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Nice, Sunny Day

Today is a nice and sunny day on campus. The air is cool, but the sun is warm.

I had lunch in the Benson Center today and saw a lot of students hanging around at the tables on the patio. After having had snow earlier this week, the nicer weather was certainly welcome.

Take advantage of this good weather, Deacs! Take a relaxing walk outside to get some exercise, do your reading outdoors and soak up some vitamin D, or just lounge at one of the cafe tables and watch the world go by.

Not a bad way to spend your time ūüôā

— by Betsy Chapman

Wake ‘N Shake

Today’s Daily Deac is a guest post from Colin Johnson (’16), Chair of Wake ‘N Shake.


The disease of cancer has touched many of our lives in painful and tragic ways.¬† Here at Wake Forest, we are seeking to find a cure for cancer through a somewhat alternative method. Wake ‚ÄėN Shake is our very own twelve-hour dance marathon, and Wake Forest‚Äôs largest student philanthropy event of the entire year!

After 10 years of students dancing to find a cure, Wake ‚ÄėN Shake‚Äôs eleventh anniversary is taking place Saturday, March 19 from noon to midnight in Reynolds Varsity Gym. ¬†Entirely student-led from its inception in 2006, cumulatively we have raised over $900,000 during the first ten years for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund, which directly supports the world class research at the WFU Comprehensive Cancer Center. This year it is our goal to further this total by over $225,000, and additionally have more than 1,400 of the undergrad students participate.

We have a great leadership team of over 25 students, and well over 100 committee members assisting in the planning and execution of this signature event ‚Äď not to mention the huge crowd of students that come for an awesome day of dancing and celebrating life in the spirit of Pro Humanitate.

Please visit our website at or email us at if you have any questions. We hope that your son or daughter will join the Wake’N Shake Team on March 19th.

by Colin Johnson ‚Äô16, Wake ‚ÄėN Shake Co-chair

Plugging a Few Events

The snow has melted away for the most part, and life goes back to normal at Wake Forest.  There are a couple of events coming up in the near term that merit a mention to you (in hope that your Deacs may take advantage).

Tonight at 7 pm in Wait Chapel,¬†the Office of Sustainability will co-host Truth, Lies, and Politics 2016: Ideology, Rationality, and Choice in an Election Year. ¬†This will be moderated by WF’s own Melissa Harris-Perry, and the speakers are from¬†Harvard, Yale, and NYU. This is meant to be a conversation around our obligation as citizens in a democracy, to be informed about issues of public importance, such as the human impact on climate, and the causes of economic inequality. The event is free and open to the public.

On Thursday at 4 pm in Wait Chapel is our Founders Day Convocation, where we honor the history of Wake Forest, recognize the Medallion of Merit winners, and bestow faculty awards. If your student has not been to a convocation, they are a part of the ceremonial life of the insititution, and they should go. They should especially go if they are seniors, as there is a senior video shown, and three of the Senior Orations will be read.

This week we have a double shot of the Secrest Artist Series.  This is a special offering of two concerts on successive nights, Wednesday and Thursday, February 17-18 at 7:30 pm in Brendle Recital Hall.  Cellist David Finckel, violinist Philip Setzer, and pianist Wu Han make up one of the world’s finest piano trios. Finckel, Han, and Setzer will join the Secrest Series for an unprecedented two-night pair of concerts featuring the complete piano trios of Ludwig van Beethoven, including the Ghost Trio and the magisterial Archduke Trio.  You can see the offerings on their website.

Your Deacs will also have multiple chances to see the University Theatre performance of “The Waiting Room” in the next several days. I had friends go over the weekend and they praised the peformance.

Finally, this weekend is our big TEDxWFU conference. One of our speakers will be current parent Mark Hurd (P’18), CEO of Oracle. ¬†Read more online and see how to get tickets.

So many dishes on the giant WFU smorgasbord. Sample many of the delicacies, my Deacs. The buffet does not last forever.

— by Betsy Chapman


Snow Day!

Today is a snow day – classes are canceled due to the weather conditions. In reality we got maybe 2-3″ but the roads are very slick. I heard from two friends who were out and about lastnight that driving was treacherous, so urge your Deacs to stay off the streets.

