A day “on”: Lawrentians honor MLK legacy through reflection, community service

While the annual holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a day off from work or school for many, more than 250 Lawrence University students, faculty, staff and local alumni will make it “a day on.”

As a prelude to the Jan. 16 annual Fox Cities community celebration of the life of the civil and human rights leader, which Lawrence will host in the Memorial Chapel beginning at 6:30 p.m., Lawrentians will spend part of the day engaged in community service.

Since 2008, Lawrence has honored King’s legacy by providing volunteers to area nonprofit organizations. This year Lawrence volunteers will spend part of the King holiday providing their time and talents to 11 local nonprofit organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, Riverview Gardens, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Homeless Connections and the Bethesda Thrift Shop on a variety of activities, including a new reading initiative for K-6 students at Appleton’s Edison Elementary School.

Prior to the volunteer activities, Lawrence will conduct a Read & Reflect event the morning of Jan. 16 in the Warch Campus Center. The action-based discussion will focus on Marc Lamont Hill’s book “Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond.” It will include the sharing of personal experiences of feeling like a “nobody” and action individuals and the campus as a whole can take to better support society’s  most vulnerable members.



Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts will deliver the keynote address — “On the Fierce Urgency of Now” — at the Fox Cities’ 26th Martin Luther King community celebration.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Pulitzer Prize-winner headlines annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration; Lawrence professor to receive community award

Award-winning newspaper columnist and author Leonard Pitts believes the concept of “now” is as urgent as it has been in many years.

Leonard Pitts

Pitts, who writes a nationally syndicated column for the Miami Herald, will deliver the keynote address Monday, Jan. 16 at the 26th annual Fox Cities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community celebration at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Two community awards will be presented as part of the celebration, including an educator award that will go to Lawrence University faculty member Amy Ongiri.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Refusing to be a Bystander to Racism and Injustice.” The event, which will include a sign language interpreter, is free and open to the public. A reception will immediately follow in Shattuck Hall 163.

The annual commemoration of Dr. King’s life and legacy is jointly presented by Lawrence University and Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities, with the support of numerous Fox Valley organizations, churches and individuals.

Inspired by a passage in King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he warned against “the tranquilizing drug of gradualism,” Pitts presents “On the Fierce Urgency of Now.”

King urged people not to be patient or wait for change to happen. Pitts believes that message needs to be reinforced because too many have “forgotten the fierce urgency of now, neglected to keep the pedal to the metal where human rights are concerned,” eroding much of the progress made in the post-civil rights era. In light of events of the past year, particularly the outcome of the national election, Pitts will make the case for the urgency of “now.”

During his 40-year career, Pitts has been recognized numerous times for literary excellence, including a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004. His popular twice-a-week column appears in dozens of newspapers around the country. The National Association of Black Journalists have honored Pitts with its annual Award of Excellence three times and named him its Journalist of the Year in 2008.

He is a seven-time recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Award and has been the recipient of the Atlantic City Press Club’s National Headliners Award five times.

In addition to his column, Pitts has written five critically acclaimed books, including 2015’s “Grant Park,” a provocative look at black and white relations in contemporary America.

Pitts, who resides in Bowie, Md., earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Southern California at the age of 19 after starting college as a 15-year old on a special honors program.

With a celebration theme focused on refusing to be a bystander to racism and injustice, Kathy Flores, chair of the MLK Planning Committee, says Pitts is the perfect keynote speaker.

“I can’t wait to hear Leonard Pitts’ address because so much of his writing has examined this very topic,” said Flores. “He is a shining example of someone in the media who stands up against racism and injustice in every word he writes. His passion and authenticity for justice makes him a powerful writer and speaker.”

Amy Ongiri

As part of the community celebration, Ongiri will receive the third MLK Educator Award and Sarah Long-Radloff will be recognized as the 23rd recipient of the Jane LaChapelle McCarty Community Leader Award.

