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Mr. Palmer Goes to Scotland

APFor those of you who love golf and love Wake Forest, there are a lot of great Deac names to cheer for – but I daresay Arnold Palmer is at the top of everyone’s list.  A true legend.

At the British Open, his team won the Champions Challenge, with Mr. Palmer himself hitting the opening shot.  You can read more about it here in Golf Digest.

There are some Deacon faithful at St. Andrews this week.  One of our Wake Forest parents took this shot as Mr. Palmer made his way up the 18th fairway and was kind enough to share it.

I was lucky enough to be with Mr. Palmer once at an event, and helped escort him to where he needed to be.  You’ve never seen anything like it.  It was like walking with a king, or having the Red Sea part in front of you.  He is instantly recognizable, of course, and everyone just sort of stops and smiles and nods a hello as he goes by.  And let me add that as this happens, he was the nicest gentleman you could imagine – smiling and nodding back.  Gracious beyond measure.   So proud he is a Deac.

— by Betsy Chapman

Family Weekend Registration, Project Wake, and Intellectual Wellbeing

Today’s Daily Deac is a trifecta of upcoming events.

1. Family Weekend

Mark your calendars, Deac families.  Tomorrow (July 15) is when Family Weekend registration goes live.  It’s advertised on the Family Weekend website as registration opening at 10 am (Eastern), so set your timers on your calendar or phone and order your tickets tomorrow.  Events can and do sell out, so register sooner rather than later if you want to have your choice of events and options.

As I hope you know already, Family Weekend will be held October 2-4.  Mark your calendars and make your travel and hotel arrangements if you haven’t already.  Note that the football game time will not be set until 10 days before due to television scheduling.  Game times can range from noon until the evening and everywhere in between.  Family Weekend is a world-class weekend with tons of great activities.  Please do come!

So that is an event announcement for all parents and families.  This one is just for parents of incoming first-year students.

2.  Project Wake

This year, our new students have the opportunity to take part in something called Project Wake: Exploring Difference, Embracing Diversity.  Sign ups are due by July 17th.  Project Wake is an optional program, and  one I highly recommend.  It functions similar to a book club in that students will choose one of 25 possible books to read, they read the book this summer and then at a specified time during Orientation, their reading group comes together to discuss the book.

This is a wonderful way for your students to begin the process of engaging in intellectual dialogue.  They will meet other students in a small group setting (helping to build their social network) and they will also have the benefit of connecting with the faculty or staff member who is leading the discussion.  It’s always a good thing to be able to have an adult in your corner when you are starting out in college – someone who knows you, who you could go to for advice and counsel if needed, etc.

The books are very interesting too.  You might have read some of them in your own book clubs at home (my book club had read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – for me a game-changer in understanding a part of our racial and medical ethics history I had not previously known).  I can also highly recommend Quiet by Susan Cain, which is about introverts (I am one) living in an extrovert ideal.  I read this in my 40s and wish I had read it in my 20s so I could be a little more comfortable in my skin when I was your students’ age.

So if you are a parent or family member of an incoming first-year, do encourage them to join a Project Wake group. Yesterday the Office of Academic Advising had sent out information about Project Wake to students.

3.  Thrive Event on FDOC (First Day of Classes)

This idea of engaging in reading groups and discussions (outside of class activities) is an example of ways our students can exercise their intellectual wellbeing.  Intellectual wellbeing is one of the eight dimensions of wellbeing we are focusing on in Thrive, our ongoing efforts to promote holistic wellbeing on campus.  We’re going to have a Thrive event on the first day of classes (see below).  I was at a meeting the other day with our intellectual wellbeing team to talk about possible activities our group might do for the Thrive event.  All the Thrive teams are working on some fun activities, food, and displays to showcase how students can attend to the eight dimensions of wellbeing.   Whether your Deac is a new freshman or a senior, you’ll want to tell them to go to the Thrive event on August 25th for sure.  More details on that closer to the time.

Three events worth participating in – for you and/or for your Deacs.

— by Betsy Chapman

7 14 15 thrive save the date








2nd Annual
THRIVE Fall Event
Tuesday, August 25th – First Day of Class
Manchester Plaza*


Happy Friday, Deac families.  Are you wearing your black and gold?  If not, make it a habit every Friday to show your WFU spirit!

