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Final Thoughts Before Orientation

T minus 24 hours to go and we’ll be seeing 1,250+ new students and their parents and families.  Move-in Day is always one of the happiest on campus, and we can’t wait to meet you.

Here are a few final thoughts for those of you who are new parents (and if you are an upperclassmen parent, share any Move-in Day tips by emailing and we’ll try to post them here).

Our special issue of Wake Parents and Families e-newsletter went out yesterday just to new first-year parents and families.  It has a lot of factual information, as well as tips and suggestions.  (If you are a first-year parent who submitted an email address on your Parent Record Form and you didn’t see the e-newslettter in your inbox, check your spam filter or your junk mail folder to see if it was rerouted there.  If your email is searchable, you can search on either the sender “” or the subject line “Wake Parents and Families” to find it.  Then add us to your ‘safe senders’ list or mark us as ‘not spam’).

We have an addition to the Orientation schedule.  New this year, Wake Forest has a Pre-Graduate School Adviser:  Dr. Cecilia Solano.  Dr. Solano will be available to talk to parents and students about preparing for a future that includes graduate school.  The session for parents will be held on Friday, August 22, 9:45-10:15, Greene Hall 414.  The session for students will be held on Monday, August 25, Greene Hall 444 (drop in as you can between 9 and 4).

Keep an eye on the weather for both Thursday and Friday.   As of my typing this in the morning, predicts a 40% chance of rain.  So be thinking about whether you will want rain gear or umbrellas with you.  If you’ve already left home without them, the Deacon Shop on campus can be your go-to place, and there is a very close Target on University Parkway, as well as other stores.

We hope that you’ll stop by the Campus Services and Information Fair in the Benson Center tomorrow (8/21) between 8-4.  Your students will have a lot of things to do while they are there – and we have a Parent Programs table, and hope you’ll come and say hello and pick up some information from our table.  If you did not complete a Parent Record Form (or if you have changes to it since submitting it), there will be a table next to ours where you can complete the form.

Finally, enjoy the experience!  The many offices on campus involved in Orientation and Move-In (and there are *many*) try their best to make this a smooth and easy time for you and your students.  Have fun when you can – take pictures (and tag them with #WFU18 as you post to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram), hug your students, tell them you are proud of them, meet the hallmates and other parents, talk to staff.  We hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between your family and your newly-adopted Wake Forest family!






Gearing Up

If you remember that old song about it being a “Manic Monday,” you would have had a good glimpse into what it’s like on campus right now.  I am not sure what the right adjective for Tuesday is, but somewhere in the area of ‘frenetic’ might be a good place to start.  The clock is ticking away and most of our offices are trying to get all the final tasks accomplished before the big arrival day.

8 19 14 i love ncSome of our freshmen have arrived already for Pre-Orientation programs.  I saw a bunch of upperclassmen arriving this morning as well.  They must either be RAs or Student Advisers.

As I was driving by a parking lot on the north side of campus near Polo Hall, I saw a gray car that had been bedecked with all sorts of hilarious sayings.  The car has a Texas license plate, and there was a lot of funny Texasisms on the car.  But I did have to stop and take a snap of this window.  I love the idea of this young man or woman driving back to school from Texas, advertising his or her love for WFU.  And in gold, no less.  I like to think it is gold for WFU rather than Texas, but that one might be a 50-50 toss up.

8 19 14 busesAs I got closer to Alumni Hall, I saw a huge gaggle of students all walking from Farrell Hall toward three large motorcoaches.  The students were all dressed in fairly casual athletic gear – t-shirts and sneakers and exercise shorts.  I am not sure if this is part of a Pre-Orientation program or not.

In other campus news, Campus Kitchen got its new lounge space in Kitchin Hall and from reports I have heard, it looks like a terrific space.  Encourage your students to volunteer there this fall if they are so inclined.

Finally, the Quad looks especially beautiful today.  The lawn is freshly mowed – check it out on the Quad Cam! – and it is as green and pristine as it can be.  If you bookmark this site and check it on Friday, it will be bustling with activity.




Move-In Day Best Practices

Ready or not, here we come!  While some of our ’18s are arriving early for Pre-Orientation programs, the full Class of 2018 will be moving in on Thursday, August 21st.  We can’t wait to meet all of our new Deacs and their parents and family members!

