2009 May

Racism: past and present

Students from Wake Forest University and Colgate University are traveling in the deep south for a 3-week exploration of the repercussions of slavery and Jim Crow laws. The trip is the culmination of a course, Social Stratification in the Deep South, taught by Wake Forest’s Angela Hattery and Earl Smith, who have been visiting professors of sociology at Colgate for the 2008-09 academic year.

The students are documenting their trip with a Social Stratification in the Deep South fan page on Facebook. Their Tweets and photos are in the left-hand column of the page. So far, they have over 90 fans following their journey. If you have a Facebook page, become a fan and you’ll receive their posts on your News Feed.

A big idea

Bryan Link (MBA ’03) and Bill Grizack (MBA ’03) have developed an online financial planning service that was named Best In Show during a national conference, Finovate Startup 2009, in San Francisco. The Winston-Salem-based company, SimpliFi.net, offers free long-term financial planning and advice to middle-and lower-income consumers access to professional financial planning.

Bryan Link (left) and Bill Grizack

Bryan Link (left) and Bill Grizack

Where they’ll go from here

May 18 was the end of stellar undergraduate careers for several new alumni/ae. Where will they go from here?

Benn Stancil will work as a Junior Fellow in international economics.

Benn Stancil will work as a Junior Fellow in international economics.

Tyler Humphreys will teach English in Indonesia.

Tyler Humphreys will teach English in Indonesia.

Tyler Humphreys (’09) is headed for Indonesia with the Fulbright program where she will teach English for nine months. Benn Stancil (’09) was one of 10 seniors nationwide to receive a fellowship at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Evan Raleigh (’09) will enter the Master of Arts in Management at Wake Forest’s Babcock School. And debater Odile Hobeika (’09) will be pursuing a joint master’s and doctorate in communication at the University of Pittsburgh.

Read their stories at “Meet a Deacon” and share your comments on this blog.

Biden’s speech: read or listen

“No graduating class gets to choose the world they graduate into. Every class has its own unique challenges,” said Vice President Joe Biden in his speech to the graduates. “Every class enters a history that up to that point has been written for them. And your generation is no different. But what is different about your generation is the chance that each of you has to take history into your own hands and write it larger.”

Fond farewell

Professor of Biology Pete Weigl (right) congratulates graduates as they recess after the Commencement ceremony. Weigl retired this year after 41 years on the biology faculty.

Barclay earns a BS

Chris Barclay set numerous school football records and was the ACC Player of the Year in 2005. He left school but came back to finish his education and graduated today with a Bachelor of Science degree.

The day in pictures

The graduates, the families, the speakers, the fanfare, and yes, even the mud. Enjoy the Commencement 2009 photo galleries on Window on Wake Forest.

Day at the beach

With temperatures in the low 50s (and it felt much colder in the shade), no one needed the complimentary sunscreen left on each seat. But when Dean of the Schools of Business Steve Reinemund announced the candidates for the master of science in accountancy, a large red beach ball appeared in the crowd. Students batted the ball around almost to the stage and then back again.

Vice President Biden departs

Vice President Biden left campus after the awarding of the honorary degrees. University Photographer Ken Bennett followed him out. He stopped to shake hands with local law enforcement officers on his way to the motorcade in the parking lot beside Wait Chapel.  Ken said that Biden is “very professional” as far as taking photographs — shake hands, make small talk, turn to the camera, move on to the next person.

Never too late

Fred Hastings finally becomes a Wake Forest graduate.

Vice President Biden added a nice touch to his speech when he mentioned several graduates by name, including NFL draftee Aaron Curry. Biden also mentioned Fred Hastings (above), who first started college at Wake Forest 54 years ago. He left to joint he Army just one course short of earning his degree.  His son, Victor, graduated from Wake Forest in 1982. Last year, he worked out a plan with business school administrators to complete the remaining accounting course at a college near his home in Florida and transfer the credit. He is receiving his diploma just three days before his 77th birthday.