I wanted to send out a message on behalf of our Office of Personal and Career Development.  They are sponsoring #7DaysofSummer and we’d love to see your students’ activities represented!  Info below.

— by Betsy Chapman


#7DaysofSummer Instagram The OPCD is encouraging students to beat the heat by spending some time working on their personal or professional development.  Between July 8 and July 15, the Wake Forest OPCD wants students to use Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, tag @WFUOPCD in a photo with the hashtag “#7DaysofSummer” showcasing their participation in one of these four activities:

  • Complete an activity on CashCourse (using WFU e-mail address)
  • Reconnect with a mentor
  • Join the WFU Career Connectors group on LinkedIn
  • Document experiences to add to a resume (summer jobs, internships, study abroad)

The OPCD also knows that hard work gets rewarded: those who complete most or all four of the activities (while tagging us on social media) will be entered into a drawing to win gift cards at: Coldstone, Amazon, Fandango, LivingSocial, and Groupon.

The heat is on for these next #7DaysofSummer!  This contest is open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.



Virtual New Student Reception

For the Parent Programs office, most of the summer is a maelstrom of New Student Receptions.  We host around 30-35 of them each summer, and most of them take place within an 8 week timeframe, so it is a mess of invitations, RSVPs, computer updates, communications to hosts and guests, and staff travel.   I don’t go to all of them, but I go to enough in a compressed timeframe that I occasionally forget which city I am in :)

These receptions have been very well received in all the years we’ve done them, and new students and parents alike typically report feeling a lot more comfortable starting school/sending their students away (respectively) after having attended.   The trend in past years has been to have somewhere between 30-45% of our new families attend a New Student Reception.  Which is great…if you live in an area where one is held.  Our office has always felt bad that there’s three new families in Spokane or St. Louis or New Orleans or wherever-we-aren’t-going, but the reality is we can’t be everywhere.  And in areas where there are just a few new students, it doesn’t make sense to hold one (not everyone in the area will come, there are always last minute cancellations, and/or sometimes the students are coming from one or two high schools and presumably know each other).

So this year we finally carved out some time to try and do the next-best-alternative, which is a Virtual New Student Reception, which is now available online.  This is a compilation of some advice we would normally share at NSRs, combined with some videos that have been created by the Office of Academic Advising about course registration and understanding requirements, and also a video from Residence Life and Housing about making the best start with your roommate.  The Virtual NSR also has a section of Advice for New Parents from Current Parents – we surveyed the been-there-done-that cadre of families and asked them to share their best advice with the incoming parents and families, and it has a section of Advice for New Students from Current Students (same idea, we surveyed current students).

There’s a lot to wade through on the Virtual NSR page.  Using my “Wake is a smorgasboard” analogy, take as many or as few bites as you wish.  But know that information is out there if you or your students want or need it.

— by Betsy Chapman


With the 4th of July just around the corner, many of you probably have vacation on your minds.  Vacations are on our minds too.

But there’s another reason we are thinking about vacationing.  With the new Class of 2019, we are receiving lots of Parent Record Forms from our new families.  Those forms are vital to us, because we rely on parents and families to keep an accurate physical address and email on file so that we can communicate with you.  We use email for most of our outreach to parents – so if your email changes, please let us know at or use this update form (though it says Alumni, it is meant for parents too!  You fill out the first page and then can skip ahead to the sections you need as applicable).

When our office or others are hosting events, we tend to invite folks within that city or town.  And most of the time that’s great, but it doesn’t take into account people who might have another location they spend a lot of time in (the example from Philadelphia, where I grew up, was that some people had a place at the Jersey Shore for the summer).  So if you have another address that you spend part of the year in, please use that same update form and enter your information (first page, then skip to the Seasonal page).  And that way if we are hosting something in your seasonal area, we can be aware of that as we plan invitations.

We have two end-of-summer events coming up in the Northeast that may catch some of you during vacations.  Information is below, and if you will be in the area and want more details we can get it to you (be sure to click on the link in the invite to provide your contact information).

— by Betsy Chapman


Celebrate the end of the summer with Wake Foresters!

