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Message from the Provost...
Happy new (academic) year! As the fall term swings into full steam, we welcome our graduate, profes-
S P E C I A L D A T E S O F sional, and undergraduate students (returned or newly arrived)—eight thousand of them this year
I N T E R E S T : across all Wake Forest schools, our largest group ever. A few hundred students in various medical pro-
grams—MD, Nurse Anesthesiology, PA—are all exploring new territory, with the opening of the School
September 15:Harvest Moon of Medicine’s new Bowman Gray Center for Medical Educafon in the north half of‘Building60’in some
Fesfval | Reynolda House | of the beauffully repurposed former R.J. Reynolds tobacco-manufacturing space downtown now
6:00-9:00 pm known as Wake Forest Innovafon Quarter— and where Wake Downtown will join come January.
September 27:Faculty/Staff Who are our students? Idiosyncrafc, magnificently unique individuals each, of course. And we have a
Happy Hour and WakeUnited few insights into their collecfve personality and makeup. They are a diverse group, for one, hailing
Kickoff | Green Room, Reyn- from nearly every U.S. state and more than four dozen countries. This early in the term we do not yet
olda Hall | 4:00-5:30 pm have full informafon on racial/ethnic diversity, but the trend towards a richer mix of students confn-
ues: a decade ago, across our schools nearly 83% of students idenffied as white, a figure likely to be
October 7-8:Family Weekend around 70% this year. Again looking back a decade, 90% of Wake Forest undergraduate students report-
October 12:Campus Connec- ed a religious affiliafon, with Catholic (22%) and Bapfst (14%) leading the way; today barely two-thirds
fons | Benson 401 |8:45— do so, of whom only Catholics (24%) represent double-digit percentages. We don’t collect figures on
10:00 am students’polifcal affiliafon or preferences, but judging from bumper sfckers in the student parking
lots, informal conversafons at new-student orientafons and convocafons, or informal polls from voter-
October 28-29:Homecoming registrafon drives on campus, Donald Trump will harvest few student votes from the 27109 zip code.
The vast majority of our various schools’students are members of the so-called millennial generafon,
whose oldest members are well into their thirfes. If the voluminous research on millennials is any
guide, this suggests that many of our students arrive with a strongPro Humanitatefocus: this remains
I N S I D E T H I S the most volunteer-minded generafon of young adults in measurable history, going back several dec-
I S S U E : : ades. They also, on average, exhibit strikingly high levels of stress and anxiety, compared to past gener-
afons of students. Across our schools, students seek out counseling services at unprecedented rates.
Update on We’re grateful for the work of Penny Rue and her team, as well as our deans’offices, for a considered
and comprehensive effort to respond.
Wake Downtown 3
Again based on nafonal research into millennials aged 18-early 30s, we also know that this generafon
tends to have a different relafonship to authority: useful to note, for faculty teaching them and staff
News from Global
working with them in myriad ways. This is the first U.S. generafon to respond in large numbers to so-
Wake Forest, Center
cial-network surveys that their parents or caregivers are their“best friends.”Long-reliably reported
for Global Programs 5 generafonal disfncfons in culture—who over 30 listened to their parents’music, regularly watched
and Studies movies and TV shows with them, or reported roufnely (again on surveys) that they“enjoy hanging out
with my parents?”All hallmarks of the millennial generafon. This worth menfoning because, as many
Faculty Publications faculty have likely discovered already, the more casual/less hierarchical/friendship-based approach to
April-August 2016 authority pracfced in so many American homes has extended, as millennials age, into college and grad-
school classrooms as well as workplaces. I myself, teaching my regular fall Polifcs course last year, was
hailed after our first class—by text message, from a student I’d just met—with the salutafon“Yo Prof!”
In our disfncfvely student-faculty-engaged Wake Forest culture—one that extends to many student-
staff connecfons as well—we will swiftly get to know them as individuals: brilliant, high-achieving, crea-
fvely breathtaking…and occasionally troubled and self-destrucfve as well. We will also confnue to
strive to understand them collecfvely as well—within schools, programs, affinity groups, and the like.
They are at the core of our mission; they are Wake Forest’s legacy; they are—the sporadic Yo Prof!
aside—the inspirafon that keeps so many of us faculty and staff members feeling fortunate to be here,
doing this invaluable work.