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The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race, and Symbolism – Sept. 2nd.

I received the email below from the Office of the Dean of Students yesterday and wanted to share it with parents and families in the hope that you will encourage your students to attend this event.  One of the highest goals of university life is to engage students intellectually and to do so in a manner of civil discourse.  We might not always agree, but we can learn from each other and have constructive debate and dialogue.

Your students will have the opportunity to hear from several prominent national voices in this program, as well as hearing from the president of our own Kappa Alpha Order on campus, Edward Tillinghast (’16).  Following the panel discussion, our students will have the opportunity to take this national conversation back down to a local level in facilitated students-only small group discussions about the broader issues of race and inequality, inclusion, and the values of our campus.

No matter where your student stands on the Confederate flag yeah or nay continuum, I would urge their open and honest participation in this endeavor.  To make the most of our community, we need to hear student voices that represent all opinions.  When we seek to understand others’ perspectives, even when they differ from ours, we increase our capacity for understanding and empathy.

I applaud Kappa Alpha’s leadership for wanting to initiate this conversation on our campus, and to our talented campus offices who have helped bring this event to fruition.

As I so often say, Wake Forest is a rich buffet of many experiences.  The more you taste, the fuller you will grow.  There will be few times in life, I suspect, that your students will have access to a national panel of this stature.  They should not miss it.   And if you as parents and families want to participate from afar, a livestream webcast of the panel will be available at

— by Betsy Chapman


Wake Forest University’s chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order, Pro Humanitate Institute, Division of Campus Life, and Office of Diversity and Inclusion invite all members of the university community to attend this important panel discussion. After the panel discussion, WFU students are invited to participate in facilitated student-to-student small group discussions.   To register for the post-panel students-only discussion, click here.

The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race, and Symbolism

Wednesday, September 2

Wait Chapel

5:30 PM (doors open for WFU); 6:00 PM (start)

This event is free and open to the community.  Flag Panel Discussion 9.2.15

The panel discussion will be moderated by Melissa Harris-Perry, Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and Presidential Endowed Chair in Politics and International Affairs.  Panelists will include:

  • Bree Newsome – A filmmaker, singer, songwriter and community organizer, Newsome made headlines when she climbed a flagpole and removed the Confederate flag flying at the state capitol in Columbia, S.C.
  • James Ian Tyson – Tyson is a grassroots organizer who was arrested alongside Bree Newsome after they removed the flag from the South Carolina state capitol grounds.
  • Katon Dawson – Dawson was first elected Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party in 2002, was unanimously re-elected twice, and served on the Republican National Committee from 2002-2009. A leading voice in removing the flag from the South Carolina state capitol, he is now president of Dawson Public Affairs.
  • Alicia Garza – An organizer, writer, and freedom dreamer, Garza is Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. She is also the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter.

“The events of this summer led to an outcry that focused national debate on symbols of the Confederacy as reflections of inequality and racism in America today.  Like many people throughout the country, members of our chapter discussed these issues and reflected deeply about our identity, our symbols, and our responsibility to bring about positive change in the world around us.  By engaging in formal campus dialogues and informal conversations that foster learning and self-awareness, we are given the opportunity to address harmful biases, better ourselves and our community.

We hope you will join our chapter at this important program.”

– Edward Tillinghast, Kappa Alpha Order, Wake Forest Chapter President

“An academic environment is the ideal place for a thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation about the intersection of racism, symbolism and the South.  The unique and timely perspectives of each panelist will challenge, motivate and inspire those seeking social justice on our campus and in our community.”

– Melissa Harris-Perry


The students in Wake Forest’s chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order actively engaged in campus dialogues about race and inclusion throughout 2014-15.  They were aware that the party they cancelled early in the Fall 2014 semester had negatively impacted the community and understood their responsibility to learn from the incident and help Wake Forest move forward.  Over the summer, the chapter’s leadership asked Campus Life staff about ways they could help the community start the year differently in 2015-16.  When the murders in Charleston brought focus on Southern iconography, the chapter – often associated with the confederate flag – began preparing a statement to inform the Wake Forest community that they do not support display of the flag.  This statement will appear in Thursday’s edition (8/27) of the Old Gold and Black.  They also asked if the university could help them develop a program that would support/encourage student dialogue about these issues.  Campus Life staff invited the Pro Humanitate Institute to a meeting with the KA chapter president and alumni advisor to discuss the possibilities.  Melissa Harris-Perry immediately suggested the program that is now occurring on September 2.  This event would not be possible without Melissa’s ability to contact and secure these national figures.

This program is occurring because of the leadership demonstrated by the brothers of Wake Forest’s Kappa Alpha Order.  The fraternity president will open the program, brothers are serving as Program Ushers with leaders from multicultural organizations on campus, and brothers are serving as small group discussion facilitators during the post-panel conversations with other students trained by Pro Humanitate.  This program is also occurring because of the leadership, reach, and support of Melissa Harris-Perry.  Additional support for this event is provided by staff in Pro Humanitate, the Division of Campus Life, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  Funding for this program has been provided by the Diversity and Collaboration fund.

