Remembering the Humor of Fred Sturm

August 27th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Fred SturmAll of us in the library were sad to hear of the passing of Fred Sturm, Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies and Improvisational Music. What Music Librarian Antoinette Powell remembers most about him is his sense of humor.

“Besides being an educator, composer and arranger, Fred was fun and he wasn’t afraid to display it in any setting.  There was the time he and Mark Urness signed up for the wedding registry on Amazon because they thought it would be a good place to let me know what CDs they wanted the library to buy.”

Professor Sturm was even able to transform something as dull as meeting minutes into something entertaining, in his Old West interpretation of a Conservatory Planning Committee meeting:

Conservatory Sodbusters Meetin’

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Present:  Marshal Black Bart Pertl, Sheriff Wyatt Stannard, “Dances With Wolves” Ament, Sundance Dreher, Hoss Sturm, Calamity Gu, Rowdy Jordheim, Annie Oakley Powell

I. Selection of recording secretary – Ah reckon it’s time fer me to put down the ol’ jug and start doin’ me some writin’

II. Approval of April 21, 2009 minutes – Black Bart threatened to shoot us all dead if we didn’t approve the gol-danged things.

III. Admission report Dances With Wolves Ament and his posse rounded up 87 flea bitten no good mule headed varmints.

IV. Swine Flu update  Black Bart said we gotta stop takin’ baths together on Saturday nights, stop steppin’ in cowpies, an’ quit chewin’ tobacckie or Doc Holliday’s gonna shoot us all dead.

V. Commencement Concert length Wyatt Earp Stannard’s tired of all that catterwallin’ and lollygaggin’ and said he’d hang anybody that dances on stage fer more’n 8 minutes.

VI. Signage on College Avenue You tenderfoots oughta be doin’ what I got planned down in Texas – Ah’m plannin’ to brand little dogies with promo like “Texas Tech’s OK Chorale 2-Night!!” and stampede through downtown Lubbock. Moooo!!

Meeting adjourned at high noon.WEE-HAH!!!, Rooster Cogburn Bjella 5.21.09

To read more stories, or to share your own, the university has set up a webpage dedicated to Professor Sturm remembrances. We’ve also set up a display in the library highlighting some of his accomplishments.

Summer Student Research in the Library: William Gislason

August 18th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

A great deal of interesting student research happens in the Mudd Library over the school year as well as the summer. William Gislason was kind enough to share a bit about the innovative project he has been working on in the library this summer. We were happy to help him out by providing a student office, research materials, and use of one of the library’s iPads. 

Will Gislason

My summer project – William Gislason

When I entered Lawrence, I had no idea what major I would choose much less what career options I was interested in. While in St. Paul, Minnesota, I held a series of odd-jobs during which I worked at a hardware store, a Christmas tree lot, a garden center, as well as a coffee shop. At Lawrence, I even assisted an Ecology professor with her research. I finally focused enough to choose Biology and Environmental Studies for my double major and I knew I would need a summer job related somehow to this field. As I reflect about my time at Lawrence before starting my senior year, it’s clear I’ve learned a lot from each position but I’ve realized that I’ve learned more in this past summer than ever I thought possible.

Over the past three months, I’ve had the delight of making my first iPad app. Under the direction of the Biology department’s Bart De Stasio and Alyssa Hakes and the Director of Björklunden, Mark Breseman, along with the assistance of Celeste Silling, I’m attempting to provide the visitors of Björklunden with much of the information about the area’s ecology one would learn in a guided nature tour. To accomplish this, I’m building an app that displays the visitor’s location upon a trail map along with the location of interesting ecological features. Pictures and information on these features can be accessed by simply tapping the feature on the map. I’ve been so fortunate to not only have an office in the library to use as a base of operations for the project but to have the literary resources of the library to learn about the geography, ecology, and natural history of Door County and Wisconsin.

Though this project involves long hours of coding I have learned a ton about photography, writing, design, and planning a user experience. I consider myself so lucky to have been given this opportunity by Lawrence University and I hope the app will be a simple, educational, and delightful addition to the many services for the guests of Björklunden. Starting this fall, we’ll have 3 iPads for visitors to rent from Björklunden to experience their own person tour of Björklunden. Be sure to check it out!

