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5 Senses of Campus Day

Today is the second (and final) Campus Day for Accepted Students.  I have been perched in Zick’s all morning because it is raining.  Had Campus Day been *any other day* this week, the weather would have been beautiful.  We got a bad roll of the dice today.

So here are your Five Senses of the Start of Campus Day

I see…

A rain that is sometimes steady, sometimes pelting, sometimes just a misty sprinkle.

Lots of umbrellas.

Some parents that seem to be scrambling for umbrellas.  I predict the Deacon Shop will do a lot of business today.

A couple of really killer sets of rain boots on some very stylish moms.

Flat hair or frizzy hair – you fall into one camp or another.

Smiles on a lot of the students’ faces, tinged with a hint of anxiety.  Choosing a college is hard, and this is a big transition.  It’s a mix of feelings.

Lots of people coming in to Zick’s scrambling for hot coffee.

tableMany friendly parents and families coming up to our Parent Programs table to chat.  We met families from GA, FL, NY, NC, PA and some others.

An intermittent strobe light looking thing – which turns out to be my friend Ken Bennett taking pictures of a student outside Zick’s.  The flash is coming through the window.

One of the large TVs in Zick’s showing images of Prince singing.  (RIP Prince, you were a big part of my late high school/early college years). Sadly that TV is on mute.

Very few current students at this hour.  The ones in the Quad residence halls must be sleeping in or don’t have 8 am classes.


I hear…

Squeaky shoes as the wet soles hit the wood floor of Zicks.

The plastic coffee lids being snapped on the cups.

The sloosh sloosh of the coffee being poured out of the dispenser.

NBC Sports Network is on one of the big TVs in Zicks, so if you listen in a given moment you can hear the talking heads dissect the sports issues of the day.

The kitchen of Zicks is banging pots and pans and silverware around in the distance, presumably prepping for lunch.

Pride in parents/families’ voices as they tell me about their student.  Part of that is pride in their kid, and part of that is pride in being accepted at Wake.


I feel…

Cold and damp, as I am sure all the other parents do.

The wet of my shoes.

Warm hot coffee as I take a sip, happily warming me from the inside.

Blasts of cold air as the doors open or close.

A sense of calm when the bulk of the parents and students go to Wait Chapel to start the program.  We’ll hopefully see them back during the break between this session and the next one.

The comfortable chair I am sitting in.


I taste…

Coffee, which is much needed.

A delicious Krispy Kreme, a staple of Campus Day. (THANK YOU, ADMISSIONS!)


I smell is pretty much covered by three things: coffee, donuts, and rain.  All told, that is not a bad combo.


So that’s your early 5 Senses of Campus Day.  Enjoy your weekend, Deac families.  Call your kids today 🙂


— by Betsy Chapman

A Very Funny (and Famous) WF Grad Tonight

Your students are probably aware of, a website filled with college-appropriate humor (read: some adults might find some of the jokes offensive, but typically the humor kills with the 18-24 year old set).

They may not have known that a Wake grad was co-founder of  Tonight they have a chance to hear from him.  The Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship is sponsoring a talk with him.  See the details below.


A Talk with Alum Ricky Van Veen, Co-Founder of CollegeHumor, Vimeo, and BustedTees

On Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 5:30 pm, Ricky Van Veen will be on campus for a fireside chat with Provost Kersh! The talk, followed by the ICE Awards, will be in the Broyhill Auditorium in Farrell Hall. 

While working on his Information Systems degree as an undergraduate at Wake Forest University, Ricky Van Veen co-founded CollegeHumor in 1999. Since then, CollegeHumor has exploded into the largest comedy property on the internet and the most viewed comedy channel on YouTube. He is a pioneer in digital content development, production, and marketing, as well as brand management. 

— by Betsy Chapman

Commencement Speaker!

Big news on this Black and Gold Friday, Deac families, and especially the P’16s.  We have announced our Commencement speaker:

“Eboo Patel, a leading voice for interfaith cooperation and the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), will deliver Wake Forest University’s commencement address on Monday, May 16.

“Eboo Patel is recognized around the world for bridging divisions among people of different faiths,” said Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch. “At a time when so much global conflict is rooted in religious difference and the need for interfaith cooperation is so great, I am pleased he will be Wake Forest’s commencement speaker.”

He has spoken at Wake Forest before, and he is good.  I think he will give a memorable speech.

“Also joining Wake Forest for the commencement weekend will be Baccalaureate speaker: The Reverend Dr. M. Craig Barnes, president and professor of pastoral ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.

“Rev. Barnes’ ministry, writing and academic leadership reflect his thoughtful and widely informed approach to religious ministry and theological formation that is well suited to changing times,” Hatch said. “He has superbly led large urban congregations and is a wonderful communicator, deeply human and hopeful in his approach and his words.”

