Site Content

News & Events | Office of the Provost | Wake Forest University

Reynolda House names Archer director of program, interpretation

Reynolda House Museum of American Art has named Phil Archer the Betsy Main Babcock Director of Program and Interpretation. Archer was director of public programs at the museum since 2002. He brings nearly 20 years of experience to the position when he begins the new role Feb. 1.

“Phil’s curiosity for learning and passion for this place is transmitted to all who experience Reynolda,” said Allison Perkins, the museum’s executive director and Wake Forest associate provost for Reynolda House and Reynolda Gardens. “He is the right person to lead the program for this museum and this historic site into its next century.”

Archer joined Reynolda House in 1997 and has immersed himself in all aspects of the museum. He has held positions in managing special projects and public programs, and served as the museum’s representative to oversee the design and construction of the Mary and Charlie Babcock Wing from 2002-2005. In August 2015, he was named the interim director of the curatorial and education division, following the departure of Elizabeth Chew.

Programs held under Archer’s direction have included free community days featuring collaborations with organizations like the Winston-Salem Festival Ballet and the Guilford Native American Association; Cinema Under the Stars, the popular outdoor film series co-presented with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts entering its 11th season in 2016; and community forums addressing current topics such as downtown development and the creative economy. He launched the museum’s Portals of Discovery continuing education series in 2004, and he has curated or served as managing curator for three exhibitions including “Wonder and Enlightenment: Artist-Naturalists in the Early American South.”

Archer has coordinated numerous collaborations with faculty across campus, including partnerships with the Pro Humanitate Institute and IPLACe, The Interdisciplinary Performance and the Liberal Arts Center. This winter he is co-teaching “Reynolda: An American Story” as part of the ZSR Library Lecture Series.

“I am delighted that Phil Archer will be stepping into this important new role,” says Michele Gillespie, Presidential Endowed Chair of Southern History and Dean of the College. “All of us in the Wake Forest community who have worked with Phil know he is a superb scholar of the place and the people, and our teaching and scholarship is made better through his keen knowledge and generous support. His imagination, energy and commitment to the world of art and history and all things Reynolda is legendary. I look forward to the vision he will bring to his new post.”

In his new role as director of program and interpretation, Archer will oversee museum exhibitions, archives, programs, educational outreach, and the volunteer program. As Reynolda House prepares for its centennial year in 2017, Archer will co-lead the museum’s enhanced interpretation project, which will unveil new ways to tour Reynolda House, its collections and the estate. It will be Archer’s second interpretation project at Reynolda House; in 2005, he co-directed an interpretation initiative that resulted in the museum’s orientation gallery, new signs throughout the historic house and audio tours.

“My attachment to Reynolda started with what I saw and learned—the art, buildings, gardens, and stories,” says Archer. “But it grew when I came to concerts and readings and sensed a cultural community that I wanted to join. I’m excited to continue expanding the circle of people who feel that same sense of belonging with all that it offers for mind and body.”

Among many programs Archer planned this spring in conjunction with Reynolda’s exclusive debut of “Ansel Adams: Eloquent Light” is a yoga class that will take place outdoors on the Reynolda lawn. Archer says this new program reflects Reynolda’s historic and present commitment to mindfulness and wellness, both inside the museum and outdoors.

A native of Pennsylvania, Archer graduated from Wake Forest with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in business administration. “The Triad Business Journal” named him one of the top 40 leaders under 40 in 2010, and he has been the recipient of two awards from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County: for Arts Knowledge-Sharing in 2012 and for Arts Development in 2014.

The Betsy Main Babcock Director of Program and Interpretation is an endowed position at the museum, funded by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

WakeUnited Campaign raises $350,000 to benefit United Way

The Wake Forest community successfully concluded the 2015 WakeUnited Campaign in December, raising $350,000 to benefit the United Way of Forsyth County. WakeUnited is the University’s annual campus campaign, which runs during the month of October each year.

The United Way brings together local organizations, agencies, and individuals to work together for the benefit of all in Forsyth County. Donations to the annual campaign support the United Way’s community-wide efforts to:

  • Raise the local high school graduation rate
  • Decrease chronic homelessness
  • Increase financial stability
  • Increase access to health care and quality of life

Individuals can also give to the non-profit, human service agency of their choice through United Way of Forsyth County. As well, this year the United Way unveiled its new “Place Matters” initiative, a resident-led initiative to target investments where they are most needed in our community.

This year’s WakeUnited Campaign featured a collaboration with the Pro Humanitate Institute and the Office of Wellbeing; together these offices helped to sponsor the 2016 Champion Challenge to encourage participation in the campaign. “Team Taylor,” comprised of staff from Facilities and Campus Services, blew the competition out of the water with over 90 percent participation in the campaign. Additionally, this year’s campaign featured weekly drawings for raffle prizes through the “16 in ’16” challenge; prizes were awarded to Emily Neese, Jessica Sheedy, Tim Pyatt, and the grand prize went to Patrick Sullivan. Congrats to all!