As we look to the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, we are holding two ‘end of summer’ receptions for Wake Foresters in the Martha’s Vineyard and Watch Hill areas. Wake Forest students and parents will be able to hear from Provost Rogan Kersh (’86), who will be in attendance.

If you live in the area or will be vacationing then**, we would love for you to join us at one of these receptions:

Sunday, August 9
Martha’s Vineyard, MA

details TBA

– or –

Monday, August 10
Watch Hill, RI

details TBA

If you are interested in attending one or both of these receptions, please click here. Details about the event will be emailed to you later this summer, once they are finalized.

** Wake Forest holds events throughout the country. If you would like to be included in invitations to events in other areas beside your permanent address, please provide your seasonal address. (Note: this form is used for alumni and parent record updates; complete the first page and then skip forward to Seasonal Address).

Family Weekend Registration – Set Your Calendars Now

Family Weekend is several months away – it will be held the weekend of October 2-4, 2015.

Family Weekend registration, on the other hand, is only about a month away.  Registration will open at 10 am (Eastern) on July 15th at the Family Weekend website.  A few things to note:

– Some events can and do sell out, so if you are absolutely sure you want to attend X or Y event, order sooner rather than later.  Example: there are fewer tickets available for the Touchdown Club package for the football game/meal vs. the Baseball Park package, so know that going in.

– We will not know the football game time until 10 days out, due to television scheduling.

– There is an FAQ page with some topics you may wish to review before purchasing.

– If you have not made hotel reservations yet, please consider doing so in the near term.  Hotels can sell out.

So review all this information before July 15th so you are ready to go when registration opens!

— by Betsy Chapman


So it’s a pretty big day here for us, our 52 hour campaign to help push us to the finale of our yearly fundraising.  We rely on alumni, parents, and friends to support WFU, and your gifts to the Parents’ Campaign of the Wake Forest Fund are so needed and appreciated.

twitter picIf you hadn’t seen the promos, we are in to Wake Forest Double Down/52 Hours of Giving – with the first 2,500 gifts of $52 or more getting this cool set of WFU playing cards, designed with fantastic WFU-inspired art.  You can make a gift securely online.  As of my writing this, there were 2,284 decks of cards left to be had.  This would be a great send-off to pack with your students as they go to school in August, perfect for those late night poker games in their residence hall.  Please consider making a gift.

In other news, campus construction is plowing along nicely.  The soccer stadium has been dug up, graded, and is full of a rocky bottom last time I saw it.  Kitchin Residence Hall continues to get its upgrade (and I am dying to see the new furniture and remodeled rooms!), the towers of the new gym addition continue to get bigger and more fleshed out every day, and the addition to Worrell Professional Center (which will ultimately house Health and Exercise Science, I believe) is beginning to take shape.

Starting next week, when local schools are out, we’ll begin to see the influx of summer campers.  They are elementary school aged all the way through high school.  Sporting camps and debate camps and cheerleading camps and so much more.  It will be nice to have more people back on campus.  It does feel really empty in the summer without your kids (but I must admit, parking is a breeze right now).

Thanks again for helping us on our #WFFdoubledown 52 hours campaign.  We need about 100 more parent donors and we’ll hit our donor goal!

— by Betsy Chapman

Asking for Your Help in Advance

Back in the office after a fantastic (if brief) trip to Boston for the first New Student Reception of the season.  We had a wonderful group of ’19s and P’19s there and it was a terrific evening.

Many thanks to the current students in attendance, who helped provide some tips about how new students can get their best start at Wake Forest. Here’s a sampling of their advice:

Get involved in activities

Be open to trying new things

Time management is key

Use the daylight hours for working (freeing up the evening for social life); one suggested spend 1-2 hours every day in the library working

Use the library resources/schedule personal research sessions

Go to class :)

Meet as many people as possible early in the fall

I am still working on collating some of the advice parents supplied to me via the survey a few Daily Deacs ago.  Hope to get to that soon.

Also during my trip, I saw two new announcements about senior administrators:  Suzanne Reynolds, a professor of law and interim dean of the law school, was officially named dean.  Tim Pyatt has been named dean of the ZSR Library.  I have heard dean-elect Reynolds speak before and she is a really compelling person (and very much beloved by law alumni).  Dean-elect Pyatt is new to me, but his work is known by some of my library friends and they seem really enthused about his appointment.  I look forward to getting to know them better.

