President Hatch emailed this message to students, faculty and staff on Feb. 22:
Dear Wake Forest students, faculty and staff,
Last night, there was a campus forum on creating more inclusive climates at Wake Forest. Several students voiced their acute and ongoing hurt, frustration and fatigue surrounding the underrepresented student experience on campus and the slow pace of change in bringing racial equity to our community.
As an institution of higher learning, Wake Forest is called to be a place where every member of our community cares about the treatment of people, seeks to understand the experiences of others and works together to become better. I want students at Wake Forest to know, at a deep and personal level, that you are valued here, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
Following the forum, Dean of Admissions Martha Allman apologized to the campus community for appearing in a 1982 group photo with the Kappa Alpha Order before the Confederate flag. Since then, she has devoted her professional career to improving Wake Forest, and I have accepted her apology.
I have often spoken of the need to be in conversation with one another, which is why I am meeting with student leaders and University administrators to navigate our path forward.
I am grateful to the students, faculty and staff who have voiced their concerns. I remain committed to pursuing the sense of belonging we want everyone in our community to feel.
Nathan O. Hatch