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Snow Day!

Today campus is closed because of snow.  The 3-5″ we were predicted to have didn’t come to pass.  We only have an inch or two, and that got tapped down by sleet lastnight.  You can check out the snow (while it lasts) via the Quad Cam.  For those of you who are wondering about dining options on campus, there are still some.  Check out ARAMARK’s Campus Dish website for hours and availability.

Since I can’t get to work and bring you any stories from campus, I’m bringing you a different story and a plea for help.  Wake Forest has a new project, the Innovation Quarter, which has been selected as a finalist for the Great Places NC People’s Choice Award in the National Historic Rehabilitation Category.

The Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is in the historical downtown business district. The Innovation Quarter is a unique community that is being developed to support life science and information technology research and development. The quarter is being developed around the expanding biomedical campus for Wake Forest University Health Sciences (WFUHS) that will create a nexus of intellectual activity attracting new biotechnology investment and development to the heart of the city.

Great Places in North Carolina is an awards program created by the American Planning Association in 2012 to highlight Great Places and the communities and people that have created them.

Will you show your WFU pride and help vote for the Innovation Quarter?  Voting is open now and ends at 5 p.m. on February 27. We are currently in second place.   Vote for the Innovation Quarter online.


— by Betsy Chapman

Happy Black and Gold Friday!

It’s Friday, and as always, I hope you’re making it a Black and Gold Friday wherever you are.  Wear WFU colors and show your school pride!

Correction from yesterday: the Kissing Kanines booth is in the Benson Center 3rd floor. Hope your students get the chance for a big pooch smooch today!

This weekend is the University Theatre production of Waiting for Godot.  Given our recent Five Senses of Scales, there’s no better time than the present to encourage your students to see some high quality theatre.

It was really cold yesterday – and WINDY!  The wind howled much of the day and into the night lastnight.  The wind is supposed to be diminishing today so perhaps it won’t be quite so cold.  Here’s the Deac-end forecast.

love-sunsetFinally, I wish all our Deac families a very happy Valentine’s Day.  May you feel the love of those closest to you.

Don’t forget to send an e-Valentine to your students through our Deacon Greetings.

— by Betsy Chapman

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

This weekend is Valentine’s Day, which can be a really tricky time in college.  Students might be in a relationship, or they might be in some sort of ambiguous place where they don’t want to push too hard to DTR (Define the Relationship) and scare their partner off.  Or they might be happily – or unhappily – single.

So there may be some ambivalence, drama, grumpiness, or excitement about V-day, depending on where your Deac is coming from in his or her personal life.  As with so many other things, I’d urge you to just roll with whatever vibe they are giving off to you.

woof forestThere is one sure way to get some love for Valentine’s Day.  ‘Woof Forest,’ the intrepid group who brings dogs to campus, is sponsoring a Woof Forest Kissing Kanine booth on Friday on Manchester Plaza (aka Mag Quad on South campus) from 1-4 pm on Friday:  “Come to Manchester Plaza to get kisses from lovable pups just in time for Valentine’s Day! All proceeds benefit the Forsyth Humane Society.”  I am not clear on whether you have to pay to kiss a pup or they are just asking for donations.  But puppies are college student catnip, and I suspect it will be a big time draw.

There are many more events this weekend that students can take advantage of if they don’t have Valentine’s Day plans.  Check the Events Calendar for more details.

It goes without saying that it is always a good time for you to tell your kids you love them. But especially on Valentine’s Day!

— by Betsy Chapman


5 Senses of Scales Fine Arts Center

Today I felt drawn, as if by magic, to Scales Fine Arts Center.  Like there was some weird gravitational pull nudging me in that direction.  Scales is one of my favorite places on campus.  I have been thinking of Scales a lot and have wanted to do a Five Senses there, and despite the gray and dismal day, I wandered over there around 11:30.

If you aren’t familiar with Scales, it is the one academic building that deviates from our Georgian brick architecture.  A unique and distinctive part of our skyline.  Scales has two buildings – an upper (where Brendle Recital Hall is) and a lower (where the Mainstage Theatre and Hanes Art Gallery are).  There is a dance studio in back of lower Scales too – an old airplane hanger that has been converted.

