Award-winning composer and pianist Laurie Altman, whose extensive repertoire covers both classical and jazz, was a weeklong visiting composer-in-residence at Lawrence in April. Altman performed some solo piano compositions as well as jazz standards with Lawrence faculty musicians Dane Richeson, percussion, and Mark Urness, bass.
Highlighting the residency was the world premiere of his composition “The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel during the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and Lawrence choirs concert. The work, based on a poem by Ezra Pound of the same name, was performed by the orchestra and Cantala, Lawrence’s women’s choir, and featured guest artist Patrice Michaels, soprano.
Teege Metille, assistant director of admissions, upset Alderman Earl Brooker, the Appleton Common Council’s second-most senior member, in the District 11 race in early April. Metille’s district encompasses the majority of the Lawrence campus and surrounding neighborhoods to the north of campus.
A Message of Hope
Paul Rusesabagina, the man whose courage during the 1994 Rwandan genocide inspired the Academy Award–nominated film “Hotel Rwanda,” brought his message of hope, peace and “never again” to the Lawrence University campus in April.
Portrayed by Don Cheadle in the film, Rusesabagina, 56, is credited with saving the lives of more than 1,200 people during the 100-day killing spree by Rwandan Hutu extremists. As a hotel manager in Kigali, Rusesabagina bravely risked his life to shelter and protect those who were seeking refuge from the genocide that killed more than 800,000 people.
Lehman Brothers Examined
Anton “Tony” Valukas ’65 visited Lawrence in April to share his experiences as the court-appointed examiner in the bankruptcy case of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. His return to Lawrence was part of the college’s Lawrence Scholars in Law program.
A specialist in civil and white-collar criminal litigation, Valukas spent extensive time searching for evidence implicating a cover-up involving the accuracy of valuations on Wall Street that contributed to the country’s financial meltdown. In March 2010 Valukas released a 2,200-page document detailing the inner workings of Lehman Brothers, now called the “Valukas Report.”
Valukas is chair of the Chicago law firm Jenner & Block and received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1968.
Concert for Japan
On April 17, a special benefit concert to support the victims of the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan was performed by Lawrence University faculty musicians.
Featuring the music of Brahms, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Schubert and others, the concert included performances by Janet Anthony, cello; I Dewa K.A. Adnyana and Sonja Downing, gamelan; Kenneth Bozeman, Catherine Kautsky, Michael Mizrahi and Nicholas Towns, piano; John Gates, bass; Wen-Lei Gu, violin; Karen Leigh-Post, mezzo-soprano; and Steven Paul Spears, tenor.
Posse Plus Retreat
For a weekend in April, the Lawrence Posse, a diverse group of scholars from New York City, conducted its fourth consecutive Posse Plus Retreat at Björklunden. The retreat brings students and faculty together to participate in a large-group discussion-based forum about current issues pertinent to today’s students. The retreat is also intended as a way to inform the Lawrence community of what Posse is and to encourage safe, nonjudgmental discussions between students and faculty who would not normally interact in this manner with each other on campus.
This year’s topic was the millennial generation, which led to discussions on both what it meant to be born during this era of technological advancement and globalization, and the challenges and responsibilities that have gone along with it. Alex Ajayi ’12 has participated every year since the Posse arrived at Lawrence and always comes back with a sense of revitalization. “Very often, I think we get so preoccupied within the few blocks that make up Lawrence. It is such a pleasure to talk about issues bigger than a class or Lawrence, with 100 other intelligent, diverse and curious people,” Ajayi said.
Senior Wins National Piano Competition
Leonard Hayes ’11, Dallas, Texas, won the recent Young Artists’ Division of the 2011 Tourgee Debose National Piano Competition conducted at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. In addition, Hayes won the 2011 Wisconsin Music Teachers Association Collegiate Badger competition held in May at UW–Eau Claire. Julian Delfino ’13 earned honorable mention honors. top liberal arts college top liberal arts college top liberal arts college top liberal arts college top liberal arts college top liberal arts college top liberal arts college top liberal arts college
Mock Wedding Aids Emergency Shelter
Students from the Lawrence University Theatre Department were asked to participate in a mock wedding to benefit the Fox Valley Emergency Shelter. The mock wedding featured two events over two evenings, starting with an “engagement party” held at The Venue in downtown Appleton. The next evening, the wedding was held at Liberty Hall. The students had an outline of events for both performances, and the entire script was improvisational based on the outline.