The Pit opened at 9 am today and the Sundry in Benson was set to open at 11 am.

It is supposed to be below freezing all day, with a chance of freezing rain and sleet through the early evening. ¬†Stay tuned to the Wake Alert web site, or look at the top of the WFU web site or Parents’ Page for a banner with weather annoucements (if there are any).

For now, check out the Quad Cam and see if you can spot your Deacs playing in the snow!

— by Betsy Chapman

Frigid Friday

It’s the end of a long, cold week – and it will get even colder before it’s done. The five day forecast is not particularly promising. Things can always shift, but it looks like we have the potential for snow/sleet/freezing rain on Monday. Your Deacs are probably sending out ‘cancel classes on Monday‘ vibes to the universe in hope of a three-day weekend.

Due to the frigid weather, campus seemed especially sparse today. Students did not seem to be walking about if they didn’t have 2 12 16 6to. One campus scene I saw repeated at least three times was students collecting Valentine’s bouquets that had been delivered to campus (deliveries get made to the Post Office in the basement of Benson and then students are notified that they have a delivery). I received a message from their office saying that the PO will have some hours over the weekend to accommodate floral deliveries (see the flyer on the side).

2 12 16 5I took a few pictures as I made my way through the frozen tundra back to Alumni Hall. The area just outside of Shorty’s had lots of chalk on the sidewalks advertising the big Student Union spring concert with a group called the Chainsmokers (does it show my age if I confess I have¬†no clue who they are?)

2 12 16 4 2 12 16 3Also outside of Shorty’s is a lovely public art project – a wooden tree with directional signs. It has a plaque at the base with the artist information. Just really cool.

2 12 16 2I also took a picture of the back half of campus. It’s been overcast like that most of the day. Right before I reached my building, it started to snow flurry. Not a ton of them, but just a light on and off flurry. Probably not enough for the Quad Cam to even pick up.

And because Sunday¬†is Valentines Day, I wanted to send all our loyal Daily Deacers a little something from me to you ūüôā ¬†You can send your Deac one too!


— by Betsy Chapman



Five Senses of North Dining Hall

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these. Today I am perched at a table in North Dining Hall. It’s 1 pm.


I see…

– About half of the tables occupied.

– 90% of the students I see are dining with others. I see one girl at a table by herself, laptop open. She appears to be working.

– A flat screen TV on the wall showing highlights from last night’s Super Bowl. The other is showing a talk show (Wendy?).

– An ARAMARK worker walking around making sure that chairs are pushed in and tables are cleared and clean.

– A girl leaning over the guy she is eating with, presumably looking at his phone. I’m playing the ‘are they in a relationship or not?‘ game in my head. They are both sitting on the same side of the table, instead of across from each other. No obvious PDA though.

– A girl unknotting her earbuds, which look like a big tangled mess.

new pit bowls– Funny shaped bowls that the students are eating from. The top rim is not flat across on top, it is slanted at an angle, so it looks sort of artsy. There are big slanted bowls for entrees, small slanted bowls for salads or fruit. The plates are flat ūüôā

– A guy in a ballcap (worn backwards) who appears to be having a lively conversation with his lunch companion. He is an expressive talker – hand gestures, great facial expressions. I’m dying to know what he is talking about because he is really charismatic and expressive as he talks. He nods often when his friend is speaking.

– Lots of scarves. It’s cold outside, so a good many of the young women here are wearing them, or have them draped across the backs of their chairs.

– A student carrying a full load of empty plates and cups knocks a mayonnaise container off the table. Instead of just walking away because her hands are full, she stoops over to pick it up and put it back. (Mom and Dad, you raised her right!)

– People are not shy about putting their feet up on unoccupied chairs. They look like they are making themselves at home – and it should feel like home here. Go for it, I say.

– There seems to be a lot of grey and black clothing today. Probably 2/3 of the students within my line of sight have on something grey or black. Lots of yoga/running pants on the girls, lots of sweatshirts. Maybe the overcast weather had something to do with people choosing comfortable and warm clothes.

– One of the students sitting by herself must have just read something funny on her computer, or someone sent her a message that she liked. She has a smile like she has a happy secret. I hope so, anyway.

