Wake Forest was buzzing on August 22 as more than 1,400 first-year students — from 42 states and 31 countries — moved into residence halls on South Campus. The class was admitted from an applicant pool of nearly 13,000; 74 percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes.
As Wake Forest welcomes a new group of Demon Deacons to the family, we had the opportunity to meet legacy students and their parents. We asked the parents to share their Wake Forest stories, and we asked the newest Deacons what they just can’t live without in their new dorm rooms.
New York, New York
Ashley Grigg is a third-generation Deacon and the daughter of Rob Grigg (’89, P ’22) and Allison Reid Grigg (’89, P ’22). Her grandfather is Charlie Reid (’56, P ’89, ’91). Allison was excited to be moving Ashley into Bostwick, the same freshman dorm she lived in years ago.
Allison, what advice do you have for Ashley? “Take advantage of all the opportunities that Wake offers. Small class sizes allow you to have meaningful relationships with classmates and professors. Embrace everything that is available to you.”
What was your favorite spot on campus? “The snack pit with friends — pizza and french fries.”
What is your favorite Wake Forest memory? “Hard to choose but probably watching intramural soccer games at the fields near Polo Road and rooting for my future husband.”
What does it mean to you to have Ashley join the Wake Forest family? “We are proud and happy that Ashley fell in love with Wake as we did and excited for her to create her own memories. My dad, Charlie Reid, was class of 1956, so it is particularly meaningful to have a third generation Deac, and we are already looking forward to a fourth.”
What will you miss most about Ashley? “Her sense of humor and sound of her laughter.”
Ashley, what item did you bring from home that you felt you couldn’t live without and why? “One thing I brought with me to campus from home that is important to me is a picture I have of my sister and me at Litchfield Beach. I have hundreds of photos with my sister, but this one is special because it not only reminds me of the close bond my sister and I share but also all the great memories we have at the beach. We have been going to our grandparents’ house in South Carolina since we were babies, and it is truly our favorite place on earth. Looking at that photo reminds me of so many fun times with family and friends.”
What are you most looking forward to experiencing on campus? “On campus I am looking forward to experiencing all the different things Wake has to offer. I am excited to meet new friends, start new classes and experience a newfound sense of freedom. After I get settled on campus I hope to look into joining different clubs and getting involved in groups I am passionate about. I am also very excited for sports events as I am an avid college sports fan. Go Deacs!”
Hickory, North Carolina
Alex Pleasant, a third-generation Deacon, moved into Maya Angelou dorm with help from his parents, William Pleasant (’91, JD ’94, P ’22) and Shannon Hefner Pleasant (’91, P ’22). His grandfather is William “Ron” Pleasant (’61, P ’91, ’93). William and Shannon are co-presidents of the WAKEHickory alumni community, and William serves on the Alumni Council.
William and Shannon, what advice do you have for Alex? “Be yourself. Explore new things and then engage deeply with those that strike a chord. Spend time in conversation with new friends. Take advantage of opportunities to get to know your professors. Work hard (it pays off), but enjoy yourself. Embrace Pro Humanitate — it truly makes Wake Forest special.”
What was your favorite spot on campus? “The Quad. We fondly remember it as a peaceful place, and the sunsets were always beautiful.”
What is your favorite Wake Forest memory? “The day we met. Shannon was returning William’s roommate’s notes to him after missing class. We don’t recommend missing class, but in our case it worked out great!”
What does it mean to you to have him joining the Wake Forest family? “We are excited that now it’s Alex’s turn to personally experience the traditions, relationships and culture that make Wake Forest special and that are common to so many generations of Deacs. Alex has grown up around Wake Forest, but we can’t wait for him to know the special feeling of belonging to the Wake Forest family in his own right.”
What will you miss most about Alex? “We will miss the sound of Alex’s music in our house: practicing violin or learning new songs on the piano or guitar. Things will be a lot quieter!”
Alex, what item did you bring from home that you couldn’t live without? “I felt that I couldn’t live without my musical instruments. I love to make all kinds of music both by myself and with others, so I’m hoping it will be a way to help me make friends and feel at home when I get to Wake Forest.”
What are you most looking forward to experiencing on campus? “I’m most looking forward to meeting all kinds of new people who are different from me.”
Grovetta Nelson Gardineer (’82, P ’22) helped her son, Blaise, move into Babcock dorm. The friends she made during freshman year all landed in the Washington, D.C., area after college, and now their kids are friends. Blaise is the last to head off to college, and everyone is excited he chose to attend Wake Forest. Grovetta is a member of the Association of Wake Forest University Black Alumni.
