Thank You from the Class of 2017


A special message from Luisa Fernandez on behalf of student-athletes of the Class of 2017…

Over the course of my four years at Wake Forest, it seems as though each year has been more special than the last. As I reflect on my time here, I truly could not be more grateful for the amazing experiences I was able to share with my fellow classmates and student-athletes.

In preparing to walk across the stage, I know I speak for the entire graduating class when I say that earning our prestigious degrees from Wake Forest was not an easy feat. Through the long days of classes and arduous all-nighters spent studying, however, we persevered. We, as the Class of 2017, will now have the honor of belonging to a wonderful family of Wake Forest alumni.

I first visited Wake Forest as a young high schooler, where I was in awe of the majestic red brick buildings and beautiful magnolia trees. It wasn’t until I was a freshman that I came to realize Wake Forest was so much more than just a picturesque campus. With each day that passed, it became more apparent that this was a place full of students, staff, faculty and coaches who all wanted each other to succeed and grow in every area of their lives. This supportive environment allowed me to thrive and blossom in ways I never could have imagined before stepping foot on this campus. Now, four years later, Wake Forest and all of the incredible people here have become an intrinsic part of me that I will always hold close to my heart.

Wake Forest undoubtedly exceeded every expectation I had. I was given the opportunity to not only grow as a tennis player, but flourish in academics, humanities, career development and community service. These opportunities inspired me to be the best I could be, on and off the court, while allowing me to dream big in life and in my sport. In doing so, I was able to establish lifelong relationships, especially with my teammates and coaches – all of whom I expect to attend my future wedding!

As I began pondering my future and looking ahead towards graduation, which was getting closer with each passing day, I knew I was not ready to leave this magical place, where the sky is truly the limit. So rather than move on, I have decided to stay put. I will be pursuing a career in research within the Wake Forest medical community, in addition to a career as an EMT; a combination that I hope will give me the experience I need to one day become the best physician assistant I can possibly be (and yes, I hope to get my degree from the Wake Forest PA program)!

Without your financial support, I can honestly say that I would not have lived all of these amazing experiences at Wake Forest University. I am beyond thankful and truly hope you understand how much your contributions have meant to me. Not only has your support provided me with incredible opportunities throughout my undergraduate years, it has helped set me up for a successful future.

If it were not for all of you Deacon Club members, there is a high chance I would now be graduating from a New York state school, which would have provided a completely different experience, as I truly believe Wake Forest is one of a kind and offers unique and incomparable resources that I could not have gotten anywhere else.

I once thought tennis would be my only true love, but after attending Wake Forest, I know I was mistaken. So thank you, from the bottom of my Demon Deacon heart, for turning my dreams into a reality and being a part of my Wake Forest family. Your continued support and belief in all of us student-athletes means the world.

Go Deacs!

Luisa Fernandez (’17)
Women’s Tennis, Health & Exercise Science Major