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Some miscellaneous news and observations for you today:

The Benson Center has been decorated for the holidays.  There is a great big Christmas tree in the lobby and garland on the railings.  There is a Hanukkah display in the alcove with a Menorah.  I was in a hurry so I didn’t take pictures, but trust me when I say it looks festive and cheerful.

Today is Pitsgiving – so your Deacs can eat some Thanksgiving fare today.  I overheard a conversation between students as I was walking back from my meeting in Benson.  One of them was saying they were going to go through the various stations four times.  Pitsgiving is a charmingly big deal to some of our students – lots and lots of traffic.  May they all have full bellies and turkey-induced-drowsiness later today.  A colleague of mine just returned from Pitsgiving and said the food was quite good.  It’s on all day, I believe, so if your Deac missed it at lunch, go back at dinner.

Thinking about the holidays, a safety note to be aware of.  If you have a senior who lives off campus, particularly in the residential houses near campus, urge your student to pay attention to these safety tips and garbage collection schedule from Residence Life and Housing.  And if your student has valuables – whether jewelry, small electronics, computers, etc., he or she should consider taking them home.

Also, if your student is staying on campus during Thanksgiving, note that Student Health is closed, but they have a nurse on call as well as a list of resources in case your students need it.

We’ve gotten several questions about when is Move-In next fall (for new freshmen as well as upperclassmen students), when is Family Weekend, etc.  The Academic Calendar for Fall 2016 has not been released yet, so we don’t know about Move-In.  Family Weekend can’t be decided until we know the football schedule – which won’t likely be until January if past years hold true.  As soon as we know those dates, we will post them on the Parents’ Page and the Daily Deac.  Hang tight until then.

A final bit of news:  Ta-Nehisi spoke in Wait Chapel this Tuesday night, and he wins the National Book Award on Wednesday night.  Coincidence? 😉

— by Betsy Chapman



Catch Up Wednesday

After a day that was full of rain yesterday, we have graduated to merely grey and a small chance of rain.  If you look out the windows and see trees losing their leaves and grey skies, you might expect it to feel a little colder than it actually does.  I’ve added some of our great Ken Bennett’s pictures at the end.  He’s captured some real stunners of fall in the Forest.

There a few items leftover from the weekend and earlier this week that bear mentioning here.

Our football team lost a heartbreaker on Friday night against Louisville.  But you could argue we had a sort of moral victory – when one of our Deacs was injured and had to be taken off the field, his teammates surrounded him and supported him, prompting ESPN to post this heartwarming video “Wake Forest reminds us what sports are all about.”  Never prouder to be a Deac.

Our field hockey team – a perennial powerhouse since the early 2000s – finished the regular season strong, ranked 5th in the nation.  They head to the ACC Tournament on Thursday as the #2 seed.

Men’s soccer continues its domination of the pitch, winning its first regular-season ACC championship.  They get a bye for the first round of the ACC Tournament and are set to play their first game on Sunday, 11/8 at 1 pm in Spry Stadium.  Be there in big numbers, students!  This is such an exciting time.

Moving from the athletic front to the artistic…while I did not attend this in person, I have heard several glowing reviews about the University Theatre’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest.  “Run, don’t walk to see it” was what my friends and colleagues told me.  There will be additional opportunities for your Deacs to see it this coming weekend.

And what promises to be a terrific event tonight at 7 pm is Irish poet Ciaran Carson.  “Wake Forest University Press will host Ciaran Carson for a lively reading on Nov. 4. The reading will begin at 7 p.m. in the Ring Theatre of Scales Fine Arts Center, and Carson will be available for a meet & greet and book signing following the reading.  Refreshments will be served.

The poet Ciaran Carson in Royal Avenue, Belfast, N.Ireland.

Carson is a highly acclaimed Irish poet, prose writer, translator, scholar of the Irish oral tradition, and traditional musician. His black humor, satire, and playful and serious interests in wordplay make him, as Ben Howard described in a retrospective of Carson’s career in Shenandoah, ‘one of the most gifted poets now writing in England and Ireland.'”

Our Secrest Artists Series will be back on November 12th with a dance concert featuring Kegwin + Company.  “Founded in 2003 by Artistic Director Larry Keigwin—choreographer of the current Broadway show If/Then— Keigwin + Company presents Keigwin’s electrifying brand of contemporary dance, with a theatrical sensibility of wit, style, and heart. Our performance will feature their signature work Mattress Suite.”  Please see the full description of the program for important details about the content of the program.