Grovetta, what does it mean to have Blaise join the Wake Forest family? “It’s an unbelievable feeling of joy that I have something else I can share with my son. My memories of Wake Forest are so incredible, and I understand how this University really shaped my life in ways that I didn’t expect and didn’t understand when I was 18 years old. So I’m excited for him to be a part of that journey of understanding what Wake Forest does to a young freshman and preparing him for becoming a great member of society.”
What will you miss most about Blaise? “I think what I will miss most about Blaise is text messaging back and forth throughout the day. Sometimes getting them answered, sometimes not. More often they were answered. I am now transitioning into that period where I don’t expect them to get responded to as quickly, but I think I will miss that communication that I’ve had with my son for so many years.”
What is your favorite memory while you were at Wake Forest? “I am still friends with folks that I met in my freshman year of college. We’ve been friends for 40 years, and our kids are friends. And so the family atmosphere — I don’t really miss it; I feel like I brought it with me.”
Blaise, is there an item you brought from home you felt you could not live without? “I absolutely love music. Unfortunately for my R.A., I like to play music pretty loud. (I brought) my JBL speaker I got as a Christmas present from my mom this year, and it is something I really don’t think I could go without anywhere. I always like to have music playing.”
What are you most looking forward to your freshman year? “I just want to get to know a lot of people and really just get out there and try new stuff.”
Alan Prince (’86, P ’19, ’22) and Cathy Coles Prince (’86, P ’19, ’22) helped move their daughter Annie into Bostwick dorm. Annie joins her older sister, Emma, a senior, on campus this year. Alan and Cathy are members of the Wake Forest Parents’ Council.
What advice do you have for Annie?
Cathy: “My advice to Annie is to have fun making friends and building relationships. These will be the memories you cherish for a long time.”
What was your favorite spot on campus and why?
Cathy: “My favorite spot on campus was 3B “New Dorm” (now Luter!) — Fidele Hall. I lived there for three years and loved just hanging out with friends, gathering before games and functions, and it was even my favorite study spot.”
Alan: “Absolutely the Quad, Wake’s front porch. Home of the Sundry Shop, the Wachovia ATM, my freshman suite with John Blair (’86, P ’21) and Rich Leadem (’86, P ’18, ’22) overlooking the Quad (403C Davis), lots of toilet paper on the big old trees after Deacon victories (beat DePaul to go to the Elite 8 — retired Ray Meyer), the WFU Barber Shop, the Post Office in Poteat, Reynolda Hall and the Snack Pit featuring the Double Deac with fries, Wait Chapel (met my wife Cathy there first week of classes) and Taylor Dorm — home of Sigma Chi — lifelong friends. I also remember the Quad for the green lights on Wait Chapel on the night of the last M*A*S*H episode and the occasional aroma of tobacco, when the wind was just right, from RJR at Whitaker.”
What is your favorite Wake Forest memory?
Cathy: “My favorite Wake memory was meeting Alan on the steps of Wait Chapel the first day of school.”
What does it mean to you to have Annie join the Wake Forest family?
Cathy: “We are so excited to have Annie join the Wake Forest legacy. It was such a special place for our family, and we look back on our days there so fondly. It’s a unique place where you can take advantage of amazing resources more typical of a larger university while still forming personal bonds within a close knit community. It’s the best of all worlds. I know Annie will make the most of it and have experiences that will be with her forever.”
What will you miss most about Annie? “Annie is our last to leave the nest so there will be a lot to miss. But mostly we’ll miss her smiling face and abundant energy that kept our house so active.”
Annie, what item did you bring from home that you felt you couldn’t live without? “The one item I couldn’t leave home without is my speaker. I love listening to music all the time, no matter what I’m doing.”
What are you most looking forward to experiencing on campus? “I’m most excited about meeting new people and seeing what there is to get involved in!”
Mary Caroline Funk
Mary Caroline Funk has been visiting Wake Forest since she was a little girl and dreaming of attending the University for 10 years. She has now settled into her home away from home in Johnson dorm, with help from her parents, Sam Funk (’93, P ’22) and Betsy Brakefield Funk (’92, P ’22), and her younger sisters, Lucy and Hattie.
What advice do you have for Mary Caroline?
Sam: “Take advantage of all the different activities this school has to offer.”
