Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Alumni News

New Unbroken Circle CD brings holiday cheer & supports local nonprofits

61xM+cRK+hL._SS280The Unbroken Circle, Wake Forest University’s multi-generational string band has released its debut bluegrass and old-time music album, “Songs from the Hearth.” The CD is available for $10 through Piano vs. Poverty, and the music is also available on iTunes.

Songs include bluegrass favorites like “Ridin’ That Midnight Train,” familiar folk tunes like “Shady Grove” and “The Erie Canal,” and gospel standards like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Also featured on the album is a recitation of W.B. Yeats’ poem, “The Fiddler of Dooney,” by Wake Forest legend Ed Wilson.

Piano vs. Poverty will distribute one hundred percent of the proceeds it receives from the sale of the CD to charitable agencies working to alleviate the effects of poverty.

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Sports performance center FAQ $7.5 million gift in support of the Wake Forest Football program from alumnus Bob McCreary (’61) adds momentum to Wake Forest Athletics’ plans to move forward with a 95,000-square-foot sports performance center.

Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch and Director of Athletics Ron Wellman made the announcement when publicly celebrating McCreary’s longtime philanthropy, which includes more than $15 million in lifetime commitments, at last night’s men’s basketball game.

Q: What do plans for the sports performance center entail?
A: Designed to meet the training needs of more than 350 student-athletes who compete in 18 sports, the four-story sports performance center will be located behind Miller Athletic Center on the Reynolda Campus. The new building will serve as the home for the football program, while featuring a robust strength and conditioning facility that enables multiple athletes in different sports to work out simultaneously, improving upon the current Bob McCreary Strength Complex in Manchester Athletic Center. Additionally, the facility will include space for football coaches’ offices, team meeting rooms and other areas designed to enhance recruiting efforts. There will also be space dedicated to enhancing the nutrition program for all Wake Forest student-athletes with convenient access to nutritional resources and grab-and-go food options.

Wellman said, “Our plans will provide a state-of-the-art space for our sports performance staff to improve every aspect of student-athlete recruitment, competitiveness and overall wellbeing.”

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Griffin (’69) delivers pre-game speech that inspires win over UNC

Julie.Griffin.100x100No one was more emotional about Wake’s 73-67 home win over 19th-ranked North Carolina than Julie Griffin, who accepted coach Jeff Bzdelik’s request to deliver a pre-game speech to his players, writes Bret Strelow in the Fayetteville Observer.

“Julie Griffin, a former Wake cheerleader who started working at the university two years after her 1969 graduation and retired from an athletics department position six months ago, entered the locker room with a notecard featuring a long list of Demon Deacon wins over UNC. She went through a game-by-game rundown, finishing with a 2010 road victory that occurred when Wake’s Travis McKie was a high school senior.…Griffin ended her speech by telling the players, ‘I’ll see you in the quad,’ and tossing a roll of toilet paper at them.”

Read the full story: “Emotional win for Wake Forest puts pregame speaker in tears

Duin publishes ebook with WFU Digital Publishing



Steve Duin (’76, MA ’79) has published his first novel in ebook format with Wake Forest University Digital Publishing.

“The Less We Touch” is the story of winners and losers, players and coaches, kids and parents — their games familiar but haunting; sometimes funny but not really fun; ultimately more chilling than thrilling.

“Steve’s a great storyteller,” said Bill Kane, the director of digital publishing at Wake, “and we’re honored to host his foray into long-form narrative on our fledgling digital publishing platform. He’s already an accomplished writer, and we’re really happy to help deliver high quality ebook content to his deserving readers.”

Duin has written column for The Oregonian since 1984. Read more »

“The Less We Touch” is available here:

Receptions will be held for Griffith, Mills

Ross Griffith


Bob Mills


Two long-time Wake Forest employees — Ross Griffith (’65) and Bob Mills (’71, MBA ’90) — will be honored with receptions in Reynolda Hall.

The reception for Griffith, who was the director of Institutional Research, will be Friday, May 17, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Green Room of Reynolda Hall.

Photo galleries

See photos from other retirement receptions:

“All who have the privilege of knowing and working with Ross experience his kindness, professionalism, intellect and passion for Wake Forest,” said Provost Rogan Kersh. “With 46 years of continuous service, he is among the longest-serving full-time staff members in our university’s modern history. His dedication to Wake Forest is genuinely remarkable, and his impact on our community is profound and enduring. I am deeply grateful for Ross’s varied and extraordinary contributions to Wake Forest.”

Read more about Griffith »

The reception for Mills, who was an associate vice president in University Advancement, will be Monday, June 3, from 3-5 p.m. in the Green Room of Reynolda Hall. RSVP to Marsha Wall at or 758.5224. Mills worked in Advancement for more than 40 years.

“Few people have influenced University Advancement, alumni relations, and fund raising at Wake Forest as much as Bob Mills,” said Bob Baker, the associate vice president for University Development. “He is leaving an impressive legacy of relationships, successful capital campaigns and transformational gifts. Bob’s commitment to doing things the right way and representing Wake Forest the right way has paid handsome dividends for this institution for decades.”

For both receptions, remarks will be made at 4 p.m., and refreshments will be served.

#IntenseWakeFan profiled by Old Gold & Black

Kenneth HerbstKenny Herbst (’97), an associate professor of marketing in the Schools of Business who also happens to be a former walk-on basketball player, trended worldwide on Twitter during the 2013 ACC Tournament. His energetic support of Wake Forest as it played Maryland inspired the hashtag #IntenseWakeFan.