Ongiri joined the Lawrence faculty in 2014 as the Jill Beck Director of Film Studies and associate professor of film studies. She since has established herself as a fighter for social justice and a passionate advocate for all marginalized people.

With scholarship focused on diversity and multiculturalism, Ongiri has developed classes in which students engage intensely with issues of race, class, ability, ethnicity, body size, gender, sexuality and other categories of social hierarchy while challenging students to examine their unconscious biases.

As a role model of social justice activism, Ongiri serves as a faculty mentor for several Lawrence diversity and social justice student organizations, among them Alianza and the Men of Color Alliance. Her impact on students has been described as “profound.”

Her engagement extends beyond the campus, leading presentations on issues of diversity for local companies. As a strong believer that queer women of color be visible, she volunteers frequently as a DJ at local events, including the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration, and coaches basketball on Saturday mornings at the YMCA.

Sarah Long-Radloff

Long-Radloff, a Fox Cities resident for more than 40 years, has been engaged in community outreach since she arrived, acting on her mission of providing a majority-white community with a positive African American experience.

She is active in the Appleton Kiwanis Club, earning the organization’s George F. Hixson Fellowship Award in 2016.  Serving some of the community’s most vulnerable or at-risk citizens, she volunteers at Harbor House, the Emergency Shelter/Homeless Connections and at the state prison in Waupun.

During a career at Kimberly-Clark Corp., Long-Radloff was involved with several diversity initiatives and helped train upper management, both locally and nationally, in support of the company’s efforts to create a more diverse work force.

The celebration also will feature student winners of the annual MLK essay contest, who will read their entries. This year’s winning student essayists are:

Caroline Basehoar, 3rd grade, St. Francis Xavier Elementary School, Appleton
Eli Skrypczak, 4th grade, Foster Elementary School, Appleton
• Kala Lones, 9th grade, Appleton North High School
• Milly Figueroa, 11th grade, Appleton North High School

The celebration will include a spoken word performance by members of Lawrence’s Slam Poetry Club and music by Anthony Gonzalez, B-Lilly, Mauranda Owens, Mike Pope and Paris Wicker.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Faculty, contemporary prints, Japanese woodblock prints featured in new Wriston Art Center exhibition

The work of five Lawrence University studio art faculty members will be featured in the university’s latest Wriston Art Center Galleries exhibition.

Ben-Rinehart_winter-exhibit._newsblog
Benjamin Rinehart’s “Boys & Bubs: Seasons of Change” (2016) will be among the works in the Wriston Art Center’s faculty exhibition.

The faculty exhibition in the Kohler Gallery, one of three new shows, opens Friday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. with a free public reception. A performance by the Lawrence band We Go From Where We Know follows at 8 p.m. The exhibition runs through March 12.

The faculty exhibit includes painting, sculpture, video, ceramics, photography, and book-making by Tony Conrad, lecturer of art, Rob Neilson, Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art and associate professor of art, Benjamin Rinehart, associate professor of art, John Shimon, associate professor of art, and Meghan Sullivan, Uihlein Fellow of Studio Art. An exploration of portraiture in its various forms occupies a prominent place in this exhibition, the first faculty group show in the galleries in more than a decade.

“The exhibition is a stunning showcase of our studio art faculty’s current work,” said Beth Zinsli, curator and director of the Wriston Art Center Galleries. “It really highlights their skill, thoughtfulness and brilliance as working artists as well as teachers and mentors.”

Louise-Bourgeois-Couples_newsblog
“Couples” by Louise Bourgeoise is part of the “The Fine Print” exhibition, a selection of contemporary prints by women.

“The Fine Print” in the Hoffmaster Gallery features a selection of contemporary prints by women on loan from long-time art collector and 1963 Lawrence graduate Dr. Robert Dickens.  A prominent psychiatrist in Manitowoc, Dickens’ primary area of interest is late 20th and early 21st century works on paper. The exhibition feature works by such well-known artists as Louise Bourgeoise, Squeak Carnwath, Allison Saar and Frances Myers, among others, as well as a triptych by Jean Shinn — “Celadon Threads” — she created using digital embroidery.