Betsy: “Mary Caroline has heard this from me more times than she would like. Put down your phones and enjoy as much time as you can with your friends while you are all at Wake together. In four short years, your phones may be your only way to communicate as you settle in different cities.”
What was your favorite spot on campus and why?
Sam: “In front of the Sigma Chi House on Friday afternoons, because I would get to see all of my friends walk by.”
Betsy: “I loved walking up the steps to the Quad on the Benson side of Reynolda, because it was always a surprise to see what the scene would be when I got to the top, depending on the time of day and the amount of activity. My favorite scene was at night when it was so peaceful. Even after so many years, I still love walking up those steps.”
What is your favorite Wake Forest memory?
Sam: “Beating Duke in basketball.”
Betsy: “I’m sure I am not alone when I tell you that it was the glow of the candles during Lovefeast.”
What does it mean to you to have Mary Caroline join the Wake Forest family?
Sam: “It means I get to spend a lot more time at Wake Forest and get to watch her make her own memories.”
Betsy: “Last fall, it was so hard to think of her leaving our nest, but the instant she opened her acceptance letter, my heart settled. It seems like she is just moving to another part of our family because we are still so connected to the school and many of our Wake friends. Sam and I never pressured her to choose Wake Forest, but we are so glad she did since we both loved our years there so much. I do have to admit that I used to sing the alma mater to her when she was a baby, but we left it up to her after that!”
What will you miss most about Mary Caroline?
Sam: “Hanging out with her before bed.”
Betsy: “I can’t possibly narrow them down, but one thing I will miss is watching her interact with her younger sisters, Lucy and Hattie. When they were little, they named themselves ‘The Buddy Team,’ and they continue to be very close friends.”
Mary Caroline, what item did you bring from home that you couldn’t live without? “I had to bring my camera because it’s where I am the most creative, and I have so much fun exploring new places with it.”
What are you most looking forward to experiencing on campus? “I’m very excited to get to experience the same Wake traditions that my parents got to experience 25 years ago!”
Hickory, North Carolina
Parents Jack and Sarah Temple, with the help of their younger daughter, Sierra, helped move son Jack in to Maya Angelou dorm. Many in Jack’s family have attended Wake Forest, including his mother, the late Sara Deal Temple (’91, P ’22), and his grandfather, Ron Deal (’65, P ’88, ’91, ’94), a Wake Forest Life Trustee.
Jack and Sarah, what advice do you have for Jack? “Take advantage of as many of the wonderful opportunities that will be presented to you as possible; be open to new ideas and points of view; be willing to take some risks and reach beyond your comfort zone, you are capable of sooo much; try something you have never tried before even if you fail; be mindful that you are getting an opportunity that is not afforded to many, don’t take it for granted; make someone’s day whenever you can; and do unto to others. …”
What does it mean to you to have Jack join the Wake Forest family? “It makes us very proud that Jack has chosen Wake Forest. We know his aunts, uncle and grandfather Deal are thrilled that he will get the opportunity to understand why they truly love Wake Forest as much as they do. Jack’s mother (Sara Deal Temple ’91, P ’22) would have been so excited for him knowing what a special place Wake Forest was to her.”
What will you miss most about Jack? “I can’t really think of anything that we won’t miss about him! We love how much he loves his 10-year-old sister. We will miss them being together on a daily basis. Jack had the opportunity to go to boarding school in Asheville so we are accustomed to him being gone for longer periods of time. But we still miss him all the time!”
Jack, what item did you bring from home that you felt you couldn’t live without and why? “Sheets that are soft and comfortable.”
What are you most looking forward to on campus? “Meeting new people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Cheering for the Deacons as a student.”
Cary, North Carolina
Henry Brooks moved into Johnson dorm with help from his parents, Richard Brooks (’90, P ’22) and Hani Sie Brooks (’90, P ’22). Hani serves on Wake Forest’s Alumni Council.
What advice do you have for Henry? “Try new things. Go out of your way to be friendly and meet as many people as you can. Keep an open mind. Take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way.”
What was your favorite spot on campus?
Hani: “SOPH hall — I had the good fortune to live on the hall for three years and developed so many close friendships with the different graduating classes.”
Richard: “Wait Chapel. There is something about looking across the Quad at the beautiful chapel that makes you feel good. The KA house ranks high as well because of the friendships and fun memories. I spent a ton of time studying in library ‘stacks’ and I did a lot of socializing there as well, … but I don’t think I can call the library my favorite place … can I??”
What is your favorite Wake Forest memory?