Final Summer Coffeehouse: Films from the Archives

August 11th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Our final summer coffeehouse session is fast approaching. Don’t miss our special sneak peek of newly digitized short films from the Lawrence Archives!

Join us on Wednesday, August 13, at 10 am, as we share some recently digitized 16 mm films from the Archives. A public showing is planned for the fall, but attendees at this session will get a first look at two promotional films: A River, A College, A Town (1957) and This is Lawrence (1972). Not only will you be treated to an entertaining look into Lawrence’s past, but we will also provide popcorn and refreshments.

Coffeehouses are held in the reference area on the first floor of the library, and last for about one hour.

Remembering Bob French

July 22nd, 2014 by Peter Gilbert

Bob FrenchRobert French ’48, a great friend of the Library and of Lawrence, died Saturday, July 13, 2014 at his home in Appleton. He was 90.

Bob had a wide range of interests but his passion was Abraham Lincoln. Bob felt that “if we follow Lincoln’s footsteps, we’ll learn to live with different races not only in our own country but in the world…I think that’s my great interest in Lincoln.” He bought his first book on Lincoln in 1941, with money he received as a high school graduation gift. From there his collection grew to include thousands of books, pamphlets, government documents, art work, sculpture, a Lincoln autograph, and more.

His excellent collection was made so by the fact that it was not collected willy-nilly, but strategically. Bob consulted many bibliographies including the Library of Congress Civil War bibliography, and systematically (with the help especially of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago) went about building his collection –  then gave it to Lawrence. In 1992, Bob made the initial gift of his collection and in 1998 he gave a gift for the construction of the Lincoln Reading Room in the Library which was dedicated in 2000 in the memory of Bob’s mother.

But that wasn’t the end of it. For the rest of his life, Bob was a regular visitor to the Library, coming in regularly to check on the collection, talk about it, and make additions to it. After the room was built, he continued to give current scholarship resulting in an impressive collection that includes significant works of contemporary Civil War and Lincoln scholarship as well as historical works.

Of course, Bob was more than a donor and a visitor. He was a good friend to many at Lawrence and we’d look forward to hearing his voice on the phone or seeing his face in the doorway. Since Bob never owned a computer, once Lincoln scholarship began moving online, he would regularly call or stop by the reference desk to ask us to check “on the computer” for this book or that article. He was great storyteller and would always have stories about his time at Lawrence or a report from up at the lake or one of his many world travels. He was eager and very willing to talk with others about Lincoln and the Civil War in general. If you were interested, the discussions were lively and the information he imparted was remarkable. He will be missed by many at Lawrence.

A memorial service will take place at 2 pm on Thursday, July 24, in the Nathan Marsh Pusey Room of the Warch Campus Center.

“Strength through Union:” Exploring the Consolidation 50 Years Later

July 18th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen
A group of Milwaukee-Downer College students and faculty who transferred to Lawrence with the consolidation in the fall of 1964.

A group of Milwaukee-Downer College students and faculty who transferred to Lawrence with the consolidation in the fall of 1964.

If you know a bit about Lawrence history, surely you know about the consolidation between Milwaukee-Downer College and Lawrence College back in 1964. While the fact that it took place is common knowledge, not many know about the events leading up to the consolidation and why it took place.

Over reunion weekend, our Archivist, Erin Dix ’08, gave an excellent presentation about this consolidation- including how it continues to shape Lawrence University’s present and future.  She will be reprising this presentation on Wednesday, July 23rd at 10 a.m. in the Mudd Library. All are welcome and encouraged to come and learn about this fascinating period in Lawrence’s history. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

Update: Did you miss the presentation or interested to learn more? Take a look at our guide for more information and a video of the presentation from Alumni Weekend.

Summer 2014 Coffeehouse Series

July 2nd, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Announcing the 2014 Summer Library Coffeehouse Series! The Mudd coffeehouses provide an opportunity to come to the library, enjoy a snack, and learn something interesting.

Wednesday, July 9: Summer Reads
What is summer in a library without reading? Come to this popular session to hear about the library staff’s favorite summer reads, and please share yours with us!

Wednesday, July 23: “Strength through Union:” Exploring the Consolidation
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer colleges. Do you have questions about why or how the consolidation took place? Join us to learn more about the events leading up to the consolidation, about how it was carried out, and about how it continues to shape our present and future.

