Thursday, May 31, 2012

Help Fight Hunger in Winston-Salem

The Winston-Salem Chapter will honor Pro Humanitate on June 1 by cooking and packaging meals for the Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest from 3-5 pm in Benson University Center. There will be a registration table in front of the Benson, facing the Quad.

The group asks that volunteers wear close-toed shoes and long pants. There will be an after event celebration at Shorty's starting at 5 pm.

Campus Kitchen students with spoon
Photo courtesy of Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest
Campus Kitchen is a food recycling program that uses cooked but never served food from the campus dining hall to make healthy and nutritious meals to fight hunger and poverty in the greater Winston-Salem area. The program reuses an average of 600 pounds of food monthly, making it one of the university's premier sustainability initiatives. 

Student volunteers develop partnerships, plan menus, run cooking shifts, organize drivers, garden, clean, and teach nutrition education to children and families.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Open Letter Expresses Ire at Ergen's Graduation Speech

A group of 10 alumni recently wrote a letter to Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch, objecting to this year's selection of Charles Ergen, DISH Network chairman and a graduate of the Schools of Business, to speak at commencement. The original letter can be found here, but we are also including it below so you can judge for yourself. Agree or disagree? You can also view Ergen's speech here.


Dear President Hatch,

As young alumni, we take great interest in following the progress of our alma mater, an institution of which we are extremely proud. The education we have received at Wake Forest has given us a broad base of knowledge, skills, insight, and values. In our lives and careers, the motto of Pro Humanitate enjoins us to direct our education for the betterment of others, of humanity writ large.

Thus, it is with great concern that we read Charlie Ergen’s remarks at the 2012 Commencement. Mr. Ergen, the chairman of DISH Network Corporation and EchoStar Communications Corporation, is now the third consecutive CEO to speak at Wake Forest’s Commencement. Rather than focus on the speech, which was riddled with clichés and reductive statements, as well as addressed primarily to his graduating daughter, rather than the class of a thousand newly-minted alumni, we’d like to ask what our choice of commencement speaker reflects about Wake Forest as an institution.

We are a university that treasures the liberal arts. Every Wake Forest graduate completes a series of divisional requirements in the arts, humanities, sciences, and languages. This fundamental education produces young adults capable of discoursing intelligently on a variety of topics, speaking languages well enough to comprehend their literatures, interacting with people from disciplines vastly different from their own, and sustaining intellectual curiosity long after their undergraduate years are done. Mr. Ergen quips that most graduates “will never read another book after today.” These are not words to live by, and certainly not words to graduate by.

In its ideal form, a liberal arts education nurtures students who will one day become writers, policy-makers, doctors, musicians, artists, leaders, and thinkers. It encourages us to be Renaissance men and women, to change the world through our thoughts and actions. One of the avenues to pursue this change is through business, but this is surely not the only path available to liberal arts graduates, and surely not the only measure of success.

We ask that Wake Forest invite Commencement speakers who promote such values. Where are the journalists and educators, the politicians and diplomats, scientists and actors? In the past, Wake Forest has invited speakers such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and novelist Tom Clancy, the cartoonist Garry Trudeau and New York Times columnist David Brooks. We should aspire for such diversity in our Commencement speakers, for diversity of opinion and background is the very core of a stimulating college experience.

It is true that Wake Forest has a successful Business School – this does not mean that all of our commencement speakers should be tailored to that audience. Three CEOs in succession simply excludes a large proportion of the student body, and sends a clarion message that the other disciplines represented on the Wake Forest campus are not entitled to a voice at graduation, the most important symbolic day on the academic calendar.

President Hatch, we ask you to consider creating a committee to elect and invite a Commencement speaker – a committee that includes students, faculty, and administration from different fields. We ask that Wake Forest strive for speakers who speak, not just to a small portion of the campus, but to all the students and family who have gathered on the Quad for this meaningful day. We ask for diversity of opinion to be cherished at our alma mater, and for this diversity to be reflected in our commencement speakers.