– People are staying at their tables for a good long while. My overall impression is that students who are eating here in groups are not in any particular hurry. Maybe this will change the closer we get to 2:00, but I have been here a half hour and pretty much everyone is working at a leisurely pace.


I hear…

– Overheard conversations. Words like “dumb jokes,” “so random,” and “isnt’ it funny?” ¬†One of the conversations is in Chinese (disclaimer:¬†I have no idea what they are saying).

– Laughter. During the time I am here, I hear a lot of laughter. Someone has a loud and hearty laugh that echoes through the room from time to time. It may be coming from the “new Pit” area (technically called Hilltop Market).

– A male student coughing. ¬†There is one with an icky, gooey sounding cough. Later I hear more of a ‘clear your throat’ kind of male cough.

– The scraping of chairs across the wood floor.

– Two students talking about a class and homework. One is saying she started her homework way too late lastnight.

РThe metallic clink of silverware.  Shortly followed by the clink of glass. Someone is rattling bottles of Texas Pete over at the condiment station.

– Ambient music being piped in. It’s strummy guitar music, not upbeat peppy pop music. A few songs later, it’s Adele singing “Hello.”

– “See you,” “Bye” and other parting words as they leave.

– A girl talking about a text she’d gotten from someone (it sounds like she likes the texter).

– The sound of a metal fork scraping food off the plastic plate.

– “Darty” [parents, do you know what a darty is? it’s a day party].


I smell…

– Fried food.

– Something that smells vaguely Asian-food like. Might be soy or ginger sauce.

– It’s definitely a soy or a ginger sauce. A couple people have walked by me while I have been sitting here and when they cross my path and I get a whiff, it smells pretty darn tasty.


I feel…

– Really comfortable. It’s a grey day outside but the wood in the North Dining Hall is really warm and they did a great job providing lighting that is sort of amber and inviting (not fluorescent and overpowering). The chairs are comfortable too.

– An occasional whiff of wind as people walk by. Occasionally it gets cold, presumably from when the outer doors open and people come and go.


I taste…

– The last swig of a [blessedly wonderful] Diet Pepsi.

I still never figured out if that one lunch pair is an item or not. I have to get back to my office and can’t watch them leave to see if they hold hands or anything – so it will forever remain a mystery.

— by Betsy Chapman

Several Brief Updates

It’s a busy week in my office so today’s Daily Deac is just a few quick hits.

aWake All Night is coming up this Saturday night/Sunday morning: “aWake All Night: aWaketh Thee Knight will take students back to Medieval Times. There will be food, games, prizes, joustsing, and much rejoicing. Not to mention ye olde golden brick hunt. If you’re interested in an evening that is sure to be filled with ample amounts of jest, mount your steeds and gallop over to Benson from 9pm Saturday February 6th to 1 am Sunday February 7th!” Kudos to Student Union for putting events like these on for our Deacs to enjoy.

ARAMARK has put out its February Dining Update: February 16 Dining Update.  There is a Superbowl Party and a Valentines lunch that may be of interest.

There is a panel discussion entitled¬†Truth, Lies, and Politics: Ideology, Rationality, and Choice in an Election Year, that will be held February 16th in Wait Chapel. Your Deacs can chew on big questions like “What obligation do we have, as citizens in a democracy, to be informed about issues of public importance, such as the human impact on climate, or the causes of economic inequality?”, “Is the media a positive or negative factor in our democracy today?”, or “What is the relationship between ideology and belief?”

Student Health Service put information on its website about the Zika Virus.  This is probably highly unlikely to impact your students, but wanted to put it out there just the same.

Finally, if you didn’t know that Wake had an unusual connection to the Super Bowl – through shampoo and conditioner, of all things! – check this out.

— by Betsy Chapman

Opportunities Abound

Today’s Daily Deac is about opportunities. ¬†And they are plentiful. ¬†I am on a Volunteer Service Corps listserv, and they have a number of ways your Deacs can get involved with organizations and do some good locally and globally. ¬†Note that some of the links may be local to WFU’s system, but you can share with your Deacs as you see fit.

“There are so many great opportunities for you to get involved this spring semester.

