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The End of the Week

Friday always seems to be a happy day on campus.  Students are looking forward to having a break over the weekend and some down time.

There are some great activities this weekend.  Let’s start with sports and home games.   Men’s Soccer plays tonight at 7 pm against NC State.  Field Hockey plays at 1 pm on Sunday.  Encourage your students to go to these sporting events.  Wake is a rare and wonderful place in that our students and student-athletes live together in the same residence halls and take the same classes.  Our student-athletes are people your students probably know, or at least recognize.  It must be wonderful for the student-athletes when they see their peers and classmates coming to games to cheer them on.

There’s also fun offerings from Student Union.  Their film series features How to Train Your Dragon at 7 pm tonight.   Awake All Night is on Saturday night starting at 10 pm.

And remember that Friday afternoon or early evening is a great time to contact your Deacs and give them that subtle and gentle reminder of home.  As we’ve said in previous Daily Deacs, connection to home and family via a phone call tends to have the effect of less risky weekend behavior.

To give you a sense of campus today, it’s sort of overcast.  Not particularly hot, nor is it really cool fall weather yet.  We had a hint of cooler temperatures earlier this week and I have to admit, it felt good.  Fall at WFU is a real stunner.  We should hit the best of the fall leaves around the time of Family Weekend – usually it’s late October/early November when they are at their peak.  Here’s a couple of pictures of past falls to whet your whistle until then.

Have a great weekend, Deac families!  And hope you remembered to honor Black and Gold Friday by wearing WFU colors or gear if you can!

20121022fall4448 20081030fall4549 20101026fall9589 20101026fall9589 20101025fall9300

 

 

Remembrance

9 11 14 signToday is a somber day on campus, the anniversary of 9/11.  The Pro Humanitate Institute has done a beautiful visual display on Manchester (aka Mag) Quad today, with tiny flags commemorating those who passed away that day.  There is also a series of service opportunities for students to take part in if they wish to.   For all our students, faculty, staff, parents, and families who are feeling this anniversary in personal ways today, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

9 11 14 flagsOn a much lighter note, I was in the Benson Center and there were signs for a number of other campus activities coming up.  This weekend is Awake All Night, with the theme of Wakeopoly.  This event is run by Student Union and is always a wonderful way for 9 11 14 awake all nightcampus to come together and have a ton of fun in Benson after hours.

9 11 14 hip hopThe Hip Hop Fellow series is tomorrow, and there are a ton of good opportunities to learn and enjoy some well-known artists and speakers.

Tonight is the Secrest Artist Series event.  Broadway’s Next Hit Musical, which is billed as an improvised musical that is based on audience input.  It sounds incredible.  Urge your students to go.   Performances are free for students and there are two shows: 7:30 and 9:30 in Brendle Recital Hall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways to Get Involved with Pro Humanitate

It’s the start of the semester and there are still many students – and not just first-years – who are trying to find some meaningful engagement and activities.  One way to get involved and meet students from all parts of campus is to volunteer.

I am on the distro list for the Volunteer Service Corps (VSC) newsletter, and the most recent issue had a lot of options for service, but also some internship opportunities.  This could be a great way for your Deac to gain some valuable experience that might help build ‘real world work skills’ and perhaps even discern potential career paths (or rule them out!  It’s just as critical to learn what you don’t enjoy as what you do enjoy – that will help make ultimate career seeking a more targeted search).

So here is the VSC newsletter.  You can see the breadth and depth of options here.  Even if your student isn’t inclined to participate, it’s part of the rich tapestry of our campus that we have students from all walks of life, all interests, all levels of community engagement.  Our students will learn from classmates with different perspectives, interests, and experiences.  Your student may or may not volunteer, but can get to know others who do and understand about how that fulfills them – and in turn can talk about the activities that he does that other students don’t.

*~*~VSC Service Events- Let’s serve together!~*~*

Fiesta – Fiesta is a block party in downtown Winston Salem that showcases Hispanic culture. Its happening September 13th from 12-7. We are volunteering from noon to 2pm and enjoying the event afterward for about an hour.

Volunteers can sign up for different stations based on their interests but they just need to make sure their station will be open during the time VSC will be there, unless they have other transportation.  Sign up to volunteer with VSC here.  Sign up for transportation here.  For more information contact Jasmine Higgins (higgjm13@wfu.edu) or Cazandra Rebollar (rebocy13@wfu.edu).

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Homecoming Weekend – Saturday, September 20 – VSC is participating in two service events at the football stadium

1.) Service event being coordinated with Emily Johnson

2.) Game Day Recycling

(Look out for more information coming your way soon!)

