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Today is a beautiful day.  It’s sunny, low 70s, a light breeze.  This morning it was too cool to be out without a light jacket or shirt, but at 3 pm it was a perfect temperature to be outside – not too hot, not too cold.  I had a meeting mid-campus today and took a few pictures as I went.  So for today’s Daily Deac, let’s take a glimpse of the North, South, East, and West of Wake Forest.

4 21 NNorth – the sidewalk that rings the road around campus was nice and shady on the north side of campus.  The view toward Magnolia and Dogwood, our newest residence halls, was blocked a bit by a big dumpster in the street.  There must be some sort of construction going on nearby.  In just a couple of weeks, as classes end, students will see a lot more dumpsters to help them get rid of unwanted items.  But we’d urge your Deacs to donate what they can vs. just throwing it away -so look for the Deacs Donate boxes.  Not a lot of traffic coming and going over the walkway through giant parking lot Q, just a couple of students in shorts and t-shirts who were strolling along leisurely.

4 21 EEast – on the east side of campus it is the place for construction and commuters.  You can see our white campus shuttle bus pulling away from the bus stop.  That corner remains busy throughout the day.  The construction of the new gym addition is coming along nicely.  There are two big cement towers rising Phoenixlike from the ashes of the former tennis court.  And just behind the construction is the track.  At this point of the day, I think the track is reserved for varsity athletes, but there was a female student running up and down in the bleachers section, which is quite a workout.

4 21 SSouth – ah, the sunny side of campus!  Lots of activity on the south quad (Mag Quad, aka Manchester Quad).  There are a ton of colorful tailgate-type tents going up on the grass.  I stopped and asked a couple of administrator friends of mine what was going on down there, and they said they thought it was for the Earth Day Fair tomorrow from 3-7 pm.  From my lookout on the Mag Patio just behind Reynolda Hall, there were some students sitting in the big rocking chairs and others at the teak umbrella tables.  I always found the rocking chairs a great place to sit and read.

4 21 WWest – the sun was at an angle where I couldn’t get a good shot of the west side of campus at Quad level.  I can tell you that there was some foot traffic crossing the street to go down to Scales Fine Arts Center.  Students in the vicinity – going to Campus Grounds, the coffee shop? or to the Quad?  Later in the afternoon, I suspect the students who reside in those residence halls might sit out on their front patio/bricked in areas.  Sometimes you’ll see someone in there playing a guitar, or with a radio or stereo booming, speaker side out, from one of the rooms above.  It’d be a good day for that.

4 21 quadAnd a bonus direction!  Mid-Quad – As I went to my meeting, there were students sitting at the cafe chairs and tables, some talking to each other as they passed each other in the grass.  Later I saw what looked like a visiting family trying to take a picture of the student and other family members with Wait Chapel in the background.  Administrators use the cafe tables too – I saw what looked like an outdoor meeting (the best kind, in my opinion).  And with Subway nearby, there are always students coming out of Davis Hall with Subway bags and drink cups.

This day would be hard to improve upon, Deac families.  Hope your students are seizing the day!

— by Betsy Chapman

Brings May Flowers?

After a thoroughly beautiful afternoon for Campus Day this past Friday, we had a decent Saturday weather-wise and then yesterday it was a soggy rainy mess all day.  Looking out our windows, there is a storm that looks to be rolling in to town, and we’re predicted to have more rain today.  Hopefully the April showers will bring May flowers.

At the end of Campus Day, I went to a recital put on by the Music Department.  This was the first time I had gone to one of these in many years, but it will not be the last.  The department puts on a great many performances, and you can see their schedule here.  If your Deacs have not gone to a performance, they should.  Our student musicians are really extraordinary.

And let me qualify that description by confessing I am not a musician and know nothing about music (other than what I like).  But even a novice can see and hear talent.  The first student was a violinst, Luna Zhou.  She was playing a violin concerto by Mozart and I swear to you, from the moment her bow struck the first note, I was astonished at the sounds she could make and how the notes filled the room.  This concerto at the end had a lot of very high and very low notes, and she played a wide range of beautiful notes.

The next student was Kedi Zheng on flute.  The piece he was playing had some remarkable fast bits, and his hands flew over the holes in the flute at an amazing pace.  Some of the music was very light and jaunty, and I could almost imagine the notes spinning out of the end of his flute and circling the air throughout Brendle Recital Hall.

