A letter from Wake Forest’s new President – Susan R. Wente

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Susan Wente

Sometimes, a song transports you back to a specific place and time in your life. That’s the case for me and Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out (Anthony›s Song)”. Every time I hear it, my mind returns to my childhood home in Iowa. There, I’m surrounded by boxes, and my stomach is filled with the kinds of butterflies that swarm when something exciting is about to happen. That song was playing on my stereo as I packed to leave for my first fall semester and my parents prepared for the five-hour car trip to the University of Iowa.

I imagine you might have some of those same swarms of butterflies as you start your academic journey at Wake Forest. Truth be told, I have them too: this is an exciting time for all of us! A few weeks before you packed to come join the Wake Forest community, I did too. And just as you are looking ahead at the opportunities to become part of a new community, I am too.

Class of 2025, together, we get to make Wake Forest our home.

We will learn the cherished traditions and distinctives that are hallmarks of the Wake Forest experience. And we will share our talents and find ways to contribute and serve our new community too.

As an educator, I understand the excitement and anticipation that accompanies the beginning of an academic year. I also know that this moment — the start of your college career — will only happen once. As we take our first steps as Demon Deacons, let me briefly share the hopes I have for each of you during your years on campus from three vantage points.

First, as a scientist and a scholar, I hope your Wake Forest experience will be filled with discovery — discovery of knowledge, discovery of your potential and discovery of what you can uniquely contribute to the world.

As a mentor, I hope your Wake Forest experience inspires you to grow not only as a scholar, but also as a human being. May you find ways to enrich your life emotionally, socially and intellectually.

And finally, as a leader, I hope that you will use these coming years as a time to seek opportunities to lead in your own right and in your own way. Embrace your education not just as a series of classes, projects and relationships, but also as a way to unite and improve our community — on campus, in Winston-Salem and around the world.

Over the next weeks and months, you will continue to get lots of advice and opinions about your college experience — not least of all from me! Everyone is excited for you and wants the best for you during your time at Wake Forest. As you experience this moment, I urge you to remember that your time here is about your growth and your being part of a caring community — your transition to life away from home, into a new community, aimed toward new adventures and ambitions.

Here’s hoping you have some good music for the journey. If you need some inspiration, check out my Move-In playlist at go.wfu.edu/playlist2021.

Class of 2025, welcome to Wake Forest!