Site Content

campus life

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

20130314campus0907 20120319campus4431

spring 20130304spring9872 20120326quad5732 20120326quad5726 20120319campus8270

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.

20150121basketball2970 20150122wilson3157 20150126business3601 20150126campus3598

— 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

Five Adjectives

For those of you stuck in frigid and snowfilled places, I wish you speedy melting and resumption to life as usual.  There’s no snow predicted for us (*knock wood*) in the near future.  It has been pretty cold for here, in the high 30s/low 40s.  This morning was especially frigid.

As I drove to work, I passed what looked like a giant, neon caterpillar of people running up Polo Road.  They were all dressed pretty identically, and all had a highlighter-yellow reflective vest on as well.  My first thought was that this might be ROTC cadets out for a morning run.

Some of you write me and tell me how much you like the “Five Senses” posts at the Daily Deac.  Today I thought I’d try a new one.  Five Adjectives.

I found myself in the Farrell Hall Living Room one afternoon and was struck by just a few things I saw or felt, and I was trying to come up with one liners or adjectives to describe what I saw.  Here they are:

Shushed (but not silent.)  There were a fair number of people in the Living Room when I was there, but they all spoke in relatively quiet tones.  My impression was that they all had a very strong sense of what the socially-acceptable volume level in there is for personal conversation, and they all conformed beautifully to that standard.  So while there was talking, it was respectful vs loud.

Sparse.  Maybe only 1/2 to 1/3 of the room was full at 2:15 pm, which surprised me.

Studious.  Of the students present, it looked like about 2/3 of them were in a study group or were studying on their own.  Very few of the students present looked like they were just hanging out, or were purely socializing.

Sunny.  The afternoon sunlight streamed through the large windows of the Living Room (facing out toward the large parking lot and in the direction of Magnolia and Dogwood residence halls).  The sun came in, providing a lot of light and much-welcomed warmth.

Socially aware.  While most of the students were not there to chat and hang out, when students saw someone they knew, the social graces were observed.  Depending on the relationship of the students, that might be a hug, or to say ‘hey’ or give a smile or a head-nod to someone who looked in the middle of something.  But people did make eye contact and wave or speak to those they knew.  It made me feel good to see that people were both friendly and also sensitive to not interrupt someone who clearly was in the midst of serious work.

— by Betsy Chapman

A Wonderful Reason to Smile Today

There is always a ton of things going on at Wake that I might not know about if not for a serendipitous mention by another person on campus.  And this one is a happy, happy thing.

For those of who watch the Jimmy Kimmel show, you might have seen lastnight that they announced the winners of Team Oscar:

“Actor Channing Tatum today announced the winners of “Team Oscar” during his appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”  The winners will deliver Oscar statuettes to celebrity presenters at the 87th Oscars on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.  Team Oscar winners were selected by Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Tatum, and the Academy, based on a creative 60-second video on the subject, “The best piece of advice I’ve ever received.”

One of the winners is Wake Forest’s own Kelly FitzGerald (’18)!!  Go Deacs!  Kelly made an absolutely charming short film called Sharing a Smile.  If you are grumpy today because it is snowing like mad where you live, give this video 60 seconds of your time and if you are still frowning at the end, I will be shocked.

As the old song goes,  “And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”  :)


— by Betsy Chapman


Monday Round Up

While most of the northeastern part of our country is bracing for the threat of a big snowstorm, there is no such threat in Winston-Salem.  So if you are a Deac family in the snowpocalypse line of fire – and there is a sizeable portion of our student body who come from the Phili/NYC/Boston corridor – we send our good thoughts your way.

Here’s a roundup of random tidbits for your Monday.

– For those of you who missed the livecast last week, you can watch the interview with Ed Wilson (’43), provost emeritus and professor of English, online.  Start around the 14 minute mark.

– Three members of our campus community were honored with the Building the Dream award last week:  Hu Womack (’90, MBA ’00), instruction and outreach librarian, and seniors Nehemiah Rolle (’15) and Joe LeDuc (’15).

– The Old Gold and Black reports that major declariation for sophomore students is February 9-13: “Every sophomore must declare a major by setting up an advising appointment at his/her desired department during this period.  Sophomores who wish to declare minors should do so during this same period.”  Questions about the process can be directed to the Registrar’s office.

– The last day to add a full-term class is tomorrow (January 27).  The last day to drop a full-term class is February 17.  The latter date is especially important, because late drops are not allowed except in very specific (approved) circumstances.

– The Spring Study Abroad Fair is tomorrow (January 27) from 11am-4 pm in the Benson University Center.  If your student thinks he (or she) might wish to go abroad – and I fervently hope that he/she does! – the Study Abroad Fair is a “must do.”

– This Wednesday (January 28th) at 7:30 p.m. in Wait Chapel is a Secrest Artists Series event, Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico.  “The National Symphony of the State of Mexico represents the excellence of Mexico’s talent and musical traditions. Based in the city of Toluca, the orchestra promotes music as a means of union and identity among Mexicans.”  As we so often say at the Daily Deac, there is a vast buffet of experiences at Wake Forest, and the more you sample of these experiences, the richer your experience will be.  Your students may never again have the chance to see – completely free of charge – musicians of the caliber that the Secrest Artists Series brings to campus.  So urge them to go.

Wake Forest Student Showcase is an event happening this Friday (January 30) at 2:30 pm in Broyhill Auditorium in Farrell Hall. “Eight outstanding Wake Forest students will be giving TED talks about their experiences and ideas that are changing the community, nation, and world. From resettling refugees to incorporating robotics in medicine, these presentations will inspire learning, change perspectives, and showcase the amazing contributions of Wake Forest students.”

As always, these aren’t the only games in town, so to speak.  The Events Calendar shows a full range of published events.  And your students will see flyers about other things perhaps not formally announced on this list.

I hope your Deacs dig in and experience something new this week outside of their normal routine.

– by Betsy Chapman