LU pride was riding high on Tuesday, January 17 as Lawrence celebrated Founders Day—the anniversary of the college’s founding.
The annual celebration was a huge success with alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends posting birthday wishes and sharing Lawrence memories on the college’s Facebook page. Many wore Lawrence apparel at home or to work.
As a special tribute to Lawrence’s 165th birthday, an anonymous donor matched any gifts made online on January 17. At the end of the day, Lawrence had received a tally of $47,074 and, with the anonymous donor’s generous match, a grand total of $94,148!
Lawrence development office staff could not have been happier with the success of the event. “We were thrilled with the wonderful posts that appeared on Facebook, the on-campus excitement the day generated and of course the thoughtfulness of the donors who gave in honor of the occasion—not to mention the tremendous generosity of our anonymous donor who matched their gifts,” said Stacy Mara, director of development.
In addition to the spirited fund raising, there was also a great show of LU pride as students, faculty, staff and alumni posed for a Founders Day group photo in the Buchanan-Kiewit Wellness Center. The group even included Lawrence’s youngest future alumna, 7-week old Maggie, the daughter of Ben Campbell ’97 and Sarah Johnson Campbell ’97.
A big thank you to all of you who helped Lawrence celebrate its 165th birthday!
Luce Grant Supports Sustainable China Initiative
A $50,000 grant from the New York City–based Henry Luce Foundation will support the development of new courses, study-abroad opportunities and collaborative research projects in China, all with an environmental focus.
Utilizing the resources of Lawrence’s current East Asian studies and environmental studies programs, the new “Sustainable China: Integrating Culture, Conservation and Commerce” program will provide opportunities for students to examine the critical issues of economic growth, environmental sustainability and a shifting cultural landscape facing China.
“The three Cs of sustainability provide a framework for meaningful, multi-disciplinary examination of contemporary China on its own and in a global context,” said Marty Finkler, professor of economics and John R. Kimberly Distinguished Professor in the American Economic System. “That framework will force students to grapple with the reality that environmental science and policy decisions have consequences for economic development, poverty reduction and cultural preservation.”
The grant also will enable Lawrence to expand partnership collaborations with two Chinese institutions, Guizhou Normal University and the Linden Centre in Yunnan province.
Seven Awarded Tenure
Elizabeth Carlson (Art History) specializes in the area of European and American 19th-and 20th century art history and visual culture. She was the recipient of the 2007–08 Freshman Studies Teaching Award. She received a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Minnesota–Minneapolis.
Wen-Lei Gu (Music) teaches violin and is the chamber music coach. She has performed throughout the world and has won several prizes in national and international violin competitions. She received a Doctor of Music in violin performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
David McGlynn (English) teaches courses in American literature and fiction writing. He has just completed a memoir, A Door in the Ocean, which will be published this summer. He received a Ph.D. in English literature and creative writing from the University of Utah.
BenJamin D. Rinehart (Art) teaches studio art courses in painting, printmaking, book arts and drawing. His artwork focuses on issues of family, in and outside of the LGBTQ allied community. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from Louisiana State University.
Arnold Shober (Government) teaches courses in American politics and government. His interests include public policy, federalism and American political development. He recently had a new book published, The Democratic Dilemma of American Education. He received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Martyn Smith (Religious Studies) specializes in medieval Arabic literature, religion and the environment, and Islam as the basis of a culture. He received a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Emory University as well as an advanced degree in religious studies.
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo Christopher Murray ’75 returned to Lawrence in February. During a three-day visit, Murray spoke in several classes where he discussed international human rights, issues in Africa that affect the United States, the Arab Spring and international politics. He also met informally with students to discuss international careers.
“Ambassador Murray’s visit provided our students with a great opportunity to hear the ‘inside story’ of American diplomats abroad,” said Claudena Skran, professor of government and Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science. “He shared his experiences as a young foreign service officer as well as the challenges of running an entire embassy in a developing country in Central Africa.”
The highlight of his visit was a public talk about foreign policy challenges facing the Obama administration to a standing-room-only crowd of students, faculty and community members in Steitz Hall.
“I come back from Central Africa a few times a year,” said Murray. “Lawrence has always meant a great deal to me. I remember fondly the guest speakers we used to have when I was a student. One of the biggest honors I could have would be to play the same role all these many years later.”
During a 30-year foreign service career, Murray has served the Department of State in positions around the world. He was confirmed as ambassador in August 2010.
Three welcomed to Board of Trustees
Butler ’73, Milwaukee, Wis., is a lecturer and justice-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Myers ’79, Winnetka, Illinois, is the executive director of World Sport Chicago.
Huang ’93, Bronx, New York, is the CEO of Beyond ML Groups.
Obama Nominates Lawrence Trustee
President Barack Obama has nominated Bill Baer ’72, a member of the Lawrence University Board of Trustees, for the position of assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Baer is currently the chair of the Antitrust Practice Group at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.