The third performers were a classical guitar duet by Nick Bennett and Lando Pieroni.  I was struck by how little they moved – not at all like rock guitar where the player is all over the place.  They were sitting, but relatively still, just their fingering and picking hands moving, with an occasional head nod to cue each other on timing.  They played a duet first, and I recall thinking that I wished this piece would go on forever, it was so gorgeous (Oriental, La Maja de Goya by Enrique Granados).  Then they did individual pieces afterwards.

Following the guitarists were two trumpeters.  Hana Choi came first, and I was surprised at just how loud a trumpet can be while still being melodic and harmonious.  Then came Jeremy Sexton, whose name appears on a plaque in the Brendle lobby for the Patricia Sloan Mize award.  Jeremy was playing a composition of his own, a trumpet sonata with three movements.  To my untrained ears it was a thoroughly modern classical piece, rich and complex.  There was even a point where he played some notes that almost sounded woodwind-like, and I had no idea trumpets could sound that way.  It was an impressive piece of music and like Hana’s and the others, it looked like it had a great deal of technical difficulty.

brendle recitalMy schedule was such that I regrettably had to miss the last two performers.  But it was such a treat to see these musicians.  They were amazing.  So please do encourage your students to look out for opportunities to go to Brendle and hear world-class music by people who might be in their calculus class or live on their hall.  You never know the talent that is lurking on this campus.  And Brendle Recital Hall is a beautiful place to spend an hour – all warm amber light on the stage,  purplish background, and cool air.

Finally, we close today’s Daily Deac with an invitation for you to participate in Pro Humanitate Day on May 9th.  Our motto means “for humanity,” and we are challenging alumni, parents, and friends of Wake Forest to join us for a day of service for the good of humanity.  You can see full information below – and watch this video.  It is excellent.

Pro Humanitate Day – May 9th

Do you realize that one in five American children lives without consistent access to adequate nourishment?  For these children and their families, summer can be especially hard, as they lose access to the school breakfasts and lunches that they rely upon.

This May 9, we can turn the tables on childhood hunger.

By joining fellow Deacs in your local community and across the nation, you can raise food and awareness to make a difference in the lives of hungry children and their families. Make the choice to connect with old friends and make a few new ones, while doing our part to make sure that no child goes hungry this summer.

Join me and other Wake Forest alumni on May 9 as we show the world that Good Wears Black as we come together in the fight against childhood hunger.

There are three ways to participate:

  1. Volunteer.  Visit Pro Humanitate Day 2015to register for your city.
  1. Collect Food.  Fill a bag with food items and take to your local food pantry and let us know about it! Check our websitefor a list of common needs and to see if your community has a drop-off location.
  1. Share photos and challenge classmates using #GoodWearsBlack. Be included! Sharewith Wake Forest Alumni Engagement about your experience.

You are part of the Wake Forest story – Be inspired: Pro Humanitate Video


— by Betsy Chapman


Campus Day Tomorrow!

deacon-balloons-2There are a number of big days on campus throughout the year: Commencement, move-in, Hit the Bricks, Project Pumpkin, Lovefeast – and Campus Day for Accepted Students.  Campus Day will be held tomorrow, and a second Campus Day next Friday.

For maybe half of our Campus Day accepted students (and their parents/family members), they are coming to campus one last time before making the final decision as to where they will enroll.  Kicking the tires, if you will, between Wake and [other top choice school].  For the other half, they know they are coming here, whether that is from Early Decision of if we were their top choice in Regular Decision.

There will be several hundred families visiting on each Campus Day, so your currently-enrolled Deacs will see a lot of visitor traffic.  And if you are one of the new families coming, please stop by our Parent Programs table near Campus Day registration and say hello and see some of the information we have available for you.

For families coming to second Campus Day (on the 24th), there is a special treat for you.  Depending on your travel schedule, you can see the Spring Dance Concert in the Mainstage Theatre of Scales Fine Arts Center, which will feature new student choreography on April 23-26, 2015; you can buy tickets here.  The opening night of the dance concert is also the same night that the student art exhibit opens in the Hanes Gallery in Scales.  No matter which Campus Day you attend, try to get down to Scales and look around at the gallery.

For families of currently-enrolled students, please encourage your Deacs to go to the Spring Dance Concert and the art gallery exhibit.  Artists and dancers here collaborated in an amazing way recently.  Three classes did a collaborative project based on choreographer Remy Charlip’s Airmail Dances.  Charlip had forgotten to choreograph a dance for a friend, so he sent her a series of drawings of the body in various positions [that would show the moves of the dance].   Our art and dance students made their own airmail dances by drawing their own positions and then interpreting them via dance.