First off, there are still spots for the WAB (Wake Alternative [Spring] Break) trips

Next to find out more about teach for English Opens Doors, click here:

If you want to help out at the Science Olympiad, here is the link:

To apply as a leader for Pro Humanitate day, click this link:

And lastly, to apply for the Manna Project International, click here:

This¬†is a chance for you to get connected with organizations and community partners that need YOUR help.”

I also got notice of a blood drive being sponsored on campus in honor of a young alumna, Erin Levitas, who recently passed away from cancer:

“Blood Drive on Feb. 4th in Benson 401¬†in honor of Wake alumni Erin Levitas who recently passed away.¬† Despite this tragedy, Erin’s goal of collecting blood donations to restock the blood supply can continue.¬† In her loving memory, we ask that all who can come to donate blood. ¬†¬†

To schedule an appointment, please visit:¬†¬†and key sponsor code “WFU” and follow the simple steps.

Where: Benson Center–room 401

When: Thursday, Feb. 4th

When: 12:305pm


Finally, two program opportunities Рthe first is from the Office of Wellbeing:

“In collobaration with various offices and student groups, the Office of Wellbeing would like to present the Week of Sleep, a series of daily workshops February 8-12th at 4pm in Benson to raise awareness of the importance of sleep related to our physical and emotional wellbeing! Faculty, staff, and students who come get a free sleep gear prize (while supplies last). We encourage you to pass this along to your various listserves, social media platforms, offices (via email and printing out the flyer from this email) and take part in the Sleepin’ Deacon Challenge that follows the Week of Sleep! Please see visit our webpage for more information to sign up for the Sleep Challenge!

Do you consider sleep an important part of your life at Wake Forest? Do you believe you get enough sleep? Would you like to learn more about the benefits of sleep?

Come out for a week of workshops and jump into our 2-week sleep challenge! To learn more about the Week of Sleep and on how to sign up for the Sleep Challenge visit:

And the second is from the Office of Multicultural Affairs:

“Join the Office of Multicultural Affairs on¬†February 11th, 2016 for our Journeys to Success Speaker Series: Featuring Terrence J.

Terrence J is a charismatic television and film actor, philanthropist, and author, who consistently proves himself to be a jack-of-all trades. The three time Emmy nominee and North Carolina A&T graduate was co-anchor of the international news program E! News and hosted BET’s 106 & Park for seven years, the longest running music countdown in history. He’s also Ambassador and Spokesperson for several philanthropic campaigns and is currently starring and producing the film, THE PERFECT MATCH, opposite of Paula Patton.
Cosponsored  by Student Activities Fee Fund, Diversity and Collaboration Fund, Department of Communication,  Department of Theatre and Dance, and  the Black Student Alliance.

The event is Free!!!

Location: Kulynych Auditorium, Byrum Welcome Center

Date/Time: February 11, 2016 from 6:30 pm-7:45 pm

Doors will open at 5:30pm w/WFU ID and 6:00pm for General Public.”

Get involved in some meaningful way, Deacs!

UPDATE 1:20 pm.  The fall Family Weekend Date has been announced.  Family Weekend will be held Friday, October 7th through Sunday, October 9th.  Student Union, who plans all Family Weekend activities, will have details for you closer to the summer.  If you wish to look into hotel reservations, you can check out the hotels page.  Note that The Cardinal, a new Kimpton hotel, is opening this May for those who wish to check it out.

— by Betsy Chapman

Misc Monday

What a glorious, glorious weekend we just had.  Yesterday was about 60-65 degrees and sunny Рso wonderful after the snow.  There is still some snow lingering, by the way, mostly on the side of the roads where it had been piled up by snow plows and now has all manner of exhaust from cars graying it.  But with this warmth, we will no doubt fool some of the daffodils and other flowers into trying to burst into life early.

Couple of great news items to tell you about from late last week. ¬†Wake Forest was awarded a $650,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the ‘engaged humanities’:

“Funding¬†will support a range of humanities-inflected programming, including,¬†in response to high faculty¬†demand, more opportunity for cross-disciplinary faculty to teach together and offer students the benefit of intentional cross-disciplinary learning, particularly in the context of¬†publically engaged courses, for¬†which¬†faculty have increasingly¬†been seeking¬†support.”