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Other Service Opportunities!

1. The Pro Humanitate Institute is looking for volunteers to help put small American Flags around the perimeter of the Mag Quad (lower quad) on the night of Sep. 10, 10-11pm. Please email Naijla Faizi if you are interested in volunteering.

2. The Pro Humanitate Institute is sponsoring service events for Sep. 11 Day of Remembrance and Service. See flyer for details, be aware of events that require registration. Email Emily Blake or Naijla Faizi for more information.​

3. The Muslim Students Association along with WFU Red Cross Club are sponsoring a Muslims for Life Blood Drive for the third year to commemorate the lives that were lost on Sep. 11, 2001. Please register ahead of time at www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation-sponsor with the sponsor code: WFU.  Email Naijla Faizi or Anna Grace Tribble for more information.

4. Komen Northwest NC Race for the Cure® – September 27, 2014

Race Downtown Winston-Salem
Pre and Post Race Celebration at BB&T Ballpark
951 Ballpark Way, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

The Race for the Cure is our major fundraising event of the year that celebrates survivorship; honors those who have lost their battle, and most importantly raises funds and awareness for the fight against this life threatening disease. The Race is a 5K with an optional shorter family route. The money raised for the Race for the Cure goes toward supporting our mission in our 11-county service area in Northwest North Carolina.

Our Needs:

Volunteers on Race Day! To learn how to volunteer, visit http://www.komennorthwestnc.org/komen-race-for-the-cure/volunteer/

Runners/Walkers to Participate! To register, visit http://www.komennorthwestnc.org/komen-race-for-the-cure/

Fundraisers! To find out how to fundraise or make a donation, visit http://www.komennorthwestnc.org/komen-race-for-the-cure/fundraise/

5. Are you interested in speaking with international students, linguistics, or just being very helpful? We are looking for native English speaker volunteers to help with oral skills workshops for international students. You can help international students gain facility with the rapid pace of native speaker English, idiomatic expressions, American culture, and help increase their confidence and ability to participate in their classes. It’s a lot of fun!

Volunteers are not required to attend every session, but should be available on a semi-regular basis.  Sessions are planned for Fridays from 3:30-5, Greene Hall 312. Sessions will begin Sept. 12th. Tuesday and/or Thursday sessions may also be added depending on interest.  Please contact Andrew Smith at smithac@wfu.edu if you are interested, and indicate which days (Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday) you would be available.

6. 6th Annual World Cultural Festival

Friday, September 26th
5:30-8pm, Manchester Plaza (Rain Location: Benson 401)​
​Sign up HERE to volunteer.

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Internship Opportunities!

1. Susan G. Komen Northwest NC is dedicated to combating breast cancer at every front. We serve 11 counties and up to 75% of our net income goes toward funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations to provide breast health education, screening, and treatment programs to underserved women. Our signature fundraising event, the Race for the Cure, is coming up quickly on September 27, 2014. We have a desperate and urgent need for interns in our office on Burke Street in Winston-Salem. Our highly valued interns make a real impact with our organization and mission; we assign our interns to projects that suit their talents and interests, such as graphic design, volunteer management, mission outreach, writing and editing, social media marketing, and so much more! Our interns work with us part time based upon their availability. Please fill out our quick & easy internship application (no essays!) if you can donate some time to us. We greatly appreciate the work of our interns and we know it’s a valuable experience for them. Contact Sarah Thompson (a WFU/VSC alumni) at SThompson@komennorthwestnc.org or 336-721-0037with applications, questions, or concerns!

2. Public Health Leadership Opportunity

Health inequities are unjust and preventable differences in health between groups of people. United Against Inequities in Disease (UAID) is a national organization that empowers students and communities to fight this injustice and eliminate health inequities.

At the national level, you will attend an annual symposium, participate in educational webinars, and get certified in medical Spanish. At the campus level, you will have the exclusive opportunity to lead a one-of-a-kind, hands-on, research-driven project that will improve the health of your own local community.

Based on college campuses like yours, UAID’s presence spans from coast to coast. But only a few students have the unique opportunity to lead the organization as the Founder of their own chapter. This fall, UAID will accept no more than 10 new chapters. To apply for the position of UAID Chapter Founder of your school, submit an application using the following link by October 1st: http://www.uaidnational.org/application. Priority will be given to those who apply early.

