New Student Receptions

Wake Forest hosts between 30-35 New Student Receptions nationwide each summer to provide an opportunity for incoming first-year students and their parents and family members to meet one another before the start of school. This is one of our most popular programmatic offerings because it helps reduce the anxiety of starting the unknown.

Event Timeline:

  • First 30-45 minutes of the event – time for guests to mix and mingle.
  • Once the majority of attendees have arrived, informal programming starts:
    • "Welcome" from WFU staff member (introduce self, tell the new families how happy we are to have them at the event and joining WFU, etc.). 
    • WFU staff recognize and thank the hosts – provide time for hosts if they would like to make remarks. 
    • WFU staff facilitate a current student panel. NOTE: sometimes students want to ask questions privately of other students, and parents of parents, so that might happen after the formal program.  Students begin by introducing themselves (name and major) and then WFU staff pose questions; sample questions include:
      What is your advice to first-years for getting their best start at Wake?
      How can first-years get involved in campus activities?
      What have been some of your clubs/activities/groups (or where your friends are involved)?
      What advice do you have for doing your best academically?
      What do you wish you had known as a first-year/would have done differently?
    • NOTES FOR STUDENT PANELISTS: As you think about answering, remember that we are likely to have a wide variety of new freshmen, with varying academic and social interests (as well as backgrounds). Try to be as inclusive as possible in representing the broad range of activities, majors, experiences, etc. that can be had at Wake Forest.
  • WFU staff open up to the audience for Q&A. Students and/or WFU staff will respond as most appropriate. 
  • WFU Staff close by touching on any important topics not covered during student panel – see for topics/deadlines 
  • WFU Staff will thank the hosts again for their hospitality and encourage people to continue visiting.


  • New student giveaway is a WFU keychain. Students have consistently said they love the keychains. A plain design works for both male and female students. Cost is approx. $1.80/each at time of blog post. 
  • Each parent/family attendee receives a "WF
    U Parent" static window cling for their car. This has the added benefit of being advertising for your school! 
  • As guests arrive, we have a pre-made sign in sheet with all guests’ names and emails. If we don’t have their email, we ask them to add it. We also tell them that we’ll share the contact info of all guests after the event, unless they check the ‘opt out’ box. 
  • We send parent/family names and emails just to the parents, and student names and emails just to students, so they can follow up with each other afterwards as they choose.

Visit the Wake Forest Page for more information:

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