The Leech Gallery features “Dreams of the Floating World: 15 Views of Tokugawa Japan,” 30 Japanese woodblock prints from Lawrence’s permanent collection that were selected and researched by Lawrence students in Assistant Professor of History Brigid Vance’s course “Early Modern Japan.” The exhibition is organized into three themes: portraits, nature and urban perspectives.

Through their work with the prints, the students learned about Japan’s Tokugawa period (1603-1868). They wrote explanatory texts for each work and framed the prints for the show. Woodblock printmaking tools will be part of the exhibition.

The Wriston Art Center galleries are free and open to the public Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m.; closed Mondays. For more information on the exhibition, 920-832-6890.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

 

University convocation celebrates the international contributions of Lawrence cellist Janet Anthony

The third installment of Lawrence University’s 2016-17 convocation series will celebrate the musical and educational career of Professor of Music Janet Anthony in a rare evening presentation.

Janet-Anthony_headshot_newsblog
Janet Anthony

Anthony presents “Adventures in Music Making: 20 Years of Cross-Cultural Exchange in Haiti” Friday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event, free and open to the public, also will be available via a live webcast.

The program will feature performances of Haitian music, including two works composed by non-degree seeking students at Lawrence, by the Lawrence University Cello Ensemble and the Lawrence Symphony Chamber Orchestra as well as remarks by 2011 Lawrence graduate Carolyn Armstrong Desrosiers, Lawrence jazz studies program director Jose Encarnacion and Haitian journalist Fritz Valescot,

Anthony, the George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music, was chosen as the co-recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for distinguished professional work. She is the eighth faculty member so honored.

A cellist who joined the Lawrence conservatory of music faculty in 1984, Anthony has been making annual trips to Haiti since 1996 to conduct, perform and teach at music schools there.

Since making her first trip, more than 50 Lawrence students and faculty colleagues have accompanied her to teach in some of the many music programs with which she has been involved. Anthony also has assisted in bringing key Haitian music teachers and students to the United States for short-term professional development.

Following the devastating 2010 earthquake that devastated parts of the country, Anthony helped organized a benefit concert in Appleton for Haiti and collected needed supplies for the survivors, including gently used instruments. She has since performed numerous memorial concerts in Haiti, including one in 2011 on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.

Anthony is the co-founder and current president of Building Leaders Using Music Education (BLUME)-Haiti, a Fox Cities-based nonprofit organization that works with Haitian and International partners to develop and support music education for youth and young adults in Haiti.

Janet-Anthony-cello_newsblogDesrosiers, an Appleton native who has made multiple trips to Haiti with Anthony, co-produced and co-directed a documentary film — “Kenbe La” — which explores the transformational power of music programs in Haiti.

An active soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, Anthony has toured with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Austrian Radio Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of the Vienna Symphony. She also has performed or taught in Argentina, China, Curacao, Japan, Venezuela and Vietnam and, as a member of the Duo Kléber, she has performed in England, France, Italy and Bosnia Herzegovina.

A frequent performer on Wisconsin Public Radio, Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She also studied at Vienna’s famed Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

 

Lawrence names Catherine Gunther Kodat new provost, dean of the faculty

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein has announced the appointment of Catherine Gunther Kodat as provost and dean of the faculty.  She also will join the Lawrence English department as a tenured professor.

Catherine-Kodat_newsblog
Catherine Gunther Kodat will join the Lawrence administration as provost and dean of the faculty July 1.

A scholar of 20th-century English literature and American studies, author and former newspaper reporter, Kodat is currently the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and professor of English at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Kodat will officially join the Lawrence administration on July 1, 2017.

Kodat will succeed David Burrows, who announced in March he will return to the faculty at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Burrows joined the administration in 2005 and will remain with the university, teaching in Lawrence’s psychology department and leading efforts to enhance pedagogy.

