Tuesday Thoughts

Normally at this time of year, I put out my annual list of recommendations for Commencement – things like be sure to wear sunscreen, don’t wear your best shoes because the Quad gets muddy with 10,000 people walking the same paths in the grass, etc. Today I am going to share a few thoughts for Virtual Conferring of Degrees.

A message went out on May 8th to students and families about the Virtual Conferring of Degrees. Some of you have asked me if I can give any more intel on what the ceremony is all about. There will be music, some speeches, video reflections/memories of the past 4 years, a moment for each degree program to officially be conferred (be declared that they have earned their degree), a cap toss, and some surprises too. You should tune in, and you should invite proud grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friends to tune in with you.

The May 8th message had some great suggestions of Top 10 ways you can celebrate, and I hope our P’20s embrace them all. I’ll add my $0.02 here too:

Make the Virtual Conferring of Degrees a big deal. Even if your Deacs seem outwardly blase about the event, my guess is that many of them deep down really want and need a special moment to celebrate. So go big with this. The more you make of it, the more special the memory might be for them in years to come. Earning a degree is still a HUGE milestone and moment to celebrate, no matter the circumstances.

Think about cooking (or ordering in) your Deac’s favorite dinner. Have a special way to toast the moment – whether that is Arnold Palmers or champagne or whatever your family enjoys.

If you had bought a nice outfit for Commencement, dress up anyway. Obviously anything gold and black is always the right answer at a WFU graduation. (And this is the ONE time I will tell you to wear your fancy shoes because you run no risk of ruining them in the dew and mud of the Quad!)

Take pictures of your Deac in their cap and gown (if they have it already). Take a photo when your graduate stands to be recognized with their degree group. Be sure to share the pics on your social media outlets of choice with #WFU20 and tag Wake Forest. (Not sure what our social channels are? They are all here, run by an amazing colleague of mine. If you are not following WF in all these places, consider it!)

Do all of the proud parent/family stuff you would have planned. Take family photos. Write your Deac a special graduation message (even if it is homemade on plain paper). Call Nana and let your Deac talk to her. Whatever is important to your family.

Remember that this is part one of a two-part Commencement extravaganza. Keep your eyes on the prize that there will be an in-person celebration đŸ™‚

And for students and families of all other years, you should tune in to the Virtual Conferring of Degrees too. This is arguably the only time in Wake’s history where we will have a virtual conferring. Be part of that history and join us online Monday night at 7 pm Eastern.

One more thing today – and this is for all families. We need your help to encourage your students to take part in a short (5 minutes) confidential survey. Wake’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching is conducting a survey about the remote learning experiences of all Wake Forest students. The survey was sent out on May 6th and will remain open until May 15th. Please ask your Deacs to look for the email entitled “Share your remote learning experience” in their inbox and complete the survey for us.

As always, stay safe and well, Daily Deacdom!

— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

Categories: the daily deac

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