This is such a cool project – you can read the whole story of Airmail Dances here, and even better see a video of the beautiful results.

One more event to make you aware of on this gloomy, rainy, coldish Thursday.  Next Friday afternoon (4/24)  will be the last Fridays @ Farrell of this semester.  Fridays @ Farrell are fun, informal networking receptions for School of Business alumni and parents.  F@F will be on Friday, April 24th from 5-7 pm on the Reynolds American Foundation Terrace, just outside off the Living Room.  Register for it here.

And don’t forget – tomorrow is Black and Gold Friday!  Wear your Wake Forest colors proudly and show your spirit in your hometown, at work, etc.  Go Deacs!

— by Betsy Chapman


A Grande Dame in WFU History

Yesterday the Wake Forest family lost a much-beloved member, Lu Leake.  Lu came to Wake Forest in 1964 as dean of women, and she had held many different titles, including assistant vice president for planning and dean of the summer school, before retiring in 1997 as associate vice president for academic affairs.  In 1996, she received the Medallion of Merit, Wake Forest’s highest award.

Of course your students would likely never have met Lu Leake or known who she was.  But she was a powerhouse at Wake Forest for decades, and at least for me, I think of Lu as a pioneer for female administrators on the Reynolda Campus and one who helped pave the way for the next generation of us to come.  She was smart, dedicated, and respected.  She changed the lives of many a student, and her praises will be sung in the coming days by people who knew her far better than I did.

20090917students0050 Your students might not have known Lu, but every time they go to the Mag Room for lunch and sling their backpacks on the big table, I wonder if they realize they are in the Lu Leake Lounge (the area outside the Mag Room).  Her portrait was hung in the LLL many years ago.   Below I have some pictures of Lu in the lounge.

Universities are shaped and changed in big and small ways by the people who dedicate their lives to them.  Lu was one of those people, and your students’ experience here is better because of her.  Even if they never knew her, or realized they were sitting in her lounge.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Wait Chapel.

lu_leake0034 2001F_lu_leake046

— by Betsy Chapman

This Past Weekend

It would be hard to have improved on the weekend we just had.  Weatherwise we were in the low- to mid-70s, sunny, light breezes.  Perfect.  Some of our students hit the road for beach weekend, others stayed on campus.  I suspect some of them might have been watching the Masters to see a young man their age, Jordan Spieth, win the green jacket (and $1.8 mil) at the tender age of 21 – and dreaming of what they’d do with that money if they’d won it :)

There was an event on Saturday morning on campus.  It was something akin to a mashup of the Color Run and a festival.  In the pictures you see below students are celebrating Holi, the Hindu spring festival of colors, by throwing packets of colored powder on each other on Manchester Plaza (aka Mag Quad).  It looks like it was spectacularly fun.

20150411holi3587 20150411holi3687 20150411holi3752 20150411holi3821 20150411holi3835 20150411holi3887

— by Betsy Chapman

Countdown to Finals – Help from A to Z

Finals start about 3 weeks from now, so the stess level on campus will be going up as exams draw nearer.  There are diversions of course – the great weather, beautiful spring flowers, and beach weekend (this weekend, I believe), and the thought of post-exams at the beach as well.

love-sunsetBut until then, there’s work to be done, and it would be easy and not uncommon for your Deacs to feel the pinch of semester’s end.  I ran across an article that lists the A-Zs of self-love.  It’s about small things we can do every day to feel better and try to be the best versions of ourselves.  Would this list help your Deac?  If so, pass it on.  Don’t forget we also have Deacon Greetings where you can send an e-card to your students to say you love them, wish them luck on finals, etc.

One of the Thrive Dimensions of the Month for April is Emotional Wellbeing, so this fits right in with that theme as well.  If you aren’t following Thrive’s blogs for parents, they are online here.

Two final reminders for Friday:  1) we hope you are sporting your best black and/or gold in honor of Wake Forest. Show your Demon Deacon pride wherever you are!  and 2) remember that Friday is a great time to call your students :)

And without further ado, the A-Zs:

With acceptance, you set yourself free from bondage of self. You are present and you are love.

By believing in yourself, the world is at your fingertips. You can do and accomplish anything you set your mind to.

By having a deeper compassion for others, you can tap into the infinite compassion for yourself. This leads to a deeper sense of self-love.

