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Gloomy Monday

This is one of those rare summer weeks when it is predicted to be overcast and/or rainy for several days in a row.  Normally it is hot – upper 80s, low- to mid-90s – right about now, but we are only supposed to get to the mid- to high-70s today.  It has sprinkled a little, but looks like it might open up at any minute.  Or it might just stay gray and threatening.  You just don’t know.

I went to the center part of campus today for a lunch meeting in the Benson Center.  Benson was pretty empty at 11 am.  As I had my lunch, I could see out the windows of Shorty’s to summer school classes letting out – a sudden influx of college students walking across the Manchester (Mag) Quad.  There appeared to be some sort of summer camp taking place, as there were a lot of tween-type students all in matching t-shirts doing some activity on the Mag Quad.

One of the many construction projects taking place right now is the renovation/upgrade of the salad bar area of The Pit (aka Fresh Food Company) in Reynolda Hall.   When I walked through the Pit, there was a large section hidden behind construction drywall, and I am told they are upgrading or redoing the old salad bar area.

A second very visible construction project is taking place on Water Tower Field (across from the Worrell Professional Center).  Water Tower Field, which is used by a lot of the student intramural groups, has been plowed up and is a mess of red clay right now.  We are supposedly putting down field turf there (instead of plain grass).

There is no shortage of summer college tours taking place.  I saw a big tour group this morning, and that seems fairly typical of the summer, when families are free to go on the big College Tour Roadtrip.  One major change from my time is the sheer volume of schools families look at.  Back in the Dark Ages when I was looking, most of my friends looked at 3-5 schools total.  Now it seems students are looking at as few as 7 or 8 schools and as many as 20 or more.   The times, they are a changin’, Deac families.

Your W-S Dining Recommendations

Yesterday we asked our Daily Deac readers to submit their suggestions for places to eat during Family Weekend.  And man, did you come through for us!  We had a lot of responses from parents and families weighing in (no pun intended!)  Many thanks to all who sent their recommendations.

I’ve done a little editorializing and linked to restaurant pages where I can.  So without further ado…here’s what you told us.


Artisan (aka Millennium Artisan – downtown upscale restaurant right next to Camino Bakery (another favorite of the Daily Deac)

Breakfast Of Course (aka Mary’s Gourmet Diner) – fun and funky breakfast eatery downtown.  Daily Deac is a big fan of Mary’s.

Diamondback Grill – they have a casual bar side and a sit-down-restaurant side.  The crab hushpuppies appetizer is amazing.

Firebirds - I have not eaten here, but I know and trust the recommender’s taste

Five Points - Ditto to Firebirds

Fratelli’s Italian Steakhouse - close to campus on Reynolda Road near Graylyn

Milner’s – low country Southern American

Mozelle’s – tucked downtown, this is a great fresh Southern bistro.  They make a fantastic tomato pie.  This restaurant was mentioned by multiple families.

Noble’s Grille – “Our new favorite!” according to a Deac Dad.  This, along with Ryan’s, is one of the hot spots for a fancy meal.  Wood grill, wine-country inspired cuisine, and a huge favorite of the Daily Deac as well.   This restaurant was mentioned by multiple families.

Paul’s Fine Italian Dining – “I have to say, born and raised in New York and now living in NJ, I NEVER thought I would find one of  the best Italian restaurants in Winston-Salem NC. But I did, and it is Pauls. Not only is his food out of this world he and his staff are just as good.  Feels like you are eating in an Italian grandmother’s house. THE BEST!!!!” – from a Deac Mom.  Daily Deac’s take: don’t let the location and the unassuming decor fool you.  Paul’s is out of this world.  My favorite appetizer is the Spiedino alla Romana (brochette of bread and cheese in a special sauce).

River Birch Lodge - a menu with rotating themes and specials, and a lodge-type feel to it.

Ryan’s – one of two perennial favorites for ‘mom and dad, take me to a fancy meal’ restaurants.  Great steaks and seafood.  This restaurant was mentioned by multiple families.  

