A group of Wake Foresters gathered in Columbus, Ohio, on November 14, 2017, to discuss leadership and character.

To begin our discussion, everyone was asked to share a time when they saw character being displayed. Several shared themes and commonalities emerged from the conversation:

  • Character is centered around what we do behind closed doors and when no one is looking. However, later discussions brought up the point that people are always looking. No one would know about these displays of character if no one noticed.
  • Character is also doing the right thing and standing up for what a person believes in, despite tough circumstances and difficult times. Actions of self-sacrifice and those that involve risk tend to be shining displays of character.
  • There was an overwhelming theme that character starts with the family and is instilled by the parents.
  • Character is prominent when stamina, courage and work ethic come into play.
  • A comment that resonated with many of us was “sometimes character takes the form of a simple act of kindness.”
  • Towards the end of the conversation, several people in our group expressed that Wake Forest has a special “family feel,” which creates a character-building atmosphere for everyone involved –students, administration, coaches and staff.