Dear Class of 2019,
Congratulations! In a few short days, you will have that Wake Forest diploma secured in your hands as you cross the (stage on) the Quad one last time.
If there is one thing “constant and true” at Wake Forest, it is that each year produces students smarter, more aware, more active and better than the last. You as a class are truly “unrivaled by any.” For those of us who aren’t graduating, we have big Deacon top hats to fill and can only dream to achieve as much as you all did in your four years here.
In this special edition of the Old Gold & Black, we have highlighted a graduating senior in each major. Academic departments nominate these students to represent the major for their academic prowess and contributions to campus. The Graduation Tabloid brings the Editorial Board so much joy each year, as it is our privilege to hear our fellow Demon Deacons talk with pride about their education, experiences, achievements and future plans. We wish we could give each of you the infinite space you deserve.
Many of you must be ready to leave. ‘Work Forest’ has undoubtedly pushed you to your limits. Sleep-deprived late nights in ZSR, dizzying midterms and research papers written in a caffeine rush are the hallmarks of a Wake Forest education. Trust me, I know, as I write the first draft of this letter at 3:01 a.m. the night before a final exam.
The Wake Forest diploma, with its fancy, looping letters, signifies no small feat. You, of course, know that you are leaving with a worthy degree. When you look down at the diploma, I hope that you see everything else Mother So Dear has bestowed on you.
You are all also leaving with things you couldn’t have learned in the confines of a classroom in Tribble or Farrell. You are leaving having participated in time-honored traditions, such as the rolling of the Quad, Shag on the Mag and Lovefeast. You are leaving having also created your own time-honored traditions, whether that be weekly Mag Room lunches with your roommate, preferring one table in Benson to study at, swinging on the swings on Davis Field or runs on the Reynolda Trail.
You are leaving having learned the Pro Humanitate spirit. You have not only gained from Wake Forest, but through your kindness and loyalty, you have already given back so much to Mother So Dear. You’ve participated in countless philanthropy events like Hit the Bricks and Wake N’ Shake. You’ve challenged this university to take a hard look at itself, its policies and its cultures. You are leaving having helped shape the university you would like to see.
But, most importantly, I can only hope for one thing: that you are leaving happy.
I hope that when you are all sitting on the Quad in your black caps and gowns, sweaty under the hot May North Carolina sun, and listening to the commencement speakers, you are really thinking back on your time with a bittersweet nostalgia. Only four short years ago, you were freshmen standing on the same Quad, sweaty under the hot August North Carolina sun, being welcomed during the Making of a Demon Deacon ceremony in which you received a Wake Forest pin, sang the alma mater and rolled the Quad for the first time.
Seniors, I want to beg you not to leave. Your graduation means I am less than a year away from my own. I can’t imagine a life after college, even though our entire time here is spent preparing for it. I can’t begin to fathom those last few weeks you just lived — having to savor living mere feet away from your best friends, eating Pit food and basking in the glow of Wait Chapel at night. It seems all too surreal to me, so I thank you for doing it first.
To you, Class of 2019, the Editorial Board of the Old Gold & Black would like to raise a glass of the finest red ruddy Rhenish, filled up to the brim. Best of luck in all that you do. Go and make Mother So Dear so proud.
Old Gold & Black