A Primer on Wake Forest Traditions

A Primer on Wake Forest Traditions

When you join a school with 186 years of history such as Wake Forest University, you’re bound to come across and experience countless traditions during your four-year college experience. 

Most people do not know when we started rolling the quad or when the ringing of the Wait Chapel bells became a punctual 5 p.m. presence in our lives, but it is undeniable that Wake Forest traditions are constantly shaping students’ lives on campus. 

Here is how a typical Wake Forest year, sans COVID-19, of traditions usually goes and what we usually do: 

When Fall semester first rolls around, excitement is palpable around campus as we are eager to catch up with some old faces and meet new ones too. The kickoff of the semester also kicks off football season and us, Deacs, pack BB& … Truist Field for the first game of the season to cheer on our Demon Deacons. 

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Unfortunately, and that could be called a tradition too, our excitement for a new football season usually lasts us exactly two quarters of football each game, as many of us are seen journeying back to campus a little past the halftime show by SOTOGAB Wake Forest’s marching band. 

Yet, when the Demon Deacons win a big game, we are the first to celebrate, rushing to the Quad to roll our trees with toilet paper in big fashion. The remnants of such party usually last for quite some time, reminding us of our latest triumph over a big rival. Also, thanks to Head Coach Dave Clawson, we have rolled the Quad quite frequently, probably a tad too much, with five straight bowl appearances. So, opportunities for this will be plenty.

When the biannual Pres Ball takes place, we usually flood the LJVM Coliseum in what is our first big party of the year. We dress in semi-formal attire, enjoy free food, live music and some great moments together that we’ll surely look back fondly for many years to come.

Fast-forward to Hit the Bricks, and we quite literally hit the ground running at the upper quad in support of a campus-wide philanthropy effort in the fight against cancer. Some run backwards, with a pushcart or even dressed in unicorn pajamas, but the important thing is that everyone is donating their time and effort to help fund one of Wake Forest’s noblest causes, the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund. 

We realize the semester is winding down when we all gather around at Wait Chapel to celebrate Lovefeast. Coming from Moravian influence, Lovefeast is one of the most beautiful experiences you can ever have at the Chapel and a moment to feel closer to our fellow Deacs. 

The Spring is also filled with big events like Wake N’ Shake, which probably grabs the semester’s biggest headlines as far as traditions go. Once again, Demon Deacons from all grades and majors donate 12 straight hours to the fight against cancer in a unique and colorful dance marathon. A few brave ones stay for most or half of the event, but it only takes as little as five minutes to feel the special atmosphere that takes place even if virtually this past semester

Basketball season is also at the thick of things during the Spring, but as of the last few years we will keep that tradition on hold.   

Towards the end of the Spring semester, when it is time for Shag on the Mag, we all celebrate our favorite Springfest event at the lower quad. The Student Union’s production always brings a different themed party and the event is filled with great joy and alcoholic beverages for those over 21, too.

Wake Forest has many great traditions and events that we, as upperclassmen, hope will shape your experience here as much as it shaped our’s. However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that things will likely be different for a while. 

Perhaps, this is the time to slightly tweak and reinvent our traditions as we adapt to a new normal. And perhaps, you will get to shape the traditions of our future.

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