Having witnessed many years of Move-In days, the Daily Deac has some tips to help make Move-In a more enjoyable process for all.  This is by no means a comprehensive list – use only the parts that make sense for your family.

Be patient – with 1,200+ new students moving in on the same day, there could be times where you have to wait in line.  It might be in the car driving to your student’s residence hall, at the Campus Fair in Benson to pick up ID cards and keys, or even to get lunch.  Know that you have all day to accomplish things, and don’t fret about a wait.

Stay hydrated – if it is warm and sunny outside and you are helping move in all your student’s possessions, you might get overheated.  There are drink stations outside all the residence halls.  Please stay hydrated.  Ask for help from any staff member if you feel unwell.

Be diplomatic - you will most likely be meeting your student’s roommate and family sometime during Move-In.  The students will have to navigate who gets which bed, who puts their things where, etc.  It’s best to let the students decide these things.  Parents and family members, this is time to take a neutral stance and let the students make the decisions.

Understand your student may act a little differently – he or she might be excited, or nervous, or trying to put on a brave face with his/her new peers in an unfamiliar situation, or he/she may want to act independently in getting all the business of move in taken care of.  Every student handles the hustle and bustle of Move-In differently.  Be there with a supportive hug when needed, and let the student have his/her distance when needed.

Honor the Orientation schedule. There will be activities for students only, and activities for parents and family members only.  When your students are scheduled to attend an activity with their advising group or their hall, let them do that.  We expect students to attend all required activities.  This is the students’ chance to bond, and also to begin separating from their family.

Have fun whenever you can. Sure, it can be a grind to move in and deal with extra trips to Target or the grocery store and such, but this is the start of what we hope will be four of the best years of your student’s life.  Celebrate.  Be excited.  Recall your own time at college or during other experiences in your late teens and how fun it was.  You are making family memories now that will last a lifetime.

Take pictures.  This is a major milestone in your student’s journey to adulthood.  Your student will want to remember this day, and so will you.

Before you leave, tell your students that you love them, that you are proud of them, that they’ll do well, and that you trust them. This is the most important of all.  Nothing makes it better like your family can make it better, and we all need someone to remind us that we are loved and valued and capable.

Student Health Service

We’re wrapping up our coverage of some good-to-know topics for parents and families as we all gear up for the start of school.  One of the areas we want to talk about this week is the Student Health Service.

Some of you might remember your own alma maters’ student health service and you might recall a not-too-sophisticated operation (I heard someone once describe theirs as ‘a nurse dispensing aspirin’ sort of office).  I am here to tell you that is not the case at Wake Forest.  Your students have a wealth of medical expertise and services at their fingertips here.  As one of the clinicians told a group of parents once, “consider us your students’ Primary Care Physicians while they are at school.”

Here are a few Student Health Service links of interest:

Parents Top 10 Things to Know – this is a great place to start in understanding some of the basics of student health, office availability, and privacy of student health records

Services – your students have access to both preventive and urgent care, care for chronic illnesses, allergy shots and immunizations, gynecological services, a pharmacy, psychiatric consultation, and more.   And if your student has any kind of chronic medical issue, please urge him or her to contact the Student Health Service either before the semester starts or early on in the semester to make sure that the Student Health Service is aware and can be part of their health care team.   This section also talks about fees and insurance, so it is helpful parent information.

There are times when the Student Health Service is closed.   They do have a referral page for resources off campus in those times.

There is normally a flu vaccine clinic offered in the fall semester once the vaccine is available.  Information about that will be available on the Parents’ Page once we announce it.  We’ll also announce it on the Parents’ Facebook and Twitter accounts

One of the questions we get most often in the Parent Programs office is “what if my student is sick and I want to talk to his/her doctors at Student Health?”  Our Student Health Service answered that for us on our Parents Page Questions and Answers section on Healthcare – but we’ll put there answer here for you:

What if my student is ill?  Do I get notified, and if so, how?

