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Alumni, So Dear

Darling Deacon: William Kowal

pennantIn the Alumni Office, we love seeing the demon deacon children of alumni! (Or pictures of alumni when they were little deacons themselves.)

And we figured we weren’t the only ones. We will be featuring “darling deacons” here on Alumni, So Dear. It’s a chance for alumni parents to share with the Wake Forest community pictures of their children in all of their Black & Gold gear. We’re happy for alumni to take a walk down memory lane and send in any childhood Wake Forest photos of themselves, too.

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This week’s Darling Deacon is ten-month-old William, son of  Chris (’06) and Meredith Kowal.  He looks dashing in his favorite Wake Forest outfits.  We hope the Deacons continue to be his favorite team as he grows up.

We are excited to share another darling deacon soon.

Would you like to be considered for darling deacon of the week? Email your photo and the names of those pictured, your name and class year, and any other related information to alumni@nullwfu.edu. Photos should incorporate Wake Forest in some way for publication.

Happy Birthday, Samuel Wait

Ye Are Not Your Own

Rev. Samuel Wait was born 225 years ago today, Dec. 19, 1789 in what is now Washington County, N.Y., near Albany. Mary Tribble (’82), Senior Advisor for Engagement Strategies at Wake Forest and a direct descendent of Wait’s, offers her thoughts on the meaning of the founder’s pioneering spirit.

Just before Wake Forest founder Samuel Wait left his home state of New York for North Carolina, he gave one last sermon at his home church. In his journal, he wrote of his bittersweet feelings about the “strong sense of duty” that called him there.

“I came with reluctance to North Carolina. All the family friends of myself and my wife were left behind. It was a deeply affecting time…I was preaching in the pulpit first occupied by my venerated grandfather Wait…Within a short distance, in plain sight stood the house where I was born. Many of the older portion of the congregation had known me from infancy. As I was now about to send myself off from all the associations and endearments which naturally cluster around the place of one’s nativity, I was anxious to let them know that I was influenced solely by a conscientious view of what appeared to be duty.”

The text of his sermon was from Corinthians 6:19-20. “Ye are not your own…therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Wait clearly made a difficult choice in following the call to an unfamiliar place with a somewhat quixotic mission. He had been hired by the newly formed Baptist State Convention at a sum of $1 a day to raise money and invite participation in the new organization.

His daughter Ann Eliza Brewer later described the experience: “Imagine a covered jersey wagon of good size. A seat across the middle accommodated father and mother. In front at the mother’s feet was ample room for a little space in which sat their little daughter, about 4 years old when this work was commenced. In front of the father’s feet was a good-sized lunch basket for the comfort of the travelers. Sometimes the milk was churned to butter. Behind the middle seat, there was room for three trunks of pretty good size. This conveyance was the home of the little family—all the home they had—for two or three years, as they zigzagged back and forth from the mountains to the seaboard.”

Wait delivered 243 sermons in his first year of travel.

And as if the removal from his home state, travel conditions, grueling workload and meager salary weren’t enough, Samuel Wait met resistance from the fledgling North Carolina Baptist community.

A few of the congregations were suspicious of Wait and of his mission; some went so far as to print pamphlets questioning his motivation. They asked why the convention would pay a man $40 per month to “beg money from honest laborers and the poor.”

But Samuel Wait, supported by his steadfast and patient wife Sarah, continued on, shepherding the wagon from one rural church to another. Eventually, he and convention leaders realized that the Baptist mission could only grow if more men were educated for the ministry.

In 1832, they formed an education committee, purchased a farm for $2,000 and appointed Samuel Wait principal of the Wake Forest Institute.

In February 1834, Wake Forest opened its doors to 16 students, and a college was born.

When the Institute was founded, it didn’t have a motto. President William Louis Poteat would suggest Pro Humanitate in 1908, when the seal of the College was adopted. Even though the institution of his day lacked a formal, identifying phrase , Samuel Wait surely lived a life in the Wake Forest tradition of affecting the world in a positive way.

Whether we’re called to a life of service far removed from our place of birth or nestled in a familiar hometown, we do so because we know our communities will be better for it.

We realize, as did Samuel Wait, that we are not our own.

Darling Deacon: Cornelia “Ellie” Prugh

pennantIn the Alumni Office, we love seeing the demon deacon children of alumni! (Or pictures of alumni when they were little deacons themselves.)

And we figured we weren’t the only ones. We will be featuring “darling deacons” here on Alumni, So Dear. It’s a chance for alumni parents to share with the Wake Forest community pictures of their children in all of their Black & Gold gear. We’re happy for alumni to take a walk down memory lane and send in any childhood Wake Forest photos of themselves, too.