So I spent about 1/2 hour observing lower Scales for the Five Senses.  Enjoy.

I see…

– Three pods of low seating, with four chairlike sections to them.  A solitary stainless steel travel mug sits abandoned on the tabletop of the first one.

– Funky looking 1960s-70s style chairs ring the room.  Think avant garde Brady Bunch residential chairs.

– A vibrant color scheme – tans and purples and sages and oranges and tomato reds are everywhere, from the carpet to the pods to the funky chairs to the walls.

– Four groups of people when I arrive.  Three are solitary students engrossed in studying or surfing laptops, it’s hard to tell from my vantage point.  There is a group of two people talking in the funky chairs, and I am having a great deal of difficulty telling if it is two students or a student and a youngish (or just young at heart) faculty member.

scales sculpture– A giant lizard/insect/birdlike scuplture hangs in the middle of the room.  This has been here since my student days.

– Lots of signs on the Theatre Box office and restroom doors – how to declare a major in one of the fine arts, posters for Waiting for Godot (our next University Theatre production) as well as other local productions.

– A member of Facilities pushing a rolling trash can into the restroom to clean it.

– A sandwich/snack vending machine, as well as a coffee machine.  Both get used during my time there.

– The entrance to the Hanes Art Gallery is closed; a sign says the current exhibition is coming down and they are installing the next (to open Feb. 17th).

– Girls in scarves.

– The Box Office door open and a person came out.  I had no idea anyone was in there, as the windows were all closed.

– Three Facilities workers with big wrenches enter and take the elevator upstairs.

– A girl takes the funky chair next to me.  She has black equestrian boots with muddy toes.  Not caked in mud, but I walked in wet muddy grass splotches.

– An older gentleman walk in with what looks like a giant Army duffle.  The duffle is the exact shape of a conga drum (apologies to my Music colleagues if I mislabeled that one).

– The same Facilities staff member who had the rolling trash can goes up to a student.  They are talking just out of earshot, but it is clear from their tone of voice and body language that they know and like each other.  There is no awkwardness of people who aren’t familiar with each other – they are clearly known entities.  I am assuming she either studies here often and/or is a major and in the building a lot.  I hear her say that her throat hurts, and he is telling her to look after herself.

– Later I see the same gentleman and another male student interacting.  Not sure who smiled first or spoke first, but they know and like each other too.  It’s a sweet little moment to witness, this staff member watching after his flock.  When you don’t have your parents around, sometimes having an adult who knows who you are and talks to you can make all the difference.

– A dog – the holy grail of college students!  A staff member has her small dog on leash, and while she talks to the student in the line above, the dog wanders to a girl at the next pod who can barely contain her delight.  The dog goes back to its owner, and I catch the girl peeking at the dog a couple times, hoping the dog will wander back to her (the dog doesn’t).

– As it gets closer to noon, a few more students wander through on the way to class or to find a place to study.  It is decidedly hard to figure out who are students and who are faculty or staff.  I have seen a couple of youngish guys in blazers and chucks and they could equally be a senior or a young faculty member.  Working with the arts must keep everyone here young.


I hear…

– The big wrenches of the Facilities guys.

– Piano music.  It is wafting up from somewhere beneath us (there is a lower floor where art studios are located).  It sounds to my untrained ears like some sort of modernish classical piece.  Whoever is playing is really good.

– Zippers of backpacks being opened and closed.

– Crinkly paper from Subway being unwrapped.

– Now I hear jazz – it sounds like a trumpet.  How is that possible?  No, it’s the piano again, no jazz.  Puzzling.

– White noise from the HVAC as it goes on and off.  While on, it sounds a bit like the white noise you hear during an airplane flight.

– “Good to see you!” as a student greets another.

– Squeaky doors as they open and close.

– Jazz trumpet again.  I figure it out, it’s either being played in the art gallery behind me, or being piped in somewhere.  Whenever the piano quiets, you can hear the jazz.

– A warm (and surprised) hello from a faculty member who sees me.  I am not a regular there, hence the surprise.

– The whirr of the vending machine as people make selections.  It sounds a bit like the vacuum tube at a drive in window of a bank, where you put your check in the pod and then send it through the big tube to the teller.