For more information about UAID, visit our website at www.uaidnational.org. If you have any questions, please e-mail the UAID CEO, Sonia Gupta, at sonia@uaidnational.org. Thank you for your interest!​

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Other great events to keep on your radar!

Make Every Bite Count

Wednesday, September 10 @ 7:00-8:30 pm
Brendle Hall
Panel: Eliza Greenman, Eric Hallman, April McGreger

GMO OMG
Tuesday, October 7 @ 7-9 pm
Brendle Hall
Documentary Screening and Q&A with filmmaker Jeremy Seifert

Dr. Vandana Shiva Keynote Lecture
Tuesday, November 4
Wait Chapel
“Challenges and Realities of Feeding the World”

Don’t forget to ‘like’ our Facebook page: VSC!

 

 

 

Thrive

We were busy all afternoon Friday so never got you a Daily Deac, but wanted to bring you a recap of the Thrive event.  It was hot, but so much fun.

20140905thrive6694The lower quad (Manchester, aka Mag Quad) was transformed with a public art piece – it looked like the leaf on the Thrive logo, with different colored sections.  There were tables with color coordinated tablecloths to represent each type of wellbeing, with big flags denoting that particular wellbeing area, and activities and food at each station.  You can see pictures from our great photographer, Ken Bennett, at this Flickr site.  There’s also a news story on our main web page.

20140905thrive7254Two of my colleagues who work in the ZSR Library and I were charged with manning the Intellectual Wellbeing table.  We had two different activities people could do:  one was to fill out a card that reflected on something intellectual (a favorite professor or class, the last big idea that really excited you, favorite book/movie/artwork/piece of music, etc.) and then pin the card onto what looked like a big clothesline.  It was so interesting to see people’s responses.  Lots of great and inspiring books, and skills people wanted to learn (evidently we have a lot of budding musicians among our students).  Maybe the most gratifying thing was that some students wrote the name of a professor or class that meant the world to them – and some of the professors actually came by later and got to see these anonymous tributes.  One of them told us “this made my day!”

The other activity at our table was posters people could sign to pledge to do something this semester for their intellectual wellbeing.  They were things like ‘attend an on-campus cultural, artistic, or academic event,’ or ‘pledge to engage in more diverse conversations with people who are different from you,’ or ‘read a book/watch a documentary that has nothing to do with class,’ that sort of thing.

20140905thrive7233It was really gratifying to see how many students, faculty, and staff came to our Intellectual Wellbeing table.  I’d worried our traffic would be slow because some of the other tables had much sexier activities – there was Play Doh, bubbles, and puppies at Emotional Wellbeing, there were chair massages at Physical Wellbeing, there was a wonderful drum circle and meditation at Spiritual Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing had a tree outline where you could dip a leaf shaped sponge in paint and add a leaf to the tree you wanted to save money for (retirement, vacation, etc.).  Lots of the other dimensions had similarly cool activities.  And at each table there were different buttons you could collect to remind you of that dimension of wellbeing – all with cool slogans and neat graphics.

20140905thrive6818So it was a well turned out event for sure and lots of traffic.  It was beastly hot, though.  Around 4:30-5 pm, there started to be some ominous looking clouds, and around 5ish it started raining for real, and thundering, so the party had to break up early.  For those of us working the tables, it turned into an after-hours close-down party in the rain, trying to lug tables and pick up leaves and generally getting a good soak.  Even that was OK – it was a great example of Wake Foresters from all offices and levels pitching in to do a job that needed doing.  And that is one of the things I love best about Wake – there are always people there to help you when you need it.

20140905thrive6723Great job to all our Thrive organizers, and I hope all the students have some good takeaways for ways to nurture all the areas of their wellbeing.  Not just now, but to keep in practice for good.

Student Involvement Fair and Thrive

9 3 14 student involvement fair 2I had been hoping to be able to get to and from the Student Involvement Fair yesterday in time to add some pics to the Daily Deac (since I had talked about the Student Involvement Fair there), but alas I couldn’t get back in time.  So today is some belated coverage of this event.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 11The pictures probably do not do justice to just how many student organizations were there.  There are rows and rows of tables with posters and displays about each group.  I went down a couple of the rows and saw Golden Key Honor Society, a philosophy society, fraternites and sororities, the ZSR library, intramural sports, and so many niche groups.