The students raised more than $12,000 for both events, surpassing the shelter’s $10,000 goal. The mock wedding is an annual fundraiser for which Lawrence students volunteer their time while getting acting experience in the community.
Social Media Efforts Lauded
The Princeton Review has named Lawrence one of the 2011 top social media colleges in the country. The college’s extensive use of Facebook and Twitter and its incorporation of the Lawrence website into daily operations earned the college the award.
OnlineUniversities.com recently named LUCareerCenter To Go, the Career Center’s blog, one of the Top 25 College Career Services blogs!
For Colored Girls
State Teachers Honored
Freedom High School English teacher Janel Hauser and Madison LaFollette High School chemistry teacher Kristan Kliminski were honored with Lawrence University’s 2011 Outstanding Teaching in Wisconsin Award.
Nominated by Lawrence seniors, recipients are selected on their abilities to communicate effectively, create a sense of excitement in the classroom and motivate their students to pursue academic excellence while showing a genuine concern for them in and outside the classroom. Lawrence seniors Andrew Hawley ’11 and Sara Davis ’11 nominated Hauser and Kliminski, respectively, for the awards.
A Display of Compassion
Lawrence’s Jason Downer Commons Art Gallery came alive in May to display art created for the Appleton Compassion Project. More than 10,000 K-12 art students from public and private schools, and hundreds of others in the community, received 6-by-6-inch tiles on which to portray their ideas of compassion. Five hundred tiles were distributed to Lawrence student organizations, academic departments and offices. All of the tiles were on public display at Downer Commons and at Appleton’s Trout Museum of Art, thanks to a collaboration with museum director Tim Riley ’92.
The Compassion Project is a community art project inspired by Richard Davidson, a UW–Madison brain researcher who has studied people who practice compassion. Davidson’s research demonstrates that compassion can be learned and can be practiced as a skill.
Sidewalks with Compassion
A spin-off of Appleton’s Compassion project was the creation of a dozen custom-made manhole covers for College Avenue sidewalks. Rob Neilson, the Federick R. Layton Professor of Art at Lawrence, who is also a public art specialist, challenged students in his sculpture class to create their own personal definition of compassion. The design Anna Zuke ’11 created is called “Under Your Wings” and depicts two feathery wings in front of a setting sun. “I imagine that these wings are circling the earth, helping and loving those people, animals and things in need,” Zuke said.
Lawrence Repeats as Green College
For the second straight year, Lawrence University’s commitment to sustainability has earned it inclusion in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges.” The guidebook, released April 20, recognizes 308 U.S. and three Canadian colleges and universities that have demonstrated exemplary efforts toward environmental responsibility and sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.
Lawrence was cited for its Green Roots™ environmental initiative, which promotes environmental awareness on the campus, and the Committee on Environmental Responsibility, which facilitates dialogue among students, faculty, administrators and community members about the direction Lawrence should take on its path to sustainability. Other factors mentioned were the Warch Campus Center’s LEED Gold certification; SLUG, the student-run sustainable garden that provides fresh produce to the dining hall; and the college’s vibrant environmental studies program.
The Sustainable Lawrence University Garden (SLUG) recently began keeping bees on campus in an effort to educate Lawrence and the Fox Cities community about beekeeping, and to provide educational workshops for the community. In addition to serving as an educational resource, the bees will pollinate an area within a two-mile radius of the hives, which are located near the river behind Hiett Hall. The honey that the bees produce will be sold to Bon Appétit for use in the cafeteria and café.
Britain’s Radiohead Gets a Musical Makeover by Lawrence Jazz Department
The music of the inventive and popular English alternative rock band Radiohead got a major makeover in Lawrence University’s ambitious Radiohead Jazz Project.