Yours truly,
Lakshmi Krishnan (’06 Carswell Scholar, English and German)
Blake Brandes (’06 Graylyn Scholar, English and French)
Jennifer Harris (’04 Graylyn Scholar, Economics and Political Science)
Stowe Nelson (’08, Carswell Scholar, English)
Kezia McKeague (’05, Reynolds Scholar, Political Science and Spanish)
Valerie Brender (’06, Economics)
Jennifer Barker Lyday (’06, Carswell Scholar, Political Science and Spanish)
Joe Martinez (’06, Communication)
Amy Currie (’05, Psychology)
William Rothwell (’08, Reynolds Scholar, Biology)

Dean Reinemund to Talk to DC Alumni Chapter

Dean Steve Reinemund
The Wake Forest University alumni chapter in Washington, DC, will host Steve Reinemund, the dean of the Schools of Business, and Andy Chan, vice president for personal and career development, at an event setfor Wed., June 20, from 5:30-8 pm.

After the discussion, to be held at the offices of McGuirewoods at 2001 K Street NW, Suite 400, the alumni group will host a networking reception for all students, alumni and friends of the university. Beverages and light hors d'oeuvres will be served.

The event includes a panel discussion with WFU students, to run from 4-5:50 pm, where attendees will learn how to connect classroom knowledge and skills with job opportunities and how to market themselves effectively in DC. The event is sponsored by the DC Club and the Wake Forest Office of Personal and Career Development.

A $20 registration fee covers the event. Click here to register.

Wake Forest Honored for Service

What a fitting honor for a university that espouses service!

Wake Forest University, whose motto is Pro Humaitate, was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  The University is one of 24 schools in North Carolina to be recognized for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.

The Honor Roll is announced by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that leads the White House's national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

From classes that incorporate service learning to projects outside the classroom, Wake Forest encourages students to cultivate responsibility and civic-mindedness. More than half of undergraduates make volunteerism a priority in their educational experience. Many volunteer regularly at local service agencies, while others travel around the country or abroad to participate in projects.

The CNCS, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 642 schools to colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.

Read the full release from Wake Forest here.

Wake Forest Alum Fills Key Post in Charlotte Center

BenbowThe Wake Forest University Schools of Business announced Wednesday that  Marjorie Benbow has accepted the role of managing director of the Charlotte Center. Benbow, who earned a joint MBA/JD degree in 1999 from Wake Forest, had been serving as the executive director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center of Greater Charlotte for the past six years.

Prior to that, she worked as a managing consultant with Scott Madden & Associates and remains active as a licensed patent attorney.

As managing director, Benbow will be responsible for the administration of the Evening and Saturday MBA programs offered at the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center. She will lead a team of admissions, student services and career management staff, and work with colleagues on the development of non-degree educational offerings.

To read more about her appointment, click here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Want To Join a Panel? Here's How

The Wake Forest University Schools of Business is looking for alumni to become involved with panels for prospective and current students. The panels will introduce students to the various functional areas in business to help kick start their career search. Your expertise in any one of the below areas would greatly be appreciated.

The Undergraduate Business Career Center is planning panels September through December that would include: Finance, Consulting, Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, Sales, Sustainability, Operations and Healthcare/BioTech. If you are interested in participating as a panelist, please email Caleigh McElwee at

The WFU Charlotte Center is planning panels June through December that would include: Entrepreneurship, Consulting, Sustainability, Operations and Global Markets. If you are interested in participating, contact Jeanie Ross at (704) 365-0845 or

MA Career Week, July 30–Aug. 3, 2012, is a series of industry panels and corporate visits geared toward our liberal arts Master of Arts in Management students. Panel Topics: Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, Operations, Nonprofit, Consulting and Healthcare. The university is also looking for Triad-area businesses to host a group of 20 students for a tour and panel. For more information, call (336) 758-4337 or email

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wiseman, Ergen Receive Honorary Degrees

Eric Wiseman and Charles Ergen, alumni of the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, were among the notable people who received honorary degrees at this year's Commencement ceremony.
Ergen, who also gave the speech at the May 21 Commencement (video here), is the chairman of DISH Network. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, to go along with his bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from Wake Forest.
Wiseman, the chairman, president and chief executive of VF Corp., received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Wiseman, who spoke at the hooding ceremony for the Wake Forest University Schools of Business (video here), holds a bachelor's degree in business and an MBA from Wake Forest.
Other recipients of honorary degrees included Elizabeth Lacy, the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Virginia;Willie May, the associate director for laboratory programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Jonathan Reckford, the chief executive of Habitat for Humanity International.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Video: DISH Network Chairman Speaks at Commencement

We now have video of this year's Commencement. Enjoy!

