Caroline Walker (’22)

Hickory, N.C.

Since 1969, a current Wake Forest student has served as a voting member of the University Board of Trustees. This year, Caroline Walker (’22) has held the position that advocates for and gives voice to the student body within University governance. It’s a role she sought, and it is this role of advocacy that she hopes to pursue. 

Walker grew up in Hickory, North Carolina, not far from Wake Forest. “Coming to Wake Forest opened so many more doors and opportunities for me,” she said. “This is a place where students like me can grow intellectually and expand their horizons.” 

Throughout her time on campus, Walker has served as a Campus Garden intern for the Office of Sustainability, a President’s Aide, the secretary of Student Government and a member of the Title IX Task Force and the COVID-19 Student Compact Committee. She is a writer for the Old Gold & Black, where in addition to covering University news, she uses her love of writing to tell the stories of her fellow Wake Foresters. 

She also tutors elementary students at Latino Community Services and has spent every year of her Wake Forest career participating in Project Pumpkin, Wake ’N Shake and Hit the Bricks. This year was especially memorable because Walker shared her final Hit the Bricks racing around the Quad and raising money for cancer research with her younger brother, Matt Walker (’24). 

“Wake Forest is intellectually rich and has a deep love of community, which drives the Pro Humanitate spirit,” she said. “The community allows you to build personal relationships, get involved and feel like you can make a meaningful impact.”

Walker decided to major in both English and Spanish, but it was the law that captivated Walker early in her time on campus. During a First Year Seminar course on regulatory law and democracy, Walker was introduced to Professor Sidney Shapiro of the School of Law. In his course, they examined issues like the Flint water crisis and EPA regulations on water. For the next few years, Walker continued working with Shapiro on legal research about the negative environmental impacts of confined animal feeding operations on marginalized communities in North Carolina. It was through this work that she realized the importance of environmental justice.

“I was examining how large corporations had taken advantage of poor marginalized communities — rural communities, predominantly inhabited by African Americans and low-income individuals,” she explained. “I realized that when you advocate for stronger environmental policies, you’re advocating for the environment and for social justice.”

Her involvement in the community, academic interests and passion for advocacy have driven her options for the future. She might spend the next year in Spain as an English teaching assistant, and she’s applying to law schools to pursue a career in international environmental law. 

No matter where her next adventure leads and where her advocacy takes her, one thing is certain. 

“The thing I’ll most carry with me is the Pro Humanitate spirit — the love of people around us, wanting to make sure we impact the community in a positive way, and making sure everyone has a place to flourish,” she said. “I want to carry that forward with me wherever I go in the future. If it’s law, then I hope to be improving the environment around me and serving as a megaphone for marginalized communities and the environmental issues that they face.”

Caroline Walker received the Guy and Clara Carswell Scholarship, the Beulah Lassiter Raynor and Kenneth Tyson Raynor Scholarship and the George Washington Green Memorial Scholarship. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Tau Delta and Sigma Delta Pi honor societies; was named sophomore student leader of the year; and was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.

Lovelle McMichael (MDIV ’21)

“Spiritual care is about them and about who they have become as humans.”