Occasionally a parent will tell me that their student has told them “there’s nothing to do at Wake Forest” and it is so hard for me to believe, seeing so many of these groups out there for students to join and enjoy.  And while it may be that Organization A or B is not offering a big Friday or Saturday night social outing, that isn’t always the point.  The point is that students can join these clubs and organizations and make new friends, and then the students can contact the new friends and make plans for the weekend.  See the movie on campus.  Go have dinner somewhere.  See a play on campus or whatever.  You get the idea.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 10Amidst the tons and tons of tables, there were a few decorative leaves in the grass, which is a teaser for part of our Thrive event tomorrow.  These are pretty, colorful leaves – stuck in the ground like you see with election signs or real estate signs.  And as I looked toward Reynolda and the Mag Patio, a lot of these leaves were decorating the railing.  On the front of Reynolda too.  I hadn’t realized just how much difference the pop of color makes, but to my eyes at least they made everything look that much prettier.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 12There were students and staff members handing out Thrive Save the Date stickers and encouraging students to attend.  Deac families, encourage your students to attend too.  There are going to be a lot of fun activities, some things that will be thought provoking, lots of free food, etc.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 1I hope your students will not just take advantage of the activities and fun stuff, though, but that they will also begin to be a lot more conscious about their wellbeing than I ever was at that age.  I think about most of the adults I know (parents especially), and it seems like we are forever juggling a million plates in the air – spouses or partners, children, jobs, money/bills, physical and emotional health, etc.  Those plates get heavy and they are hard to keep spinning.  I hear that frustration all the time.   My hope is that if our students really learn to do all this well now, they will do a better job in feeling like they can do what is important to them and let go of what is not – so they get the balance and peace it seems like everyone my age is desperately searching for.

9 3 14 student involvement fair 4And if they won’t respond to the bigger existential ideas of living the best life you can, tell them there will be puppies at Thrive :)

Thrive event email blast2

Still Hot

Yes, it is still hot here in Winston-Salem.  Hot enough that you don’t see quite so many runners and joggers in the heat of midday – and those you see running at the peak heat of the day look like they are well accustomed to it.

This afternoon is an exciting day – the Student Involvement Fair on the Manchester Quad.  All student organizations – clubs, intramurals, arts, Greek, religious, political, service, and more! – will have tables on the Manchester Quad (also known as Mag Quad).  Students can sign up on distro lists to become part of the email chain of these organizations.  It is a wonderful way to get involved.

This Student Involvement Fair can be a time to try something new.  Maybe something you’ve never done before.  I was at a New Student Reception this summer and during the program with upperclass students, one young woman talked about how she had never played rugby before, but signed up to try it and it became one of her favorite activities at Wake Forest.  My own niece did the same with the crew team – never rowed before, but learned.  It doesn’t have to be sporty – it can be any new skill, endeavor, or hobby.  Youth is the time to experiment and try!

We have some news on campus today – a Director of Wellbeing has been announced:

“Malika Roman Isler (’99) has been named Wake Forest’s first Director of Wellbeing.

A doctoral level-trained health scientist, Roman Isler is currently a research administrator and faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She will begin her new role on Oct. 1 with more than 10 years of experience integrating research and programming, developing strategic plans that guide health and wellbeing initiatives, and defining assessment tools to ensure research and program effectiveness.

Roman Isler brings a strong working knowledge of wellbeing as the intersection of emotional, social, physical, financial, occupational, spiritual, intellectual and environmental dimensions of life. At Wake Forest, she will be responsible for coordinating and developing programming for the various aspects of the University’s transformative new approach to wellbeing called “Thrive.” Equal parts education and inspiration, the campus-wide effort – which will be kicked off on Friday, Sept. 5 – aims to give students, faculty and staff the skills, knowledge and perspective to live healthier, balanced lives.”  Read the full article here.   It’s exciting to have Dr. Roman Isler return to her alma mater, and I am sure she has great things in store for our students.

And in case you were wondering, the Quad is still beautiful.  I just took a peek at the Quad Cam and it really is a lovely sight.

 

Tuesday Bits and Pieces

Welcome back to the Daily Deac after a long Labor Day weekend.   It’s a very hot one today, 94 degrees, and has been sunny and hot like this for days.  Accordingly, I have not taken a stroll to the center of campus.  So today we’ll bring you a few bits and pieces from the web and other places.

Your students – particularly first-years – might be interested to know that the Room Thaw request form is live now through Sunday.  Room Thaw is the process by which students can ask to change rooms, and there are details about the process at that same link.