Wake Forest Announces Award Winners

TheWake Forest University Schools of Business, which had more than 650 graduates this year, recently announced the recipients of various annual awards.

Students receiving class Leadership Awards included Ronald Williamson Jr. (full-time MBA), Chuck Marckwardt (Winston-Salem Evening MBA), Howard Wilkinson (Charlotte Evening MBA), Aaron Martin (Charlotte Saturday MBA), Katherine Ann Lash (MS in Accountancy) and Eric Plummer Jr. (MA in Management).

Other graduate-level honorees included:
  • Julie Almendral, Stephen B. Tips Award for Outstanding Character and Entrepreneurship Award
  • Parag Shirsekar, Luther Award
  • Brandon Belk, Andrea Mitchell Metzler Award
  • Akshata Udiavar, Patel Prize in Finance
  • Tyler Kingsford, Finance Award
  • Daniel van der Merwe, Entrepreneurship Award
  • Tomás Arias, Marketing Award
  • Jonathan Wilson, Operations Management Award
  • Justin Kistler, Healthcare Award
  • Megan Petitt, Federation of Schools of Accountancy Achievement Award
  • Holley Anne Nelson and Swayze Sloan Smartt, Outstanding Graduate Award – Transaction Services
  • Morgan Lea Flanders, Outstanding Graduate Award – Tax Consulting
  • Lisbeth Miller Van Wagenen, Outstanding Graduate Award – Assurance
  • Ajibola Ero-phillips, Nishith Kholia and Hemant Sharma, Robert N. White Award
  • Kaitlin Fitzgerald, Ruiyan Ge, Elliott William Jones, William Joseph Kast, Gabriela Gentil Ribeiro Gonçalves Scarritt, Ryan Hudson Emerson, Lia Nicole Flur, Daniel Jeffrey Holtermann, Anthony Michael Tuttle, and Blakely Angela Wise, Action Learning Project Excellence Award

Undergraduate award recipients included:
  • Victoria May Stewart, Delmer Paul Hylton Accountancy Award
  • Erica DeBrock, Lura Baker Paden Award
  • Laura Sadow, Outstanding Achievement in Finance
  • Jennifer Marie Spiel, Academic Excellence in Mathematical Business
  • Christopher Stewart Ward Townsend, Spirit of Wayne Calloway Award

Overall, the Schools of Business awarded 410 master’s and 254 bachelor’s degree recipients at commencement on May 21.

Time Lapse Commencement

Watch Monday's Commencement ... the entire ceremony in less than two minutes!

Coach Grobe to Talk to the Deacon Club

Wake Forest football coach Jim Grobe
Football coach Jim Grobe will discuss the upcoming football season and take questions from guests at an event set for May 30 at the Empire Room in Greensboro, N.C.

Wake Forest University and the Deacon Club will host area Deacon Club members, alumni and fans for a reception beginning at 6 pm. Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be served.

Come and join fellow Demon Deacon fans and learn more about all of the exciting things going on with Wake Forest Athletics. 

The Empire Room is located at 203 S. Elm St. in downtown Greensboro. The cost is $15 per adult; children under 12 get in free. Click here to register.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DISH Network CEO Delivers Commencement Address

This article originally appeared in the online version of Wake Forest Magazine. We were excited to hear Charles Ergen speak - he earned his MBA from the Wake Forest University Schools of Business in 1978.

DISH Network CEO Charles Ergen
With a storybook setting as his backdrop, his graduating daughter, Kerry, wearing a cap and gown in the audience, and his wife, Trustee Candy Ergen, on the stage behind him, Charles Ergen reflected on the lessons found in children’s books as he delivered the Commencement address to the Class of 2012.
Ergen (MBA ’76, P ’12), chairman of two businesses he built from the ground up — DISH Network and EchoStar Communications Corp. — invoked the wisdom of Dr. Seuss, Curious George, Matilda, the Runaway Bunny and Dumbledore as he offered about 1,700 graduates five keys to success: never stop learning, be curious, try new things, get really good at something and have the nerve to go the whole hog.
Hearn Plaza early Commencement morning.
“Like Curious George, I’ve always wondered why something can’t be done. Focusing on ‘we can,’ instead of ‘we can’t.’ Asking questions. Doing a bit less talking and a lot more listening. There is no question that the more curious you are, the better learner you will be.”