From the pain, the turmoil, and the darkness, comes the light. That light is where true beauty and hope lie.

Are you putting forth your best and most authentic energy? By doing so, you attract similar people into your life which leads to more self-love.

Having fun is important to embrace. Embrace the balance of work and play and make time to let loose and have fun.

The more you give, the more love you receive. Give without expectations and from a genuine place of love. You know what they say about karma!

You are capable of happiness at any moment you choose. Remember this and tap into this happiness today. Cultivate your self-love.

You have the ability to ignite the light and power within. Do this today and give yourself the love you deserve.

There’s nothing like a good joke to add some relief into your life. Joke with yourself and others. It is natural and human.

By being your most authentic self, there is infinite kindness within. Let this come to the surface today.

You are love. Remember this. Keep your perspective of life as one of love. This is where self-love lives.

Money brings opportunity. It does not bring happiness. Remember this and when you notice yourself focusing on money, go inward and remember you are more than any amount of money.

You are a spiritual being inside a physical body. Remember to nourish the physical body on all levels. Give it the love and kindness you would want for your best friend.

Opening yourself and your heart up is where you can truly reap the benefits of interactions with not only others but with yourself. You are capable of true openness.

Self-love means you are living your purpose. Your purpose is to give and receive love. Make this a priority today.

There is never a stupid question. Be curious, be open, and inquire about what is happening in your life. This means presence and the ability to feel and be love.

Reason and compromise is an omnipresent part of life. Be open to new experiences and new perspectives. This opens up your lens of life and fosters more love.

There are constant stimuli in life. Are you keeping it simple for yourself? This is where manageability and serenity lie. Incorporate simplicity today.

Rejection doesn’t mean you give up. It means you take it like a grain of salt and try again. Never give up. You are worthy of anything you set your mind to.

There are constant resources available to you. Use them. Don’t look at it as a sign of weakness. It is pure strength. You are worthy.

You don’t need to have all the answers, but having a vision is important. This vision comes from a place of self-love and acceptance. Tap into your vision today.

With wisdom comes understanding, knowledge, and insight. This comes from your core, where there is a constant source of love.

This is an abbreviation for hugs and kisses. Give yourself these today. You don’t need to be dependent on getting them from someone else.

Say yes to life. Say yes to the opportunities that knock on your door that aligns with your purpose and vision. Say yes to loving yourself first and foremost.

Incorporate more Zen into your life. This means meditation, sitting with yourself, and embracing soundness of mind. This is where the ultimate form of self-love lives. Practice this today.


— by Betsy Chapman

Guest Blogger: Lucas Swenson (’15) and the Senior Sendoff

Today’s Daily Deac was written by Student Union president Lucas Swenson (’15).


senior sendoffWake Forest parents and families,

I am one of the co-chairs of the WFU Senior Sendoff this year, along with Stephanie Hom (’15). I am excited to be a part of the planning of a special event that is being created this year to celebrate the graduating class at the Winston-Salem Dash Stadium on April 22 at 7 PM. In the past, the Department of Campus Life has partnered with the Office of Alumni Engagement to do a Senior Dinner. This year, that event has been re-imagined by a committee of students and staff and is truly going to be better than ever.

Members of the Class of 2015 will enjoy free food, beer & wine, fireworks, dancing from a live band and DJ, a class photo, as well as a short speech to be shared by a selected senior.  Please encourage any seniors you know to submit a Senior Toast.  This is meant to be a thoughtful reflection of the student’s last four years, and will be delivered to the entire class prior to the fireworks show.

Additionally, we will have a senior slideshow playing on the stadium screens throughout the evening. We invite seniors to share their “Top 10″ photos highlighting their last four years by emailing We know that the Class of 2015 has had some noteworthy moments during their time at Wake Forest, so we would love to see some of these in the slideshow.

Seniors need to RSVP for this event to reserve their senior gift. 

Senior Sendoff is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to celebrate their accomplishments.  We hope to see all of the Class of 2015 there!

– by Lucas Swenson (’15) 

Bits and Pieces

Happy Wednesday, Deac families!  It was supposed to be rainy today but it has been a mix of sun and clouds and very warm.  There have been tons of campus tours of late.  Seems like every time I’m on the Quad, there are multiple tour groups running.  We are heavy into visit season, with high schoolers on spring break and trying to squeeze in college visits while they can still see class in session.

Great news emerged from campus yesterday, and that is that one of our own was named a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Abdulmalik Obaid (’15), a physics major, will study in Cambridge next year in this prestigious program.