– Piano is louder now and really, really pretty.  This is not someone pounding out Chopsticks.  This is someone with true talent.  The music seems to shift between a more modern tempo, sometimes lilting.  Gorgeous.


I feel…

– A little awkward as I sink into my funky chair.  It sits low, but it is comfortable once you get there.


I smell…

– Nothing in particular for a long time.

– The girl next to me has a Subway sub, and I start to think I smell warm chicken, like one of their heated sandwiches.

– A few minutes later, the smell is stronger and really appealing.  When I walk out, I realize there is a girl next to her who has a warm Einstein’s Bagel sandwich with some kind of wonderful savory aroma.


I taste…

– Nothing.  Though that savory bagel is calling my name.


Final thoughts – I love Scales.  Love, love, love.  Between the beautiful music and the bright colors and the people, it is a happy place to be.  I saw so many people say hello, or hug each other, or have big smiles and squeals of delight when they saw each other – it just feels like a wonderfully collegial place to be.  If your Deacs haven’t discovered the magic that is made in Scales, I hope they get on that in a hurry.  Some of my happiest memories are there.


— by Betsy Chapman

Campus Grounds

20100923peifer1929I had a meeting this morning in Campus Grounds, which is a student-run coffeeshop in Taylor Hall.  While the Starbucks on campus always feel like a Starbucks, Campus Grounds has a more intimate, arty feel to it.  The walls are all brightly painted and the tables are colorful and interesting – one was a table completely covered in an image of the Mona Lisa.  It’s a cheery place to be, particularly on a gray and dreary day like today.

Campus Grounds was host to a handful of students around 10:30 when I was there, as well as a group of faculty meeting.  The students I saw (all female, interestingly enough) were studying at tables on their own.  I didn’t stop to linger on the selection of food and coffees this morning, but from what I saw the options looked good.

On the Quad today are a lot of yellow Thrive leaves with statistics on them about sexual assault, as part of Tie a Yellow Ribbon week.  The yellow was about the only thing brightening up the gray day.

While there is rain projected for today, the good news is at least it is warmer.  Today should reach the mid 60s, and yesterday it was 70 and sunny.  My apologies to all of you who are suffering under tons of snow (I am looking at you, Boston families).

— by Betsy Chapman


Flowers and Ribbons

The Daily Deac blog post that you will see below the dotted line was written a couple of days ago at the request of students who wanted to get some publicity for upcoming efforts.  Occasionally I pre-write posts and schedule them to go live if it is going to be a particularly busy week or if I am out of the office; this was one such week.

But lastnight we received the horribly sad news of the passing of a student, Clayton Bruntjen.  President Hatch’s full message to the community is online, but I want to draw your attention to the following excerpt:

“Each of us is affected by loss in different ways, and there is no right way to grieve.  I encourage you to take care of yourselves and your fellow Deacs during this difficult time.  Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff. Please visit the Counseling Center’s web site for helpful guidance.

On Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., professional staff from the University Counseling Center and Chaplain’s Office will be at Benson University Center, Room 410, for anyone who would like to stop by for support.

In addition, the Counseling Center may be reached at 758-5273 and Chaplain’s Office at 758-5210.  For faculty and staff, there is also the Employee Assistance Program at 716-5493.  Please do not hesitate to seek support.”

Please encourage your students to access the resources listed above should they need support as they grieve this loss.  And I hope you will join me in offering your prayers to Clayton’s family and all his friends and loved ones.


It’s the end of another week, and as usual on Fridays, we encourage you to talk to your students (forget why? here you go).

For families of sophomores through seniors, you might recall that last year for Valentine’s Day, students in a Spanish class created a “Flores in the Forest” project, where their class took orders for Valentine’s Day roses and delivered them to your students.  Well, students are once again doing it this year.  So if you want to order a rose for your Deac on Valentine’s Day, here’s how:

Flores in the Forest2“Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and while you can’t package love, you can show it with a rose! Show someone special you care with a delivery from Flores in the Forest, a student run entrepreneurship venture. Let us do the footwork, all you have to do is point and click!

So that’s the flowers.  Let’s talk about ribbons.

