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Lots to See and Do

9 2 15 tablesToday is just packed.  Tons of things to see and do.  This afternoon starting at 3:30 pm on the Mag Quad (aka Manchester Plaza) is the Student Involvement Fair – a wonderful opportunity for students of all class years to get involved in clubs and other activities.

I took a walk around campus at lunchtime and saw some folks setting up and organizing the tables.  Once all our student organizations fill those tables, it will be a fantastic, colorful hive of activity.  Tonight is the panel discussion The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race, and Symbolism at 6 pm in Wait Chapel, with small group studetn discussions to follow.  Tomorrow is our first football game (more on that tomorrow).

What else are your students seeing on campus?  Flyers of all types and sorts.  Many of them are posted on bulletin boards near the first-year residence halls, but flyers also pop up on brick walls and around staircases.  I took a few pictures of some of the flyers your students are seeing as they go about their business on campus (see below).

Many of these flyers have to do with tryouts for club sports or musical groups (great ways to get involved on campus, by the way).  On any given day I could go out and see a whole new group of flyers.  There is that much going on all the time, it seems.  (So in the unlikely event your student says ‘there’s nothing to do at Wake Forest,’ between the flyers and the organizations represented at the Student Involvement Fair, you have seen evidence to the contrary).

As I was on my walk, I did some people watching too.  I saw a couple of students running to get into one of the classroom buildings, with a friend behind them calling to them “you have two minutes – why are you running?”  (The friend kept a leisurely pace and did not run.)

Probably 80% of the students I passed were on their phones talking or texting, unless they were walking with a friend.  I can’t decide if the dogged connection to the cell phone is so they look occupied and won’t give off the impression they are walking alone because they don’t have a friend to go with them, or if they are just multitasking.  Perhaps a bit of both?  I’m just as guilty of walking and looking at my phone, by the way, but I know the reasons I do it.  I wonder what our students reasons are.

During the walk, I passed a really adorable girl who was wearing an outfit that was reminiscent of the famous ‘Diana Spencer at the daycare’ shot.  If you are a fan of pop culture or were a royal watcher, you will know the shot I mean.  I saw this young lady and for just a second she was almost in that same Diana pose (except she had a backpack and not a toddler on her arm) and it occurred to me that the student was probably barely a gleam in her parents’ eyes at the time that famous picture was taken.

9 2 15 fall leavesAnd I saw my first official sign of fall.  One of the trees along the main Silas Creek entrance is starting to turn colors.  Fall Wake Forest is an amazingly pretty Wake Forest.  I can’t wait for your Deacs to see it.

— by Betsy Chapman

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9 2 15 signs 5 9 2 15 signs 4 9 2 15 signs 2 9 2 15 signs 1 9 2 15 campus grounds


Room Thaw and Re-Cycle

Hopefully all our students are settling in to their schedules and adjusting to their roommates.  Today is the first official day of what is referred to as “Room Thaw,” which is the period in which students can investigate changing rooms with someone else.  And this isn’t just a first-year student thing; sometimes upperclassmen choose a roommate they thought would be great but they turn out to be incompatible.  If your student is contemplating a room change, he/she can talk to his/her RA about the process.

In other campus news, the Office of Sustainability has a new program called Re-Cycle, which is a bike sharing program.  Re-Cycle goes live on September 3rd and will allow students to borrow a bike for the semester or for a shorter term (such as a weekend).  This could be a great option for seniors living in the vicinity immediately off campus, where it is a long-ish walk and a bike might be welcome, or for any student who wants to borrow a bike for a weekend of exploring the area’s trails and lakes.  Information about Re-Cycle is online here.  There is a waiver students will need to sign, (and as a mother myself I feel compelled to say students should be following good common sense health practices like wearing helmets).  You can stress that one yourself.