Allison McWilliams, director of mentoring and alumni personal and career development, and the chair of this year’s campaign, notes that the investment that Wake Forest staff and faculty make each year in the WakeUnited campaign extends beyond the actual dollars raised: “By supporting the United Way’s work in Forsyth County, we are acknowledging that Wake Forest does not just exist in this community, we are part of it. Its successes and challenges are ours, as well. I could not be more humbled by and grateful for the generosity of our colleagues at Wake Forest.”

The 2016 WakeUnited Campaign chair is Roger Beahm, professor of the practice in marketing and WestRock Executive Director, Center for Retail Innovation. For more information about the WakeUnited campaign, visit http://unitedway.wfu.edu.

WISE workshop set for February

Wake Forest University’s Center for Global Programs & Studies recently received the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for Campus Internationalization from NAFSA for the development of WISE: Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement. Initiated as a small workshop in 2009 for Wake Forest professors and staff, this annual event has developed into a comprehensive conference hosting more than 250 attendees from our community and across the U.S.

The eighth annual WISE event will be held Feb. 4 and 5 at the Winston-Salem Marriott hotel downtown. Registration is free for Wake Forest faculty and staff (register now throughEventbrite for one or two days).

The WISE Conference features a keynote address on the important role faculty play in students’ development of intercultural communication skills and competencies. Thirty concurrent sessions will be presented by experienced faculty and administrators in the field of international education. Session topics include comparison of models for study abroad programs, practices to develop intercultural competencies, role of language in cross-cultural engagement, pre-departure planning, assessment methods for students’ intercultural competencies, and much more.

Faculty new to study abroad programs will hear the basics, while there are new and advanced topics for veteran faculty. Associate Professor of Anthropology Steve Folmar, who has been taking students to Nepal since 2001, remarked, “Getting involved in these ongoing conversations and hearing other people’s approaches makes you pay more attention to what you’re doing. You put a much more discriminating eye on what you’re doing yourself.”

Pre-conference workshops are offered on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Explore opportunities to delve deeper into important topics on the WISE website: http://global.wfu.edu/wise/. Standard rates apply for pre-conference; WISE has a limited number of scholarships available for Wake Forest faculty/staff to participate in a pre-conference workshop. Contact Nancy Metcalf at 758-5994 with questions.

Visit the WISE website at http://global.wfu.edu/wise/ for session descriptions and how to register. Registration for the main conference, Feb. 4-5 is free for Wake Forest personnel.

WFU students launch The Media to produce digital content

The Media, a student-run digital media group, launched in September with a ceremony in Reynolda Hall’s Magnolia Room featuring Provost Rogan Kersh (’86) and Provost Emeritus Ed Wilson (’43). The Media will be working with members of campus to create digital content with a focus on using iTunesU as an academic distribution channel. The Media plans to add to the global branding of Wake Forest.

Kersh’s remarks focused on the entrepreneurial spirit of the group’s founder, sophomore William Wang, and Kersh also presented badges to the student leaders. Wilson’s remarks focused on the teacher-student relationship through history at Wake Forest, saying: “Normally students learn from teachers at Wake Forest. However, as teachers, we should also learn from them.”

Senior Addison McLamb outlined the goals of the group, and Wang spoke about the hybrid of student creativity and institutional vision from Wake Forest faculty and staff.

“With incredible support from all over the campus, we are hungry to do more in the future,” Wang said. “Our job is to ensure that Wake Forest University thrives in a mobile- and cloud-first world.”

Journeys to Success Speaker Series to feature Dolores Huerta

Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will be the featured speaker Oct. 29 in Carswell Hall for the Journeys to Success Speaker Series hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The event is free and open to the public.  It will be held at 6 p.m. in the Annenberg Forum.

Every semester, the Office of Multicultural Affairs hosts the Journeys to Success Speaker Series signature event. The Office seeks established international, national and local professionals of color to share their experiences traversing their respective fields. It brings speakers who will inspire students through sharing the story of their success and challenges.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs shared the following information about Huerta:

“Ms. Huerta is one of the most influential leaders of this country. Early in life, Ms. Huerta realized her lifelong journey towards working to correct economic injustice. As a result, she became a labor leader and civil rights activist who was an early member, along with colleague Cèsar Chávez of the National Farm workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). Ms. Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers, immigrants, and women’s rights, including the most prestigious award that a person can receive, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, bestowed to her in 2012 by President Obama. Today, she continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocates for the working poor, woman, and children.”

For more information, please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 336-758-5864.

This event is cosponsored by: Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, Communication Department, Diversity and Collaboration Fund, Divinity School Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership, Latin American and Latino Studies, Organization of Latin American Students, Pro Humanitate Institute, the Women’s Center, and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies.