Dean’s Office Digest

Read the May 11, 2020 full edition here.

From the Desk of Guest Editor Associate Dean and Director of the Wake Forest Scholars Program Tom Phillips

It is always heartwarming to complete the academic year by celebrating faculty pedagogical and scholarly accomplishments and student achievements as well. This celebratory special edition of the Dean’s Office Digest recognizes the multiple ways that our outstanding faculty and students embrace academic excellence.

Spring Honors & Awards graphicOur jobs as teachers and staff members can be distilled into two responsibilities: to challenge our students to a better life of the mind; and to encourage our students, in all the ways we can, to be good, maturing, and responsible citizens. Our colleagues in Admissions always give us a head start, recruiting and enrolling many wonderful, young would-be scholars. My work with students – including and well beyond those who may enter or leave with some special academic recognition, and affirmed with every course and every semester for 40 years – tells me how fortunate we are to teach at a college of the caliber of Wake Forest. Our challenges can be small or large, depending on course preps, time and space constrictions, and the occasional indifferent student. Not to mention extraordinary national adjustments to our very pedagogy. But overwhelmingly our jobs are ones of privilege: We have the honor, and the happy responsibility, to require (encourage, nudge, inspire, cajole) our students to respect and acquire in themselves an integrity of learning.

I’ve always thought the hardest part of being an adult was admitting when one didn’t know something. (I indict myself in that challenge.) It seems harder, somehow, when we do know quite a bit about a few things, evolved from our graduate school days through scholarship and honing of the craft. Those students I will remember most – and there are many, happily – are those that seem to put aside ego long enough to ask and try to answer hard questions, whether interpreting an equation or analyzing a novel. And often those students also are civic leaders, selfless and passionate, carrying the banner of pro humanitate through personal and meaningful contributions. Beyond our generic advantages as teachers and staff members of working in academe, we have the specific bounty of many, many Wake Forest young people who really do try to think deeply, later to contribute something great and positive to the world. Thus our mission and our fortune.

At a moment none of us could have predicted, we can celebrate, predictably, the wonderful students who make our jobs, day in and day out, such a pleasurable journey.

– Tom Phillips

Associate Dean and Director of the Wake Forest Scholars Program

Note from Michele:For four decades, Tom Phillips has been a powerful force for good in the lives of our best and brightest students. He has been a wise and generous mentor to our merit scholars and a consummate educator in the classroom. He has led our Honor and Ethics Committee, multiple trips to our Study Abroad Houses, and Interdisciplinary Honors, and created the wonderful WordsAwake Symposium to celebrate Wake Forest’s most gifted authors. He insists on excellence in all its forms and expects his students and colleagues to do the same. He is generous, compassionate, and kind, and sports a wonderfully ironic sense of humor. Tom may be retiring from his role as Associate Dean and Director of the Wake Forest Scholars Program on June 30, 2020, but we are fortunate he will be continuing to teach as an adjunct starting next spring.

2019-2020 Calendar

8/26/19 – submissions due 8/20
9/9/19 – submissions due 9/3
9/23/19 – submissions due 9/17
10/7/19 – submissions due 10/1
10/21/19 – submissions due 10/15
11/4/19 – submissions due 10/29
11/18/19 – submissions due 11/12
12/2/19 – submissions due 11/26 (submit by noon)

1/13/20 – submissions due 1/7
1/27/20 – submissions due 1/21
2/10/20 – submissions due 2/4
2/24/20 – submissions due 2/18
(next Digest delayed
for Spring Break) 

3/16/20 – submissions due 3/10
3/30/20 – submissions due 3/24
4/10/20 – submissions due 4/7
4/27/20 – submissions due 4/21


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The Dean’s Office Digest is a bi-weekly newsletter. Submission deadlines for each edition are the Tuesday prior to the publication date.

Please note that submissions will be edited to fit the space available for the Digest, and the number of times an announcement can run may be limited.

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