 2014 album Moonshine in the Trunk.

Platinum-selling breakout country artist Eric Paslay will open for Paisley. Paslay has celebrated five #1 hits, including “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” a song whose performance by the Eli Young Band earned nominations for GRAMMY Best Country Song, Academy of Country Music Song of the Year and Country Music Association Song of the Year.

“We are thrilled to host the Brad Paisley Country Nation College Tour at Wake Forest.​ Our students and entire university community​ will enjoy what is sure to be an exciting and entertaining evening from one of the great country music performers,” said Ron Wellman, Director of Athletics.

Additional details about event will be available soon at

Ticketing and logistical information:

  • Wake Forest students, faculty and staff will receive an email this week with information about how to reserve tickets.
  • Due to space restrictions, tickets will not guarantee admittance to the concert due so attendees are encouraged to come early. Members of the general public will not be admitted unless they are ticketed guests of Wake Forest students, faculty or staff. ​​ No one will be admitted without a valid ticket.
  • Access to campus will be restricted beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9. Admittance to campus will require a Wake Forest University parking pass or an event ticket.
  • Parking for event will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Puppies and Popsicles Wednesday, Greenwich Event Friday

I am on the Volunteer Service Corps listserv, and got a happy email yesterday about an event tomorrow.  One of the toughest adjustments for some college students is the lack of pets.  If you grew up with a dog or a cat (or any other beloved family pet), once you get to college and you can’t have that pet around, it can be really hard.  You get dog-starved (or cat-starved), and when you see someone walking a dog on campus, for example, you make a beeline for said dog.

woof forestThankfully, there is a group on campus called Woofforest and they are here to provide that dog fix.  This Wednesday from 12-3 pm, Woofforest will be on the Mag Quad for Puppies and Popsicles.  $1 for a popsicle and/or $1 for a puppy kiss.  (Seems cheap at twice the price in my humble opinion).  So if some canine therapy is just what the doctor would order for your Deac, he or she should head to the Mag Quad tomorrow with some singles.

The Volunteer Service Corps also has a Google Doc of all the volunteer organizations on campus, so interested students can see what is available in terms of service opportunities and can contact the appropriate chair to get involved.  It’s never too late to find a place and a way to live our Pro Humanitate motto and serve humanity.

So that’s for the students.  Now here’s something for you.  We try to let parents and families know of events in their area.  This Friday evening from 6:00-8:00 pm we are hosting a reception for parents in the Greenwich, CT area.  Our amazing provost, Rogan Kersh (’86), is going to be there and you will really enjoy hearing from him and meeting other local Deac parents.  We’d love to see you there, so please register to attend now!

Another glorious weather day here – closer to the mid 80s but sunny and delightful.  See for yourself on the Quad Cam.

— by Betsy Chapman


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