Big time speaker news on the horizon – our fall Voices of Our Time speaker: “Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent for The Atlantic and author of The New York Times bestseller, ‘Between the World and Me,’ will speak Nov. 17 at Wake Forest. Part of the University’s Voices of Our Time speaker series, the talk will begin at 7 p.m. in Wait Chapel. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved online at or by calling 336-758-5237….Known for writing about culture, politics, and social issues, Coates is a finalist for the National Book Award.”  More information here.

I think you get the idea – there is a lot going on right now.  And for many of our students, they are focused on work and worrying about grades and papers and projects, it would be easy for them to skip some of these great bonus activities in favor of work.  But these kinds of activities could be once in a lifetime chances to see great speakers, or winning our conference, or to indulge in the arts in inspiring and provocative ways.

ManifestoSo urge your Deacs to consider picking one of these events (or the many others on the Events Calendar) and treat it as ‘me time.’  Stop the gerbil wheel of work and take time to have some deep breaths and to do something fun.  Sometimes the best thing we can do for our health and wellbeing is to do something just for ourselves that brings joy and peace and fun.  I saw this manifesto on a web site called Greatist – and while this manifesto leans toward the realm of physical health, you can swap out any of the physical fitness references for emotional wellbeing (or any other dimension of wellbeing for that matter).

Food for thought anyway.

— by Betsy Chapman
One of the swings on Davis Field is framed by fall color on the Wake Forest campus on Friday, October 30, 2015.

One of the swings on Davis Field is framed by fall color on the Wake Forest campus on Friday, October 30, 2015.

Farrell Hall on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Farrell Hall on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Photos on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Photos on the Wake Forest campus on a cool fall morning on Saturday, October 31, 2015.


Project Pumpkin and more

Project Pumpkin is today, and I am hoping that the forecast improves.  There is an 80% chance of rain for the day, and it’s pretty grey and foggy this morning.  Theoretically you will be able to tune in to the Quad Cam in the 3-5ish timeframe to be able to see (if at a distance) the fun of Project Pumpkin.  I fear though that if there is a lot of rain (or threat thereof), much of the action would take place inside Wait Chapel or the gym as a rain location.

Just saw a notice of an event coming up this Thursday.  This is an event I’ve seen covered at other schools, but I think this might be the first time we are doing it here.

Sigma Phi Epsilon PREPARE, and Trailblaze are coming together to bring Walk A Mile In Her Shoes to Wake Forest University. Walk A Mile In Her Shoes is an event focused on raising sexual assault awareness in a very hands on, or should I say feet on, fashion. Basically, the event requires all participants to don high heels, yes, especially the men, and walk a mile. The event is intended to be an active learning session, as it will physically show how hard it is for women to walk in high heels, and is designed to educate the Wake Forest community about the causes of sexualized violence. It will also provide them with personal experience to empower the community to further develop and implement this knowledge both in their interpersonal and political life.

The event will take place Thursday 10/29 on Wake Forest’s Hearn Plaza (upper quad) from 3PM to 6PM, with set-up and registration from 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM, and a debriefing about the walk lasting from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM. Registration/Participation is FREE!!!!

Sign-up here!

The event is open to fraternities, sororities, student groups, administration, and the student body in general. Registration will be going out for teams of 4 to compete for the fastest mile time, and the rights to both a trophy and claiming the proceeds from the event to PREPARE in their name.

Registration for spring 2016 courses will begin next week.  Students should be meeting with their major adviser (juniors and seniors) or their lower division adviser (freshmen and sophomores) to talk about courses.  There is a great deal of information about registration on the Registrar’s web site; some of it is on the main page, then there is a section just about registration.  Students should consult this page (and see the menus at the far left for additional registration sections) as needed.

One VERY IMPORTANT reminder about registration is that students’ accounts must be in good standing (read: no unpaid charges) to be allowed to register.  Students should check in WIN under Virtual Campus – Check Your Holds and Registration Status to make sure they don’t have any holds or unpaid bills that would prevent them from registering.

I always tell my advisees, check your holds a day or two before you register, so you have time to take care of any holds, then check again on the morning of registration.  At students’ request, registration got moved to the evenings a few years ago – which was good because you no longer had possibility of a class conflicting with your registration time – but the downside is that if you have an unpaid bill, you can’t fix that problem after business hours; you have to wait until the next morning when that office opens to clear the bill.

So a word to the wise…students (and parents if your student created a third party access for you on DEAC) should check for holds before registering.  Students don’t want to find out the hard way they are blocked from registering.

— by Betsy Chapman

Journeys to Success Speaker Series – Oct 29th

I got an email about this event that is happening this week – hopefully it might be of interest to your Deacs.

