“Why Wake Forest?” I have been asked this question recently as many juniors from my high school have visited campus deciding if Wake Forest is a school they want to apply to.
Being from California, I hear this question regularly. My usual answer is that I have family friends who live in Winston-Salem who introduced me to Wake Forest. Or that when I toured after my junior year, I instantly knew that I wanted to come here — the beautiful campus, rigorous academics, school spirit and a liberal arts education are factors I took into consideration. I’ve given versions of the same answer dozens of times, almost as if I was an official representative of the university with a memorized script.
However, after attending office hours with my marketing professor, Kenny Herbst, my answer changed. He also asked what drew me to Wake Forest during our session and I gave him my typical answer.
As we were discussing things outside of marketing, such as what drew me to Wake Forest, where I’m from and questions about my family, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of interest he had in me as a student.
What was supposed to be a short meeting about an assignment ended up being a long and interesting discussion about San Francisco, life at Wake Forest, interests outside of the classroom and more. For the majority of the time, we discussed topics outside of the assignment.
Professor Herbst takes a genuine interest in each of his students and that ideal is expressed in each and every class. He is always boasting about how excited he is to have us in class, how passionate he is about what he does and this attitude reflects on all of us and the learning environment. That type of enthusiasm and passion is rare, but somewhat more common here at Wake Forest.
After office hours I was immediately impressed with Professor Herbst. Not only did he care about how I was performing in his class, he took the time to get to know me outside of our marketing class.
Now when I answer the question “Why Wake Forest?” I will add that Wake Forest fosters a close-knit community because professors take the time to get to know and care about their students due to small class sizes.
The fact that I’ve had professors, in addition to Professor Herbst, actually take the effort to get to know me and the other students is actually an astounding feature of Wake Forest. Especially because many of my high school friends have said some of their professors do not know their names or anything about them.
So “Why Wake Forest?” Because you’ll have a unique classroom experience you can’t get anywhere else.