It’s been another glorious day on campus.  I was out for an early walking meeting and if your Deacs haven’t made it out to Reynolda Gardens, that is a really nice way to start your day.  Saw several students jogging or walking, as well as some faculty and emeriti faculty.  From the center of campus, it is probably around a 3 mile loop if you walk all the way out to Reynolda House and go all the way to the stone entrance on Reynolda Road.  Just enough to make you break a sweat but not too strenuous.  We are all aware of the numerous benefits to getting in a walk or some exercise, but there was a neat article this summer about how getting out in nature changes your brain (for the better, I’d argue).  If you missed it in the NYTimes blog, here’s a link.

Encourage your students to take advantage of our beautiful campus and its surroundings, be it biking, walking (slow or fast), or running!

— by Betsy Chapman


Warm With Gentle Breezes

My P’92 mom is fond of saying the best weather is “warm with gentle breezes,” and that is what your Deacs are getting on this fine Monday.  Around midday I was on the south side of campus for the 11;50 am class change, and it was just delightful outside.  I felt bad for those Deacs who were clearly hustling to their next class, because it was so mild and wonderful outside.  Hopefully they’ll get back out later and soak up some vitamin D.

For parents of sophomores through seniors, you may not be aware that the OPCD (Office of Personal and Career Development) has a new tool at your students’ disposal.  Their old professional platform, DeaconSource, is no longer being used.  It’s been replaced by a new technology called Handshake.  The OPCD is encouraging students to create and update their Handshake profiles, as this can greatly benefit them in their internship/job search and personal development.

From my source in the OPCD, I am told that as a way to spark student interest, their office created a spoof of the Cortez Lewis “Handshake” video (if you hadn’t seen the original video of our redshirt freshman and his impressive handshaking, here it is).  The OPCD Handshake video is online – it is a parody your students might enjoy.  And if your students haven’t gotten to know the OPCD Handshake, urge them to do so.

There are many arrows in the WFU quiver of experiences/resources/services at your students’ fingertips.  The more they use, the more likely they will have the best experience and the best results.

A few pics below.  Lots of puffy clouds, occasionally one would be gray.  But this weather is darn near perfect.

— by Betsy Chapman

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Black and Gold Friday

Happy Black and Gold Friday, Deac families.  If you are sporting WFU colors or official WFU apparel where you are, you get a gold star for the day!  Please join us in wearing WFU colors every Friday and maybe it will help you feel here in spirit.

Lots of things to mention today.

– First: the weather.  It is GLORIOUS.  At the start of the workday here (8:30 am) it was cool and delightful.  Sunny, but not hot.  It was the kind of day to sit outside and enjoy just how beautiful it was – and I saw some colleages and students doing just that.

– The first full week of class is coming to a close.  I spent the morning in a first-year residence hall.  The Faculty Fellows (faculty who commit to spend some time each week in a freshman residence hall to get to know students, offer programming etc.) of this particular hall had a table of free breakfasty foods and drinks set up in the lobby, and they invited academic advisers for those residents to join.  So we had a merry band of folks who would greet the students as they came and went, encouraged them to grab a donut or some coffee or fruit (bananas were a huge hit!)  There were a lot of students who were surprised and delighted to find free food, and I will say that the students were all incredibly polite.  Families, you raised these early risers well!

– From conversations I had (or overheard) in the res hall, some of our first-years are a bit shell shocked at the amount of work they have.  Or they are worried that everyone else in their new class had AP/IB/Honors level [insert class here] and they did not and are worried about falling behind.  And/or they are looking at their hallmates and classmates and thinking ‘holy mackerel, they all seem smarter than I am.  I don’t belong here.’  Deep breaths, parents.  This. Happens. Every. Year.   Our newest students are thrown into a new environment and they are not feeling secure yet – and I was the same way when I was here.  So if you are hearing that, tell them it is normal to be nervous in new situations.  And rather than carry around that panic and worry yourself, go back to our tried and true Stop, Drop, and Roll method.  Don’t give them the answer or fix their issue – but ask them questions that help them do it themselves.  ‘Gosh honey, during Orientation did anyone talk about academic resources to help you?  Where might you look to find them?  Which people on campus have you talked to?’ etc.