If a parent calls asking to speak with a staff member of the Student Health Service, the parent will be told that we cannot discuss the care without the student’s permission.  Health Service personnel will attempt to contact the student to get permission to discuss the provided healthcare if a parent calls.  Parents can also ask their student to contact the Health Service to give permission to discuss the diagnosis and care.  In some cases, students may have already provided this permission during the visit.

Parents are welcomed to call and speak to a Health Service clinician; however, information concerning the diagnosis and treatment of the student cannot be provided to the parent without the student’s permission.

In general for non-emergency cases, the Health Service will not notify parents of their children’s illnesses or visits unless directed to do so by the student.  In urgent or emergent situations, we usually ask for permission to contact parents.

Permission to discuss care is generally limited to a particular problem; if the student returns at a later date for a different concern, permission again would need to be provided by the student before Health Service personnel would be able to provide information about the new illness or injury.”

So one of the things you may want to talk about with your students before they come to school is whether you’d like them to consider granting permission for Student Health to talk to you if they get sick and are in Student Health.  That is a personal decision of course, but it might be good to establish expectations now so your student has a game plan, vs trying to get him to think about those things when he has the flu at school and he is not thinking about those kinds of procedural things.

The Student Health Service also provides the SAFE office and substance misuse prevention.

And just an editorial aside:  I would trust our Student Health Service doctors and nurses with my own family’s care.   They are terrific folks, very well qualified.  You should feel very comfortable entrusting them with your students.


Other Resources

We’re spending some time this week covering some topics we want you to be aware of at WFU.  We hope these will be helpful for you in understanding all the resources available for your students – tuck these away in your memory now, and use them if you need them.

Before we get started on the list, we want to remind all our new parents of incoming first-years about a wonderful program that will take place during Orientation.  It’s called Just for Parents: Helping with the Transition to College and Beyond.  The session takes place on Thursday night August 21st (Move-in day) and occurs while your students are in a required residence hall meeting.  The session is led by the University Counseling Center and Student Health Service, and covers common issues experienced during the college years, child/parent relationship strategies, healthy boundaries, suggestions for maintaining emotional and physical health, and ways to access the numerous support systems available on campus (that you will see below).  This session is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the college transition and how it might affect you and your student.  While the session is open to all (it’s in Wait Chapel), we do ask you to register online here if you want to attend, so we have a sense of numbers.

There are a huge number of support offices across our division of Campus Life that are here to help your students get engaged, involved, and informed.  Too numerous to list them all, with apologies to my colleagues – but I’ll hit a few that we most often get asked about in the Parent Programs office, particularly if students are experiencing any difficulties.  You can browse the Campus Life website on your own to see other departments and offices, or visit the list of campus resources on the Parents’ Page.

Student Health – your students’ health is a huge concern to parents, I know.  This is a big enough topic that we’re going to have an additional Daily Deac on it tomorrow, so stay tuned.

University Counseling Center – this office is a staff of licensed mental health providers who are committed to supporting the well-being of the students with whom they work.  Students can seek out the resources of this office – it is free and confidential.  This is a wonderful network of support for students – and having an objective third party to speak to about concerns or difficulties can help the student move through a difficult period in a productive way.

Office of the Chaplain – many of our students have a faith tradition that is important to them.  Others may be interested in learning more about other traditions.  There are faith groups on campus students can be a part of, and the Chaplain’s office also provides pastoral care to students.

LGBTQ Center – the LGBTQ Center provides support and advocacy to Wake Forest University’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning students, faculty and staff, and education to the entire campus community about issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.

Women’s Center - offers students a chance to “hang out in our lounge and study, eat your lunch, or find a little extra support… to attend workshops that build life skills… to nurture a mentoring relationship… to chart creative paths to professional development… to talk about your experiences at Wake Forest or the world beyond… to question and explore issues big and small… to feel a little more rooted, a little more connected… to find a safe space to be.”

Office of Multicultural Affairs - strives to enhance the experience of students from underrepresented groups and foster an appreciation of diversity and inclusion.  Students can participate in events and activities sponsored by the office.

The Center for Global Programs and Studies – serves many purposes.  They provide assistance for students who want to study abroad, and they also serve international students who are here to take classes.   If you are the parent of an international student, this office can be a resource on questions about required forms and documentation and much more.

