The passing of a Wake Forest student

The following message was sent to Wake Forest parents and families

Dear Wake Forest University Parents and Families,

It is with a heavy heart that I let you know about the death of a Wake Forest University student, Alicia Gonzalez (’19), who was studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Alicia was a junior from Charlotte, N.C. Our thoughts and prayers are with her parents, family and friends during this heartbreaking time. This is our second tragic loss of a student in a short time, and we know many of our students are grieving.

Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue, Associate Provost for Global Affairs Kline Harrison, and Assistant Dean of Study Away David Taylor are leading a coordinated effort to support Alicia’s family. We are also providing support to the other Wake Forest students who were studying with her in Salamanca, as well as her friends from Wake Forest.

We anticipate the impact of Alicia’s loss to be particularly difficult for those who knew both her and Maggie O’Sullivan, a first-year student who died just a few weeks ago. There’s no greater loss in a campus community than that of a student, and losing two in such close proximity to each other seems almost unthinkable.

We know many students have already left campus after finals. We want to assure you that there is support available for any student who needs it. They can reach the University Counseling Center (336-758-5273); crisis counseling is available anytime, anywhere. Students can also contact the Office of the Chaplain (336-758-5210) for support. Please encourage your students to ask for help if they need it, whether they are on campus or not. It is a sign of strength to ask for help.

Copied below is the message that your students received earlier today. As with all campus-wide emails, those are archived on the Family News section of the Parents and Families page.

Please know that we are doing all we can to support our students at this difficult time. Should you have any questions, please feel free to be in touch at


Betsy Chapman (’92, MA ’94)
Executive Director of Family Communication and Volunteer Management

Dear Wake Forest Students, Faculty and Staff,

I am saddened to inform you that Alicia Gonzalez, a junior from Charlotte, died Fridaymorning, May 11, in Salamanca, Spain, where she was studying in a study-abroad program.

We extend our condolences to her family and fellow students, as well as faculty and staff who knew her.

Alicia’s passing is a loss for the entire Wake Forest community. May her family and friends find comfort and support as they grieve her loss and remember her life.

The University will share information on services for Alicia when that information is available.

Each of us is affected by loss in different ways, and there is no right way to grieve. I encourage you to take care of yourselves and your fellow Deacs during this difficult time.

Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff. The University Counseling Center may be reached at 336-758-5273 and the Office of the Chaplain may be contacted at 336-758-5210. For faculty and staff, there is also the Employee Assistance Program at 336-716-5493. Please do not hesitate to seek support.


Nathan O. Hatch


To contact the Office of Family Engagement, please visit our contact page.

If Your Student Has a Problem

One of the best ways parents/families can help their students is to let them solve their own problems. Use the Stop, Drop, and Roll method when your student contacts you with a problem.  The flyer also lists contact information for serious concerns where family intervention might be appropriate.

Orientation 2018 slide shows

Select slide shows and handouts from Orientation sessions are available online.