A dozen Radiohead songs were rearranged for large jazz ensemble format by an international array of composers. Memorial Chapel was the site for the project’s world premier in a performance by the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble and the Lawrence University Jazz Band.
The project was the brainchild of Fred Sturm, Lawrence director of jazz studies and improvisational music, and Patty Darling, director of the jazz band, who wanted to arrange music by a popular group that today’s students would know quite well, and to allow them to perform that group’s music in an academic, performance-based setting just like their more traditional pieces.
Syverson Says Farewell
Steve Syverson, Lawrence vice president of enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, retired at the end of the 2010–11 academic year. It has been noted that nearly 40 percent of all living alumni were admitted during Syverson’s tenure at Lawrence.
“When [my wife] Diana and I arrived in 1983, I envisioned a career in which I would move to a new college every five or six years,” Syverson said. “Obviously, 28 years later, it should be clear that our love for Lawrence and for this community changed those plans dramatically. Life has changed. Lawrence has changed. And it’s been great to be part of those changes for almost half my life.” Syverson does not have any post–Wilson House plans, nor does he expect to be “retired” in the traditional sense of the word, but he expects to continue his involvement with community organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, and also with promoting a national credential for college counselors called the CEP (Certified Educational Planner).
Ken Anselment, who has been Lawrence’s director of admissions since 2004, was named Syverson’s successor.
DownBeat Magazine Honors
The Lawrence University Saxophone quartet was named undergraduate college winner in the classical group category of DownBeat magazine’s 34th annual Student Music Awards. The quartet consists of seniors David Davis ’11, Sussex, Wis., and Sumner Truax ’11, Chicago, Ill., Will Obst ’12, St. Paul, Minn., and Phillip Dobernig ’13, Mukwonago, Wis.
Known as “DBs” and presented in 12 categories in four separate divisions (junior high, high school, performing high school and college) the DownBeat awards are considered among the highest music honors in the field of jazz education.
“With their dedication and initiative, David, Sumner, Phil and Will are truly deserving of their success,” said Steve Jordheim, Lawrence professor of music and an award-winning saxophonist himself. “Though they’ve played together only one year, they have presented three full recital programs and premiered several works by Lawrence student composers. Their commitment to, and high-level performance of, the art of chamber music is inspiring.”
The classical group award was one of two DBs won by Lawrence musicians. Garth Neustadter, a 2010 graduate, earned outstanding performance honors in the magazine’s undergraduate college jazz-arrangement category.
Neustadter, a first-year graduate student pursuing music composition at Yale University, was honored for his arrangement of the 1946 Walter Gross ballad “Tenderly,” a jazz classic that has been recorded by more than 80 major artists. He wrote his five-minute arrangement for studio orchestra and vocalist near the end of his senior year last spring.
Girl Choir Program Milestone
The Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir Program celebrated a memorable 20th anniversary in April.A tornado warning sounded halfway through the 7 p.m. concert, clearing the chapel. More than 1,000 audience members, girl choir members and alumni waited the storm out in the basement of the chapel and Music-Drama Center for over an hour as rain, high winds and hail pelted the building, blowing part of the roof off Stansbury Theatre next door. When the all-clear was sounded, the audience returned to the chapel to enjoy the second half of the concert.
Featuring more than 300 members in six choirs composed of girls ages 8-18, from throughout northeastern Wisconsin and representing more than 50 schools, the Girl Choir Program provides a comprehensive education in vocal performance.
Cantala Shines at Chicago Choral Conference
Lawrence’s all-women choir, Cantala, had the honor of showcasing its talent twice at the 2011 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) national conference March 9-12 in Chicago.
The 36-member Cantala was the only collegiate women’s choir in the country selected to perform at the conference and one of only 42 choirs from around the world invited to sing.
This is the second straight ACDA national conference in which a Lawrence choir was invited to perform. “To be chosen to sing at two national events in a row is really significant,” said Phillip Swan, associate director of choral studies. “It clearly speaks to the quality of the choral music program at Lawrence.”