As Lawrence’s chief academic officer, Kodat will share responsibilities for long-range financial planning, enhancing the campus’ intellectual climate, recruiting, retaining and supporting faculty, strengthening instruction and research, fostering curricular innovation and promoting campus inclusivity.

In announcing her appointment, Burstein called Kodat’s academic background, accomplishments and interests “a perfect fit” for Lawrence.

“Katie’s interest in Lawrence drew early attention from the search committee and our interactions with her only increased our desire to have her join us,” said Burstein. “From the beginning, it was clearly a difficult task to find someone who had the temperament, experience and love of the liberal arts to carry forward the very successful tenure of Dave Burrrows. I think we have found such a person in Katie.”

Kodat joined the Lewis & Clark administration from the University of the Arts, a visual and performing arts institution in Philadelphia, where she served as acting provost and dean of the school of arts and sciences.

Prior to Lewis & Clark, Kodat spent 17 years at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., where she rose from assistant to full professor, chaired the English and creative writing department and served as director of the American studies program. She was recognized with Hamilton’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008. She also has taught at Boston University, Boston College and Tufts University.

“Katie brings so much to the table: a deep appreciation and love of the arts, a strong commitment to scholarship and teaching, and tremendous warmth and humor.”
     — Tim Spurgin, chair of the search committee

She is the author of the 2015 book “Don’t Act, Just Dance: The Metapolitics of Cold War Culture” and more than two dozen published scholarly articles, book chapters and reviews.

Before beginning her academic career, Kodat was a metro reporter and dance critic for the Baltimore Sun in the 1980s.

Kodat said the job description was one of the things that first attracted her to Lawrence.

“The posting said Lawrence was looking for ‘a leader with a strong vision and a humane, personal touch,’” said Kodat. “Most of these job descriptions sound a lot like one another, but that line was unique. It caught my attention and told me something about Lawrence that certainly was consistent with my view of the world.”

“The prospect of joining an intellectual community where music plays such a central role, both academically and in the everyday life of the campus, is tremendously exciting to me,” Kodat added.

She began her undergraduate career as a piano performance major at the Peabody Institute before earning a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in English at the University of Baltimore. She earned a master’s and doctorate degree in English from Boston University.

“Katie brings so much to the table: a deep appreciation and love of the arts, a strong commitment to scholarship and teaching, and tremendous warmth and humor,” said Tim Spurgin, Bonnie Glidden Buchanan Professor of English Literature and associate professor of English, who chaired the search committee. “She has held senior leadership positions at two distinguished institutions, working on everything from budgets to curricular review and reform. All of this, combined with her early experience as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, will serve as excellent preparation for her work here.”

Kodat’s husband, Alexander, is a senior product architect and software engineer at Rocket Software. They are the parents of triplets: Axel, a 2015 graduate of Swarthmore College; Dexter, a 2015 graduate of Occidental College; and Madeleine, a senior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence’s Banta Bowl recognized with national “distinguished facility” award

Lawrence University’s Banta Bowl has always been a home to winners, but the facility itself is now a winner as well.

The recently renovated Ron Roberts Field at the Banta Bowl has received an award from the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA). The new-look Banta Bowl, designed by Rettler Corp. of Stevens Point and constructed by The Boldt Co. of Appleton, was honored in the Distinguished Field Facilities category.

DCIM999GOPRO
Renovated in 2015, Lawrence’s Banta Bowl was recognized by the American Sports Builders Association with an award as a “distinguished field facility.

“It is exciting to be honored with this award,” Lawrence Director of Athletics Christyn Abaray said. “The foresight and vision displayed to show what this could be, and the deliberation and expertise utilized to make the Banta Bowl a reality are commendable and remarkable. We want to thank everyone who supported and continue to support this effort. This is an example of how impactful positive change can be.”

The ASBA, the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, presents these awards annually to facilities built by ASBA members and exemplify construction excellence.

The 3,634-seat Banta Bowl, tucked into a natural ravine just south of the Fox River, underwent the major renovation during the spring and summer of 2015.