As we so often say, how many more times in your students’ lives are they going to have access to the caliber of lectures, concerts, and other events that they get while they are at Wake (and for free no less).  With the everpresent ‘Wake is a big buffet’ metaphor, this event could mean a bite of the rich smorgasbord of activities that your Deac may love if he or she just tried it.

— by Betsy Chapman


Every semester, The Office of Multicultural Affairs host our Journeys to Success Speaker Series signature event. For this event, we bring established international, national and local professionals of color to share their experiences traversing their respective fields. It brings speakers who will inspire students through sharing the story of their success and challenges.

This October 29, 2015,  Dolores Huerta will be our featured speaker. Dolores Huerta is one of the most influential leaders of this country. Early in life, Dolores realized her lifelong journey towards working to correct economic injustice. As a result, she became a labor leader and civil rights activist who was an early member, along with colleague Cèsar Chávez of the National Farm workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights, including the most prestigious award that a person can receive, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, bestowed to her in 2012 by President Obama.  At 83, Dolores Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocates for the working poor, woman, and children.

The speaking series is free to students, faculty and staff, and the general public. It begins at 6 p.m. in the Annenberg Forum of Carswell Hall, Wake Forest University. We hope that you and your respective departments will be able to join us for this amazing event. Attached is the events flyer, please distribute to your respective departments and/or listserve. For more information, please contact The Office of Multicultural Affairs at 336-758-5864.

Cosponsored by: Center for Energy,  Environment and Sustainability, Communication Department, Diversity and Collaboration Fund, Divinity School Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership, Latin America and Latino Studies, Organization of Latin American Students, Pro Humanitate Institute, The  Women’s Center, and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

CEO of Habitat for Humanity speaking at 6 pm

We try to talk about (and live out) our Pro Humanitate motto in many different ways on campus.  We also try to expose our students to national and international thought leaders on a variety of topics.  Having access to big ideas from recognized leaders can be the thing that lights the flame of inspiration in one of our students.

Tonight they have access to this kind of big name speaker and university initiatve on leadership.

Pass this along to your Deacs if you see fit.

–by Betsy Chapman

On Tuesday, October 20 at 6pm in Brendle Recital Hall, Wake Forest will welcome Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity as part of The Leadership Project. This initiative is designed to champion leadership development and to bring students inspiring stories from leaders who represent a variety of professional paths.

Reckford will offer insight into his personal experiences and what has shaped his leadership philosophy through a conversation with President Hatch. Attendees will also be invited to ask questions from the audience and from twitter as part of the experience.

Visit to find out more about the Leadership Project and Jonathan Reckford.


Crunchy Leaves

Today was a warm day, but there was a breeze.  The leaves have started falling to the ground and when the wind blows them across the concrete sidewalks or pavement, you hear the telltale scratchy sounds of fall.  It is a good sound.

10 9 15 4 Lots of activity on campus as we prep for the Brad Paisley concert.  I will spare you pictures of the tons of portojohns that are being lined up around the Mag Quad, but trust me they are there.  Instead, at the end are some shots I took today of the trees changing colors.  This one right here is my favorite perch on the Quad – these tables near the Deacon Shop.

Also seen around the Mag Quad was lots and lots of chalkings on the sidewalks.  They ranged from advertisements to get involved in Project Pumpkin (and I am shamefully biased here – everyone should get involved!), to motivational/supportive quotes from DORaK (Do Random Acts of Kindness), to a lot of Biblical quotes.  I couldn’t get a lot of pics of the sidewalk because I was in that area right as class was changing 10 9 15 1and there was a ton of foot traffic, but I got this one.

With the good weather, there were plenty of students dining al fresco, either at the tables outside the Benson Food Court or in the outside tables for Shorty’s.  I will say that the South of the Border burger at Shorty’s today was absolutely delicious.

As with every Friday, give your kids a call and tell them you love them.  Ask them about their day, tell them about yours.  Reach out and make that connection.

Double bonus points for any of our Deac families observing Black and Gold Friday.  It makes me happy to think you are out there in your WFU finery across the nation.

— by Betsy Chapman

10 9 15 6 10 9 15 5 10 9 15 3 10 9 15 2



Seen Around Campus

Our University Photographer, Ken Bennett, does a much better job getting around to all the hot spots on campus than I do.  Here’s a few moments that he captured during the past week or so.

The new stained glass artwork in Davis Chapel, on the campus of Wake Forest University, Monday, October 5, 2015.

The new stained glass artwork in Davis Chapel, on the campus of Wake Forest University, Monday, October 5, 2015.

