I recall sitting in a nook in the corner of the third floor of the ZSR library alongside a few friends as we studied for our upcoming exams when we were interrupted by uproarious cheers that could be heard through the opening that reveals the second floor. These cheers were met with the sounds of shoes hitting the floor as students rushed onto the quad to celebrate Wake Forest’s victory over Duke University with the honored tradition of streaming toilet paper all along the quad.
This memory is a joyful one and represents the Wake Forest community that I have grown to love. I remember being a wide-eyed student who watched in starstruck wonder at the celebrations around me. While I have never been one to keep up with athletics, I could feel the pride swelling in my heart as everyone around me was cheering, singing and embracing the feeling of being a part of the Wake Forest family.
The experience of rolling the quad is one of many traditions that are beloved to our community, and there are many more to come as our community grows. Beyond the cherished traditions that are celebrated without fail by each incoming class, there are interpersonal traditions built between students — like the student body’s mutual agreement that Moe’s is an atrocity to society and should not be considered an acceptable dining option (a philosophy that will be lost to the incoming class as the Moe’s legacy is stomped by the delicious food of Yamas, a Mediterranean delight).
The passion and communal dedication toward little traditions or philosophies are what makes the community at Wake Forest one that I am so grateful to be a part of — and one that has given me many memories to hold on to.
While these unspoken and unique traditions have impacted my experience here, there is much to say for the time-honored traditions that make the community feel like a family. One of these said traditions is the annual cancer research fundraiser in honor of Brian Piccolo, named “Hit The Bricks”. During this event, students, faculty and alumni come together to, well, hit the bricks. Different organizations and sectors across campus convene on Hearn Plaza to run around the quad for eight hours, building a sense of community and working toward a common goal.
Students reconvene biannually for the beloved President’s Ball, an event founded in celebration of former President Nathan Hatch’s inauguration of 2005. The President’s Ball is a time for music, dancing and community as students and the Wake Forest community celebrate together during the Homecoming weekend.
As the weather starts to cool off, the student-organized Project Pumpkin event draws over 1,400 children from the Winston-Salem community as organizations and volunteers across campus gather for a safe Halloween experience, a tradition since 1988.
While these are just a few of Wake Forest’s traditions, there are so many more to experience (from Lovefeast, a traditional Moravian feast and candle-lit service, to Wake N’ Shake, the philanthropic annual dance marathon in honor of Brian Piccolo, to highlight a couple) that far exceed words on a paper. Being able to participate in these traditions yourself and create these memories is a fundamental part of being a Demon Deacon. I was hesitant to engage and participate in the different events that popped up around campus during my freshman year, but I encourage you to take advantage of the beautiful campus and community that is Wake Forest — and to make some traditions of your own.