One of my dear friends used to belong to Craig Barnes’ church and said he was “one of my favorite people in the whole world.”  Again, I anticipate a great sermon from him.

When I think back to my own Commencement from Wake (speaker: Tom Clancy) to the 15 I have attended as a staff member, I have been surprised and delighted by the unexpectedly amazing speeches.  The speeches that I thought had the most gravitas and wisdom haven’t always come from the people with the most famous names.  I won’t kiss and tell on that either 🙂

— by Betsy Chapman



Seen and Heard – and a Preview of Coming Attractions

Here’s a “minute from Wake Forest” today.

4 13 16 14 13 16 3It was a chilly morning, so I was hoofing it as fast as I could across the Quad to Reynolda, where I had a meeting.  As I scurried by, I saw all these tags hanging from the trees.  They are factoids leading up to Arbor Day. More about that below:

“D.E.S.K. has been rescheduled to 3:00-6:00 pm April 19. This coincides with the campus Arbor Day Celebration from 4:006:00 pm. Please help us communicate to students that they are invited to attend the Arbor Day Celebration for any portion of time, before or after participating in D.E.S.K.

All Arbor Day volunteers earn a coveted Earth Month t-shirt and a grassfed-beef burger cookout at the end of the event. We have amended the Arbor Day sign-up sheet to include a column asking students to identify whether or not they intend to stay for dinner; we don’t want to prepare food for students who are unable to stay.

4 13 16 64 13 16 2The student organization and residence hall with the highest percentage of participation will earn $50 in their account. The sorority and fraternity with the highest percentage of participation will receive a letter to their national organizations.  All students and staff members should sign up here.”

I also saw two students walking – a good looking boy and a pretty girl.  The girl looked like she was going to cut across the Quad grass and walk there instead of on the sidewalk.  Her guy friend took her by the arm and said “no no no no no – you can’t do that! They work too hard keeping the grass looking like that, you can’t walk on the grass.”  This young man is too young to have known Dr. Smiley, but in my time he was famous for telling you “the grass cries” when you walk on it.  Dr. Smiley would’ve been proud of this young man.

4 13 16 54 13 16 4Once in Reynolda, I saw these flyers – one for the Riverrun film festival (still going on this weekend, I believe) and also some info on online classes.

Finally, I got word of an event tomorrow on NPR you parents and family members might want to tune in to.  Our own Andy Chan will be on the Diane Rehm show on NPR.  Here’s more:

Andy Chan, vice president of personal and career development, will participate in a live discussion on “The Diane Rehm Show” on navigating the transition from school to the workplace. The show will air Thursday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to noon. Listeners can join the live program on “The Diane Rehm Show” website. The discussion will also be archived and available to listeners after the program.

With graduation season just around the corner, students throughout the country are preparing to transition into the workplace. Chan will join a panel of experts who will be looking at the challenges new grads face and how to address them.  Other guests include:

  • Jeffrey Selingo regular contributor on higher education, the Washington Post; author, “There is Life After College: What Parents And Students Should Know About Navigating School To Prepare For The Jobs Of Tomorrow”
  • Anthony Carnevale director and research professor, Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University
  • Kristen Hamilton CEO and co-founder, Koru — a company offering immersive training programs to get college graduates job ready

As a national leader in rethinking the college to career experience, Wake Forest has been at the forefront of transforming the traditional, outdated concept of “career services” into a holistic, four-year approach to personal and career development. Ever since Wake Forest convened Rethinking Success, a 2012 conference that highlighted the value of a liberal arts education for 21st Century careers, the University – as well as its career and mentoring experts – have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Today, Money, Business Insider, Fast Company, Forbes, CNN and USA Today as well as higher education publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.

“The Diane Rehm Show” is a National Public Radio call-in-show based in the United States. In October 2007, “The Diane Rehm Show” was named to the Audience Research Analysis list of the top ten most powerful national programs in public radio, the only talk show on the list. The show, produced by WAMU, and hosted by Diane Rehm, is estimated to have more than 2 million listeners.

— by Betsy Chapman



Weekend Recap

This past Friday was Campus Day for Accepted Students (the first of two, the other will be Friday, April 22nd).  There were 400ish prospective families with us, and of those I talked to during the registration period, it seemed pretty evenly split between students who were definitely enrolling, and those who were still kicking the tires on Wake vs. [other school].

It was a beautiful day in the sense that the flowers were blooming and the sun was out, but it was COLD COLD COLD.  Felt like mid 30s during the morning, which is very much atypical this time of year.

