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Stories this week at WFU

By Jacob McConnico
April 28, 2005

ARMY ROTC CADET TO BE COMMISSIONED BY HER FATHER, MAJ. GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY — Caitlin Dempsey, a senior Army ROTC cadet, will be commissioned by her father, Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey, during a ceremony May 15. General Dempsey, who served as the 1st Armor Division commander in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, will be the guest speaker for the commissioning ceremony at 2 p.m. in Wake Forest's Information Systems building. Twelve other cadets will also be commissioned, including Matthew Gallagher, who will be commissioned by his grandfather, retired Rear Admiral John Scott, and Samantha S. Rieger, who will be commissioned by her sister, 1st Lt. Jennifer Rieger.

Contact: Cheryl Walker, or 336-758-5237.

WFU SENIOR BEGINS LAP ONE AT VICTORY JUNCTION GANG CAMP — Julie Koch, a health and exercise science major from Raleigh, said she sees her May 16 graduation from Wake Forest as the green flag to begin the road to a career in medicine and service. Koch's first stop will be Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, where she will serve as a cabin counselor this summer. In that role, she will be responsible for several groups of children battling chronic illnesses. Koch has been dedicated to service during her time at Wake Forest. She has volunteered with many non-profit organizations including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Hospice Care and Brenner Children's Hospital. She traveled twice to Calcutta, India, with City of Joy Scholars to attend to the sick and poor in Mother Teresa's homes. Koch, who organized a benefit featuring Dr. Patch Adams at Wake Forest, credits her faith as the driving force behind her devotion to serving others in need.

Contact: Maggie Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

FACULTY SERVE GRITS BEFORE THE GRADES — Faculty and staff will serve a late night breakfast — pancakes, biscuits, grits, scrambled eggs and bacon — as a study break for students from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. May 3 in the Reynolda Hall cafeteria (the Pit). The twice annual breakfast has become a tradition for students and faculty during exam week.

Contact: Cheryl Walker, or 336-758-5237.

WFU STUDENT OVERCOMES HEALTH CRISIS TO GRADUATE — Ask Wake Forest graduating senior Lauren Lockard about her post-graduation plans and you'll get an impressive collection of answers that includes graduate studies in health policy at the Bush School of Government and Public Policy at Texas A&M University, and eventually, medical school. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than Lockard's plans is the sudden health crisis she overcame to make it to this point. "In the fall of my junior year, doctors found an unidentifiable tumor in my lower spine," says Lockard, who was forced to miss most of her junior year due to spinal surgery, then brain surgery. Lockard resumed her studies with summer school at Wake Forest in June 2004 and because of her determination, will graduate on schedule with honors.

Contact: Maggie Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

DIGGS ELEMENTARY TOWER NEARING COMPLETION — Diggs Elementary School will soon have a colorful new landmark created by its students and teachers and Wake Forest faculty and students. Wake Forest students started erecting the tower earlier this month and will continue their work through the month of April. The completed tower will be unveiled at a May 6 dedication ceremony. The 25-foot steel structure will be covered with 500 ceramic tiles created by students from Diggs, a magnet school for the visual and performing arts. The art painted on the colorful tiles reflects lessons that students have learned in the classroom about social studies, reading, dance, music, ecology and geometry. David Finn, associate professor of art at Wake Forest, initiated the project in 2004 and worked with Wake Forest students to design the tower to place near the entryway of the school. Finn received funding support from Wake Forest's Ethics and Leadership Fund.

Contact: Cheryl Walker, or 336-758-5237; or Kristin Eckart, or 336-721-1021.

WHO ARE THE GRADUATES? — While the university is busy preparing for Arnold Palmer's May 16 Wake Forest commencement address, the approximately 1,450 Wake Forest graduates who will hear Palmer's speech are busy preparing for their next step in life. As commencement nears, the News Service can connect media with members of the graduating class who have inspiring or unusual stories. Among those students who will march during the ceremony: a student who started a project to connect Spanish-speaking classmates with local agencies in need of translators, a Rhodes Scholar, several Peace Corps volunteers and future military leaders.

Contact: Jacob McConnico, or 336-758-5237.

MEDIA ARRANGEMENTS FOR COMMENCEMENT — The Wake Forest News Service will be distributing information regarding media arrangements for the university's May 16 commencement soon. Arnold Palmer, one of the most beloved golf legends of all time and a Wake Forest University alumnus, will deliver the address during the 9 a.m. outdoor ceremony on the newly named Thomas K. Hearn Jr. Plaza (the Quad). The ceremony is not open to the public. Parking passes and media credentials will be required for all members of the media. To ensure coverage of the event by your organization, contact Jacob McConnico, or 336-758-5237.

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