Commencement and New Students Website

P’16s – your Big Day is almost here! There are tons of seniors back from Beach Week/Postexams who are mobbing the Quad right now picking up their Commencement tickets and caps and gowns from the Bookstore.  It’s a happy sight to see.

If you haven’t been keeping an eye on the Quad Cam, the chairs continue to be set out, and our Commencement stage is set up. The sky is blue, the clouds are thick, the trees are green. This is exactly the kind of weather we want for Monday.

I am a superstitious person and a worrier to boot, so I don’t like to look at the weather until nearly the very last minute.  However, you must all have been doing your prayers and invocations (thank you!) because the 5 day forecast looks fantastic.  This is as close to the ideal Commencement forecast as we could have – so keep those good vibes coming.

If this is not your Commencement year, you can still catch the action with the Commencement livestream, which will be broadcast at 9 am Monday on the main WFU page (

We also have an announcement for the newbies – our P’20 parents and families!  The New Students website is also up – so P’20s, let your Deacs know they need to be consulting this now and throughout the summer.  Their hard-copy Forestry 101 books (a manual for Orientation) will be mailed to their permanent address in a couple of weeks.  There will be a separate checklist for parents and families in the book, so make sure they give you your part!

new students parents menu finalP’20s, there is a Parents and Families section of the New Students website just for you.  I am linking here to the main parents page with deadlines and action items that are will be in your paper checklist.  However, there are scads of other goodies on other pages – so be sure to scroll down to the bottom left of any page, where you will see the purple Parents and Families menu, and check out those pages too.

We have started making some of our New Student Receptions pages live, so for our new families, sign up for one if it is in your area.  We will be doing a sort of virtual New Student Reception for folks who cannot attend – more info about that closer to July once I get my act together :).  For our returning parents and families, we always want to have some current upperclassmen Deacs at these events, so if your student wants to be a goodwill ambassador for the new ones, please have them email me at to talk about where they might like to attend.

As I think about our seniors leaving, I recall an old commercial I loved.  It was about cancer survivors, and one woman in the commercial said “In life you take the bitter with the sweet. But I plan on ending up with more sweet.”  So let’s all focus on the joy of our seniors celebrating Commencement and knowing they will go forth into the world well prepared to live with meaning and purpose – and not how much we’ll miss them.

— by Betsy Chapman


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