Around lunchtime, I went to Bistro ’34 in North Campus Dining Hall (along with tons of Campus Day visitors). Folks, this is a great reminder that if your Deacs don’t normally frequent Bistro ’35, they ought to head over there for a meal.  Whereas Shorty’s has a more casual feel (think a little more burgers and sweet potato fries), Bistro ’34 feels more upscale. My dining companions and I feasted on a delicious and heart tomato florentine soup, falafel, a grilled salmon quinoa salad, and a couple of good sandwiches.  Behind our table was Coach Danny Manning and some of his staff, an added bonus.

At the very end of Campus Day, you might recall, Wait Chapel empties out onto the Quad and the marching band and cheerleaders are there to play and cheer, and the Demon Deacon mascot gets to take his picture with as many new Deacs as wish to get that cherished selfie.  Always a great moment.

Fast forward to the weekend.  It was a busy social time.  In addition to the last showings of the musical and the Words Awake concert, Student Union’s big concert was on Friday night – the Chainsmokers (I confess to not knowing their work). On Saturday was Pro Humanitate Day, where Deacs everywhere could serve in their community to help fight child hunger. Also on Saturday was Lauren Bush Lauren, cofounder of FEED, who was here to give a talk as part of Pro Humanitate Day.  I am also told it was Beach Weekend for some of our fraternities, which seems a darn shame given how cold it was.

4 11 16 zsrSaw this picture on ZSR’s Facebook page this morning – for Deacs who need research paper help, the ZSR has them covered every Monday.  And in the not-too-distant future will be Wake the Library. This is a great article talking about this wonderful innovation from the ZSR, now in its 10th year. Many a finals-stressed student has found a refuge and a haven at the ZSR. They deserve our praise and our support!

— by Betsy Chapman

The Incomparable Ed Wilson (’43)

I’m headed to Raleigh tonight for the Wake Will event there – and I hope to meet a lot of our Raleigh area parents!  I will be looking for people with P’ years on their nametags, but you can look for me too (I’m sporting a black skirt and a black and white top with pink flower at the neck).

Because I am hitting the road, today’s Daily Deac will be brief.  There is a fantastic article on our arguably most-beloved professor and provost emeritus, Ed Wilson (’43).  Every school has a legend, and for generations of Wake Foresters, Dr. Wilson was and remains The One And Only.  Our Wake Forest Magazine staff interviewed him recently, and it is a fun read; I found his ‘who would you invite to dinner’ answer fascinating.

Also wanted to draw your Deacs attention to an event the Office of Wellbeing is promoting for this weekend:

burn it up 2016The Burn It Up” Spring Dance Showcase –  Come support our wonderful dance groups on campus as they take on the stage Sunday night at 5 pm in Brendle Recital Hall, Scales Fine Arts Center! $5 tickets can be purchased at  All proceeds will benefit the Bethesda Center!

Tomorrow night there is a Secrest Artist Series event, the Orlando Consort:

English early-music vocal ensemble The Orlando Consort create a living soundtrack to one of the classics of the silent cinema—Danish director Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc. A stunning new evening of film and music that blends the riveting last days of Joan of Arc with French, Burgundian, and British vocal music from the time of Joan.

Finally, an article about college students, the self, expectations, and Chinese philosophy.  From the Wall St. Journal, the article is entitled “The College of Chinese Wisdom” by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh.  It’s tagline reads “Telling young people to discover their true selves causes confusion and anxiety. Better to follow Confucius, who knew that our identities are in constant flux.”  It’s not a superlong read, but it makes some interesting points.  Food for thought if you feel like chewing on it.

— by Betsy Chapman

Two Upcoming Events of Note

I received a message yesterday from one of our History faculty members about an upcoming panel discussion this Thursday that might be of interest to current students, but also to any families who might be visiting for this Friday’s Campus Day.  Here are some details:

Student Panel for History Majors and Minors
Thursday, April 7, 2016
5:00-6:00 PM
Magnolia Room, Reynolda Hall

Four of our graduating seniors who have secured jobs in different fields (business, teaching, and career development) will talk about how they successfully spoke to their prospective employers about the kind of skills that they have learned as History majors and what gives them an edge in a variety of job situations.  Panelists are Mallory Allred (‘16), Carr Cody (‘16), Coleman Craddock-Willis (‘16), Lauren Riley (‘16), and Amy Willard (Office of Personal and Career Development).

This event will be of particular interest to prospective students and their parents as well as current parents to hear from current History students about the value and applicability of History in particular and liberal arts in general. The event is open to anyone. Please RSVP here. Pizza and brownies will be served.  Student Panel April 7 2016

We also have a wonderful conference coming up this Friday and Saturday called Words Awake!:

Words-Awake-Header1WORDS AWAKE! champions and celebrates generations of Wake Forest writers who return to their alma mater to engage the campus, alumni/ae, area schools, the broader Forsyth County and regional communities, and now the world.