We have a fantastic program of experiential learning taking place right now with the Iowa Caucuses.  Wake the Vote has taken 22 students to Iowa to work on a presidential campaign:

“When 22 Wake Forest University students travel to the Iowa caucuses to work with presidential campaigns, they will embark upon a yearlong journey that combines classroom and real-world political experience through a program called Wake the Vote….From volunteering on the campaigns of presidential candidates to attending classes to planning community forums to organizing non-partisan voter registration efforts, the group will spend 2016 examining issues central to the presidential election.”

The students are randomly assigned to a candidate at each major campaign destination to which they will travel, giving them broad exposure to different candidates and campaigns.  (And just a plug here: if your student has not registered to vote, please encourage him/her to do so.  Look into absentee ballots in your state.)

Also, for first-year students contemplating applying to the School of Business, February is full of activities just for first-years.  There will be information sessions, discussions of how to study abroad as a business major, drop-in times for Q&A and more. A word of advice too: please tell your first-year students to heed the recommendations of the advisers in the business program about the timing of their study-abroad experience.  This might mean going abroad spring of sophomore year instead of fall of junior year Рbut there are good reasons for that.

A past event to mention Рwe have a video about the making of the Sutton Center (gym addition).  If you want a look at this project from the beginning to end, this covers it all.

Finally, a few upcoming events to mention:

STEM Slam is this Wednesday evening

There is an Art Career Panel on Thursday evening

aWAKE All Night will start this Saturday

Those are but three things in a very full week.  See for yourself at the Events Calendar.

Make it a great week, Deac families! ¬†And if you haven’t sent your student a Deacon Greeting lately, keep this on your radar screen for Valentine’s Day (or just to say “I love you” – that never gets old!)

— by Betsy Chapman

Meet a DC Deac – Jennifer Richwine (’93)

It’s the end¬†of the week, and time for another installment of our Meet a Deac feature. ¬†We have many Wake Forest families from the D.C. metro area, and we also have a lot of students who want to go to D.C. after graduation. ¬†Did you know that Wake Forest has a Washington, D.C. office? ¬†Today I am pleased to introduce you to my dear friend and colleague, Jennifer Richwine (’93).

–by Betsy Chapman

You know I know all of this, because Wake hired us both in ’99 and we’ve worked closely together for years. ¬†Not only were we thick as thieves, but there were people on campus who routinely thought I was you and vice versa. ¬†But for the sake of our Wake families who might not (yet) know you, let’s go through the niceties.

Jennifer Richwine, Assistant Vice President for University Events, Wake Forest University, Monday, January 13, 2014.

What is your official job title?
Executive Director of the Washington Office

How long have you worked at Wake Forest?
Sixteen and a half years.  Fifteen and a half on campus, and the last year in Washington, D.C. 

Why is there a D.C. office and what exactly is your job
D.C. is a key city for Wake Forest. We have 7 elected members of Congress who are WFU alumni or parents, we have alumni in the White House and every government agency, as well as over 50 alumni and parents who are staffers on the Hill. We have Wake Foresters here in every industry, including consulting, marketing, real estate, law, public policy, etc. And the number of students who want to intern here and/or move here after graduation has steadily increased over the last 10 years. We had over 100 students living in D.C. last summer with internships! 

We are also revamping our semester internship & study program here and plan to open in Fall 2017 for students to live, study and work here during the school year.  My job is to assist the University in getting this program off the ground, offering our students the best opportunities in our nation’s capital, including a leadership program, mentoring by local alumni and parents, and unique opportunities they cannot experience while on campus.   I am also helping connect alumni in this area to each other, through industry and interest groups.  It’s a city that thrives on networking, so we are helping Wake Foresters network with each other in unique ways. 

Ultimately, we want to build a bridge between the Wake Forest campus and the nation’s capital, one that produces exceptional and unique opportunities to advance the University’s commitment to excellence, educating the whole person, and being a community of people who lead lives that matter.

Like me, you are an English major.  In what year did you graduate and tell me how you came to decide on that major?
I graduated in 1993 with a degree in English.¬† I came in convinced I was going to be a business major but decided that my passion was with English ‚Äďand I‚Äôve never regretted it for an instant!