NSF Grant Bolsters Biology Research
A $552,666 grant from the National Science Foundation funded the purchase of a confocal microscope system to support biological research and strengthen hands-on research training. Confocal microscopy is a technique that provides the best available resolution of microscopic images and allows the reconstruction of three-dimensional structures from images obtained through the microscope.
“It’s incredibly exciting to have a sophisticated instrument like this,” said Nancy Wall, associate professor of biology. “This is a major boost for faculty research programs and an essential tool for undergraduate training in modern biological research.”
Seven teams of faculty mentors and student researchers—six from Lawrence and one from the University of Wisconsin–Fox Valley—will use the microscope to advance understanding in developmental biology, cell biology, physiology and biochemistry through regular coursework and summer research projects.
The grant is the largest instrumentation grant in Lawrence University’s history.
Equipment Donation Boosts Chemistry and Geology Departments
An unexpected gift of a nearly new Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) machine will enhance teaching and research at Lawrence with wide applications for both chemists and geologists.
The gift came from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in Decatur, Ill., and was facilitated by Amy Varda Couch ’03, an analytical chemist with ADM. The $100,000 instrument, which provides a fast, precise and extremely sensitive analysis of trace elements in a variety of solid and liquid materials, was originally purchased for a specific project at ADM.The unit, however, didn’t meet the needs of the project and was taken out of service. “One day my boss challenged us to find a school that would be willing to accept a donation of an ICP,” said Couch. “I immediately thought of Lawrence.”
Dave Hall, associate professor of chemistry, said it is gratifying to know that alumni are thinking about current Lawrence students and ways they can help them. “Most of the time equipment of this quality can be obtained only through federal or private grants, which are very difficult to obtain,” said Hall. “In fact, we had written several proposals to obtain an ICP. To have one essentially fall into our laps is extremely fortuitous.”
“The teachers I had at Lawrence always stuck with me,” said Couch. “I had life-changing experiences at Lawrence. I’m happy I’m in a position to give something back like this.”
Anton “Tony” Valukas ’65, chair of the Chicago-based law firm Jenner & Block, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree Sunday, June 10, 2012, at Lawrence’s Commencement ceremony. In addition, Valukas will serve as the principal Commencement speaker.
Valukas recently served as the court-appointed examiner of the historic bankruptcy case of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. In January, The American Lawyer named Valukas its 2011 “Litigator of the Year.” In its cover story the magazine hailed Valukas as one of the “few heroes to emerge from the financial debacle of 2008.”
• Saxophonist Phillip Dobernig ’13 earned second place honors in the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee Collegiate Music Competition.
• Saxophonist Joe Connor ’15 earned second place honors in the 24th annual Lakeshore Wind Ensemble Young Artist Competition.
• Tory Wood ’14, Ian Koziara ’14, Max Kligman ’15 and Katy Harth ’11 earned first-place honors at the 2011 Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition. Second-place honors went to Clee McCracken ’15 and Alex York ’13. Kelsey Wang ’15, Zoie Reams ’14, Issa Ransom ’13 and Mike Pope ’12 each took home third-place honors.
Earthquake Relief Funds Heading to Haiti
Two years after a devastating earthquake leveled Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Lawrence’s campaign to help rebuild the school is taking shape.
More than $40,000 was recently sent to Haiti, which will be used to construct a temporary structure in downtown Port-au-Prince that will house two rehearsal halls, a studio and an instrument depot, as well as office space at the school’s annex in nearby Petionville.
“Plans have been drawn up to rebuild the entire complex,” said Janet Anthony, professor of music and George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music, who has traveled to Haiti annually to teach music. “Even with the most optimistic estimates, the completion date is several years off. This donation marks the first large step in the process of rebuilding and is hugely important.”
Lawrence’s “Concert for Haiti” raised $32,000, with the remaining funds coming from the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac. Additional support came from Fox 11 WLUK, which recorded and rebroadcast the concert, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the American Red Cross.
Craig Gagnon ’76 has joined Lawrence as associate vice president of communications. Gagnon earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Lawrence and a master’s degree in communications from Syracuse University.
During his 30-year career, Gagnon has held leadership positions in national and international integrated marketing communications firms in Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Milwaukee.
Since 2008, he has owned his own brand development and marketing strategy firm in Cedarburg, Wis., providing research-driven strategic planning for businesses in a variety of industries.
Wind Turbine Rebate
Lawrence recently received a $200,000 rebate from Wisconsin Focus on Energy and Wisconsin Public Service for “Joan’s Wind Mill,” a 120-foot tall, 50-kilowatt turbine installed at Björklunden, the college’s 425-acre northern campus outside Baileys Harbor. Lawrence’s first investment in wind energy, the $400,000 turbine is expected to generate enough electricity to cover nearly one-half of the electrical needs of the 37,000-square-foot lodge on the estate.
An independent study project undertaken by Steve Schnorr ’10 was the impetus for the turbine, which became operational in early December.
