President Hatch Reflects On “From The Ground Up”


©WFU/Ken Bennett

The Forklift Danceworks company, led by Wake Forest alumna Allison Orr (’93), follows landscaping staff on their morning duties as part of an artist-in-residence program on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. The company will work with facilities staff to create and stage a dance program in the fall of 2019.

Nathan Hatch

This past week Wake Forest was the “stage” for a unique and inspiring dance performance “From the Ground Up” featuring over 70 members of our own Facilities and Maintenance workers as performers and many more behind the scenes.  Julie and I watched this large-scale performance on the Quad last Wednesday evening during one of the final “dress rehearsals.”  We were amazed, moved and challenged by what we experienced.  Our Facilities and Campus Services department is among the largest units on campus, yet these workers are often seen as “supporting cast” members of our community.  What I experienced Wednesday evening was a profound sense of the reality of their work, of their pride in what they do, and the dignity they bring to their work: whether it is groundskeeping, locksmithing, carpentry, mechanical, plumbing, or any other number of other tasks.  These workers are every much as responsible for the success of our students as are the rest of us.  My thanks to the many people who made this inspirational and creative experience happen, starting with our own Facilities and Campus Services staff members, as well as Wake Forest’s  IPLACe; Forklift Danceworks and its founder and artistic director Allison Orr (’93); Professors Christina Soriano and Cindy Gendrich and their students, Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services John Shenette, and many, many others.  Thank you to all.