What are some of your favorite memories of your time as a student?
The smell of the stacks in the library (it‚Äôs still there!), walking out of Ed Wilson‚Äôs ‚ÄúBritish Romantic Poets‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúBlake, Yeats, and Thomas‚ÄĚ classes in a trance, storming the basketball floor after a great win against Carolina, and hanging out in the Snack Pit in Reynolda ordering grilled cheese and watching the wheel-o‚Äô-butter spin.¬† [The Snack Pit was a fast food type venue in Reynolda Hall in the 80s and 90s; they made outstanding grilled cheeses by rolling the bread over a wheel of melted butter.¬† They were delicious.¬† Sadly, the Snack Pit is no more, and its former space is now home to the Center for Global Programs and Studies (aka study abroad).]

How would you characterize Wake Forest students?  What are some common attributes they have?
Wake Forest students today are much more scheduled than we were in the early 90s.  They have calendars and resumes that boggle my mind.  They are very passionate about causes, much more so than we were, and they think a lot more about the years beyond Wake Forest than we ever did.  They want to make a difference here and in the world.  The idea of Pro Humanitate has always run deep in our students and alumni, but now I think students come in with those beliefs and we nurture them and help them discover ways to serve in much more creative and broad ways than we ever did before.

What advice do you have for students?
I always tell students to see their time at Wake Forest as a journey ‚Ķ not as a means to an end.¬† To go deep in their experiences, not so much broad, and to stop thinking about every experience as a resume-builder.¬† In my time at Wake Forest, my best moments happened in the ‚Äúunplanned‚ÄĚ so I tell them to plan for some unplanned time each day!¬† I also tell them not to be afraid of making mistakes ‚Ķ once they feel freedom to make mistakes and learn from them, they are open to opportunities they would not have attempted before.

What do you like best about working at Wake Forest?
I love being a part of an institution that has been important to me since my earliest memories [both of Jennifer’s parents are alumni.] The people I have gotten to know, all across the University, have enriched my life in many ways.  And I love that the students who were here when I first arrived sixteen years ago are now adults who are living some pretty amazing lives, and I enjoy reconnecting with them here in D.C. and throughout the country.  They are wonderful reminders that what we do here makes a difference far beyond the campus grounds.  I miss being on campus on a daily basis, but I love advancing Wake Forest in our nation’s capital and am excited about what lies ahead for us. 

Ready for our lightning round? 

Book you‚Äôre reading now:¬†Industry related ‚Äď T-Rexes vs. Kangaroos, by Lynne Wester, a great book about donor relations. ¬†Fiction ‚Äď The Dark Road to Mercy, by Wiley Cash, described by Amazon as ‚Äúequal parts family drama, Southern Gothic thriller, and road trip novel.‚Ä̬†Non Fiction ‚Äď Help, Thanks, Wow, by Anne Lamott.¬† I just keep reading it over and over.

with gratitudeI should say, you are an author yourself, having written With Gratitude: the Power of a Thank You Note ‚Äď a book about the power of saying thank you and writing thank you notes.¬† Any new books in the hopper?¬† ¬†No new books in the hopper – at least not yet!¬†

What music are you listening to these days: Essential Yo-Yo Ma album; Joshua Radin; Vintage Music from the 20’s and 30’s  

olympiadukakissteelmagnoliasFavorite movie:¬†Way too difficult.¬† I‚Äôll go with¬†Steel Magnolias¬†only because I‚Äôve memorized the entire thing.¬† One of my many favorite lines: ¬†‚ÄúI do not see plays, because I can nap at home for free. And I don‚Äôt see movies ‚Äôcause they‚Äôre trash, and they got nothin‚Äô but naked people in ‚Äôem!¬† And I don‚Äôt read books, ‚Äôcause if they‚Äôre any good, they‚Äôre gonna make ‚Äôem into a miniseries.‚Ä̬†

Websites you frequent:  I keep the Wake Forest Quad Cam up on my computer so I can feel connected back to campus. I spend a lot of time on Amazon and ESPN. 

AFFAIR_SHOW_60_43_70_15.epsGuilty pleasure: binge-watching shows like The Affair [I love that one too!] and Bloodline, craft cocktails, and pedicures.  If I could have all three at once I’d be a very happy woman.


Tell me something most people don’t know about you: I’m terrified of trick-or-treaters … or anyone in a mask.  I hate small talk but love public speaking.