– I’ll wager that many of our Deacs are going to want to let off some steam this weekend.  The first several weeks of school can be times of experimentation and excess for all classes, but can be especially so among our first-year students.  There is a good reference online, What Parents Need to Know About College Drinking, that provides some tips for freshmen parents; look for Parents of a College Freshmen – Staying Involved on page 5.  It’s worth a read – and not just for the P’19s out there.  P’16s-18s still want to be engaging with your students about alcohol and reducing high risk behaviors.

– Related to the above, a frequent Friday tip from the Daily Deac is to contact your students sometime today.  Research by Meg Small at Penn State showed parental communication on weekends (30 minutes or more of general conversations not specifically related to substance use) decreased the high risk use of alcohol on those weekends.  More detail here – but this is a good practice.  That subtle reminder of home, family love and expectations, etc. might be the thing that helps temper behavior.

– And let’s close today on a high note.  Walking along the south part of campus, our terrific student organization DoRAK (Do Random Acts of Kindness) had chalked some great positive messages on the sidewalks.  These were things like “You’re going to do well!”  “You are beautiful just as you are!” etc.  Rock on, DoRAK!  Everyone needs a boost sometimes, and your chalk might have made someone’s day.  I’ll add a couple things in that vein below that I particularly like from

Have a great weekend, Deac families!

— by Betsy Chapman

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The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race, and Symbolism – Sept. 2nd.

I received the email below from the Office of the Dean of Students yesterday and wanted to share it with parents and families in the hope that you will encourage your students to attend this event.  One of the highest goals of university life is to engage students intellectually and to do so in a manner of civil discourse.  We might not always agree, but we can learn from each other and have constructive debate and dialogue.

Your students will have the opportunity to hear from several prominent national voices in this program, as well as hearing from the president of our own Kappa Alpha Order on campus, Edward Tillinghast (’16).  Following the panel discussion, our students will have the opportunity to take this national conversation back down to a local level in facilitated students-only small group discussions about the broader issues of race and inequality, inclusion, and the values of our campus.

No matter where your student stands on the Confederate flag yeah or nay continuum, I would urge their open and honest participation in this endeavor.  To make the most of our community, we need to hear student voices that represent all opinions.  When we seek to understand others’ perspectives, even when they differ from ours, we increase our capacity for understanding and empathy.

I applaud Kappa Alpha’s leadership for wanting to initiate this conversation on our campus, and to our talented campus offices who have helped bring this event to fruition.

As I so often say, Wake Forest is a rich buffet of many experiences.  The more you taste, the fuller you will grow.  There will be few times in life, I suspect, that your students will have access to a national panel of this stature.  They should not miss it.   And if you as parents and families want to participate from afar, a livestream webcast of the panel will be available at

— by Betsy Chapman


Wake Forest University’s chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order, Pro Humanitate Institute, Division of Campus Life, and Office of Diversity and Inclusion invite all members of the university community to attend this important panel discussion. After the panel discussion, WFU students are invited to participate in facilitated student-to-student small group discussions.   To register for the post-panel students-only discussion, click here.

The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race, and Symbolism

Wednesday, September 2

Wait Chapel

5:30 PM (doors open for WFU); 6:00 PM (start)

This event is free and open to the community.  Flag Panel Discussion 9.2.15

The panel discussion will be moderated by Melissa Harris-Perry, Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and Presidential Endowed Chair in Politics and International Affairs.  Panelists will include:

  • Bree Newsome – A filmmaker, singer, songwriter and community organizer, Newsome made headlines when she climbed a flagpole and removed the Confederate flag flying at the state capitol in Columbia, S.C.
  • James Ian Tyson – Tyson is a grassroots organizer who was arrested alongside Bree Newsome after they removed the flag from the South Carolina state capitol grounds.
  • Katon Dawson – Dawson was first elected Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party in 2002, was unanimously re-elected twice, and served on the Republican National Committee from 2002-2009. A leading voice in removing the flag from the South Carolina state capitol, he is now president of Dawson Public Affairs.
  • Alicia Garza – An organizer, writer, and freedom dreamer, Garza is Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. She is also the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter.