Without meaning to end the week on a heavy note, next week is Tie a Yellow Ribbon Week and it is worth talking about here.  I received information about Tie a Yellow Ribbon Week from the PREPARE Executive Board; PREPARE is the student-led Policy Group on Rape Education, Prevention and Response.  The emails reads (in part):

TYRW2015“Tie A Yellow Ribbon week is a week of sexual assault awareness and survivor support on our campus. The goal of the week is not only to unite the campus against sexual assault and rape, but also to stand in solidarity with survivors. In preparation for the week, we would like to provide you with information about each day. By sharing this information ahead of time, we hope to inform campus partners of events and also provide a warning as needed to members of our community who may have experienced, or know someone who has experienced, sexual violence.



All week — Selling t-shirts and giving out resource information and ribbons/buttons/stickers outside the Pit from 11 – 2 pm. We will also be implementing a stamp board, on which students have the option to stamp a ribbon-shaped sponge covered in yellow paint to support survivors and express solidarity in preventing sexual assault on our campus.

Monday 2/9 — Campus decorating (bows, table tents and picket signs). Signs will include statistics as well as messages of support for survivors in our community. We will be decorating the lower Quadupper Quad and Pit.

Tuesday 2/10 — Tuesday Trivia on healthy relationships, in Shorty’s, 8 pm

Wednesday 2/11 — Sing Out with student A Capella groups in Shorty’s, 7 – 9 pm

Thursday, 2/12 — Speak Out in Wait Chapel with keynote speaker Dr. Penny Rue, Vice President of Campus Life, 6 pm

**At the Speak Out, we will read anonymous testimonials of Wake Forest community members who have experienced sexual assault. We are collecting testimonials of those who feel as if sharing his/her story is part of a healing journey. Here is the information for submitting testimonials:

Have you or someone you love been affected by sexual assault? Please consider submitting an anonymous testimonial for the 23rd annual PREPARE Speak-Out to be held on Thursday, February 12th, at 6:00 pm in Wait Chapel. Please submit testimonials to Denisha Champion, University Counseling Center, 118 Reynolda Hall or  by Tuesday, February 10th. Testimonials should be 1 – 2 pages, double spaced.”

I hope your students might participate in some of these activities – whether that is to show support for others, to learn more about the issue of sexual assault, or to promote a healthy campus climate for all.

— by Betsy Chapman

Anyone Else Wishing for Spring? Or Summer?

Though February is a short month, it can seem like it lasts forever if you are sick of winter and cold and jackets and the risk of snow.

So if you are in the throes of the Winter Blahs, take a deep breath and look at some of the beauty that’s to come in the spring.  Maybe these pictures will cheer up your Deac, or inspire you to want to make a trip to campus to see it yourself.

Here’s a reason to think ahead for summer.  There are a number of service trips students can take, broadening their global horizons and also their sense of Pro Humanitate.  Here’s an email I received about one such option:

Hello fellow Deacons!

In view of the upcoming long summer break and in consideration of our school’s motto, Pro Humanitate, I would like you to consider joining our service trip to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, during the two weeks following final exams!
More than an opportunity for Wake students to bring smiles to Dominicans living in Santo Domingo’s poorest suburbs, this service trip is an inspiring and character building experience for anyone who is willing to delve into it!
Last year, in coordination with local organization Mission Emanuel, our group was able to help build more than three houses, teach, and simply bring warmth and cordiality to some who’s only wish is to be recognized as individuals. To find out more about our previous experience, check out our Tumblr @
For more information or to sign up for an interview, contact both  Mary Gerardy at and myself at “
— by Betsy Chapman

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A Sweet Home Victory

The LJVM Coliseum was the place to be on Saturday afternoon, when our Deacs took on VA Tech.  Happily, a good number of students put down their books and came out to support the team.  No matter how well VA Tech is playing, their fans always come out in pretty good numbers since it is an easy drive between the schools (just a couple three hours), so I was really happy to see a lot of black and gold in the stands.

If you followed the game (or were here for it), I wonder if you – like me – sprouted some new gray hair or lost a few fingernails from sheer nerves.  It was a tight game with lead changes and it came down to the final seconds, with clutch shots and free throws and all.

Our team, which has been playing really well despite a few ticks in the Losses column (against strong teams, I might add), did a great job rallying to get the victory.  You can see some videos and get a recap here.

