Media Advisory: WFU Prepares to Welcome Class of 2018

More than 1,200 first-year students will move into Wake Forest residence halls on ThursdayAug. 21. Students begin moving into their rooms on the south side of campus at 8 a.m. First-year students from Winston-Salem, N.C., to Florence, Italy, are available for interviews.

Follow the excitement of move-in, the joy of learning new traditions and the pride of students, parents, faculty and staff by using the class of 2018’s hashtag #WFU18. Orientation events continue through Sunday, Aug. 24. Here’s the complete schedule. Classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Fun facts about #WFU18 include:

  • First-year students hail from 43 states and 28 countries
  • 75 percent of incoming first-year students were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes
  • 46 were high school valedictorians
  • 40 percent of them applied early decision
  • 10 percent of the incoming class are international students

Story ideas:

Students Promoting Action and Responsibility in the Community (SPARC) – Before orientation starts, more than 90 students, the largest participation in SPARC’s 17 years, will spend four days (Aug. 18-22) volunteering in the Winston-Salem community. More than 75 first-year students and 20 student leaders and mentors will get to know their community through service, learning about the issues our community faces, and meeting community partners that work regularly with Wake Forest students. They will take on pre-orientation service projects in three areas: environmental conservation, hunger and homelessness, and youth empowerment. SPARC is a program designed to show students first-hand the important role community service plays in the life of the University. For a schedule, contact the Wake Forest news office.

Student athletes to help first-year students move-in – From 8 a.m.-12 p.m., football players, volleyball players and student athletes from several other Wake Forest athletic teams will help move boxes and suitcases for first-year students during move-in day (Aug. 21). Coaches from Men’s & Women’s Basketball, Men’s & Women’s Tennis, Football and Baseball will also participate. Each team will be assigned a specific residence hall where they will help new students move-in. For the residence hall team assignments, contact the Wake Forest news office.

Does having a smart roommate help you do better in college? – Wake Forest economics professor Amanda Griffith says the answer may be yes. In the recently published paper, “Peer Effects in Higher Education,” research shows that, for men, the ability of one roommate as measured by high school achievement can have significant impact on the other when the roommates are enrolled at smaller, liberal art institutions. Though there were no significant peer effects found between male roommates at larger institutions – perhaps because students at larger institutions spend less time with their assigned roommates – Griffith says the study does suggest that choosing friends with strong academic skills is more likely to lead to a successful college career.

College-to-career planning from day one – As a national leader in providing college-to-career guidance, Wake Forest inspires students to take charge of their personal and career development from their first days on campus. In fact, it is one of the only schools in the country that incorporates personal and career development into its orientation for first-year students. On Friday, Aug. 22, new students will launch their college-to-career journeys at 1 p.m. in Wait Chapel. The one-hour program ends with students throwing paper airplanes to signify the beginning of their four-year flight plan.

Faculty Fellows, transitioning WFU18 to college life – In its second year, Faculty Fellows work closely with first-year residents throughout the academic year, creating programs, hosting dinners and interacting with students in their assigned residence halls. The program gives faculty the opportunity to engage with students outside the classroom and provides a model for students to talk with and get to know faculty one-on-one.

First-year students focus on civility – This summer, incoming students have been reading P.M. Forni’s “Choosing Civility.” As part of Project Wake: Civility, first-year students will come together during orientation to share stories, experiences and reflections on civility. On Aug. 24, upperclassmen will make presentations, including photos, videos and debates focused on questions explored in the book and how they apply to Wake Forest. What is civility? How do I define and live out civility each day? What are the consequences of incivility? How should civility manifest itself at Wake Forest? What are practical steps I can take to be a civil citizen both at Wake Forest and beyond?

Just for parents: helping with the college transition – When students leave home for the first time to attend college, both they and their parents often need help making the transition a successful one. Dr. James Raper, interim director of the University Counseling Center and Dr. Joanne Clinch, clinical director with the Student Health Service, lead a special orientation session for parents. They help parents understand common issues during the college years, when to be concerned and when to give their children space to learn for themselves. Raper and Clinch are available for interviews. They shared tips for staying in touch with children after they leave for college in a recent Winston-Salem Monthly story.

About Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at


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