Message from President Wente

Dear Wake Forest community,

Today, our Wake Forest and Winston-Salem communities were shaken by the deadly school shooting that occurred at nearby Mount Tabor High School. First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the high school student who passed away this afternoon. This is a traumatic loss, and I grieve with you.

I also know that many faculty and staff members on our campus have children who were at school today when this violence occurred. I cannot imagine the fear and uncertainty that you and your children experienced, and I am so very sorry. Many other children of faculty and staff attend area elementary, middle and high schools, some of which were locked down as a precautionary measure, and I have no doubt that was also extremely worrying. Fortunately, because it was early in the academic year, we did not have any Wake Forest student teachers or interns at Mount Tabor High School, but I also share my deep sorrow with the many educators who were faced with danger today.

Over the years, we have witnessed far too many school shootings in our country. But it’s different when your child is in danger. It’s different when you are the parent waiting to reunite with your daughter or your son. It’s different when the violence affects you, your home, your school, our town.

In the coming days and weeks, as we do what is necessary to process this experience, it may be helpful to reach out for care and support. I encourage faculty and staff to contact the Chaplain’s Office and the University’s Employee Assistance Program. Wake Forest students who might need support can get in touch with the University Counseling Center and the Chaplain’s Office. Additionally, Dr. James Raper, assistant vice president for health and wellbeing, has shared two articles listed below for additional information on how to care for yourself and others in the aftermath of today’s events.

What I have learned about Wake Forest in just a few months is that this is a community that relies on one another in good times and difficult times. As we work through the heartbreaking situation at Mount Tabor, I am confident that we will care for those in our midst who were affected by the violence. Please take good care of yourselves, your families, your friends and this community.


Susan R. Wente, Ph.D.

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