Performances by Lawrence University student musicians earned four of the five first-place honors awarded at the 16th annual Neale-Silva Young Artists Competition sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio. Top honors went to piano soloists Daniel Kuzuhara ’14 and James Maverick ’13; the piano duo of Dario LaPoma ’10 and Hazim Suhadi ’10; and the saxophone quartet of David Davis ’11, Phillip Dobernig ’13, Will Obst ’12, and Sumner Truax ’11.
Maverick also earned first-place honors in the national finals of the piano division of the recently completed 2011 National Federation of Music Clubs Student/Collegiate Auditions while Daniel O’Connor ’11 received second-place honors in the organ division of the same competition. Both advanced to the national finals.
LU Hosts Sustainable Agriculture Conference
The first-ever Student Initiatives in Sustainable Agriculture Conference was held on campus in April. The event, the brainchild of Oren Jakobson ’11 and Sophie Patterson ’11, was designed to bring together students from throughout the Midwest to discuss issues and projects related to student farms and gardens. More than 140 students attended, from 30 colleges and universities across seven states.
Students delivered presentations on projects from their gardens and farms. Will Allen, from Growing Power Inc. in Milwaukee, served as the keynote speaker. In addition, participants heard from local farmers, who shared obstacles that young (and old) farmers may face as they work on a local and national level.
Eight student members of SLUG have committed to organizing a second conference to take place in April 2012.
Student researcher honored
A potential breakthrough discovery helped Katy Cummings ’11 earn the “Most Promising Undergraduate Student Award” at the 2011 meeting of the Institute on Lake Superior Geology in May.
Cummings, a geology and biology double major from Dousman, Wis., was honored for her poster “Possible Eukaryotic Macrofossils in the 1.1 Ga Copper Harbor Formation, Michigan,” which she co-authored with Marcia Bjørnerud, professor of geology and Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies.
The poster presentation was based on research Cummings conducted during a field trip last fall to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Cummings discovered what may be some of the oldest non-bacterial life forms yet documented in non-marine rocks. top liberal arts college top liberal arts college top liberal arts college top liberal arts college
Lawrence University’s Main Hall green underwent an “extreme makeover” in May when 15 teams of students representing various campus organizations constructed temporary homes as the college celebrated its 10th “Shack-a-thon.”
The annual event served as a highly visible fund-raiser for the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity chapter, pitting the creative design and engineering skills of teams of Lawrence students against each other as they built makeshift shacks from donated and salvaged materials on 10-by-10-foot plots near Main Hall. At least one member of each team was required to spend the night in the shack.
A New Venue for Local Artists
The former Conkey’s Bookstore on College Avenue became home to the Rabbit, Appleton’s first pop-up gallery, in May. As a “pop-up” gallery, the Rabbit is by nature a temporary venue that utilizes empty storefronts in downtown Appleton that are for sale or lease. Its goal is twofold: market the vacant properties to potential buyers and provide professional space for local artists to showcase their work.
The Rabbit gallery concept was conceived more than a year ago in the class Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Society, part of Lawrence’s new Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. “No business district wants to see empty stores, so the gallery acts as a transitional storefront that we hope generates increased foot traffic downtown and eventually leads to a local business owner taking over the property,” said Sydney Pertl ’12, who helped organize the endeavor. The Rabbit featured paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and digital works of more than 25 community artists, including Lawrence students and faculty. Although closed for the summer, the gallery plans to reopen next fall in a new downtown location.
Lawrence Cited for Service
More than 9,700 service hours to volunteer and service-learning programs provided by 786 students earned Lawrence University inclusion on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the fifth consecutive year.
Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited was the Academy of Music’s Young Band Project, a band instruction program that mentored 139 fifth-graders at Appleton’s Lincoln Elementary School; Professor of Biology Bart De Stasio’s research on invasive species in the Fox River involving six student volunteers; and the Lawrence ArtsBridge Program, which creates hands-on experiences in the arts through partnerships between Lawrence students and K-12 supervising host teachers. Last year 192 area students were mentored through Arts Bridge projects.