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Wrapping Up the Week

Wake Forest University holds its annual Founders' Day Convocation in Wait Chapel on Thursday, February 18, 2016. James T. “Jim” Williams (’62, JD ’66, P ’89, P ’92, P ’96) receives the Medallion of Merit from President Nathan O. Hatch.

Wake Forest University holds its annual Founders’ Day Convocation in Wait Chapel on Thursday, February 18, 2016. James T. “Jim” Williams (’62, JD ’66, P ’89, P ’92, P ’96) receives the Medallion of Merit from President Nathan O. Hatch.

Yesterday was Founder’s Day Convocation. At the ceremony, there were numerous awards given for teaching and research – I hope you will take a look at the list of faculty who were honored, as it is a great list.  At Founder’s Day we also award the Medallion of Merit, the University’s highest honor.  This year there were two recipients, one of whom was Life Trustee Jim Williams (’62, JD ’66, P ’89, P ’92, P ‘96),  I had the pleasure of having lunch with Jim once, and I can tell you firsthand he is a remarkable, wonderful, interesting man, and loves Wake Forest dearly.

Wake Forest University holds its annual Founders' Day Convocation in Wait Chapel on Thursday, February 18, 2016. Jenny Robinson Puckett (‘71 P ‘00) receives the Medallion of Merit from President Nathan O. Hatch.

Wake Forest University holds its annual Founders’ Day Convocation in Wait Chapel on Thursday, February 18, 2016. Jenny Robinson Puckett (‘71 P ‘00) receives the Medallion of Merit from President Nathan O. Hatch.

Our second recipient is alumna and former Spanish instructor Jenny Puckett (’71, P’00).  Jenny is an amazing human being – a fabulous teacher (she taught me for two semesters), mentor to one of our sororities on campus, and someone deeply dedicated to the history of Wake Forest.  She lives our tradition of “friendliness and honor.”

Jenny has now retired from teaching – perhaps only our seniors might have had her in class? – but she has found a new calling in sharing the history and traditions of Wake Forest with others.  Some of you would have seen her at our Wake Will campaign events.

Before retiring from the classroom, Jenny was invited to give a “Last Lecture” speech.  This was a series where well-known campus people were asked what they would say to students if they could only lecture one last time.  This is her Seven Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Mother So Dear.  (You can give it a read – you might learn things your own Deacs don’t yet know!)

There were also senior orations read at Founder’s Day Convocation – hope to cover those next week if they are put online.

Now looking ahead to the coming week, the Learning Assistance Center reminded me that they are holding a workshop:  “The Study Smarter, Not Harder workshop series will introduce WFU students to a number of helpful strategies that will improve academic performance. Our first workshop for the spring semester is scheduled for Monday, February 22, from 5:00-6:00 in Greene Hall 145. This workshop will focus specifically on improving time management and test taking skills.”  This is a wonderful opportunity for your Deacs to hone their study skills.

And because it is Friday, we remind you of the opportunity to call your Deacs and have a chat 🙂

Have a great weekend, my Deac families!

— by Betsy Chapman


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 🙂

— 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 ‘N Shake is our very own twelve-hour dance marathon, and Wake Forest’s largest student philanthropy event of the entire year!

After 10 years of students dancing to find a cure, Wake ‘N Shake’s 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 – 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 ’16, Wake ‘N 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 🙂  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 🙂

– 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.

– The 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 – the 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 – so 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 – but there are good reasons for that.

A past event to mention – we 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