Paige Nordland is a senior who is majoring in political science and minoring in health policy. She is the Hit the Bricks Student Director and an OPCD Student Ambassador.
This year, Nordland will lead the Hit the Bricks event. This popular campus tradition brings students from all corners of campus to the Upper Quad to raise money for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund and encourages students to run laps in honor and memory of those who have battled or are still battling cancer.
Nordland hits the bricks for Dr. David Coates, and she invites others to join her as they think of those affected by cancer while joining in on this special community-building and heartwarming philanthropy event.
Why did you decide to become involved with Hit the Bricks?
I decided to become involved with Hit the Bricks after running for my freshman hall, when I was inspired by the spirit, enthusiasm and profound impact of this event. I saw students, faculty and staff coming together on a sunny day, supporting each other with high fives and loud cheering against cancer.
Could you explain the importance of this campus tradition to you?
Cancer affects everyone in some shape or form. My beloved Wake Forest professor, Dr. Coates, passed away last year from terminal brain cancer. He was one of those witty professors that always kept the class on their toes and challenged us to think beyond our prior notions. His positive impact on my learning and experience here at Wake Forest inspires me to carry out his spirit and love for this community forward.
How have you prepared for the upcoming event?
Our team has prepared for this event by focusing on different spaces such as PR/marketing, campus engagement, fundraising and entertainment. Every year, we examine what we can improve upon from the previous years, and we set personal and collective achievement goals. This year we aimed to better engage first-year students, non-Greek organizations and faculty. We’ve worked with the DeconOne Card Office to increase efficiency by creating an electronic lap recording system through the website and established new relationships with campus and community sponsors. The efforts of this committee are never alone, as we have worked largely across co-chair teams and with various faculty departments and campus staff.
What is your favorite part of Hit the Bricks?
My favorite part of Hit the Bricks is the final remembrance lap, when participants walk a silent lap around the quad. After a full day of energy and enthusiasm, this silent lap draws on the meaning of why we hit the bricks and contribute to cancer research. In this final ceremony, we hear from students and faculty who have been personally affected by cancer to culminate the event.
Why do you think that people should participate?
I think people should participate because whether you decide to run, walk or cheer, your presence adds to the spirit of this event. Hit the Bricks is a way we can come together as a Wake Forest community to embody the values of Pro Humanitate and honor the ones we love.