Renovations began with raising and widening the playing field to accommodate a soccer pitch. The stadium, home to Lawrence football since 1965, now also houses the Lawrence men’s and women’s soccer teams. The natural grass surface was replaced with FieldTurf to allow for more and varied use of the stadium.

The fan experience was greatly improved with aluminum grandstand seating and an LED scoreboard that houses a new sound system.

Fans enter the Banta Bowl through an inviting plaza at the north end of the stadium. The new Gilboy Athletic Center houses Lawrence’s football locker room, an athletic training room, an officials’ room, concessions, ticketing and restrooms. The building was named for Steve ’62 and Joan Gilboy, who provided a leadership gift for the stadium renovation.

The naming of Ron Roberts Field at the Banta Bowl honors Lawence’s legendary football coach and long-time director of athletics, Ron Roberts, at the behest of Tom Rogers ’65, who gave the lead gift for the renovation.

Lawrence surpassed the goal of $4.5 million to renovate the stadium, and the final piece of the renovation is set to be completed in 2017. The original press box will be replaced with a new multi-level facility for game control personnel, the media and coaches. It is expected to be ready for games in the fall of 2017.

“This was an incredibly collaborative endeavor that bore a result of which all involved can be very proud,” Abaray said.

“Thanks to the leadership of Lawrence for this project from the Board of Trustees, President Mark Burstein and Vice President for Alumni and Development Cal Husmann,” Abaray added. “In addition, thank you to Mike Szkodzinski, director of athletics/head hockey coach at the time of planning and construction, and Rettler Corporation for their significant contribution to the renovation. Finally, thank you to Lynn Hagee, instrumental in the aesthetic appeal of the Banta Bowl, for her assistance.”

The football teams at Lawrence have embraced the Banta Bowl and made it a home to champions. The Vikings, under the leadership of Roberts, captured seven of their 16 Midwest Conference titles since moving into the stadium in 1965.

The Banta Bowl would not have been possible without the generosity of George Banta Jr. ’10. Originally called the Lawrence Bowl, the stadium was an anonymous gift from Banta and was renamed in his honor after his death in 1978.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence opera program recognized with national award — again

The hits just keep on coming for Lawrence University’s opera studies program.

For the second straight year, Lawrence has garnered national recognition. Its 2016 production of “The Beggar’s Opera,” which was performed last February at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, was awarded first-place honors in the 2015-16 National Opera Association’s (NOA) Division 6 Best Opera Production competition.

Beggars-Opera-award_newsblog
Lawrence’s 2016 production of “The Beggar Opera” earned first-place honors in the National Opera Association’s Division 6 Best Opera Production competition.

Lawrence earned top honors against competitors with graduate student programs, some of which are previous winners in the category.

The college’s first micro-opera production, “Expressions of Acceptance,” which was performed at the PAC in November 2015, tied for third place in the 2015-16 NOA’s Division 1 Best Opera Production competition.

“This is a win for all of Lawrence because opera is a huge, intricate event,” said Copeland Woodruff, who joined the college in the fall of 2014 as director of opera studies. “Opera incorporates all of the disciplines — singing, instrumental solo and ensemble, collaborative piano, theatre design and technical craft, acting, choreography, stage combat, research in history, literature, art, sociology, psychology and of course administrative assistance to make it all happen. We are so lucky to have such a supportive, collaborative environment at Lawrence that fosters this type of exploration.”

“Expressions of Acceptance” was a collaborative effort between Woodruff, Margaret Paek, director of Lawrence’s dance program and Matt Turner, director of the ensemble Improvisation Group of Lawrence University (IGLU) in conjunction with Lawrence’s student organization GLOW and Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities, Riverview Gardens and COTS. Through , 5-8 minute micro-operas, it examined issues and experiences that both bind people together as well as differentiate us. The pieces were perrformed in non-traditional places in the PAC, including stairwells, bathrooms and even an elevator.

