Acronym-heavy day

Today is LDOC – the Last Day of Class. While normally this would be a day that is fun and lighthearted (the end of classes! hooray!), I cannot help but have a heavy, heavy heart. Our friends to the south at UNC-Charlotte had a campus shooting yesterday, leaving two dead and four seriously injured. Please join me in sending positive thoughts to all who were affected.

As a member of the Crisis Management Team, this is a good time to remind you to talk to your Deacs about what to do if – heaven forbid – there is an emergency here. There is a great Wake Ready site that talks about emergency response and the critical concept of shelter in place. If your Deacs do not know what to do if a shelter in place order is given, urge them to read this.

Enough heavy stuff. If it is LDOC for our students, it is FDOJ (First Day on the Job) for our new Athletic Director, John Currie (’93). John is only the sixth AD in school history. He will be regularly sharing news with his From The Quad series. Here is a link to the first communication that was sent today. I encourage all of our sports fan families to follow along as we begin this exciting new era.

Today is also the first day of the Newstudents.wfu.edu website going live for our incoming Class of 2023. This comprehensive website contains all your incoming Deacs will need to know this summer. There is a special Parents and Families page for P’23s (parents and families of the Class of 2023), as well as the 2019-20 First Year Parent and Family calendar. Each student will receive a hardcopy orientation book, Forestry 101, later in May, and one copy of the Parent and Family calendar for their family.

Finally, a LBOC (Last Blog of College) from our periodic guest blogger, Emily Beeson (’19). Emily will be graduating and moving on to a terrific job, but she has given us one more look at Wake through her eyes. Enjoy!

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Dear Mother So Dear,

I’m not gonna lie – I’ve stared at my computer screen for about 20 minutes now just trying to figure out how to start this letter. I’ve known this entire semester that one day I would write this, but to actually be doing it…. that’s a whole different thing. It’s like the saying goes, “easier said than done.” I just can’t find the words – how do I say goodbye to a place that has become as much of a home as the house I grew up in? How do I say goodbye to amazing people who have supported me through the ups and downs of my college career? How do I say goodbye to a school that taught me who I am and changed my entire life course for the better?

Mother So Dear, you’ve taught me so much about myself. You’ve taught me to go after what I want, to not give up when the going gets tough, and to encourage others to do the same. Earlier this week, I was asked to describe my one favorite memory of my time at Wake Forest – I ended up describing three. That’s how awesome you are Wake; there’s no way I could pick just one favorite moment. Do I talk about Wake Washington and all the experiences there? (I still find it hard to believe at times that I met Madeleine Albright). Do I talk about the time Renee Elise Goldsberry shouted out Campus Grounds on Instagram? (As general manager of CG this year, that was probably the highlight of my run). Do I talk about the late night Cookout runs and sitting on the Quad talking about life and all those other crazy big topics with some amazing friends? Do I talk about the amazing professors I’ve had – literally the entire German department, or Dr. Hana Brown in the Sociology department? (Among many, many others). Do I talk about all of the moments where I felt the community of Wake Forest and fell even more in love with this school? When asked about my favorite moment of my time here at Wake, there’s no way I can pick just one; and… I guess that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

As of writing this, it’s the evening of April 30th. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up for my last day of undergrad. I’ll go by Campus Grounds for my last coffee before class, walk out of my last German class, and then walk past Wait Chapel as the bells are ringing for the last time. And yes, I know I don’t graduate until May 20th. But, never again will I have my “last day of undergrad”… and, I guess that’s what these last few weeks will be about – checking off “my last time doing x” list. Last late night Cookout run, last shift at Campus Grounds, last time walking out of Kirby or Greene as a student, or even the last time I play the carillon.

And for some reason, this is the point where my tears are starting to fall – maybe it’s cause it’s finally hitting me that I’m graduating, or maybe it’s cause I know the last time I will play the carillon will be at Commencement (and that has a heck of an emotional impact), but either way, I’m gonna miss the heck out of you, Wake. I’ve said it a couple times this week, but I promise I really am ready to move on. I’ve grown so much while living under the watchful eye of Mother So Dear, but it’s time I go to the next big adventure. It’s time I show the world the woman that Wake shaped me into.

So, I guess this is it. This is the end. And the best way I know to close this out is:

“smaller than dust on this map
lies the greatest thing we have:
the dirt in which our roots may grow
and the right to call it home”

(Sleeping At Last – “North”)

With Much Love,

Emily Beeland
Class of 2019

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— by Betsy Chapman ’92, MA ’94

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