WFU welcomes the Class of 2021

Wake Forest University Class of 2020 move in to their dorms in 2016.


  • Wednesday, Aug. 23, Maya Angelou Residence Hall, dedicated in February, will be open to 224 first-year students.
  • Monday, Aug. 28, the first day of classes, media are invited to tour the newly renovated Reynolds Gym from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 29, Nearly 50 first-year students will head to Wake Downtown for the first class offered in Wake Forest’s new engineering program.

More than 1,350 first-year students will move into Wake Forest residence halls on Wednesday, Aug. 23. This class was admitted from an applicant pool of more than 13,000. Seventy-seven percent of the class of 2021 were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes.

Students from 45 states and 29 countries will begin moving into their rooms on the south side of campus at 8 a.m. Football players, men’s and women’s soccer players and members of the cheer and dance teams will wear their jerseys to help move boxes and suitcases. Catch football players assisting at all first-year dorms from 8 to 11:45 a.m.

Maya Angelou Residence Hall will open to 224 first-year students. This five-story building is the first new residence hall for first-year students built since 2010. It is also the first campus building named for an African-American and the second residence hall to bear the name of a female professor. The residence hall includes a classroom, study spaces, a media/game room, kitchens, and a recreation lounge. Maya Angelou Hall was dedicated Feb. 17, 2017.

Follow #WFU21 during move-in day. Classes begin Aug. 28.

Additional Top Back-to-Campus Stories

Renovated Reynolds Gym offers fitness for the 21st century. This fall, the historic Reynolds Gym – originally built in the 1950s – reopens as a dynamic hub for health and wellness for the entire campus community. With five large fitness areas, a two-story living room with floor-to-ceiling windows, a climbing and bouldering wall, and comfortable furniture for informal social gatherings, the space has been transformed. The renovated building triples the amount of fitness space available on campus. On Monday, Aug. 28, the first day of classes, media are invited to tour the facility from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., talk with returning students about the improvements, interview campus recreation leaders, and test some of the new fitness machines with interactive data screens that help track workouts.

Students to tackle real-world challenges in Wake’s new engineering program. On Tuesday, Aug. 29, nearly 50 first-year students will head to Wake Downtown for the first class offered in Wake Forest’s new engineering program. The program, announced in March 2016, combines engineering and liberal arts – an unusual approach for undergraduate education. The engineering program has a precedent-setting faculty that is 75 percent female – compared to 16 percent of engineering faculty across American universities. Recent research by economist Amanda Griffith has shown that female undergraduates are more likely to stick with engineering and other STEM disciplines if they have same-gender role models in the classroom. Faculty and students – including some from the Triad – are available for interviews at Wake Downtown late Tuesday morning. Contact the news office for additional schedule information.

Pre-school programs focus on community service. Before orientation begins, Wake Foresters will spend four days (Aug. 19-22) volunteering in the local community through the Students Promoting Action and Responsibility in the Community (SPARC) program. Participants and student leaders will work with community partners on issues such as hunger, homelessness, environmental conservation and youth empowerment. Contact the news office if you plan to cover.

Photo Opportunities:

  • Aug. 19: Harmony Ridge Farm – 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Aug. 21: Second Harvest Food Bank – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. & 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Aug. 21: Campus Kitchen – 3:30 to 5 p.m.
  • Aug. 22: Habitat for Humanity – 8 a.m to 3 p.m.

Project Wake: Exploring Difference, Embracing Diversity. First-year students had the option this summer of choosing from among 30 books addressing difference and diversity. Small group discussions led by faculty or staff will take place on Sunday, Aug. 27 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Faculty help build community. In Wake Forest’s Faculty Fellows program, professors work closely with new students by creating programs, hosting dinners and hanging out in the first-year residence halls. The goal is to help with the adjustment to college life and strengthen the connection between students and faculty beyond the classroom.

Categories: Admissions, Events, Faculty, Staff, Student, Top Stories