Our Thrive kick-off is coming this Friday, and I have seen some of the visuals associated with it, and believe me they are impressive.  Your students are definitely going to want to be on the Mag Quad (aka Manchester Quad) on the south side of campus this Friday between 3-6 pm.  As we get started thinking about Thrive, one of my good friends and colleagues, Roz Tedford, director for research and instruction, and politics and international affairs liaison, Z. Smith Reynolds Library, wrote a piece on Intellectual Wellbeing.  This article has some ideas about ways our campus community can engage in intellectual wellbeing outside the classroom.  So encourage your students to come to Thrive this Friday, but also to stretch their intellectual wellbeing beyond just the scope of classes and assignments.

Coming up next week – September 12 features a Day with the Hip-Hop Fellow.  Actually there are a series of events here that look really cool – from a Hip-Hop Fellow Film Screening, to an Independent Filmmaking Lecture, to the Standards of Hip-Hop Lecture, to an Afterparty.  For students who like hip-hop music, filmmaking, and more, this is an opportunity to hear from award winning artists and filmmakers.

We just added a new video to our 2014 Orientation Resources page – this one is of New Student Convocation, which took place last Monday.  If you’d like to hear the Convocation addresses for the Class of 2018, you can find it on the Orientation Resources page.

 

A Long Weekend (for some)

Happy Black and Gold Friday, Deac families!  We might be licking our wounds a little bit at the loss to U. Louisiana-Monroe lastnight, but the Deac faithful are always in it for the long haul, not the short game.  Keep wearing your black and gold every Friday and show your support for WFU wherever you are.

I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to some of my colleagues across campus who have helped put some of our Orientation materials online.  While these are not professional grade recordings, we were able to get a couple of sessions recorded for families who were not able to attend.  You can access those Orientation resources here.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend, so it is a 3-day weekend for our administrators and staff.  Sadly, the Academic Calendar shows that classes are in session on Labor Day.  But for the rest of us, we are going to be gone on Monday.  Which means it’s time to remind you of how to get in touch with the University after hours/on weekends if there is an emergency with your student; see directions here.

As we so often tell you, Fridays are a great time to reach out and call your student.  Having that touch from home and a subtle reminder of its values does have an impact in helping reduce risky behavior.  You can find the study behind that in the Orientation Resources link and session on alcohol.

Enjoy your long weekend, and we’ll be back with more Daily Deacs next Tuesday.

Five Senses of the Benson Food Court

Today is another beautiful sunny day in a long string of beautiful sunny days.  It’s in the high 80s today, which made my walk across campus to the Benson Center a little warmer than I would like.  Following a meeting in Benson, I went up to the food court area to sit down for one of our “Five Senses” blog posts.

Here’s what you might have experienced had you shared my table in the food court around 11 am.

I see…

- two female students greet each other with a hug, presumably the first time they’d seen each other since coming back to campus (given their delighted reaction).

- a line forming at the make-to-order salad bar.  (It was the most popular eating choice during the time I was there observing.)

- about 1/3 of the food court tables filled.  Most of the tables have 2-4 students at them, and they are eating and chatting.  Maybe 3 of the occupied tables have only one student, with laptop open.

- lots of summery clothes – shorts and t-shirts, sundresses.  A few of the female students are in workout clothes and glistening as if they were fresh from exercise.   Many of our young men are in t-shirts and casual shorts (either athletic or khaki).  A couple of them are in button down plaid shirts and khaki-type shorts in colors other than tan. (They look exceedingly presentable, these young men.)

- bags with the Chick-fil-A logo or Moe’s logo on it.  Most of the seated eaters have chosen one of those two eateries.

- a narrow-ish variety of shoe styles.  A fair number of students are wearing flip flops (men and women), and several women are wearing gladiator sandals, which must mean they are still in style.  Most of the sneakers students are wearing look fairly new – not yet dirty or worn down the way well-used running shoes get.

- lots of clean shaven young men.  Nearly all of our male students here appear to be freshly shaved.  A couple of them are sporting light stubble, and only one with a full beard.

- one student who is standing up in front of a table of four or five male and female students.  This guy is imitating some sort of dance move to the friends, making a couple of wide, side-lunging steps to the right (and then back into place).  There’s an arm movement thing he’s doing too – elbows and forearms.  I have to hand it to this guy, he has a ton of confidence to be doing this in the middle of the Benson Center.  More power to him.

- a couple of Campus Dining managers checking out the scene, presumably to make sure lines are  moving and students are enjoying the food.

- several young men with baseball caps come and go during my time there.  Maybe 4 of them have worn their caps on backwards, and maybe 2 have worn them the regular way.

- dance demonstrator guy move to a different table to say hello to some other friends after his original table has left.  I am assuming he’s a strong extrovert.