Sweet Potatoes – specializes in Southern food and – yes – sweet potatoes feature heavily on the menu.   “We have always enjoyed Sweet potatoes for its unique menu” said one Deac Mom. 

Spring House – for nicer dinner, inventive Southern cuisine

Village Tavern – in Reynolda Village, close enough for a nice walk from campus.  Casual but delicious fare.  Homemade potato chip appetizer is always a favorite with college students.

West End Cafe - in the West End of downtown.  This is a great place for lunch, and they have dinner specials nightly.

1703 - A local Deac mom said this of 1703:  ”One of our favorite restaurants (in addition to the ones already mentioned) is 1703. The food is always excellent, the service great, it is convenient to campus, and they have a nice area for outdoor dining. It is somewhat expensive, though, but well worth it, especially for a special occasion”

Casual lunch options:

Carving Board – gourmet side dishes, salads, soups, and sandwiches.  A local favorite.  The spicy sesame noodles are not to be missed.

Hero House – a sub shop that has terrific Greek food (W-S has a series of great Greek restaurants) as well as subs and burgers

The Loop Pizza Grill – pizzas, salads, and more

Mama Zoe’s – Mama Zoe’s has a huge variety of homestyle, comfort foods on the menu

Olive Tree – another local Greek favorite for subs, salads, and more

Red Hot and Blue:  “Awesome BBQ. Close to the school, huge portions and good prices. Don’t worry if you don’t see many people in parking lot.  It usually is not so busy during the week.” – a Deac Mom





Another Archival Moment

Last night was the New Student Reception in Kentfield, CA (north of San Francisco), and I look forward to returning to the East coast soon.  These New Student Receptions have been a blast for me and all my staff colleagues who attend.  It’s a wonderful way to meet eager new Deacs and Deac family members and help build community before the school year begins.  Hopefully at these events, we convey the sense of fun that people have at Wake Forest!

And so today’s Daily Deac is some of the best of the “fun” pictures from our very talented University Photographer, Ken Bennett.  We know your students are going to be studying hard and will be diligent in their classes, but they do have a lot of fun as well.  20091027pumpkin8411 20130520commencement1901 20090822amanda6483 20101019dance9763 20110407discgolf9956 journey sept 5 girls in room cropped 20110829pros_v_joes8708 20110829pros_v_joes8551 rake forest shag 3 20090423students2477 20090423students4524 20110827taste8166

20080826library9428 20081028pumpkin4287 20090130students0584 20090319aarf6385 20090421carnival1177

Wake Forest Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

While we’re working offsite this week, we thought it might be fun to bring you a look back at how Wake Forest has changed over the years.

Think about the first time you saw Wake Forest’s campus – and fix that image in your mind for a moment.

Now keep that image in mind as you peruse the following archival images of the campus – both the old one in the town of Wake Forest, and on our current campus.

You remember that old ad slogan, “you’ve come a long way, baby”?   That seems rather fitting here when you look at these old images.

Drawing of the old campus from 1850

Photo of the old campus from 1920

The town of Wake Forest from the 1950s

The grounds that would become Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, before any buildings were built

An early view of the campus in Winston-Salem

Aerial shot from the 1960s

And a programming note: WFU’s own Emily James (’14) is still in the running on the Fox TV show So You Think You Can Dance.  I received this email from a young alumna (and friend of Emily’s) thanking us for spreading the word and for people voting for her.  Here’s your reminder to watch tomorrow night – and VOTE EMILY!

I wanted to personally thank you for pushing out support for Emily James.  I know she appreciates it and every little bit helps.  She is still in the competition and will be competing again this week on Wednesday night at 8/7c so keep doing what you’re doing!  I did want to share some links with you in case you needed some other materials to post: 

*Here is her official Facebook page:
*Official Instagram account:  @danceemily11


The Essence of Wake Forest

The Daily Deac is traveling this week for New Student Receptions, so we’re featuring some of the Best of Wake Forest on the web.

Any Wake Forest ‘best of’ list has to include one of the most beloved Wake Foresters of all time, Dr. Edwin G. Wilson (’43), Provost Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of English.  He had for decades been THE professor to have for literature, specifically his classes on British Romantic Poets and Blake, Yeats, and Thomas.