Wait Chapel
Ergen said he “failed” in his first two jobs because he was interested only in the paycheck that put money in the bank, not the paycheck that would get deposited in his body of experience. “I encourage you to take the jobs where you will learn the most, and the other paycheck will take care of itself,” he said.

Wake Forest Magazine has several Commencement photo albums on its Facebook page. You can also experience the day in tweets, posts and pictures in “2012: Storify.

Video: VF Corp. CEO Speaks at Hooding Ceremony

We have video of Eric Wiseman's speech at Sunday night's hooding ceremony at Wait Chapel.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Prof. Thompson to Discuss Shirking on Project Teams

Ron Thompson, a professor of management at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, will discuss factors that can lead team members to disengage and shirk responsibility.

Thompson will also provide practical guidelines for preventing effort withholding, or reducing it if it has been detected. The discussion, scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, from 11:30 am to 1 pm, relies on recent research studies on project teams.

His discussion will be at the Charlotte campus, located at 200 N. College St. Click here to register.

VF Corp. CEO Discusses Success at Hooding Ceremony

VF Corp. CEO Eric Wiseman
This year's graduates from the Wake Forest University Schools of Business left their hooding ceremony with a better understanding of what it will take to succeed in business and life, thanks to a frank assessment from the CEO of apparel company VF Corp.

Eric Wiseman, who earned his MBA from Wake Forest in 1988, gave attendees four pointers for success during his remarks Sunday evening.

"Never stop learning," Wiseman advised. "You will have a chance to pick up many tools along the way. Pick them up, learn how to use them, and never stop losing them."

Among his underlying themes: never stop learning, take risks, and be aware that success involves making priorities and choices.

"Take big risks with your careers," Wiseman said, discussing his own willingness to move his family around to move up through a prior job and, later, to take a position in VF's JanSport division.

"Taking personal risks will give you experiences that others won't get," Wiseman added. "Don't be afraid to be the one to raise your hand and say, 'Pick me, I'll do it.'"

Dean Reinmund at Sunday's hooding ceremony
I felt as though I had come full circle in my program when Wiseman began discussing the importance of passion in the work place. Dean Steve Reinmund hit on that topic repeatedly during my orientation in August 2009, serving as a precursor of sorts to his "find your fire" mantra for the Wake Forest University Schools of Business.

Wiseman said he hit his stride at VF, "when I finally aligned my personal passion with my career." The Greensboro, N.C., company's ideals include loyalty and commitment, which in turn has led to closeness among members of VF's operating committee, fewer mistakes and a "higher level of personal integrity."

Wiseman also made it clear to this year's graduating class that balancing work and personal life is never about equilibrium. "Balance is not going to be 50-50 if you want excellence," he stated. "You always have to sacrifice something. There are real choices and real implications for those choices."

Finally, Wiseman implored students at Wait Chapel to find ways to give back to the community sooner rather than later. "Get involved where there is need," he said. "You will meet different people who will enrich your perspective."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Highlights: Top Notch Speakers

If you attend any of Wake Forest's business school programs, you must find a way to sit in on as many lectures and speaker presentations as humanly possible. In recent years, the university has landed a number of high-profile executives.
Many of those speakers were included during other "Highlights" posts earlier in the week.
Other notable speakers include:
  • Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robbs, who appeared on campus earlier this year to discuss "Capitalism With a Conscience." He outlined the Whole Foods Market business model, which embraces profitability and social responsibility, and discussed the rose of social responsibility in business.
  • Mike Duke, the CEO of Wal-Mart. In 2010, he told attendees that the world's biggest retailer still had much to learn and could only get better, particularly when it comes to global expansion. Though recent growth has largely been an international story, he refrained from declaring victory while stressing that achieving full competence abroad is a work in progress. His presentation is included below.
  • Susan Ivey made an appearance shortly before retiring as the president and CEO of Reynolds American. During her lecture, Ivey predicted that every attendee would find themselves in leadership roles throughout their careers. “What do great leaders do? They train other leaders,” she said.IMG_0268
All this means is that there is no excuse for missing any of these great presentations. They are the added value to your tuition and hard work. It never hurts to keep an eye on this website and the other university websites to find out who will appear on campus next!