Wednesday, August 13: Special Sneak Peek: Films from the Archives!
A number of 16mm films from the Archives have recently been digitized, and we are so excited to share them! A public showing is planned for the fall, but attendees at this session will get a first look at two promotional films from the set: “A River, A College, A Town” (1957) and “This is Lawrence” (1972).

Coffee

Where and When?
All coffeehouse sessions will take place on the first floor of the Mudd Library. They will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 10:45 a.m. Coffee and some variety of yummy refreshment will be provided at each session. All Lawrence faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

Visit our coffeehouse guide for more details about this summer’s sessions and to learn about past coffeehouses.

Collection of Indian Rabari Objects on Display

June 17th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Currently on display in the library display cases is a beautiful collection of ornate textiles and other handcrafted objects made by the Rabari people of India. This eye-catching display was curated by Beth Zinsli and Leslie Walfish of the Wriston Galleries.

The objects are a selection from the larger Judy Frater, ’74 Collection of Indian Rabari Objects. The collection was assembled by Lawrence alumna Judy Frater during her travels in India, and later curated by her into a traveling exhibit. This exhibit was donated to Lawrence by Ms. Frater and displayed in the Wriston Galleries in 1987.

In her original traveling exhibit notes, Ms. Frater describes the culture from which these objects were created:

The Rabaris are an ancient nomadic people who slowly migrated from Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent around twelve centuries ago… One of these groups, the Kachi Rabaris, lives in the desert Kutch. Kachis are herders of goats and sheep and are semi-nomadic. In their leisure time the women make mirrored embroideries for their childrens’ dress and their daughters’ dowries. Embroidery is a part of their way of life.

Judy Frater is author of the book, Threads of Identity: Embroidery and Adornment of the Nomadic Rabaris and has extensively researched the art of Indian textiles and crafts. She is the founder and former director of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, an organization dedicated to preserving traditional crafting by educating artisans about how to promote their goods in today’s markets.

In recognition of her contributions to the preservation of crafting traditions, Ms. Frater will be receiving the George B. Walter ’36 Service to Society Award during this weekend’s Reunion Convocation.

Interested in learning more about Indian artisan designs? Ms. Frater and Kudecha Dayalal Atmaram, a traditional weaver, will be presenting a trunk show and informal talk on Sunday, June 22nd from 2-5 p.m. The show will be held at the office of Peterson, Berk, and Cross, located at 200 E. College Avenue.

The collection will remain on display in the library through June 30th.

Display Highlights History of the Conservatory

June 11th, 2014 by Allison Wray

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As part of a project for an independent study, graduating senior Dakota Williams has put together a display on the library’s first floor.  Titled “A Brief History of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music,” the display chronicles the extensive history of the Conservatory, exploring its different ensembles, noteworthy deans and professors, and the different buildings that have housed the Conservatory.  With aid of the Lawrence University Archives, Williams has assembled an intriguing display exploring some of the rich history of Lawrence.

The project is on display in the cases on the first floor of the library, and will be up until June 13th.

Canine Therapy at the Library!

June 6th, 2014 by Allison Wray

The term is coming to an end and finals are looming closer…must be time to pet some dogs!

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For the past few years, the Mudd has hosted canine therapy for students to de-stress for a bit and take their minds off the pressure of spring term finals.  Faculty, staff, and students bring their dogs for Lawrence students to get some puppy love!

It’s a whole lot of fun and this year it will be on Monday, June 9th from 2-3pm, outside of the Mudd. Pictures from past years’ canine therapy events can be found on our Flickr page!

Pianist Catherine Kautsky Concludes the 2013-2014 Convocation Series

May 28th, 2014 by Allison Wray

Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky was chosen to speak as the recipient of Lawrence’s Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for distinguished professional work. Her address, “Whispered Doubts and Shouted Convictions: What are These Composers Saying?” will explore the ways in whDSC02325ich composers speak through their music.

As the final convocation in the 2013-2014 series, the Honors Convocation publicly recognizes students and faculty for excellence in many different concentrations.  The convocation will be held Thursday, May 29 at 11:10AM, free and open to the public.  It will also be livestreamed here.

On display in the library is a selection of Kautsky’s work, along with other ensemble recordings.