A few years ago, Dr. Wilson talked about “The Essence of Wake Forest” in a short film.  It is accessible via this web site.   For those of you who have the time and space to watch the video, please do that.  Dr. Wilson has one of the best speaking voices in Wake Forest history.  A gentle, soothing, drawl.  If you aren’t in a place where you can watch and listen, his speech is on the web page.

20030122F_ed_wilson5003I hope by the end of your reading or watching of Dr. Wilson, you’ll always think about the words ‘friendliness’ and ‘honor’ in a new light.


An unrelated program note:  Student Union is set to make the Family Weekend registration page live on Tuesday, July 15th at 10 am Eastern.  Be sure to visit the site early to register.  Events can and do sell out, particularly some of the football and tailgate options!

Creative Solutions

This morning I was privileged to go to the graduation ceremony of the LENS program we have talked about on the Daily Deac this week.  This program brought high school students to campus to work in groups and partner with local agencies on finding creative solutions and opportunities to help the partner agencies do better work in our community.

The partner agencies all had to do with topics like sustainability, the environment, and food resources.  I learned some troubling things at the presentations, especially about local food issues.  Winston-Salem has a higher child poverty and child hunger rate than the norm, and we also have “food deserts” – areas of our city where there is not ample local grocery stores/access to good, healthy food, which encourages residents to choose less healthy options like fast food.

One of the partner agencies these students paired up with is our own Campus Kitchen, which takes food that has been cooked but not eaten in our own dining venues, and prepares meals for local families who need them.

A friend of mine on Facebook was talking about doing a shift with Campus Kitchen this week, and I didn’t realize they had such a robust system to sign in volunteers.  It can be accessed here.  I have signed up for my own first shift as a volunteer and am really looking forward to it.  There are lots of ways your students could plug in to Campus Kitchen once they are back on campus – you don’t have to love to cook, either.  There are sorting and delivering options too.

So many of our students (and faculty and staff) want to do something in honor of our Pro Humanitate motto and help the community.  Campus Kitchen is a well-0iled machine, and if your students are looking for ways to give back, meet great people, and serve, this is a terrific service program.

The News Service did a nice special on LENS on the WFU website.   Enjoy it.


#MyTopCollege and #SYTYCD

Today we have some audience participation opportunities for all of you who are on social media.  The first one is that Forbes Magazine is running a #MyTopCollege contest.  Here’s what they say about it:

Show Your School Spirit - Every year FORBES ranks America’s Top Colleges based on graduation rate, student satisfaction, post-graduate success and student debt. This year, we want to hear from you. We are asking students and alumni across the country to tell us all about what makes their college special in our #MyTopCollege social media campaign. Watch which campuses have the most school spirit as we fill in this interactive map and get ready to publish our annual Top Colleges ranking on July 30. Everyone who submits their own college fun fact or unique tradition has a chance to appear here and in FORBES magazine. Use #mytopcollege on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.”

So if you have a Twitter account, you can help us by tweeting about Wake Forest and why we are your (or your student’s!) top college.  Make sure to use the following hashtags in your tweets:  #WFU and #MyTopCollege.  For example, this was our entry from the WFUParents Twitter account.tweet photo

If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you want to use the following hashtags: #wfu #MyTopCollege #WakeForest #GoDeacs as you add your favorite MyTopCollege thoughts.  Please do participate if you can, because we want to see Wake Forest at the top of the list!

The second area where you can have an impact on Wake Forest is by helping our young alumna Emily James ’14, who is in the Top 20 of the Fox TV show So You Think You Can Dance.   You can see clips of Emily on the SYTYCD website.   And you also have the opportunity to vote for her each week (see the “vote” option on the page; voting only happens once a week).  We would LOVE to have a Deac Dancer win this – so share the show’s link with your family and friends (and your student!) and help keep Emily’s dream alive:

Finally, as a follow up from yesterday. for those of you that enjoyed our brief coverage of the LENS program yesterday, there is a larger story on the Wake Forest News site today.