Hani: “The Orange Bowl game — it was like the biggest reunion ever. I especially enjoyed seeing so many alumni at one game and to see the Deacon pride.”
Richard: “I don’t have one favorite memory but lots and lots of memories that form my Wake Forest experience. Those memories come back from time to time to make me smile, laugh and shake my head.”
What does it mean to you to have Henry join the Wake Forest family? “It’s almost surreal to think he is walking the same campus, taking the same classes and even the same professors as we did. Hani and I met at Wake but didn’t date until after college, so to have a marriage from our Wake Forest experience and then a child to attend the same University that gave us so much makes us extremely proud. We are especially proud that he came up with his choice to attend Wake Forest on his own and for his own reasons. It was very interesting to watch him go through the process and come up with the same conclusion as we did to attend Wake Forest.”
What will you miss most about Henry? “His smile, our daily talks, and most of all, his making fun of us!”
Henry, what item did you bring from home that you felt you couldn’t live without? “Phantom 4 Drone. Flying drones and taking drone photography are some of my favorite hobbies, and there is a lot of new landscape to fly around here.”
What are you most looking forward to experiencing? “Meeting other students from all over the U.S. and the world. Making new friends.”
Bryce Gfroerer is a third-generation Deac whose extended family ties run black and gold. His parents, Dr. Terry Gfroerer (’91, P ’22) and Kelly Page Gfroerer (’91, P ’22), met at Wake Forest in their sophomore year. Bryce’s grandparents are Allen Freeman Page (’61, P ’91) and Sally Rigsbee Humble (’61, P ’91).
Kelly, what advice do you have for Bryce? “Enjoy the four years ‘cause it’s the best part of your life. Just enjoy it.”
What was your favorite spot on campus? “The Quad, just because it’s community building and everyone being together there. My husband and I met at the Pika house (Pi Kappa Alpha). He was a Pika.”
What is your favorite Wake Forest memory? “That is hard. There are a lot of them. I would say hanging out in the lounges with my friends at Fidele (now Chi Omega) hall.”
What will you miss most about Bryce? “Visiting with him after school, sitting on the back porch and talking. Having him around at family dinners. We’ll still have family vacations, but I’ll miss having him in the house. He’s the oldest. It’s great to be able to bring him here.”
What does it mean to have Bryce join the Wake Forest family? “It’s great. My nephew McKay Matthews (’13, MSA ’14) and his wife Sarah Alice Murphrey Matthews (’13) went here, and her dad Everette Murphrey IV (’81, JD ’84, P ’13) and grandfather, Willis “Doc” Murphrey III (’52, JD ’57, P ’81) also went here.”
Bryce, what item did you bring from home that you can’t live without? “My music, my phone and my computer.”
What are you most looking forward to? “Studying abroad in Europe.”
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Anna Perko spent a year at Wofford College, but transferred to Wake Forest this year. She is the daughter of Amy Privette Perko (’87, P ’22) and Richard Perko (P ’22). Her grandfather was the late Rev. Coy Privette (’55, P ’81, ’83, ’87, ’89).
Amy, What advice do you have for Anna? “Value your relationships and all the people who are here, because everyone here is committed to your success.”
What was your favorite spot on campus? “Reynolds Gym because I spent a lot of time there as a kid going to basketball camps and fulfilled my dream of playing there and created a lot of great memories there. My second favorite was the Quad, just sitting there and relaxing.”
What is your favorite Wake Forest memory? “I have one athletic and one non-athletic. My athletic is my junior year I hit a last-second shot to beat Duke in the ACC (basketball) tournament. I was a big Deacon fan as a kid, so it’s obviously a moment that sticks with you. My non-athletic memory, and there are a lot of those — hanging out with so many great friends that I still have strong relationships with.”
What does it mean to have Anna here? “I’m thrilled for her. I think Wake Forest has so many wonderful people who honor the traditions of Wake Forest and are committed to each person’s success. She’s going to love the educational experiences she gets here and the relationships she develops with professors, professional staff and fellow students. There are a lot of things about Wake that are very similar (to when I was here), but Wake has just continued to excel, and I’m so thrilled to see all the new programs and changes. It’s exciting.”
Anna, what item did you bring from home that you can’t live without? “My grandfather on my dad’s side had a collection of Ace Powell paintings, of South Dakota or the West or Midwest with buffalo roaming the plains. It’s something that makes it feel a little like home.”
What are you most looking forward to? “Getting involved in different social organizations, club soccer, choir; I sing with my church from time to time.