Major supporters of the project were Joan and Bob Schaupp ’51. The generosity of Edith and Edward Andrew, Michael Cisler ’78 and Sarah Traas, Elizabeth Schlenk Cook M-D ’53, and Brenda and David Wenberg ’61 also helped make the project a reality.
The correct spelling of “fasciation” earned Lawrence University its second straight title in the Fox Valley Literacy Council’s annual spelling bee. The team of Provost Dave Burrows, student Elise Mozena ’12, Professor of Geology and the Walter Schober Professor in Environmental Studies Marcia Bjørnerud and Director of Corporate, Foundation and Sponsored Research Support Jenna Stone ’00 outlasted eight other teams to take the title.
Putting Human Rights into Focus
Last fall Lawrence hosted a month-long series of events focused on human rights issues from around the world. Themed “Engaging Human Rights,” activities included the following:
- Lecture by Larry Cox, former executive director of Amnesty International USA
- Lecture by Alexander Wilde ’62, distinguished visiting Scarff professor and senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.
- Showing of the documentary State of Fear: The Truth about Terrorism
- Showing of the documentaries Granito: How to Nail a Dictator and The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court, which included question-and-answer sessions with the films’ director, Pamela Yates, and producer, Paco de Onis
- Showing of the film Blood Diamonds
- Lecture by Greg Campbell, award-winning journalist and author of the book Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World’s Most Precious Stones
- A staged reading of One for the Road from Nobel Prize Award–winning playwright Harold Pinter
Lawrence again was on the receiving list for accolades from prestigious college-ranking organizations. Among them:
- Inclusion in The Princeton Review’s 2012 edition of The Best 376 Colleges
- Being named the 18th most rigorous college or university by Newsweek / The Daily Beast
- Ranked 21st nationally as a college with the most accessible professors by Newsweek / The Daily Beast
- Listed as No. 60 among 236 national liberal arts colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 America’s Best Colleges report
Bel Canto Sings at ACDA Convention
Bel Canto, the high school component of the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir program, recently performed at the regional convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Madison, Wis. Only 14 choirs from six states were selected to perform through two rounds of a blind audition process. Bel Canto was the only school-aged ensemble selected from the state of Wisconsin.
The performance, which included works by Monteverdi, Victoria, Debussy, Kodály and Casals, was enthusiastically received by more than 500 choral conductors from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
“It was a huge honor for us to represent the Lawrence community and the Fox Valley in this performance,” said Conductor Karen Bruno. “The girls sang from their hearts, engaging the audience and impressing them with their musicality.”
A residency by award-winning Puerto Rican–born composer Roberto Sierra highlighted a weeklong Latin Chamber Music Festival at Lawrence. Other events included performances by the Arcos Trio, a Mexican print collection display, and a lecture by representatives from Lawrence’s Spanish department and Latin American studies program.
Capturing Campus, Winning Awards
From move-in day and the annual Midwest Trivia Contest to Björklunden and Senior Experience, the weekly This Is Lawrence video series strives to highlight the people, programs and places that make Lawrence distinctive.
One This Is Lawrence video, “The Compassion Project: Manhole Covers,” recently received a distinction of its own—a 2011 Pride of CASE V Gold Award in the “Best Video Feature” category. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) honors institutions and individuals for outstanding achievement in the concept and execution of advancement programs and communications.
The 3-minute-33-second video, produced by Web Content and New Media Coordinator Rachel Crowl, follows Associate Professor of Art and Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art Rob Neilson and his students as they work on a public art project over the course of several weeks. Inspired by the Appleton Compassion Project, Neilson challenged students to depict their own definitions of compassion on designs for manhole covers. The covers were then cast at Neenah Foundry and installed along the sidewalk of College Avenue in downtown Appleton and displayed in the Warch Campus Center.
The idea behind the award-winning video was to capture the innovative way that Neilson and his students participated in the project and to highlight their artistic work. Making the video involved the challenge of getting footage in a working foundry with varying light levels, moving parts and loud sounds.
“[Crowl’s] work has an artistic quality that helps Lawrence tell stories with an aesthetically pleasing style, while also being creative, authentic and often fun,” said Cal Husmann, vice president for alumni, development and communications.
Started in 2009, the This Is Lawrence series is one of the most visible examples of how Lawrence is working to engage the college’s different constituencies. On Fridays throughout the academic year, the short videos are distributed to a growing list of 14,000 alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and prospective students and their parents.
“We see the beauty of This Is Lawrence when prospective students tell us about the video they really liked—and 10 different students cite ten different videos,” Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Ken Anselment said. “It’s a way for our prospective students to get a bunch of thin slices of Lawrence life.”
The videos are popular on campus too. “I think my personal favorite things are that so many students can hum the This Is Lawrence tune without thinking,” Crowl said. “And that students get excited to be a part of one. It’s infectious.”
To see the award-winning video, visit www.YouTube.com/LawrenceUniversity and click on the link for This Is Lawrence—The Compassion Project: Manhole Covers
Some of the most popular This Is Lawrencevideos include):
*As of press time