The. Deacs. Are. Back.

I am officially calling it.  Because this is a team that has talent and (from this layperson’s seat) good coaching.  There is great excitement again, and I strongly suspect a year from now we will be a very, very dangerous opponent to the ACC.  And I could not be happier about it.

I didn’t make it to the Quad after the game, but from the looks of the Quad cam, it seems maybe the students rolled.  The Quad is happiest when it’s rolled.

Our next men’s game is tomorrow night against NC State at 8 pm.  We need the students and their energy, so bring all you’ve got!  And for our families at home, it looks like it’ll be on ESPN3 and ACC affiliates.

Waiting for Godot

This has been a busy week in our office and another one to follow, so today’s Daily Deac will be a short one.  I was combing through our photo archive to see what kinds of shots might be in there from our great Ken Bennett, University Photographer.  Here’s a selection at the end of this post – from the Farrell Hall Living Room to Waiting for Godot.

Speaking of Waiting for Godot, the play is coming very soon, and your students should take the opportunity to see their friends, classmates, or hallmates tackle this Beckett classic.  Details below.

20150121godot2952Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett and directed by Brook Davis. Two men . . . A tree . . . Join us for Samuel Beckett’s classic play performed for the first time during Wake Forest’s Mainstage season. All performances will be in the Mainstage Theatre of the Scales Fine Arts Center.

Following the performance on Sunday, February 8, there will be a discussion with Emily Austin (Philosophy), Wanda Balzano (Women’s and Gender Studies), Sally Barbour (French), and Jefferson Holdridge (English) moderated by Leah Roy (Theatre and Dance).

There will be a post-performance discussion on Thursday, February 12 with Elizabeth Anthony (French), Lucas Johnston (Religion), Tony Marsh (Health and Exercise Science) and Leah Roy (Theatre and Dance) moderated by Brook Davis.

Tickets for individual productions are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $7 for students (price includes NC sales tax).

February 6-7 & 12-14, 2015 at 7:30 PM February 8 & 15, 2015 at 2:00 PM”

As always, I hope you wore your black and gold this and every Friday to show your school spirit!  And reach out to your students too so they get the benefits of that Friday interaction with those they love.

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— by Betsy Chapman

Notes from a Thursday

From early morning to midday I was in a variety of meetings around campus.  Here are a few glimpses of things observed during that time.

– It’s cold.  Not 3′ of snow in Boston cold, but cold for Winston.  It feels like the high 30s, and there is not a lot of sun to help warm you.

– I was surprised at the number of students who were not wearing a jacket (opting only for a sweater or hoodie or fleece).  I wonder if they, too, were surprised when they left their residence hall or apartment in the morning at how cold it was?

– No one was just lounging on the Quad or sitting at the outdoor tables.  Way too cold for that.  Everyone who was outdoors was moving pretty purposefully toward their next destination.

– While normally you might see people looking at their phones and texting or reading while they walk, there was a lot less of that today.  My hunch is that people walk slower when they are trying to type or read, and it was too cold for that.

1 28 15– There is a sign outside of Kitchin Hall seeking feedback on the Kitchin Refurbishment Project.  I don’t know much about this but will try to find out more in the coming days.

– In Reynolda Hall around 9:30 am, there were very few students hanging out in the Green Room.  Either it was too early to have the ‘this is where I study‘ crowd there, or people didn’t want to be in a place where the doors constantly open and close (letting the cold air in).  The latter seems pretty likely, as the Green Room is a frequent pass-through for students going from south to north campus and vice versa.

– I observed one student leave a laptop while said student went outside for a few moments.  The student was always able to see the laptop from their standing place, but in general this always seems like a bad idea to me.  Unattended property can be taken, and if this student had been distracted and run into a friend who started chatting, I or anyone else could have grabbed the laptop and walked away with it.

– There were two students I knew and briefly chatted with during my time on and around the Quad.  Both were sick, though one was at the front of the illness and the other’s was finally trailing off.  They told me ‘everyone is sick right now.’  Whether that is a fact or not, that certainly was their perception.

– There were signs all over the Quad about Nancy Lublin, who is the Project Leadership Keynote speaker next week.

— by Betsy Chapman