Welcome from the Dean of the College

Welcome to Wake Forest College of Arts and Sciences. We are a diverse, exciting community of scholars and students from around the world.  We are committed in the College to providing all our students with the most potent liberal arts education imaginable. Two years ago we launched our concept of “the Engaged Liberal Arts.” Our mission is to deliver a rigorous liberal arts education that meets the needs of the world.  We believe that this education offers the best preparation possible for the complexities and uncertainties of the future.

Our exceptional teacher-scholars invite our students to engage in deep inquiry and intellectual exchange. They expect their students to push the boundaries of knowledge and ask new questions about our society and the planet. This education transforms our students into consummate problem-solvers in the classroom, the laboratory, the field, and the community.  It presses them to think for themselves, to develop character and purpose, and to live out our motto of pro humanitate.  Ultimately, this education prepares our graduates to lead meaningful change over the course of their lifetimes and around the globe.

We are a rarity – both an intimate community and a research university. We have 29 academic departments, 16 interdisciplinary programs, 43 majors and 60 minors. We boast an undergraduate research center that teams students with accomplished scholars across the arts and sciences, in our library and labs, on this campus, in the medical school downtown, in the local community and across the world. We have semester-long programs at our Wake Washington [DC] Center and our own Study Abroad programs around the world, including a First-Year Study Abroad experience in Copenhagen. We have a brand new engineering program at our Wake Downtown facility where our biomedical faculty teach and research alongside the Wake Forest medical school faculty.

We are a residential college that believes deeply in educating the whole student.  The mission of our Office of Academic Advising is to provide students with caring and timely individual guidance and help in problem-solving, developing relationships, and making intentional choices. Our vibrant Office of Diversity and Inclusion generates rich faculty, staff and student-led initiatives that cultivate plurality and intercultural competence.  Our thriving community engagement offerings help our students reach out of their comfort zones and serve those both locally and globally.

At Wake Forest College we are driven by our passion for knowledge, inquiry and discovery and our commitment to making a difference in the world.  I invite you to join us and contribute in your own unique way to being part of this special community too.

Michele Gillespie
Dean of the College
Presidential Endowed Chair
of Southern History

Dean Michele Gillespie Bio