“The events of this summer led to an outcry that focused national debate on symbols of the Confederacy as reflections of inequality and racism in America today.  Like many people throughout the country, members of our chapter discussed these issues and reflected deeply about our identity, our symbols, and our responsibility to bring about positive change in the world around us.  By engaging in formal campus dialogues and informal conversations that foster learning and self-awareness, we are given the opportunity to address harmful biases, better ourselves and our community.

We hope you will join our chapter at this important program.”

– Edward Tillinghast, Kappa Alpha Order, Wake Forest Chapter President

“An academic environment is the ideal place for a thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation about the intersection of racism, symbolism and the South.  The unique and timely perspectives of each panelist will challenge, motivate and inspire those seeking social justice on our campus and in our community.”

– Melissa Harris-Perry


The students in Wake Forest’s chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order actively engaged in campus dialogues about race and inclusion throughout 2014-15.  They were aware that the party they cancelled early in the Fall 2014 semester had negatively impacted the community and understood their responsibility to learn from the incident and help Wake Forest move forward.  Over the summer, the chapter’s leadership asked Campus Life staff about ways they could help the community start the year differently in 2015-16.  When the murders in Charleston brought focus on Southern iconography, the chapter – often associated with the confederate flag – began preparing a statement to inform the Wake Forest community that they do not support display of the flag.  This statement will appear in Thursday’s edition (8/27) of the Old Gold and Black.  They also asked if the university could help them develop a program that would support/encourage student dialogue about these issues.  Campus Life staff invited the Pro Humanitate Institute to a meeting with the KA chapter president and alumni advisor to discuss the possibilities.  Melissa Harris-Perry immediately suggested the program that is now occurring on September 2.  This event would not be possible without Melissa’s ability to contact and secure these national figures.

This program is occurring because of the leadership demonstrated by the brothers of Wake Forest’s Kappa Alpha Order.  The fraternity president will open the program, brothers are serving as Program Ushers with leaders from multicultural organizations on campus, and brothers are serving as small group discussion facilitators during the post-panel conversations with other students trained by Pro Humanitate.  This program is also occurring because of the leadership, reach, and support of Melissa Harris-Perry.  Additional support for this event is provided by staff in Pro Humanitate, the Division of Campus Life, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  Funding for this program has been provided by the Diversity and Collaboration fund.

A livestream webcast of the panel will be available at


On the Horizon

It’s a beautiful August day on campus, Deac families.  It’s slightly cooler than late August normally is – my weather app says 77 degrees as of almost 1:30, with an expected high of 83.  It is sunny and bright with some scattered clouds.  You can check out how we look on the Quad Cam if you like.

Day two of classes is today, and there will still be some shuffling of schedules and drops and adds of classes.  This is all part of the normal process.

I realize that I made a glaring omission in my recap of New Student Convocation the other day.  I should have mentioned our Gospel Choir, who sang a rousing and beautiful rendition of “I Shall Wear a Crown.”  At the time they were singing, I remember being surprised at how a relatively small choir – 10 or 15 students tops – could fill the entirety of Wait Chapel with their voices.  They were amazing.

And it bears mention that we have an incredibly talented student body, particularly when it comes to singing, and your students should take every opportunity to hear a cappella or other singing groups, or go to performances by our many musical groups, as well as theatre and dance.  I think Tuesday night was the Lilting Banshees, our sketch comedy troupe (think Second City or Saturday Night Live).  The Liltings have a wonderful way of irreverently capturing campus life.  I’d be willing to bet a lot of your Deacs were there.

There are tons of things that are always happening at Wake – something for all different tastes and interests.  One way for your Deacs to find out is by looking at the flyers that crop up on campus.  But they can also check out the Events Calendar for man online look.  As I often do, I’ll pick a few things coming up this Friday night, but there are many other events listed online:

Friday 8/28

5:30 pm – the Office of Multicultural Affairs is having a cookout

7:00 pm – the men’s soccer home opener against Santa Clara.  They have a swanky new field to show off, too!