For the philatelists out there, a new Maya Angelou stamp was unveiled.  Dr. Angelou had been Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest for more than 30 years.  She passed away last June, but she made indelible marks on the students she taught.

This afternoon there will be a special series of events sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain:

Wednesday, April 8 with Rafi Spitzer, Rabbinical Student

4:15 pm.       “Ask the Young Rabbi” – Question & Answer Session. Rafi. Reynolda Hall 17

5:00 pm.       Mezuzah Ceremony, Jewish Life Office. Rafi and Gail. Reynolda  Hall 17A

5:15 pm.       Torah Processional. Dance the WFU Torah to its new home in Davis Chapel.  Starting at 5:15 pm in Reynolda Hall 17

Rafi Spitzer is a student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York studying to be a Rabbi. Both of his parents are Rabbis, as well as his grandfather. 

After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Anthropology, Rafi worked for two years as an educator at the Reform synagogue Temple Beth Elohim of Wellesley, MA. Rafi is certified as a Mikvah Guide (a facilitator of ritual immersions) by Mayyim Hayyim, the first liberal mikvah in the country. He is a long time staff member at Camp Ramah in New England, and works at the Atria, an old age home in New York on Friday afternoons. Rafi loves to cook and to travel. He lives on the Upper West Side with his wife, Rachael Besser, who teaches second grade in a charter school in Harlem.

It’s a beautiful day to be at Wake Forest!


— by Betsy Chapman

10,000 Tulips

2013-tulipsIt’s doubtful that there are really 10,000 tulips on campus, but in the places where they are coming up, they are coming up in abundance.  At the gated entrance off Silas Creek parkway, the beds by the gatehouse have tons of beautiful red tulips.  Outside the entrance of my building, Alumni Hall, there are scores of yellow tulips.  In front of Farrell Hall, their flowerbeds are yellow and maybe a hint of orange.  Under the ground floor windows of Reynolda Hall there are  yet more tulips.  I only covered about half the campus today as I walked to and from meetings, but the tulips are everywhere, and they are spectacular.

The weather is less than glorious today.  It is grey and has rained on and off, and looks to continue to rain throughout the day.  It’s warm though – low 70s by the end of today, tomorrow mid 80s.  Perhaps because of the nasty weather, the students I noticed on my walk seemed to be dressed down – lots of exercise pants and tshirts on the ladies, plain Ts and shorts for the guys.

On the Quad there are a lot of signs that have to do with suicide prevention – stats and resources and the like.  T.S. Eliot wrote in The Waste Land “April is the cruelest month” and there are many statistics that show that suicide rates increase in the spring (maybe even peak in April).  That seems counterintuitive because in spring so much beauty is just starting to unfold.  Wake has a great suicide prevention website, and they are doing a Hope for the Hopeless bike/walk this weekend; tell your Deacs to check out the bike ride and the website as well.

The ZSR Starbucks was filled at 11, not an empty table anywhere.  Lots of laptops open and students looking serious.  I ran into one student I know, a senior, on the way there, and asked how the student’s final days are coming.  My senior looked at me and said “I was looking at the calendar and realizing how few weekends I have left here.”  There was a wistfulness in this student’s voice that I suspect many others are feeling too.

Speaking of seniors, there will be a Senior Sendoff, which is co-hosted by the offices of Campus Life and Alumni Engagement.  If you want to get involved in any way, here is more information.


— by Betsy Chapman

Spring Has Sprung

O4 6 15ver the past few days, spring has really arrived.  There are pink buds and flowers on the trees, the dandelions are in full bloom, and the weather has been really nice – sunny and high 60s-low 70s.   Spring fever makes it very hard to stay indoors.  You can catch glimpses of the blooming trees on the Quad Cam.  Here’s a screen cap of what I am seeing on the Quad Cam.

Springtime is when young men’s fancy turns to love – and our University Theatre turns to Love’s Labors Lost.  If your Deac missed the play this past weekend, be sure to encourage him or her to see it this weekend.  Shakespeare is a big undertaking and it is always amazing to see it performed by our own students.  Gee thee to the theatre!

This week is the second week of course registration for the fall semester for currently-enrolled students.  Parents and family members, please remind your students to check DEAC and WIN for any holds and be sure to clear them before your student’s registration time.  More information is available on the Parents’ Page.

3 1/2 weeks until classes end.  Can you believe it?


— by Betsy Chapman