- lots of smiling faces at tables and as people pass friends.  Too early in the semester for too many students to feel a lot of stress.

 

I hear…

- snippets from one young woman in a nearby conversation, something akin to: oh my God, I haven’t seen you for so long!!  are you rushing?  I am so glad, you should come out with us!

- ice hitting empty cups as students go to the soda machines.

- the rhythmic CHOP-CHOP-CHOP of the salads being chopped at the custom salad station.

- sizzling of food hitting the grills to be cooked.

- scooting of chairs across the floor as people pull out chairs to sit down/push them in as they leave.

- the rolling of a food prep cart through the middle of the food court.

- crinkling of paper bags being opened.

- the signature ‘click’ noise that is made as you first touch your cup to a soda machine lever to get it to dispense.

- “Welcome to Moe’s!” being yelled by the Moe’s staff.  Interestingly, I did not hear that until well into my time in Benson.

- metal pots banging.

- jingling of keys.

- a metal on metal sound that I would bet is the spatula going under burgers on the grill, just before the cook flips them.

- the noise gets louder and louder the closer I get to 11:30.  I am no longer able to hear snatches of individual conversations, rather it is more of a generic buzz or hum.

- laughter.

 

I smell -

- fried food.  It is really the only thing I smell, actually.  I think Chick-fil-A’s fried aroma is so strong it’s drowns out all the other smells.

 

I feel - 

- happiness.  It is a warm day.  Students look good, no conflicts or problems are evident in the folks that I can see.  They all seem like they are enjoying themselves, which makes me happy.

- a little wistfulness that I’d like to be 18 or 19 with so much less responsibility than I have in my mid 40s :)  And wishing my own dearest Wake friends could come back here with me.

 

That’s all she wrote, Deac families.  I suppose I should call this the Four Senses of Benson because I didn’t eat or drink anything, despite the variety of things I could have purchased there.  You’ll have to use your imaginations for that last sense.

Hope this gave you a feel for what campus felt like in this distinct moment in time.

 

 

Thrive

We have a campus event coming up next Friday that I wanted to share with our parents and families.  We hope your students will attend this event (free food! fun and games! and some very special activities your students won’t want to miss – but I won’t spoil the surprise here).

thrive logoThe event is our Thrive kick off – which will be held on Friday, September 5th on the Manchester Quad (aka Magnolia Quad, near the first-year dorms and academic buildings) from 3-6 pm.  The Thrive event will be a campus-wide festival with dozens of fun and thought-provoking activities designed to help members of the Wake Forest community to take control of their personal wellbeing and empower others to do the same.

The idea of Thrive is not just a one-and-done party, though.  It is so much more.  Thrive is a thoughtful, conscientious approach to helping our students (and faculty and staff) think about the idea of wellbeing.  How can we lead healthier, more balanced lives – now, and for the rest of our lives?  How can we attend to all the dimensions of our wellbeing: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, occupational, financial, environmental, and social?  We want to make sure our students are not just learning facts and figures and theories and concepts here, but the skills, knowledge and perspective so their lives thrive in all ways possible.

There is a Thrive web site that talks about the various dimensions of wellbeing.  There is also a terrific story on our News Center page about the investment Wake Forest is making in wellbeing on campus.   A fascinating part of this article is the story of John Marbach (’16), who had accepted a prestigious $100K entrepreneurship grant to start a venture, but ultimately returned to Wake Forest because he missed the social and intellectual environment and the wellbeing that comes from living in a community and learning and growing with peers.

One of the first visible signs of Wake Forest’s wellbeing efforts will be upcoming demolition work at the former Leighton Tennis Stadium adjacent to Reynolds Gym.  That space will be used to create an addition to the [very old] Reynolds Gym and then we’ll have a phased renovation of the gym into a more dynamic, modern facility.  Read more about the vision for this project.

And there will be other visible signs and hints of Thrive in the coming days.  Your students will begin seeing things on campus related to Thrive and the kickoff.  I was in a meeting yesterday about the September 5 Thrive kick-off and I promise you the Manchester (Mag) Quad is going to be spectacular.  Your students won’t want to miss it.

So encourage them to c0me next Friday, September 5th from 3-6.  But more importantly, encourage them to take very seriously the idea of their own wellbeing, across all dimensions.   Sometimes our students feel like they need permission to relax, permission to take care of themselves, time to decompress and just be.  To the degree that you can influence them, encourage them to begin really paying attention to their own wellbeing.  The more they learn balance and healthy living (in all its aspects) now, the better they’ll be prepared for the rest of their lives.