7:30 pm – Humans vs. Zombies in the ZSR Library

8 and 10 pm – Student Union is showing some of the Jurassic Park movies

One activity on the horizon that I hope all students will consider attending is the Student Involvement Fair, which will be September 2nd from 3:30-6 pm on the Manchester Plaza (aka Mag Quad).  There will be tables for all of the student organizations on campus, and students can walk from table to table and browse to see what each group has to offer, and they can sign up to get on the distro list for each group.  This will cover a huge range – intramural and club sports, religious organizations, political groups, service organizations, Greek life, and every manner of conceivable interest.  This is a picture of a past year event – you can see its scope.

student activities fair 8 31 10Whether your student is a freshman or a senior, the Student Involvement Fair is a great way for Wake students to find organizations to join, which will build their social networks and connection to campus.  They might nurture an existing interest or start something completely new.  I remember my own niece (an ’06 graduate) decided to join the Crew Team even though she’d never rowed in her life.  That group became an essential part of her WFU experience and she was as close (or closer) to that team as her sorority sisters.  So the Student Involvement Fair is an event not to be missed.

deacon greetingsFinally, I have sensed some wistfulness from our Deac parents now that your kids are back here.  Someone asked me a suggestion to help get over the gap in the family that exists in having their student gone.  When in doubt, I always go with writing letters or baking.  Send your student a proper card or letter – handwritten, so they have a reason to go to the Post Office.  Or bake a batch of cookies or treat your Deac loves and send enough to share with his or her hallmates (also a great way to make friends – free food!)  We also have these Deacon Greetings, online cards you can send.  Bookmark and send them one every now and again.  They will appreciate it.

— by Betsy Chapman

Come See Us P’19s!

It’s the last Daily Deac before Move-In Day, and we want to welcome all our P’19s – parents and family members of the Class of 2019!   We hope that you (or your students) will stop by the Parent Programs table at the Campus Services and Information Fair in the Benson University Center between 8 am-4 pm.  Members of our office will be there all day to meet you, answer questions, and provide some value addeds (we hope).

8 19 15 tshirtFirst of all – stop by to see us to get your free Parents Are Deacs, Too! t-shirt (while supplies last).  And bear with us here: because we want to give these to as many families who want a shirt, we’d ask that you take no more than 2 for your family.   The pic at the right was badly snapped by me in a hurry, but these are really cute.  And you can’t buy them anywhere – these are one of a kind.  Come see us early if getting a shirt is a high priority for you.   (And we hope you will wear it proudly – maybe even make it your staple on Black and Gold Friday, aka every Friday, as we hope you’ll wear Deac colors wherever you are).

While you are at the Parent Programs table, we will have cards with contact information from our office, so you know how to reach us if you need it.  Also on that card is important information about what to do if there is an urgent situation that happens after hours or on weekends (it’s here online too) and you need to reach people on campus.

You can also stop at the table next to ours, run by our friends from Records, to check your Parent Record Form to make sure everything is correct.  And if you have not provided an email address (or yours has changed), please provide an updated one at the Records table.  Email is the way we reach parents for the vast majority of our news, helpful tips, etc.

Parent Programs and Records are just one stop in the Campus Services and Information Fair.  Have fun browsing the other tables, picking up giveaways, and talking with representatives from other offices.

8 19 15 waterThere will also be a satellite location with colleagues from our division, University Advancement.  They’ll be in a tent on the Mag Quad (near the first year residence halls) and they will have one of the most precious commodities on Move-In Day – bottled water!  (Again, while supplies last).  There’ll be some posters and other goodies there, so stop by and say hello to them too.

We know Move-In is going to be a busy day for you and your Deacs.  We hope it is a great one.

Come and see us in Benson, y’all!

— by Betsy Chapman

Seen Around Campus

It’s a hot one today, Deac families.  Sunny and muggy.  Hopefully we can get this out of our system and have a slightly cooler Move-In day for the new freshmen (and for the returning upperclassmen over the weekend).  Here’s the latest 5 day forecast via the Weather Channel.  Mid 80s on Friday is definitely better than mid-90s.

