We have a campus event coming up next Friday that I wanted to share with our parents and families.  We hope your students will attend this event (free food! fun and games! and some very special activities your students won’t want to miss – but I won’t spoil the surprise here).

thrive logoThe event is our Thrive kick off – which will be held on Friday, September 5th on the Manchester Quad (aka Magnolia Quad, near the first-year dorms and academic buildings) from 3-6 pm.  The Thrive event will be a campus-wide festival with dozens of fun and thought-provoking activities designed to help members of the Wake Forest community to take control of their personal wellbeing and empower others to do the same.

The idea of Thrive is not just a one-and-done party, though.  It is so much more.  Thrive is a thoughtful, conscientious approach to helping our students (and faculty and staff) think about the idea of wellbeing.  How can we lead healthier, more balanced lives – now, and for the rest of our lives?  How can we attend to all the dimensions of our wellbeing: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, occupational, financial, environmental, and social?  We want to make sure our students are not just learning facts and figures and theories and concepts here, but the skills, knowledge and perspective so their lives thrive in all ways possible.

There is a Thrive web site that talks about the various dimensions of wellbeing.  There is also a terrific story on our News Center page about the investment Wake Forest is making in wellbeing on campus.   A fascinating part of this article is the story of John Marbach (’16), who had accepted a prestigious $100K entrepreneurship grant to start a venture, but ultimately returned to Wake Forest because he missed the social and intellectual environment and the wellbeing that comes from living in a community and learning and growing with peers.

One of the first visible signs of Wake Forest’s wellbeing efforts will be upcoming demolition work at the former Leighton Tennis Stadium adjacent to Reynolds Gym.  That space will be used to create an addition to the [very old] Reynolds Gym and then we’ll have a phased renovation of the gym into a more dynamic, modern facility.  Read more about the vision for this project.

And there will be other visible signs and hints of Thrive in the coming days.  Your students will begin seeing things on campus related to Thrive and the kickoff.  I was in a meeting yesterday about the September 5 Thrive kick-off and I promise you the Manchester (Mag) Quad is going to be spectacular.  Your students won’t want to miss it.

So encourage them to c0me next Friday, September 5th from 3-6.  But more importantly, encourage them to take very seriously the idea of their own wellbeing, across all dimensions.   Sometimes our students feel like they need permission to relax, permission to take care of themselves, time to decompress and just be.  To the degree that you can influence them, encourage them to begin really paying attention to their own wellbeing.  The more they learn balance and healthy living (in all its aspects) now, the better they’ll be prepared for the rest of their lives.

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