Former Wake Forest staff member Wanda Suttle Duncan will visit campus May 1 to promote her newly-published memoir, “Cracker Gothic: A Florida Woman’s Memoir.”
The book tells the story of her return to her small, rural hometown in Florida from North Carolina to care for her aging mother. A description for the book states that her “essays of her Cracker heritage and of rural Florida in the 21st century provide a glimpse of an old and authentic Florida that most tourists miss. Her stories of caring for an aging parent while dealing with personal grief speak to how place can heal a heart.”
Duncan’s book launch event will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Kulynych Auditorium in the Byrum Welcome Center. There will be a reception followed by a book reading, a Q&A and a book signing. The book, published by Library Partners Press, will be available for purchase at the event. It can be purchased, also, on Amazon.
The public is invited. RSVPs are requested. RSVPs may be sent to email@example.com.
For her book, Duncan is the first recipient of the David Coates Non-Fiction Award. It grew out of her master’s thesis written at Wake Forest for her MALS degree. She completed her degree in 2013.
At Wake Forest, Duncan was a staff member with the MALS program and the Lifelong Learning Program. She served as assistant director for the programs.
Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue and Dean of the College Michele Gillespie will speak April 10 at Campus Connections, hosted by Provost Rogan Kersh and Executive Vice President Hof Milam.
Campus Connections will take place from 8:45 to 10 a.m. in Benson University Center, Room 401. A light breakfast will be available.
Rue’s presentation is entitled “Hot Topics Update.” Gillespie’s is entitled “Inclusive Excellence in the College.”
An update on the Arts Council campaign will be provided, too.
A garden party in honor of Maya Angelou, the late internationally-acclaimed writer and Wake Forest professor, will be held April 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Bailey Park at Wake Downtown. In case of inclement weather, the event will move to Turbine Hall in Bailey Power Plant.
All are invited to attend the free event.
The celebration will take place on the 91st birthday of Angelou, who was Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest for more than 30 years. She was also known for her civil rights activism, as well as for her achievements as an actor and director and more.
The garden party will feature live music, poetry readings, lawn games, food trucks and more.
Wake Forest University, including Wake Downtown and Z. Smith Reynolds Library, will host the event.
Washington Post Publisher and CEO Frederick J. Ryan Jr. will deliver Wake Forest’s commencement address on May 20.
Formerly president and CEO of Politico, Ryan is widely regarded as a major innovator in digital communications and an outspoken free press advocate. Earlier in his career, he held senior level positions in the White House.
“In the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, he has repeatedly challenged world leaders to recognize that threats against journalists are threats against freedom,” said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch. “We are honored to have him deliver our commencement address.”
Gary Haugen, CEO and founder of International Justice Mission (IJM), will be the baccalaureate speaker on May 19. IJM is a global organization that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world.
Haugen has been recognized by the U.S. State Department as a Trafficking in Persons “Hero”—the highest honor given by the U.S. government for anti-slavery leadership. He is the author of several books, including “Good News about Injustice” and “The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence.”
Ryan and Haugen will receive honorary degrees at commencement.
Others to receive honorary degrees include Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden; Jeffrey A. Davis, executive vice President and chief financial officer of Qurate Retail Group; Sandy Ouellette, president of R and S Ouellette Inc.; and Philip A. Pizzo, former dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine. In addition, an honorary degree will be awarded posthumously to Julius L. Chambers, former chancellor of N.C. Central University and former director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
More information is available here.
This is a guest post from the English Department:
George Saunders, winner of the Man Booker Prize and author of “Lincoln in the Bardo,” will give a reading in the Byrum Welcome Center on Wednesday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m.
This event, which is free and open to the public, was made possible by a generous gift from the family of alumna Betty Jo Beeson Fitzpatrick (’50) to the Creative Writing Program. Visit (go.wfu.edu/saunders) for more information.
Saunders is one of the most critically acclaimed writers of our time. His first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” which explores Lincoln’s grief over the death of his son Willie, was hailed by The New York Times as “a luminous feat of generosity and humanism” and received the 2017 Man Booker Prize. Before “Lincoln in the Bardo,” Saunders was known as a brilliant writer of highly inventive short stories, novellas, and magazine articles. In addition to his novel, he has published four collections of short stories, a novella, and a book of essays. The recipient of a 2006 MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” his work appears regularly in The New Yorker, GQ, and Harper’s Magazine, as well as many story collections. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine in 2013.