Response to malicious emails

The following message was emailed to students, faculty and staff on September 19, 2019

Last week, an unknown individual or individuals with malicious intent sought to spread a message of bigotry, division and fear among members of our campus community through emails sent to seven members of our faculty and staff and five offices on campus. Our faculty and staff have worked to protect everyone on our campus while striving to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

We hear the questions posed by some of our students: can you see us, can you hear us, do you understand our lived experiences? Yes, we see you. Yes, we hear you. And, no, we cannot fully understand what some of you are enduring.

The emails, steeped in the vitriol of white supremacy and nationalism, were sent to individual and office inboxes associated with the Department of Sociology, the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the LGBTQ+ Center, and the Intercultural Center. These emails have hurt, scared, threatened, angered, and confused many on our campus in different ways. This cuts at the core of who we are at Wake Forest and impacts us all.

While none of the emails contained actionable threats or detailed a specific attack on our campus, they still managed to elicit the fear the sender intended. Wake Forest consulted with law enforcement and national threat assessment experts — including the FBI’s leading experts on domestic terrorism, white nationalism, and hate crimes — before deciding to continue classes and normal University operations. The increased police presence on campus and enhanced security measures will continue while the investigation proceeds.

Our decision to continue classes does not diminish the real emotions and concern some in our community still feel. We pledge to stand by all our students, staff and faculty when they experience hate and discrimination of any kind. We will revise protocols where necessary and improve on the processes that we know are effective. We must remember who we are as a caring and supportive community and move forward in the spirit of those values.

There are many sources of support for those of you who are affected by these hateful emails. The University Counseling Center (336-758-5273), the Chaplain’s Office (336-758-5210) and the Employee Assistance Program (336-716-5493) are invaluable resources, as are our friendships and circles of personal support. Please continue to look out for each other.


Nathan Hatch, President
Rogan Kersh, Provost
Jane Aiken, Dean of the School of Law
Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College
Charles Iacovou, Dean of the School of Business
Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life
José Villalba, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Jonathan Walton, Dean of the School of Divinity

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Timely Warning: Rape reported

This timely warning was distributed to students, faculty and staff on Sept. 18 by several methods, including e-mail:

In order to promote safety on the Wake Forest University campus, the University is issuing this Timely Warning concerning a possible threat to the community.

The Winston-Salem Police Department and the University Police Department are investigating an alleged incident of rape that was reported to have occurred on Sept. 14, 2019, in Angelou Residence Hall. It was reported to police on Sept. 17, 2019.

A student reported being raped by another student. The alleged victim reported that the suspect is known to them.

If you have any information that might be helpful in this investigation, contact the University Police at (336) 758- 5911 or, if you wish, anonymously through “Silent Witness.”

Wake Forest is providing resources to assist the individuals involved in this incident, and will continue to take actions to maintain the safety and security of the campus community.  

It is important for all of us to focus on the things that we can all do to keep ourselves and others safe.

  •  Call 911: If you feel uneasy or unsafe, go to a safe location and call a friend or the police at 911. When your safety is at risk or you need a safe escort on campus, contact University Police, available 24 hours at 336-758-5911.
  • –Download Live Safe Mobile App  
  • –Ask a friend who may be in a potentially dangerous situation if they want to leave and then make sure that they get home safely.

If you have experienced a sexual offense, we encourage you to seek support. If you or a friend has questions or concerns about sexual offenses, you can contact the following resources for confidential information and support:

Safe Office: [Confidential]
Helpline 24/7: 336-758-5285, Reynolds Gym, B104-107 (next to Student Health Service)

Student Health Service: [Confidential]
336-758-5218, Lower Level of Reynolds Gymnasium

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center [Confidential]
Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157

 University Counseling Center: [Confidential]
336-758-5273, Reynolda Hall, Room 117

Office of the Chaplain: [Confidential]
336-758-5017, Reynolda Hall, Suite 8

If you would like to report a sexual offense, please contact any of the following offices:

University Police
336-758- 5911

Wake Forest University Title IX Office
336-758-7258, Reynolda Hall, Room 307

 To obtain information about sexual offense prevention, contact:

Safe Office: [Confidential]
Helpline 24/7: 336-758-5285, Reynolds Gym B104-107 

University Police
336-758-5591 (non-emergency)

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD)

Other resources:

Winston-Salem Police Department
911 in an emergency

Family Services/Forsyth County
24/7 Sexual Assault helpline: 336-722-4457
24/7 Domestic Violence helpline: 336-723-8125

Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center [Confidential]
3333 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

This Timely Warning is sent in compliance with the provisions of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998.

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Categories: Inside WFU

A message from University Police

This message was e-mailed to students, faculty and staff on Sept. 17 by Communications and External Relations on behalf of the University Police Department:

 On September 10 and 11, twelve University faculty and staff members received multiple variations of an email from an unknown source. The emails were intentionally inflammatory, using racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and discriminatory language. The wording of the emails was intentionally intimidating and threatening, though no direct and specific threat was made. At this time, we have had no reports of any students receiving similar emails, and no further emails have been reported since the original twelve.

University Police informed all faculty and staff of their investigation on September 11. University Police coordinated with Information Systems and local authorities. They also enlisted the help of state and federal agencies. 

The emails were sent to individual and office inboxes associated with the Department of Sociology, the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the LGBTQ+ Center, and the Intercultural Center.

In response to faculty and staff concerns, Wake Forest has increased the police and security presence around the buildings housing impacted offices. After consulting with state and federal authorities, Wake Forest did not cancel classes or issue an alert to students requiring any change to daily activity. 

This investigation is still very active, and we thank you for your patience as authorities continue to pursue answers and follow leads. We will share updates as they become available.

If you know any information that may be helpful, please contact the Wake Forest University Police Department at 336-758-5591. 

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President's Ball to be held Sept. 20 at the Coliseum

The 2019 President’s Ball will be held Sept. 20 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Coliseum.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to the ball.  Registration is available on this website.

Organizers have recommended that attendees come ready “to enjoy an evening of live music, free food and a special appearance by President and Mrs. Hatch.”

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Categories: EventsInside WFU

Crime Alert: Shot fired at University-owned house

This crime alert was emailed to students, faculty and staff on Sept. 16 and distributed in additional ways:

The Winston-Salem and Wake Forest University police departments are investigating an incident tonight (Sept. 16) in which a bullet was fired into a University-owned house on Polo Road. None of the house’s occupants, all graduate students, were injured. 

Police believe the shot was fired at approximately 7:15 p.m. It was nearly an hour later before the residents of the house realized what had happened and contacted police.

While the police continue their investigation, University staff members are offering support and assistance to the students who live in the house.

Anyone with information that may assist in the investigation is asked to contact Wake Forest University Police at 336-758-5911. 


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