WORDS AWAKE! looks back to Wake Forest writers of the past; hears the work of current writers; debates the nature of writing today and tomorrow; inspires Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school students and Wake Forest students; and honors writers important to the heritage of writing at our University.  Wake Forest students, faculty and staff; public school students and teachers; and area writers, readers, and residents all join WORDS AWAKE! poets, screenwriters, novelists, journalists, critics, and prose non-fiction authors to share and shape a common legacy of Wake Forest writers and writing.

Lovers of the written word unite!  See the schedule here.  Register here.


These events are wonderful ways to see what Wake Foresters have done with their liberal arts education, and to be inspired by their stories and their creativity.

Do encourage your students to attend these events if they are of interest!

— by Betsy Chapman

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Happy Monday, Deac families – and it’s a beautiful one here at Mother So Dear.  Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending a reception in honor of Harold Tedford, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, and for whom the Main Stage Theatre has been named.  It was a terrific event, full of theatre and dance alumni and friends, as well as faculty and staff.

Wake Forest sophomore Abby Bowman ('18) is Philia, senior Jay Buchanan ('16) is Hysterium, and junior Eli Bradley ('17) is Pseudolus in the Wake Forest Theatre production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, opening on April 1, 2016 on the Main Stage Theatre. They were photographed in the Scales Fine Arts Center on Monday, March 14, 2016.

Wake Forest sophomore Abby Bowman (’18) is Philia, senior Jay Buchanan (’16) is Hysterium, and junior Eli Bradley (’17) is Pseudolus.

Following the reception was a performance of the Sondheim musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a lilting, sometimes bawdy, delightful musical comedy.  If your students did not see it this past weekend, tell them they should run don’t walk to see it this coming weekend.

Everyone in the cast – from the leads to the dancers to the proteans – was just fantastic.  They were delightfully charming as actors, strong singers, and excellent comedians.  They were clearly having fun with this performance, and there were even moments where the actors came into the audience (my husband was the recipient of a lovely young woman sitting on the edge of his seat as she sang).  There was one extra special moment I won’t spoil – your Deacs will have to go themselves to see it.

It was a gorgeous set as well – colorful and vibrant.  The costumes were stunning – it was directed by alumnus Mike Baron (’92).  So hats off to the director, choreographer, voice coach, and all the cast and crew, not to mention the orchestra, who did a marvelous job with the music. It was a lighthearted and lively 2 1/2 hours and your students will enjoy it.  Read the Winston-Salem Journal’s review here.

All in all, a happy musical and a fitting tribute to celebrate a great name in Wake Forest theatre, our very own Harold Tedford.

— by Betsy Chapman

Shag on the Mag

Shag on the Mag happens tomorrow night, and the SOTM tent is going up today.  This is always a terrific event, with students dressing up and doing shag dancing to beach music, which is a delightful North Carolinian kind of tradition.

You can see some of the pictures of the prep work here.  Also a picture of the Magnolias thrown in for good measure, as one of our Wake Forest Parents Facebook followers had asked to see the magnolias.  Sadly they are not in bloom at present – but when they are, it will be a sight (and scent) to behold.3 31 16 shag 2 3 31 16 shag 3 3 31 16 shag 5 3 31 16 shag

I am hoping that the weather works out for the event. Right now there is some rain predicted, but I would love to see that change so the students can enjoy Shag on the Mag.

And here’s your funny for the day: I once had to explain Shag on the Mag to an Irish parent.  Shag, as you may know, has a very different connotation in Ireland 🙂

— by Betsy Chapman

Spring, Glorious Spring

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day, making it two in a row for stunners. It was sunny, it was cool in the morning then warmed up to a nice low-70s range, and there was a light breeze. It was a day made for being outside, and I hope your Deacs got their fill of sunshine and good weather. It’s hard, very hard, to sit inside or do homework on days like these.

Deac families, looking to you once again for help regarding our incoming Class of 2020. My office plans New Student Receptions, and at each of these receptions we have a few current student panelists to help do Q&A and talk about their WFU experience.

One of the changes in student behavior in recent years is that not everyone goes home for the summer. Many students do internships in other cities (great for them, but it makes it very hard for me to try and invite students from a certain town to their local New Student Reception when they are off hither and yon).

If your Deac is the type that might enjoy being a student panelist at a New Student Reception, please forward this to him or her and ask that they fill out this form.  Filling this out does not obligate them to attend, but it gives me a helpful starting place to look for students in a particular area.  I’d be in touch with details of any receptions in their summer locales.

One more bit of news to share: a Students with Diabetes group is re-establishing its chapter on campus.  Their first meeting will be April 5 at 6 pm in the Student Health Conference Room.  See the flyer for more information:  Students with Diabetes Flyer.

— by Betsy Chapman