Thanks to ‘The Wake Forest Way’

Deacon Blog


During my many years working at this University we’ve called it “The Wake Forest Way.” And we still do. It’s the term we use to describe that spirit of caring, courtesy and willingness to go above and beyond — in situations big and small — that characterizes people who teach, study and work here. wcTake this week, for example.

Let’s just say you’re a magazine writer and you’re getting ready to interview an alumna who, in the midst of travels and a busy calendar, has agreed to meet you at a campus venue. Inside that building are some items essential to her story, and your job is to get a photo of her with them.

Then, let’s just say you’re surprised to find the building locked up. It is summer, after all. But the alumna really doesn’t know when she’ll be able to get back on campus, so getting inside today would be oh-so convenient.

Let’s just say that at this point — at many places — the magazine writer could be out of luck. But not at Wake Forest. She’s been here long enough to know there’s someone who, if it’s at all possible, will help her accomplish this mission.

So let’s just say the writer, who is standing outside with her interviewee and without a phone directory, calls the campus switchboard. The operator cordially transfers her to Facilities Management, and a helpful voice explains that in order to request access to the building the writer will have to contact Campus Police.

20140324arch7963That helpful person transfers the writer to Campus Police, where the businesslike voice of “Henderson” tells her she will have to contact the Deacon One Card office, then offers to transfer the call.

Then let’s just say the super-helpful Gina in the Deacon One Card office wants very much to get the writer inside the building but must first have authorization from a source higher up, so she’ll call back. Which she does, promptly.

Within minutes, another helpful citizen of Wake, Zeb, appears from inside the locked building and lets in the writer and her guest, even offering assistance with a stepladder so they can complete their photo shoot.

Let’s just say where there’s a will, there’s a way. “The Wake Forest Way.”

Cherin C. Poovey (P-as-in-Parent ’08)

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