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Welcome Message

Dear Future Deacs,

Wake Forest is a vibrant and engaging community of learners that welcomes all types of students who share the spirit of the university motto, Pro Humanitate.  That spirit animated a little school with big dreams that opened its doors in 1834.  Many of the students who attended “Old Wake Forest” were the first in their families to attend college.  The Magnolia Scholars program celebrates that heritage in a new program designed specifically for first generation college students.

Accepted students are considered for the Magnolia Scholars program based upon student essays, recommendations and any available interviews.  A small number of first generation students will be designated as Magnolia Scholars after May 1st.  Though all first generation students enrolling at Wake Forest will not be Magnolia Scholars, we are expanding our programs to support the hundreds of first generation students at Wake Forest. 

First Generation students have a wide range of racial diversity with White, African-American, Native American and Hispanic students as well as students of different ethnicities including Afghani, Ghanaian, Serbian, Vietnamese and Korean.  The students also bring different religious perspectives to campus including Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Eastern Orthodoxy, Muslim and Mormon.  Though most hail from North Carolina, we also have students from California, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, New York and Illinois.  First Generation students come in all stripes from all over the country! 

The Magnolia Scholars program is based upon the hindsight of prior first generation students at Wake Forest. We used alumni retrospectives where they said, “I wish I would have…taken a tour of Reynolda House, gone to football games or joined some student organizations.”  Some glances back were more substantive, “I wish I would have…known my faculty advisor, taken a moment to meet the Dean, participated in undergraduate research, etc.,” that would have helped with graduate/professional school.  Other laments revolved around missed opportunities at International Travel and Internships.  Based upon their experiences, we provide workshops, organize events and develop programming so that you will not have those regrets or missed opportunities when you graduate.

The Magnolia Scholars are excited to welcome you as a fellow traveler and future alumnus. 

Go Deacs!

T. Nathaniel “Nate” French

Director, Magnolia Scholars Program