A livestream webcast of the panel will be available at


FDOC and Arrive and Thrive Today at 4 pm

It’s been a busy few days with Move-In and Orientation activities, as well as academic advising.  So the Daily Deac is playing catch up and there is much to cover

FDOC – Today is what our Deacs refer to as FDOC (First Day of Classes) – so your students will be attending their first classes of the semester today.  Today is also when freshmen can add or drop classes, so there will be some schedule shuffling going on too.  Apropos of the FDOC, Dean Christy Buchanan of the Office of Academic Advising has posted a list of the Top 10 Things Academically Successful Students Do.  This is good reading for new and returning students.

arrive and thriveArrive and Thrive – Today from 4-6 pm on the Manchester Plaza (Mag Quad, near the first-year student residence halls) is Arrive and Thrive, our FDOC event to help celebrate the eight dimensions of wellbeing we hope your students (and faculty and staff too) will try to grow and nurture.  Arrive and Thrive has stations for each of the eight dimensions of wellbeing, free food, games and activities, giveaways and more.  Urge your Deacs to come to it.  The more they pay attention to their wellbeing and learn good practices and self-care, the better off they will be in college.

New Student Convocation – was yesterday afternoon in Wait Chapel.  This was a mandatory program for first-years.  Convocations are sort of like an academic ceremony to open officially the semester and impart some wisdom and advice to the new students.  There were a number of great speakers, and there is no way I can do justice to them all.  But here are a few pithy snippets:

From Katherine Albanese (’16), the student representative on the Committee on Orientation and Lower Division Advising: she told a story of how you accidentally build community with people who keep the same schedule as you (people who are always getting coffee the same time you are, riding the shuttle the same time you are).  She became friends with one of the shuttle drivers who would take her (and others) home from the ZSR Library late; they would chat and soon she’d hear stories about his kids (or grandkids?) and he would know when she had tests coming up.  She said of this driver, “he didn’t have to care, but he chose to.”  And that made a difference.  She told the new students:  “you may be the person that defines someone else’s Wake Forest existence” – so embrace this community and be your best self to all you meet.

From President Hatch [paraphrasing]: one of the best things new students can do is learn to focus and concentrate.  “Learning requires silence and solitude,” so disconnect from social media when you need to work and put the distractions away.  That said, college is also a time for asking big questions – who am I? in what do I believe? to what end shall I devote my talents? – so in addition to learning in the classroom, students should endeavor to discover themselves and their philosophy of life.  [Related note: Dr. Hatch also sent a message to the entire campus community this morning with some advice as well as exciting events happening this fall.]

From Adam Hammer (’16), Student Government President: “every jump at Wake Forest – whether you take it or are pushed – is an opportunity to grow.”  He urged our students to “think about the person you want to be, push yourself, jump in, lead, serve humanity, dream big.  Go get it, period!”

From Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College: “use your engagement to get outside of yourself and outside of your own head.  Break down the comfortable and the familiar and seize a fuller knowledge of the world.”

From Dean Christy Buchanan: “everyone has the ability to succeed here.  There will be peaks and valleys.  Difficulty isn’t a sign you don’t belong. We all have setbacks and challenges [but] people don’t wear their challenges on their sleeves.  Learn and grow from the hard times.”

Dean Buchanan then announced the winners of the Award for Excellence in Advising – congratulations to Dr. Al Rives (’76, P’08, ’11), Associate Teaching Professor in Chemistry, a co-winner of the award.

— by Betsy Chapman

And today we have a PS to the Daily Deac, written by Minta McNally (’72, P’02, ’06), Associate Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of Parent Programs

Normally the Daily Deac is authored by my colleague Betsy Chapman, but today I have asked to take the reins because she would not blog about this herself. Yesterday at New Student Convocation, Betsy was one of two co-recipients of the Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, sharing the honor with Dr. Al Rives (’76, P’08, ’11) of the department of Chemistry.  This award is given to outstanding advisers to freshmen and sophomores (prior to the declaration of a major, when students get a faculty adviser in their major).

I can tell you from many years of working together that Betsy goes out of her way to offer guidance and support to her students – not only academic but also emotional and social – while at the same time helping empower them to make good decisions on their own and learn how best to advocate for themselves.  She guides students to make good choices in class selection and is well-versed in both requirements and policies that impact students.

She considers it a privilege to be an undergraduate advisor and takes seriously the responsibilities that come with it.  Despite a very full and demanding schedule as the Director of Parent Programs and Communications, Betsy always makes time for her own advisees as well as others who seek her counsel.

I have heard many compliments about the Daily Deac from Wake Forest parents during my travel to New Student Receptions and other WFU events.   Many of you have told me how much you value the blog and the connection to campus that it brings.  So I wanted to be sure our larger Wake Forest family could know of the meaningful work Betsy does with our students.

Go Deacs!




Come See Us P’19s!