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This week’s Darling Deacon is seven-month-old Cornelia, daughter of  John and  Lia Gavin (’04) Prugh. When her parents were on campus in September for Lia’s ten year reunion, they stocked up on lots of Wake Forest gear for Ellie.  We know she’s going to look cute in all of her new outfits!

We are excited to share another darling deacon soon.

Would you like to be considered for darling deacon of the week? Email your photo and the names of those pictured, your name and class year, and any other related information to alumni@nullwfu.edu. Photos should incorporate Wake Forest in some way for publication.

Darling Deacon: Delaney Sullivan

pennantIn the Alumni Office, we love seeing the demon deacon children of alumni! (Or pictures of alumni when they were little deacons themselves.)

And we figured we weren’t the only ones. We will be featuring “darling deacons” here on Alumni, So Dear. It’s a chance for alumni parents to share with the Wake Forest community pictures of their children in all of their Black & Gold gear. We’re happy for alumni to take a walk down memory lane and send in any childhood Wake Forest photos of themselves, too.

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This week’s Darling Deacon is Delaney Sullivan, daughter of  David (’09, MSA ’10) and  Lauren Sullivan. Since Delaney’s mom graduated from Auburn and is a huge tiger fan, Delaney was lacking in Wake Forest gear.  One of her honorary uncles, Tim Powers (’09), stepped in and sent Delaney her first Wake Forest outfit.  We think she looks great in black and gold!  Thanks to Francesca Fitch (’09) for sharing the photo with us.  We’re glad to see that David and Lauren are already introducing Delaney to their Demon Deacon friends!

We are excited to share another darling deacon soon.

Would you like to be considered for darling deacon of the week? Email your photo and the names of those pictured, your name and class year, and any other related information to alumni@nullwfu.edu. Photos should incorporate Wake Forest in some way for publication.

Darling Deacon: Sutton Francis

pennantIn the Alumni Office, we love seeing the demon deacon children of alumni! (Or pictures of alumni when they were little deacons themselves.)

And we figured we weren’t the only ones. We will be featuring “darling deacons” here on Alumni, So Dear. It’s a chance for alumni parents to share with the Wake Forest community pictures of their children in all of their Black & Gold gear. We’re happy for alumni to take a walk down memory lane and send in any childhood Wake Forest photos of themselves, too.

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This week’s Darling Deacon is eight-month-old Sutton, daughter of  Scott (’04, MSA ’05, MBA ’06) and  (’06) and Meredith McCormack (’04) Francis. Sutton comes from a long line of Deacons, as three of her four grandparents also graduated from Wake Forest.  We believe that there will be a lot more black and gold in her future!

We are excited to share another darling deacon soon.

Would you like to be considered for darling deacon of the week? Email your photo and the names of those pictured, your name and class year, and any other related information to alumni@nullwfu.edu. Photos should incorporate Wake Forest in some way for publication.

Progressive Dinner and a Proposal!

On Saturday, November 1st, 22 alumni joined together on campus for the first ever “Alumni Progressive Dinner”, transitioning between the new dining options on campus, while enjoying time to connect with new and old Deacon faces.

The alumni group began at Shorty’s to enjoy appetizers and mingling, then did a walk-through tour of the Fresh Food Company (“the Pit”), had pizza in the Zick’s on the Quad (the former post office), and ended the progressive dinner in the North Dining Hall by having dessert at Bistro ’34. If you would like to learn more about these dining options on campus (always available to alumni, family & friends!), you can do so here.

Here is what a few alumni had to say about the event:
“It’s one way to become familiar and comfortable with the campus again since there are probably at least twice as many buildings on campus as when I attended Wake. Also it was interesting to discover what the present students experience food wise as it is totally different than the old “pit” and dairy/sandwich bar off the Reynolda patio which were our only options on campus in the old days. I think all alumni would be interested to know that they too can experience all the restaurant choices on campus.”

“I truly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the group size was perfect. We could chat and connect with different alumni as the evening wore on, yet we were free to explore the different dining areas and talk with WFU staff as well. I enjoyed asking questions and hearing how WFU has changed, but has also tried to stay true to the WFU spirit. The pizzas at Zick’s were also fantastic! I’m delighted to know that I can dine on campus anytime and not wait for a future progressive dinner.”

There was also a really special moment that Saturday night as well, as two alumni who “attended” the dinner as a date, actually had a huge surprise in order! Read more here to learn about how John Turner (’12) asked his Demon Deacon sweetheart, Sam Perrotta (’12) to marry him that evening!

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We hope to make the on-campus Progressive Dinner a new tradition at Wake Forest, and hope you and any loved ones will be able to join for the next one. Please email Laura Harrell (’92) with any questions about future dinners, and be on the lookout for the next invitation.