8 19 15  2 8 19 15 hauserAs you might imagine, campus is a flurry of activity right now.  I walked through the central part of campus and saw tents erected on the Quad (and it is noticeably cooler underneath them); I imagine those will be for the food at the Orientation picnic on Saturday.  There were Hauser rental trucks and tables all over the place.

8 19 15 cardboardAlso saw a bunch of folks from Facilities (I assume) touring Kitchin Hall, which underwent a renovation this summer.  I have not been on the inside, but from the outside it looks like it is good to go.  In one of the pictures below, you’ll see a ‘leave cardboard here’ sign.  Those will probably be around most of the residence halls.  Please remember to recycle as you and your Deacs move in their belongings.

I mentioned a day or two ago the purple siding and the nice plants – also the sides to the gym extension.  You can really start to envision the gym addition, with its big windows that will mirror the original portion (sadly bricked over now, but to become windows in a later phase of construction).  There’s a couple of pics below for that.

Just a program note: we’re going to be a little spare in the next few days on the Daily Deac.  Our office goes in 1,000 directions between Move-In, Orientation, and academic advising, so that’s why these might be short and sweet as we get into the thick of things.

— by Betsy Chapman

8 19 15 south side 8 19 15 purple 8 19 15 gym 8 19 15  flowers


Getting Close Now

As I was driving to work I saw something I hadn’t seen in a few months now: Wake Forest students jogging along Polo Road.  Once they are back in force, there will be many walking/running/jogging students on and around campus – virtually every day, and at all hours of the day.

What else am I seeing on campus as Move-In is looming?

–  The addition to the Worrell Professional Center now has walls, and whatever paper is being put along the structure is sort of a lavender color, which seems to me to be a bit unusual.

– The addition to Reynolds Gym (formerly the tennis courts) is really taking shape.  You are starting to see big walls taking shape.

– There’s a last ditch attempt to grow/protect the grasses along the sidewalks that rings the main part of campus.  Some ropes have been set up and straw is along some patches of grass.

– I think I also saw some dumpsters around the perimeter to remove the extra, expendable items that people get rid of after Move-In.

– ZSR Starbucks is looking good.  Will be interested to see what the returning students think of it.

– Our flower beds are looking very pretty, as they always do.

– There are signs on some of the parking lots announcing closings (so there is space for Move-In).  Please pay attention to those signs and to traffic officers when you arrive.

It was an unusually cool day today – it’s muggy, but only supposed to reach maybe 80.  Check the weather for this weekend folks and dress appropriately.  Move-In happens rain or shine – so be prepared.

— by Betsy Chapman

This Isn’t On Any Syllabus, But Should Be

Move-In Week is here!  Wow, where did the summer go?  Some of our ’19s have already been arriving to take part in Pre-Orientation programs, but the bulk of the families will be moving in this Friday.  If you are a new family and you missed the special Move-In edition of the Wake Parents and Families e-newsletter, here it is.  Read it – lots of good info.

Whether you are a new parent or parent of a senior, this article might be of interest.  As your students head to (or back to) campus, they will soon encounter moments where they are going to be thinking about their academic classes, grades, GPAs, majors, etc.  All of that is good stuff and the primary reason to be in college, no doubt.

But there is another kind of learning that is just as important, though it may not be on any of their class syllabi – and that is Emotional Intelligence (EI).  EI can have a tremendous impact on a person’s effectiveness – at work, at home, in personal relationships, etc.

This article from LinkedIn talks about Emotional Intelligence and why it is a key to success.  So if you and your Deac have been talking mostly about academic life as you get ready for Move-In, encourage him/her to also think about growing his/her Emotional Intelligence.  A simple Google search will turn up other articles and books about EI.  So if this is a new concept for your Deac, perhaps it would be good in the few days you have left at home to gently introduce this concept and plant the seed.

— by Betsy Chapman