Residence Life and Housing - works with residence halls and programming for students.  Your students’ RA and/or Graduate Hall Director are wonderful first lines of defense for students with questions or concerns.   They can help answer questions and direct students to other offices that might be able to assist them.

Office of Personal and Career Development (OPCD) – this office helps with your students’ path from college to career.  The office houses many teams.  Of particular interest to parents is the Career and Professional Development group – note the buttons across the top of the pages for action items for each year of your students’ education.

Campus Dining

The Daily Deac is out this week for one last hurrah with the Class of ’27 Deac before school begins for both of us.  So this week, we’re trying to share some hopefully useful information for the fall semester.  Today’s topic: campus dining.

Your students have a variety of dining options on campus.  For the new first-year students, they’ll have fun learning all the dining locales and figuring out what they like to eat at each of the places.

Here is a campus map listing all the dining locations for our students for the fall semester 2014.  This map does leave out one critical item, and that is the real and understood name of the main cafeteria in Reynolda Hall.  It was renamed the Fresh Food Company a number of years ago, but to students and certainly to alumni, this will always be The Pit.  No, The Pit is not named not for the quality of the food (it is about a million times better in quality than when I was here), but because of the location: the basement of Reynolda Hall.

Many of you will have a student who has a birthday that takes place during the academic year, and a frequent question we get in the Parent Programs office is whether there are any options to help them celebrate.  Campus Dining also has that covered.  They have a website called “GiftsNThings” that allows you to order care packages or other goodies.  They note on their site: “GiftsNThings (care packages from home) are a great way to let your student know you care. Look over our variety of packages and make your selection! Once you have selected the package you want to send, order online and we will take care of the rest.  Please allow 4 days advance notice when ordering cakes. GiftsNThings items are available to be picked up from Sunday through Saturday. To place an order by phone, please call 336-758-4139 between the hours of 9am and 3pm, Monday through Friday.”  You can see their offerings and order from this web site.

One of the things that your students might want to take advantage of is the low balance alert on their Food Dollars.  There is a web site that explains how students can sign up for this service.

Finally, for new students planning to come to campus for pre-orientation programs, the pre-fall semester dining schedule is online.

And remember, any time your students have dining questions, they can visit the Campusdish website for information or assistance.


The countdown is on for the arrival of the Class of 2018, and everyone is getting really excited.  And our good friends who work with social media on campus have a fantastic way for you to share in the excitement and be part of the conversation.

Many of our incoming students have long been using the hashtag #WFU18 to tag their tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, and more.  We invite you to do so as well – so if you want to make a post on your social media of choice, tag it with #WFU18 and it will become part of the digital welcome wagon.

You can post a throwback picture of your Deac’s move-in (or your own, for those of you who are alumni parents).

Or you can post a piece of advice about beginning their time at WFU.

Or even just a warm Wake Forest welcome to the new Deacons and families.

And this is the cool part – you can also track what’s been tagged with #WFU18 in one convenient place – Tagboard.  Our social media gurus are combing through the various tags and adding some of them to this Tagboard compilation.

For those who will be moving their Deacs in the week of August 21st, we hope you’ll share some pictures, tweets, and status updates about your experience.  Tag them all with #WFU18 and your posts might end up on Tagboard too!

As I am fond of saying, there is no family quite like the Wake Forest family.  So help us relive fond memories of move-in, preview great things to come for our newest Deacs and parents, and/or let them know you’re happy they’re part of the family by joining in and tagging with #WFU18.

Have a great weekend, Deac families!  And bonus points to all of you who are representing Black and Gold Friday by wearing our school colors!

Views of Campus Today

Today was a day that involved a lot of walking to and fro on campus and beyond.  Lots of good things to see.

8 6 14 field 8 6 14 kentner 8 6 14 worrellFor those of you who remember the famous line from Gone with the Wind about “the red earth of Tara,” our red clay could rival Tara’s any day.  Water Tower Field is being redone with field turf, and there is all manner of clay and gravel at the construction site.  While I was there, I took a couple of shots of the Worrell Professional Center (home of the Law School) and also Kentner Stadium.

8 6 14 wait chapelLooking from Kentner toward Alumni Hall, I love the look of the skyline and took a picture of Wait Chapel above the trees.

