Having returned to work at Wake Forest only last summer, I had not attended a Founders’ Day Convocation in years. Yesterday I sat in Wait Chapel to once again witness Convocation’s exquisite pomp, the procession of scholars in academic regalia and the celebration of teachers, students and benefactors. The 177th Convocation also had its fun moments.
Student Government President Natalie Halpern of Marietta, Ga., introduced the seniors’ video, which brought back those feelings so many of my WFU friends and I talk about all these years after graduation. One student described Pro Humanitate as “a mandate to impact the world whether on a global scale or on the local level.” Another praised the University’s generosity: “Wake Forest allows us to stumble; it allows us to fall; and it allows us to get back up.” Having “never even come close to failing,” the student on the video admitted he failed a class but repeated it and succeeded.
The favorite Wake Forest tradition hands-down was rolling the Quad, and the seniors reminded us of techniques we used to know well during football star Jay Venuto’s days. “I always just do an underhand throw and hope that it reaches the tree,” one said. “I think you have to get a really good back swing on it,” said another. (I think all of us Deacs are ready for a win to give those techniques a try.)
The seniors’ video ended with advice about getting to know as many people as possible during the four short years on campus. They treasure their friendships. They will miss their friends, but, as the video, concluded: “An army of friends can change the world.” Senior spring is simply the beginning.