WFU Facts & Traditions


Your new home is unrivaled by any.

The history, events, quirks and rituals that make Wake Forest unique help form a lasting bond among those who call themselves Demon Deacons. In a time before Google, these were things passed from one generation of Wake Foresters to the next. Embrace them. Make them your own.

Did You Know?


The Beginning

The Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute was founded in 1834.

Our First Student

The first Wake Forest student was only 12 years old, and the first graduating class included 4 students.

Moving locations

Moving Locations

In 1946, the school accepted an invitation from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to move from Wake Forest, NC, to its current location in Winston-Salem.

Campus building

The Next Chapter

The Reynolda Campus (our current location) opened its doors in 1956.

All Are Welcome

Wake Forest University was the first major private institution in the South to integrate.

Changing Names

Wake Forest College became Wake Forest University in 1967. The letters WFC can still be found in ironwork around campus.

Know the WFU Basics

Our School Colors

Your Honor Code

The honesty, trustworthiness and personal integrity of each student is integral to the life and purposes of the Wake Forest community. Together, we seek the enlightenment and freedom which come through diligent study and learning.

An even higher goal, however, is to give life to the University motto, Pro Humanitate, as the passion for knowledge is translated into compassionate service.

Your Mascot

The Demon Deacon

The Demon Deacon mascto

Your Motto

Pro Humanitate

The Wake Forest motto, Pro Humanitate, is regularly translated as “For Humanity” and is probably most often understood to mean that we do what we do for the sake of humanity, for the people of the world. It is often heard as a very specific call to community service.

Alma Mater

Dear Old Wake Forest,
Thine is a Noble Name;
Thine is a Glorious Fame,
Constant and True.
We Give Thee of Our Praise,
Adore Thine Ancient Days,
Sing Thee Our Humble Lays,


Dear Old Wake Forest,
Mystic Thy Name to Cheer;
Be Thou Our Guardian Near Fore’er and Aye.
We Bow Before Thy Shrine,
Thy Brow With Bays Entwine,
All Honor Now Be Thine,


By George W. Paschal,
Class of 1892 (Thuringian Folk Song)

Your Fight Song

O here’s to Wake Forest
A glass of the finest
Red ruddy, Rhenish
Filled up to the brim.
Her sons, they are many
Unrivaled by any
With hearts o’erflowing,
We will sing a hymn.


Old Alma Mater’s sons are we!
We’ll herald the story and die for
her glory: Old Gold and Black is
ever waving high.
As frosh we adore her,
As sophs we explore her,
and carve our names upon her
ancient walls. As juniors patrol her,
as seniors extol her, and weep to
leave fore’er her sacred halls.


Pro Humanitate Traditions

Photo from Project Pumpkin event

Project Pumpkin

Project Pumpkin is an annual event near Halloween sponsored by the Office of Civic and Community Engagement.

Each year, hundreds of children from the Winston-Salem community join Wake Forest students on campus for trick-or-treating and carnival games.

Students participate in Hit the Bricks

Hit the Bricks

“This is college!” These were the words of a first-year student while  making their way around the Quad as a member of their residence hall’s relay team. Each fall, more than 1,500 students, faculty and staff join together in Wake Forest’s annual eight-hour team relay event to benefit the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund Drive.

Students participate in Wake N' Shake

Wake ‘N Shake

What do over 1,200 students do together in the Sutton Center for 12 continuous hours in March? They dance, sing, play games, hear inspirational stories and have a fantastic time, all in an effort to help find a cure to cancer. So get on your feet and get ready to dance!

Campus Distinctives

Magnolia Flower


You’ll find them gracing Manchester Plaza, and they hold a special place in the hearts of Wake Foresters across the globe. The magnolias of today come from seeds that were collected from the Old Campus in 1947, grown for five years in a swimming pool in South Carolina, then transplanted to the Reynolda Campus.

A student walks past the arch on Hearn Plaza on the campus of Wake Forest University on Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

The Stone Arch

It’s not our first arch. What graces the Quad today is a replica of the original, which can still be found on our Old Campus in Wake Forest, N.C. Each year during Commencement, the graduating class carries on the tradition of entering the Quad through the arch.

The bell tower of Wait Chapel rises in front of the sunset on the campus of Wake Forest University on Saturday, October 15, 2011.

Wait Chapel

Named for Samuel Wait, our University’s first president. The 12-ton carillon consists of 48 bronze bells. There are only 100 of its kind nationwide. The chapel has hosted a wide range of events, including two presidential debates, the memorial service for Maya Angelou, NPR’s “Wait Wait …Don’t Tell Me” and many speakers, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Jimmy Carter, James Earl Jones, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Tony Dungy, Senator John McCain, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Laverne Cox.