The Old Gold & Black asked Herbst about the experience:

“Cheering with enthusiasm is not a new thing for me, and so the reaction from fans and the media around the country that night was really surprising but fun. I think the reason that this became somewhat of a story was because I was in a seat in which I could be seen and from which I could be heard. I hope that my applauding the team for their great effort makes a difference.”

Read the full Q&A at the Old Gold & Black website »

Hopkins wins Women of Justice award

Beth HopkinsProfessor Beth Hopkins (’73) was among nine Wake Forest women recognized at the 2012 Women of Justice Awards reception at the Raleigh Marriott City Center on Nov. 15. Hopkins, who is the director of outreach for the School of Law, received the Legal Scholar Award.

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly hosted the reception that recognized women across the state who have demonstrated leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice, and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession.

Read more on the School of Law website »

Read more about Hopkins and student Kristina Wolf from the Winston-Salem Journal »

Graham is new pre-law adviser

Laura GrahamProfessor Laura Graham (‘94) is the new Wake Forest pre-law adviser as well as assistant director of Legal Analysis, Writing and Research I & II.

“In addition to her energy and passion, Laura brings valuable experience with law school admissions, and connections to events and resources at the WFU Law School,” said Christy M. Buchanan, professor of psychology and  associate dean for academic advising.  “Her research addresses obstacles to student success in legal analysis and how to help them be successful.”

Read more on the School of Law website »

Staff and faculty: Give Back!

Staff and faculty, join Wake Forest students and alumni on June 1–4 for Pro Humanitate Days, and together we’ll make the world a better place. Already 18 clubs and hundreds of Wake Foresters have committed to keeping the Pro Humanitate spirit alive in their communities through service activities including park restorations, garden projects, and food drives.

On Friday, June 1, from 3-5 p.m., the Winston-Salem Club and WFU Alumni Office will be partnering with the United Way of Forsyth County to bring several service opportunities to campus! From campus tours for the Boys and Girls Club to cooking in Campus Kitchen, local alumni, students, and faculty and staff will have the opportunity to join together and give back. Celebrate afterward with President Hatch and other members of the Wake Forest family! The Alumni Office will be collecting canned food for those who cannot participate earlier.

Register and order your swag here:

Want to see what other clubs are doing? Check out

It takes a village to put on ‘The Grapes of Wrath’

Grapes of WrathSharon Andrews and her colleagues in the theatre and dance department would like to make the University Theatre the community’s theatre. Andrews, an associate professor of theatre, is directing the University Theatre’s current production of “The Grapes of Wrath” on the Mainstage Theatre.

The play has the usual large cast of undergraduates, but Andrews has sought to make it more of a community play, reaching out to faculty and staff and graduate students, and she is using the play as a springboard to partner with other academic departments on campus and a local high school.

“We want the theatre to ripple out to the campus community and to the larger community and integrate the community into what we are doing,” Andrews said.

Grapes of WrathRead more campus news at Inside WFU.
Read more about the importance of props in stage shows
Read more about stage manager Suzanne Spicer (’11)

The play, adapted by Frank Galati, is based on John Steinbeck’s classic 1939 novel of a desperately poor family fleeing the “Dust Bowl” of Oklahoma during the Great Depression for what they hoped would be a better life in California. In addition to about 30 undergraduates, the play’s cast also includes several graduate students and others with connections to Wake Forest. Owen Rask, the son of Provost Jill Tiefenthaler and Professor of Economics Kevin Rask, auditioned for and landed the part of Winfield, the youngest son of the Joad family.

Grapes of WrathThe play features an old-time string bandcomposed of faculty and staff and others associated with Wake Forest: Martha Allman (’82, MBA ’92) (autoharp), director of undergraduate admissions, and her daughter, Ella (bass fiddle); Linda Bridges (accordion), director of admissions for the divinity school; Rick Davidson (banjo), husband of Joanne Davidson, who works in the Schools of Business; Cecilia Kucera (fiddle), a sophomore Presidential Scholar; and Bill McIlwain (MAEd ’94) (guitar). McIlwain also plays “the man with the guitar” in the play.

The production is presenting several opportunities for related events over the next week to explore the play’s themes. “More and more, we are striving to provide opportunities for theatre students to have a larger conversation about the issues that plays bring up,” Andrews said. “We are looking for shows that serve our students — first of all, the University theatre is the ‘lab’ for theatre students — but that can also be integrated with other departments on campus.”

Grapes of WrathFrank Galati, the playwright who adapted “The Grapes of Wrath” in 1988, will discuss the economic, social and political issues raised in the story with several Wake Forest professors on Feb. 24 at 4:30 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre. The panel will also include Worrell Professor of Political Science David Coates; Professor of Economics Robert Whaples; and cultural historian and journalist Brian Berger, who will take about the social context of the play. The panel discussion is sponsored by Wake Forest’s BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism.

Andrews is also taking the play’s themes of poverty, homelessness and the Great Depression to two history classes at Parkland High School, and the students are coming to campus to see the play. Wake Forest has a partnership with the IB program at Parkland.

Also, McIlwain is presenting a one-man musical, “Woody Guthrie, Tonight!,” in the Mainstage Theatre on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. The show will follow Guthrie’s life from Oklahoma to California to New York and feature 16 of his most memorable songs, including, “This Land Is Your Land,” and “So Long, It’s Been Good To Know You.”

“We want the community to know that Wake Forest University Theatre is your theatre and that we belong to the community,” Andrews said.

— By Kerry M. King (’85), Office of Communications and External Relations