LENS Program

Right now we have a group of high schoolers on campus for LENS, a wonderful pre-college program.  Here’s how it is described to potential students:

“LENS @ Wake Forest is a summer program like no other. Think of it as an incubator for change-makers. Here, you’ll learn from nationally renowned experts who can teach you how to confront complex issues and tap into your passions to develop solutions. We’re not talking solutions on paper – we’re talking viable ones that will be put into action. And if you’re really motivated, you can come away with a plan ready to implement back home.

Here’s how it works:

You and your peers will follow a program of study based on a current global challenge – sustainability. You’ll partner with Wake Forest professors to examine the complexities of this issue through different lenses – ecologic, economic, political, social, legal and more. Questions will arise. Problems will surface.

And then:

Your team will select a problem to solve. You’ll explore solutions by working in mini research groups, interacting with professors from across the Wake Forest campus, going on study trips, writing blogs, testing ideas through service projects, and fine-tuning results. And in three weeks, you will have learned a new way to translate ideas into action. You can count on challenging work, lively discussions and powerful creative energy.”

The Winston-Salem Journal ran an article yesterday about a local food project and how LENS students were involved.  It’s a nice piece to read.

LENS will have a closing ceremony on Friday of this week.  I am looking forward to seeing all their good work and innovative ideas.  Here’s a group shot of our LENSers.20140627LENS0423

Set Your Calendars

Summer Session 2 has begun, and yesterday I saw a ton of people moving in (on a very hot and sunny day, I might add).  It is nice to see some students back on campus.  And that reminds me that there is an action item for parents and families coming up very soon.

Registration for Family Weekend 2014 is going live at 10 am on Tuesday, July 15th!  So mark your calendars now and be ready to go next Tuesday when registration opens.  The website for Family Weekend is

Family Weekend will be held October 24-26, and Student Union has prepared a whole host of events and activities for you to enjoy with your Deacs.  Be aware, though, that some events will sell out (and possibly sell out quickly), so if you plan to attend, you’d be wise to register early.

You can see the full schedule of events online, as well as information about the various football and tailgate options, and be sure to read their FAQ page.

And for those of you with incoming first-year students, I am sure upcoming class registration might be on their minds.  Here are a few thoughts:

- If your students have questions or need help, now is the time to ask!  There will be Google Chat sessions available beginning Sunday (see bottom of the Advising page), and the Office of Academic Advising has a great first-year student FAQ

- Interested in potential business, law, and/or allied health (aka med school, etc.)?  Be aware of pre-professional advising resources.

- All students need to be aware of the Curriculum Requirements (Basic and Divisional Requirements)

- There is a Registration Guide online to help students navigate the system


Question from a Parent

Happy Monday after a long weekend, Deac families.  Hope it was fun and relaxing and that you had your fill of friends and good food.  We’re back to work and had a great question from a parent come in late last week.

A Deac parent had contacted one of our administrative offices and mentioned the University of Richmond’s bicycle program.  Evidently they have a system of bikes all around campus that students can use free of charge.  For example, Student #1 could borrow a bike, ride it to the library, and park it there.  If Student #2 comes out of the library and needs a ride somewhere else, she can take that same bike and park it in another bike location.  Our Deac parent said that at U of R, they have enough bikes and that rarely does a student not have a bike to get from one spot to another.  He thought it would be nice if Wake Forest would consider a program like this.

We passed this suggestion on to our Parking Office and the Office of Sustainability.  Our Director of Sustainability, Deedee DeLongpre Johnston, said that this is a frequently suggested program (and thanked the parent for passing it on to us).  She told me that we have done four demand surveys over time and, though everyone loves the idea of having bikes to borrow, very few people actually think they would use it.  So at this point, while everyone agrees it is a good idea, if we do not have sufficient demand to use the service, it is hard to justify that investment (when we have a lot of other competing priorities that want funding).

So to our Deac parent who passed this on – thank you!  Your suggestion is a good one, but unfortunately the campus climate is not such that the students want to have this as a resource at this time.  Hopefully there might be a time in the future when the student body wants to look more seriously at that option.