Dear Wake Forest faculty, staff and students,
Welcome to 2022 and a new semester at Wake Forest. I hope you had an enjoyable winter break and are looking forward to all the new opportunities ahead.
The opportunity to welcome everyone back to campus should not be taken for granted. The greatest discovery I have made in the past six months about Wake Forest is the people. Our people are what make this University and our campuses such special places. I appreciate the energy and excitement in returning for the spring semester and also everyone’s efforts to take seriously the care we must show as we navigate this current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Omicron variant. I ask everyone to review the updated policies and procedures on the Our Way Forward website. We are doubling down on the strategies we know work to protect our community and keep us living, learning and working together in person.
We have learned so much over the past two years, and this fall, we proved we know how to do this. We know how to live in community with one another while taking the proper precautions to help keep ourselves and each other healthy and safe. In each phase of the pandemic, we will continue to be data-driven and consult with our public health experts, and through this, adapt to emerging situations and new conditions.
We must take our current requirements and efforts – requiring face masks indoors, complying with the vaccine booster and testing requirements, modifying events and gatherings – very seriously. Each individual and the choices we all make matter, especially now. I ask that we commit to our shared responsibilities to keep our learning community together and healthy. Get your booster, wear your mask and take care of yourself and one another.
We know the value of being together on campus. This spring semester, I will continue to find more opportunities to engage directly with all of you. I am excited to welcome Dr. Shea Kidd Brown, who started on January 1, as the new vice president of campus life. I hope you will reach out to her and welcome her into the Wake Forest community with as much enthusiasm and warmth as you welcomed me. Together, Dr. Kidd Brown and I will soon announce monthly roundtables for students to meet and share ideas and perspectives. I will also continue my “Wednesdays with Wente” discussion times with faculty and staff, as well as visits with alumni, parents and community members.
I am so proud of all we have accomplished together during this academic year so far, and I know that we have much to look forward to this spring. We have concerts to attend and lectures to learn from; we have papers to write and research to perform. We have relationships and friendships to develop, and we have our Demon Deacon student-athletes to support. We have much to accomplish and much to discover in these coming months, and I thank you for doing your part to support our community.
I’m looking forward to a wonderful semester with you.
Susan R. Wente, Ph.D.