It’s the last Daily Deac before Move-In Day, and we want to welcome all our P’19s – parents and family members of the Class of 2019!   We hope that you (or your students) will stop by the Parent Programs table at the Campus Services and Information Fair in the Benson University Center between 8 am-4 pm.  Members of our office will be there all day to meet you, answer questions, and provide some value addeds (we hope).

8 19 15 tshirtFirst of all – stop by to see us to get your free Parents Are Deacs, Too! t-shirt (while supplies last).  And bear with us here: because we want to give these to as many families who want a shirt, we’d ask that you take no more than 2 for your family.   The pic at the right was badly snapped by me in a hurry, but these are really cute.  And you can’t buy them anywhere – these are one of a kind.  Come see us early if getting a shirt is a high priority for you.   (And we hope you will wear it proudly – maybe even make it your staple on Black and Gold Friday, aka every Friday, as we hope you’ll wear Deac colors wherever you are).

While you are at the Parent Programs table, we will have cards with contact information from our office, so you know how to reach us if you need it.  Also on that card is important information about what to do if there is an urgent situation that happens after hours or on weekends (it’s here online too) and you need to reach people on campus.

You can also stop at the table next to ours, run by our friends from Records, to check your Parent Record Form to make sure everything is correct.  And if you have not provided an email address (or yours has changed), please provide an updated one at the Records table.  Email is the way we reach parents for the vast majority of our news, helpful tips, etc.

Parent Programs and Records are just one stop in the Campus Services and Information Fair.  Have fun browsing the other tables, picking up giveaways, and talking with representatives from other offices.

8 19 15 waterThere will also be a satellite location with colleagues from our division, University Advancement.  They’ll be in a tent on the Mag Quad (near the first year residence halls) and they will have one of the most precious commodities on Move-In Day – bottled water!  (Again, while supplies last).  There’ll be some posters and other goodies there, so stop by and say hello to them too.

We know Move-In is going to be a busy day for you and your Deacs.  We hope it is a great one.

Come and see us in Benson, y’all!

— by Betsy Chapman

Move-In Best Practices for New Families

Ready or not, here we come!  While some of our ’19s will be arriving early for Pre-Orientation programs, the full Class of 2019 will be moving in on Friday, August 21st.  We can’t wait to meet all of our new Deacs and their parents and family members!

Having witnessed many years of Move-In days, the Daily Deac has some tips to help make Move-In a more enjoyable process for all.  This is by no means a comprehensive list – use only the parts that make sense for your family.

Be patient – with 1,250+ new students moving in on the same day, there could be times where you have to wait in line.  It might be in the car driving to your student’s residence hall, at the Campus Services and Information Fair in Benson to pick up ID cards and keys, or even to get lunch.  Know that you have all day to accomplish things, and don’t fret about a wait. (And speaking of the Campus Services and Information Fair, we’re going to be there!  Please stop by the Parent Programs table and say hello to our office.  We’ll have some information and – cross your fingers – a fun giveaway for parents.)

Stay hydrated – if it is warm and sunny outside and you are helping move in all your student’s possessions, you might get overheated.  There are drink stations outside all the residence halls.  Please stay hydrated.  Ask for help from any staff member if you feel unwell.

Be diplomatic – you will most likely be meeting your student’s roommate and family sometime during Move-In.  The students will have to navigate who gets which bed, who puts their things where, etc.  It’s best to let the students decide these things.  Parents and family members, this is time to take a neutral stance and let the students make the decisions.

Be open minded – your student’s roommate might look/think/dress/act/vote differently than your student.  And that’s OK.  There is no law that says roommates have to love the same music, movies, pasttimes, etc.  They just need to be able to live peaceably in the same room.  And that will happen best if parents stay out of the relationship and let the two students get to know each other.

Understand your student may act a little differently – he or she might be excited, or nervous, or trying to put on a brave face with his/her new peers in an unfamiliar situation, or he/she may want to act independently in getting all the business of move in taken care of.  Every student handles the hustle and bustle of Move-In differently.  Be there with a supportive hug when needed, and let the student have his/her distance when needed.

Honor the Orientation schedule. There will be activities for students only, and activities for parents and family members only.  When your students are scheduled to attend an activity with their advising group or their hall, let them do that.  We expect students to attend all required activities.  This is the students’ chance to bond, and also to begin separating from their family.

Have fun whenever you can. Sure, it can be a grind to move in and deal with extra trips to Target or the grocery store and such, but this is the start of what we hope will be four of the best years of your student’s life.  Celebrate.  Be excited.  Recall your own time at college or during other experiences in your late teens and how fun it was.  You are making family memories now that will last a lifetime.

Take pictures.  This is a major milestone in your student’s journey to adulthood.  Your student will want to remember this day, and so will you.

Before you leave, tell your students that you love them, that you are proud of them, that they’ll do well, and that you trust them. This is the most important of all.  Nothing makes it better like your family can make it better, and we all need someone to remind us that we are loved and valued and capable.

And of course much of this advice applies to upperclassmen parents who will be moving in their sophomores, juniors, and seniors :)

— by Betsy Chapman

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