President Hatch emailed this message to students, faculty and staff on Aug. 22:
Dear students, faculty and staff,
As I begin this letter of welcome, I want to reiterate the statement I made early last week about the hateful and violent incidents led by white supremacists recently in Charlottesville:
“There is no place for the bigotry, racism and violence we witnessed in Charlottesville. Wake Forest University extends our condolences to the families and friends grieving the senseless harm and loss of life, as well as all who are devastated by the expressions of hatred. This is a time to stand in support of our colleagues at the University of Virginia and underscore our own continuing commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”
Later this week, Provost Rogan Kersh will send a message inviting the campus community to a number of teaching, learning and healing events. For now, I wish to share some of my own reflections as we begin the academic year in tragic and troubled times.
A few weeks ago, I received a letter that reminded me of the poet John Masefield’s observation that “there are few earthly things more splendid than a university.” The new alumnus wrote to thank Julie and me for the friendship and mentoring he had received at Wake Forest. He took note of four professors who were “incredible mentors and lampposts” in his intellectual development. He thanked me and others for books and lectures that had been suggested to him. “You have shown me how I can continue my education past four years at Wake Forest.”
He was grateful for all the help he had received in his job search – successfully concluded with a data analytics position with a major international firm in Atlanta. He noted the “foundational role” that Campus Ministry had played in his spiritual and moral development. And he thanked many at Wake Forest for being so kind to his parents when they came to celebrate graduation weekend in May.
Witnessing this kind of personal transformation and gratitude makes our academic callings rich and inviting. We know how uplifting it is to experience settings the likes of which Masefield describes: “where seekers and learners alike, banded together in the search for knowledge, will honor thought in all its finer ways.” We see examples of that great gift “to the young in their impressionable years, the bond of a lofty purpose shared.” Every day we see friendships forged – “that close companionship for which youth longs.” And in classrooms, communal spaces and residence halls, we observe “that chance of the endless discussion of the themes which are endless, without which youth would seem a waste to time.”
This is not to say that all is well within colleges or that Americans have great hope that colleges and universities can answer our society’s most glaring problems. We live in confusing times indeed, compounded recently by the horrific disregard for human life and dignity we experienced in Charlottesville last week. To be clear, we cannot tolerate racism, hate and violence on our campus or in our society. On this campus, we have a higher calling, to respect every individual and to build a community of hospitality and open conversation. Make no mistake, the times we live in now require us to rededicate ourselves to the values that have held our alma mater in good stead for nearly 185 years.
In 1946, Masefield also confronted a dispiriting landscape. He penned his ode to the beauty of a university against the backdrop of World War II’s desolation and of political and social disarray. His was a day “when every future looks somewhat grim and the dams are down and the floods are making misery, when every ancient foothold had become something of a quagmire.” With that scene in mind, he lifted up the life-giving potential of a collegiate community.
What does it mean for us to fulfill the university’s promise in 2017 – a time when there is great doubt about our fragmenting culture, about resurgent hate and intolerance, about the quality of civic leadership and about the proper role of universities?
As we begin another academic year, let me offer some personal reflections on how we can, together, strengthen Wake Forest. In doing so, let me encourage everyone – students and faculty, staff and administrators, coaches and mentors – to redouble our efforts to seize every opportunity to make this community better.
I offer three simple ideas.
Categories: Guest Post
Congratulations to Sarah McDonald, associate professor of biology, whose proposal entitled “Roto Virus” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Congratulations to Dan Johnson, professor of teaching in biology, whose proposal entitled “Improving Scientific Writing in STEM Classrooms: A Training Program for Students and Teaching Assistants Aided by Information Extraction Technology” has been funded by the National Science Foundation.
Congratulations to Hana Brown, associate professor of sociology, whose proposal entitled “Enforcement or Embrace? The Determinants of State-Level Immigration Policy in New Immigrant Destinations” has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Notre Dame.
Congratulations to Grey Ballard, assistant professor of computer science, whose proposal entitled “Scalable MTTKRP for Non-Negative Tensor Factorization” has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy-DOI and UT-Batelle, LLC.
Categories: Faculty News
See a list of faculty milestones for August 2017:
Categories: Faculty News
See a list of staff milestones for August 2017:
Categories: Staff News
This message was emailed to students, faculty and staff Aug. 16 by Mur Muchane, associate vice president for information technology and chief information officer:
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the cybersecurity of campus technology services, Information Systems will implement Cisco Umbrella/OpenDNS on August 17, 2017. This new service provides an additional layer of protection for all your devices as they connect to the wired and wireless campus network. This includes devices connected via the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Cisco Umbrella/OpenDNS works by determining if your device is trying to connect to a known malicious site and then automatically redirects your device to a warning page. The service will help protect devices and the campus network from:
Please visit our Cisco Umbrella webpage to learn more.