Davis Chapel has a beautiful new stained glass window that was recently unveiled.  If your Deacs need a quiet place for personal reflection, Davis Chapel is a wonderful place to be.

Wake Forest students and staff practice yoga on the Magnolia Patio under the direction of teacher Elliott Watlington on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

Wake Forest students and staff practice yoga on the Magnolia Patio under the direction of teacher Elliott Watlington on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

A yoga class was held on the Mag Patio.  Yoga is a great way to relax and replenish the body and the spirit (especially in light of midterms and projects and papers), but any kind of exercise, especially combined with being out in nature, has a way of making you feel better.  If your Deacs need a study break, this could be very beneficial.

A pair of Wake Forest students relaxes in rocking chairs on the Magnolia Patio on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

A pair of Wake Forest students relaxes in rocking chairs on the Magnolia Patio on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

Also on the Mag Patio, Ken snapped these folks enjoying the rocking chairs.  One of my favorite spots on campus.

Members of the Wake Forest community run laps around Hearn Plaza to raise money for cancer research in the annual Hit the Bricks for Brian event on Thursday, October 1, 2015. The event is named after football star Brian Piccolo ('65).

Members of the Wake Forest community run laps around Hearn Plaza to raise money for cancer research in the annual Hit the Bricks for Brian event on Thursday, October 1, 2015. The event is named after football star Brian Piccolo (’65).

Last, but certainly not least, this might be my favorite particpant from Hit the Bricks.  We don’t have enough dogs on campus, and I am pro-Bulldog.  Hope he got lots of belly rubs from students during his time on the Quad.



— by Betsy Chapman

A Senior’s Reflection on WFU

We had a wet and wild Family Weekend.  Hurricane Joaquin never did make it our way, but rain from the west kept us soaked for most of the weekend.  Still, our Deac families didn’t let the rain get them down, and we had a wonderful Family Weekend – and a very exciting football game – nonetheless.

I had the opportunity to hear a speech by senior Adam Hammer (’16), Student Government president, this past Friday.  He reflects on his time at Wake Forest, and it was so fantastic that I asked him if he’d let me have the text so all parents could see it (he agreed).

Here are his reflections about Wake Forest now that his time here is coming to an end.

— by Betsy Chapman


Good afternoon – I’m excited for the opportunity to speak here today. I’m thankful that my parents can be here as well. The braved Hurricane Joaqun and flew up from Houston for my final parents weekend. It’s a privilege to speak here and address such a devoted group of parents.

Today I’m going speak a little about my experience at Wake Forest, and what I believe to be some of the defining factors of this community’s culture.

When I arrived at wake forest three years ago to begin my freshman year, I was amazed by the work ethic that students displayed.

I specifically remember my first week of school as a first year student. I remember waking up in the morning, leaving my Luter dorm room to enter the lobby and seeing students who I saw the night before studying, were in the exact same place wearing the exact same clothes – they hadn’t moved, they had studied all night, and we were in the first week of school.

It was in that moment that I realized the nick name Work Forest was not a misnomer. I was still buying books, while my classmates were cranking all-nighters.

I quickly learned that this community values grit, and similar to the process of making diamonds, Wake Forest pushes and presses under intense pressure to make a gem, to forge students into leaders – visionaries, and world-changers. And for students that were still buying books, while others pulled all-nighters, iron-sharpened iron, and eventually, all students embodied the culture of Wake Forest.

When the world doesn’t offer a neatly hedged path, this community – both the institution and the students – forge their own path. The university is constantly leading, more specifically, Wake Forest is perpetually pioneering. Trail-blazing runs deep in this community’s DNA. It has been embedded in the dogma of the Wake Forest since its origin. The university has undergone remarkable change since its beginning as an all-white, all-male school dubbed, Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute, but it’s commitment to leading, pioneering, and progressing has never wavered, in fact, pioneering has been the common denominator for years of change at Wake Forest.

Students led the charge for integration in 1962, and Wake became the first private institutions in the south to integrate. Wake Forest was the first major university to adopt a test-optional admission policy, and our institution’s OPCD office is a model for schools across the country, students and faculty alike are constantly pushing the boundaries – this community refuses to be labeled a small southern school in the sleepy-town of Winston Salem, but rather a center for progress, innovation, and a leader for colleges across this nation. Our size may be small, but our influence is far reaching.

Wake Forest has always valued grit, vision, and courage, and students leave these grounds having adopted a fearless pioneering spirit to dream beyond boundaries. Four years here teaches us that the only thing standing between us and our dreams, is the work in between. As I told first year students during my convocation speech, at wake forest opportunity is ubiquitous – anything is attainable for a demon deacon – this community teaches us that the only question is – how much work are you willing to put in?