So that’s the news of last week and we’re caught up to today.  And now I need to call on the Deac family to help us.  The Parent Programs office (where yours truly is housed) is also responsible for asking parents and families to  support the Parents’ Campaign of the Wake Forest Fund.   The Parents’ Campaign provides unrestricted annual support for students and faculty – helping us provide all the extras that make a Wake Forest education so special.  Our fiscal year closes June 30th and we have not yet reached our goal of 2,850 parent/family donors.  But we are getting really close.

Tomorrow we kick off 52 hours of giving – a fun way to make a gift that has a special twist.  I got a preview message from one of my colleagues about it:

“Starting Tuesday June 9 at noon, the first 2,500 donors who make a gift of $52 or more to the fund that never sleeps will receive a custom designed deck of Wake Forest playing cards. And that’s not all. The Alumni Council has agreed to match the first $52 for up to 2,500 gifts, which means an extra $130,000 for the hardest working fund at Wake Forest.”

These playing cards are really cool.  Check out some of the pictures below.  If you make a gift of $52 and above to the Parents’ Campaign of the Wake Forest Fund tomorrow (and are among the first 2,500), you can give your Deac a set of WFU cards that are unlike any they have ever seen.  I would LOVE to see our parent constituency coming out strong to get these cards!  Look for information in your email tomorrow – or starting at noon tomorrow log on to and you ought to see plenty of info on the 52 Hours of Giving.

It goes without saying that if you can’t make a $52 gift, please consider a gift of any size!  We are looking for total donors more than anything else and only need a couple hundred parents to make a gift to help us reach our goal!

Normally I don’t talk about money at the Daily Deac but a couple of times a year it gets pretty critical to us.  And let me say thank you in advance.  Our Wake Forest parents are among the most generous in the nation – we were ranked #1 in giving per student this past year in a Voluntary Support for Education survey.  That’s all because of you believing in what we do, and we are so grateful for all that you can help make possible for our students.

— by Betsy Chapman

52 hours cards

Dr. Hatch Recognized with Two Awards

Happy Black and Gold Friday, Deac families!  As you prepare for what I hope will be a good weekend (and I am en route back to Mother So Dear from Boston), I thought I would share some updates from campus.

540x400.hatch.20100910Our president, Nathan O. Hatch, has been in the news of late:

“Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch has received the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2015 Chief Executive HR Champion Award. Recognizing that what makes an institution great are its people, this award honors a president or chancellor of a higher education institution or system who has demonstrated significant support for the institution’s human resources function.

CUPA-HR selected Hatch as the recipient because of Wake Forest’s strategic investments in the areas of employee wellbeing, leadership development, diversity and inclusion and employee engagement. CUPA-HR recognized that, in his 10 years at the helm of Wake Forest, Hatch has prioritized the resources and support necessary for the University’s human resources team to put plans into action.”  Read the full story.

Dr. Hatch was also recognized by the ACC:

“The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has bestowed the President’s Award for Exemplary Service to the ACC to Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch.

The award was announced at the ACC’s spring meeting Tuesday evening.

Each year, the outgoing Conference President honors someone for commendable service to the ACC during the year of the president’s term or over an extended period of time.

Martha Putallaz, the 2014-2015 ACC President and faculty representative for Duke University, chose to honor Hatch for demonstrating exceptional leadership during what she called ‘a most pivotal, challenging and transformative time in the history of intercollegiate athletics.’” Read the full story.

Our congratulations to Dr. Hatch for being honored by his peers for his great work at Wake Forest!

— by Betsy Chapman

Advice for New Parents

Our New Student Reception season is kicking off tomorrow in Weston, MA.  These gatherings allow incoming freshmen and their parents/family members to meet each other, build their WFU networks, and hear advice from upperclassmen/women (and sometimes their parents).

we want you deacIf you are the parent of a rising sophomore, junior, or senior (or are the parent of a recent graduate), we’d love to hear your advice about getting your best start at Wake Forest.

We’ve built a short 5-question survey online called Advice for Incoming Parents.  Please help me by taking a few moments to share your thoughts, and if we get a good response, we’ll be able to share the aggregate results with our new parents.

Many thanks in advance for your input!

— by Betsy Chapman