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Highlights: The Marketing Summit

    Where else can you find students engaging in a push up contest in the middle of the night? An unlimited supply of Cheerwine in a side room? A chance to hobnob with leading marketing professionals and some of the brightest marketing students in business school?
    The Marketing Summit is a student-run competition that offers both Graduate and Undergraduate students the opportunity to apply their marketing skills and creativity to real-world marketing challenges. Teams have to work around the clock for 36 hours to prepare a marketing case sponsored by a major corporation and written by Wake Forest University Schools of Business MBA students.
    Granted, we have called the Marketing Summit out in the past for its decision to exclude Working Professionals from participating, but that is mostly because we feel that having those students on board would improve the level of competition.
    Overall, the Marketing Summit is a well-run event that succeeds in bringing together some of the best marketing teams from across the U.S. and abroad.

    The event has grown substantially in recent years. This year's competition included a top prize of $75,000, and the total purse hit $106,000.
    And the event delivers some rather interesting keynote speakers. The first one that I attended featured Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo. Other speakers have included Hanesbrands CEO Richard Noll (see video below) and Marilyn Carlson Nelson, the chairman and former CEO Carlson, a global group of integrated travel companies including Radisson Hotels, Country Inns & Suites, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and T.G.I. Fridays.
    Last year also included the debut of the new Center for Value Delivery Innovation (CVDI). The center is a joint collaboration between the Wake Forest Schools of Business and Inmar Inc., a leading provider of technology-driven data analysis solutions.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Highlights: Orientation

    The Wake Forest University Schools of Business knows how to kick start graduate school!
    In recent years, orientation has become a major highlight of the various programs. A major change took place in 2009 – it was the first time that the university assembled all of its business school programs for orientation. Roughly 400 students from the evening and full-time MBA, MA and MSA programs met at the Forsyth Country Club before splitting off into smaller groups the next day.
    photoThe speakers have been fantastic. In 2009, Donovan Campbell, a veteran who served in Iraq then authored the New York Time’s best seller “Joker One” drove home the belief that responsibility and service are critical to success. “Humans are adaptable,” he said. Failure is inevitable. How you respond matters. You must default to responsibility.”
    A year later, author and psychologist Tim Irwin discussed what he believed the incoming classes should learn in business school (watch the video below). He focused on the career “derailments” of several high profile leaders, including former BP CEO Tony Hayward, journalist Helen Thomas and professional golfer Tiger Woods.
    Irwin said that most leaders have fine business educations, but arrogance, a lack of self-awareness, a sense of entitlement and missed warning signals lead to catastrophic failure. “Character is about being authentic, it’s about being humble, it’s about being self-managed and it’s about being courageous,” he said.
    The rest of orientation is beneficial because you meet your classmates, bond with your MBA team (including a series of fun team-building exercises). It truly gives you an opportunity to set expectations early and get your business school experience off on the right foot.

    What Should I Learn in Business School by Keynote Speaker Tim Irwin, Ph.D. from WFU Schools of Business on Vimeo.

    Character and Courage: Interactive Discussion with Incoming WFUSB Graduate Students from WFU Schools of Business on Vimeo.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Highlights: The Elevator Competition

    Wake Forest participates and hosts countless competitions during the academic year, but one of our favorite events is the annual Elevator Competition, which typically takes place in March.
    The competition, which was first held in 2000, allows students from business schools across the country to test their skills at making the perfect elevator pitch. Each student team is required to perform a two-minute pitch, supply a detailed business plan, and prepare a formal presentation of their business venture.
    There are categories for business ideas and nonprofit ventures.
    The differentiating factor in this competition is the environment. Aspiring entrepreneurs are required to make their initial pitches in an actual elevator. In recent years the pitch has taken place in the glass elevators at the corporate HQ for BB&T Corp. in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C.
    The thing we enjoy the most about this competition is learning about the various companies. Where else can you talk about etched glass designed for energy conservation and then, a table down, learn about the latest educational approaches for autism?
    This year's winner was Orthovative Technologies, a group that included a student Wake Forest's Working Professional program. Other past winners have included Medtric Biotech from Purdue University, which developed a unique method of destroying bacteria, and AutismSphere, which was developing a platform geared toward helping those with autism.
    The Elevator Competition has also landed intriguing speakers. Last year, for instance, Colin Gillespie, the senior director of marketing for LEGO direct to consumer, was the keynote speaker. Stan Mandel and his student team never disappoint with the planning and execution of this competition.