Alumnus Carl Townsend, Class of 1924, remarked that his favorite word in the English lexicon was the verb “to be”; he states that the greatest contribution Wake Forest has to offer is that “she has a way of instilling into a large percent of her students an intense desire to be somebody.” This quotation from nearly 100 years ago embodies the spirit that defines our Mother, So Dear: still today, a hunger to be somebody and lead peers is not an esoteric feature that only some students and some alumni of this university embody, it exists in all Demon Deacons, and always has.

Attending Wake Forest is the best decision that I’ve made. I’m thankful Wake has pushed me – I’m thankful that the culture of this campus is an incubator for growth. And I’m thankful that at the foundation of this community, there lies a group of parents devoted to this culture and the time-tested ethos of this community. Thank you for all your support and you really mean a lot to this university.

Go Deacs!

— Adam Hammer (’16), Student Government President

Happy Family Weekend, Everyone!

20091030family9670We want to wish all our Deac families a wonderful weekend on campus for Family Weekend!  A few thoughts on making the most of the weekend:

Keep your plans fluid.  Your students might waffle until the last minute in terms of deciding what they want to do.  Roll with it.

Consider including any hallmates/friends/suitemates whose families can’t be here.  It can be a lonely Family Weekend if your own family can’t attend – so add a person or two and it will make their weekend.

Wear your black and gold to the football game.  Cheer hard and stay all the way through.

Be sure to explore campus – take some walks to Reynolda Village, see the leaves and the fall foliage.

Sample local restaurants.  We have some suggestions here in our Dining FAQ.

Speaking of food, if your student is running low on food dollars, you can stop by Reynolda Hall room 12 to get more or go to our website at to do it online!

Have fun.  Hug your Deacs and tell them you love them.  My dad used to slip me an unexpected $20 on his way out the door with a hushed ‘don’t tell mom’.  That’s nice too :)

Enjoy every minute!

PS – The Office of Parent Programs will be tied up in activities all day today, so we won’t be at our phones or getting emails except very sporadically.  We’ll respond to messages as soon as we can.

— by Betsy Chapman

TV Star to Lecture Monday 10/5

The Office of Parent Programs is going to be busy with activities over the next two days, so we will be out and about and not easy to reach via email or voicemail.  If you need to see the Family Weekend schedule or FAQs, visit their website.

So here’s a pre-post about two upcoming events.

First, the Provost’s Office sent an email yesterday about an event this Friday at and for the ZSR:

This Friday students, staff, faculty, and friends of Wake Forest will join in the atrium of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library for our first-ever Love Your Library, where we will also welcome Tim Pyatt as Dean of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library. I invite you to join me as we congratulate Tim and also recognize the national Love Your Library event.

We hope to see you in the atrium of the ZSR on Friday, October 2nd, from 1:00-2:00 pm for refreshments and perhaps a surprise or two!”

Second, your Deacs (or many you as well) might be fans of the show Orange is the New Black, which won at least one Emmy this year.  One of the stars of Orange is the New Black, Laverne Cox, will be here on Monday, October 5th.  This is a wonderful opportunity for your students to hear from a working actress on an acclaimed TV show.  Here’s the write up I received about her appearance on campus:

Laverne-Cox-Poster-791x1024“Transgender actress and advocate, Laverne Cox, currently seen in the critically acclaimed Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, will lecture at Wake Forest University on Monday, October 5, 2015. Cox is the first transgender person to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine, and the first transgender actress to receive an Emmy nomination.

The lecture will be held in Wait Chapel on the Wake Forest Campus and will begin at 7:00 pm. Doors will open at 6:00 pm for students, faculty, and staff – you must show your Wake Forest ID. Doors will open to the general public at 6:30 pmand close at 7:00 pm to avoid disruption of the speaker. The event is free and open to the public.

Following her lecture, Cox will answer questions from the audience.Cox’s campus visit is a collaborative effort organized by the Wake Forest University LGBTQ Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Union, the Women’s Center, The University Theatre, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, and the Documentary Film Program.”

Will your students ever again have the opportunity to be one of 2,400ish people in a room with a major TV actress and activist?  This is one of the bites of the Wake Forest smorgasbord I hope your Deacs take.  Chances like this don’t often come after college – certainly not for free.

For all of you who are en route (or will soon be) for Family Weekend, we wish you safe travels and can’t wait to welcome you to Mother So Dear!

Go Deacs!


— by Betsy Chapman