8 6 14 zsr 2 8 6 14 zsr 1At the ZSR Library, they are asking students to vote on new chairs (with a hilarious parenthetical that this vote is about comfort, not color).  They have a bunch of chairs in there to sit on and test.  In the background, you can see one of the Deacons on Parade Deacons.  One of my favorites actually, the Deacon decorated in the spirit of Alphonse Mucha, an Art Nouveau artist who I happen to love.

8 6 14 waterAlso at ZSR, I stopped to fill my water bottle at one of the hydration stations and was pleased to see that our ZSR patrons and staff have saved us over 63,000 plastic water bottles thanks to using refillable bottles.  Kudos to the ZSR and Office of Sustainability for helping keep Wake Forest a little greener.

8 6 14 bandWalking past Davis Field, I could see in the distance a very large scaffold that will be used by our Spirit of the Old Gold and Black band when they come back for rehearsals.  There is nothing quite like a warm August afternoon and hearing the spirited lilt of the band in full swing.

I made my way across the Quad and toward Farrell Hall.  On the side of Farrell, I saw something really poignant and special.  On one of the benches was a bouquet of sunflowers wrapped with a black ribbon.  That particular bench was donated in memory of Nick Napolitano (’10), an alumnus who passed away on this date in 2011.  The Old Gold and Black did a story on Nick’s fraternity brothers, who organized a golf tournament in his memory.

8 6 14 nick 1 8 6 14 nick 2This bouquet and bench are beautiful gestures.


Best of the WFU Web

Today’s Daily Deac is taking a look at some of the highlights on the WFU web site.

Whenever you see a beautiful picture of campus, there’s a 99% chance that it was taken by Ken Bennett, our University Photographer.  Most of you see Ken’s work all the time, but this is a chance to hear a little more about the man behind the camera in the article Pictures Worth 1,000 Words.  Ken has an exhibit in the ZSR Library as well – it will be up through the fall semester, so check it out when you come to campus.

Our News Service did a fun article called Looking Back at 2013-14 that talks about some of the major milestones of the past academic year.   If you want to take a stroll down memory lane, that’s a good place to start.

We have a wonderful Secrest Artists Series season lined up for your students.   The Series is free for students, faculty and staff at Wake Forest University, and has showcased distinguished national and international performers.  Past SAS artists include:  Itzhak Perlman, Christopher Parkening, Ravi Shankar, Doc Severinsen and his Big Band, Denyce Graves, and the National Symphony with Leonard Slatkin.  Talk to your students now and tell them not to miss this great opportunity.

Before school starts back up again, it might be a nice time to talk to your students about stress (and how to manage it) as well as how to be true to their feelings.  James Raper, Interim Director of the University Counseling Center, has some advice in Give Yourself Permission to Play.

Looking for a great book for your book club or that last trip to the beach before summer is gone?  The ZSR Library offers a Summer Reading List for you.   (I just finished The Goldfinch myself and it was a tremendous read).

So This Is Happening

8 4 14 n sparks 1 8 4 14 n sparks 3When I got to work this morning, there were tents and trailers and all sorts of hullaballoo in the large parking lot between Poteat Field and the Worrell Professional Center.  This looks like Ground Zero for operations on the movie The Longest Ride, which is being made on campus.  I have not read The Longest Ride, a novel by Nicholas Sparks, but I know that part of the story is set at Wake Forest and includes a character portraying a Wake Forest student.

Filming is going on today presumably, and it is a beautiful day for it.   It looks like much of the filming will be done on or near Hearn Plaza and Scales Fine Arts Center.   If you aren’t on campus, your best bet at viewing any of the action will be via the Quad Cam.   I am looking at the Quad Cam right now and two guys are carrying a large black screen across the grass.

If your student is in summer school right now, there is likely not too much of an impact to his or her daily life.  On campus folks can expect some traffic delays today, in addition to the parking closures.  But I suspect a lot of campus will find reasons to go up or near the Quad, just to get a bird’s eye view of what’s going on.

And if we have any senior Deac families (P ’15s) who read the Daily Deac, if you have a senior living off campus, registration for on-campus parking permits starts at 9 am Eastern tomorrow 8/5.