“I am thrilled that our students’ talent is recognized and revered by our peers across the nation.”
      — Copeland Woodruff, director of opera studies

This was the second year in a row Lawrence was recognized nationally for its opera program. In 2015, Lawrence earned first-place honors in the undergraduate division of the Collegiate Opera Scenes competition at the joint national conventions of NOA and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Lawrence’s 2015 production of “The Tender Land” earned second-place honors the NOA’s Best Opera Production competition.

Expresssions-of-Acceptance-award_newsblog
Lawrence’s micro-opera production “Expressions of Acceptance” earned third-place recognition the National Opera Association’s Division 1 Best Opera Production competition.

“These awards allow our students to garner a idea of where they stand among their peers,” said Woodruff, who will accept the awards in person in January at the 2017 NOA national convention in Santa Barbara, Calif.  “I’m so proud of the dedication, hard work and long hours everyone devoted to crafting these memorable, landmark experiences. I am thrilled that our students’ talent is recognized and revered by our peers across the nation.

“Being remote from other opera companies and schools with opera programs, it is important for our students to participate in these competitions so that they can compare themselves with the pool of artists who will be their competitors for and colleagues in graduate schools, summer opera training programs and their eventual career,” Woodruff added.

The production competitions are based on an anonymously submitted video of the production. Judges, who are industry and academic professionals, base their decisions on criteria that includes musicianship of both singers and instrumentalists; dramatic credibility and characterization; production concept, staging and execution; and overall quality of the production. The scenes competition is based upon live performance at the national conference.

The divisions are based upon the size and scope of an institution’s music and opera program, level of vocal training of the singers and production budget.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

President Burstein signs joint letter to President-elect Trump calling for end to acts of hate, harassment

Mark-Burstein_convo-2016_newswblog
Lawrence President Mark Burstein

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein has joined 109 of his colleagues in signing an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across the country.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 430 incidents of hateful harassment and intimidation were reported in the first five days following the election, with 67 of those occurring on college and university campuses and another 99 happening in K–12 schools.

The letter calls for a reaffirmation of the nation’s core values of democracy: human decency, equal rights, freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination.

Burstein was one of only two college/university presidents in Wisconsin to sign the letter. Liberal arts college presidents represent the majority of the letter signers, while seven presidents lead historically black colleges. The signers include the president of one Canadian university.

Two other signers have ties to Lawrence. Macalester President Brian Rosenberg served as dean of the faculty at Lawrence from 1998-2003 and James Gandre, president of Manhattan School of Music, is a 1981 Lawrence graduate.

The letter and its signers follows.

Dear President-elect Trump,

As do you, we “seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.” In order to maintain the trust required for such productive engagement, it is essential that we immediately reaffirm the core values of our democratic nation: human decency, equal rights, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination. As college and university presidents, we commit ourselves to promoting these values on our campuses and in our communities, and we stand alongside the business, nonprofit, religious, and civic leaders who are doing the same in organizations large and small.

In light of your pledge to be “President for all Americans,” we urge you to condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate, and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office. In our schools, on job sites and college campuses, on public streets and in coffee shops, members of our communities, our children, our families, our neighbors, our students, and our employees are facing very real threats, and are frightened.

One of the roles of leaders is to protect and empower the most vulnerable. As President-elect, this responsibility rests heavily on you. Let this be a mark of your leadership.

Raymond E. Crossman
President
Adler UniversityMauri Ditzler
President
Albion CollegeMark Zupan
President
Alfred University

Jeff Abernathy
President
Alma College

Biddy Martin
President
Amherst College

William R. Groves
Chancellor
Antioch University

John M Sullivan
President
Art Academy of Cincinnati

Paul C. Pribbenow
President
Augsburg College

Steven Bahls
President
Augustana College

Marjorie Hass
President
Austin College

Leon Botstein
President
Bard College

Mac Powell
President
Bastyr University

Scott Bierman
President
Beloit College

Mariko Silver
President
Bennington College

David C. Joyce
President
Brevard College

Kimberly Wright Cassidy
President
Bryn Mawr College

Nancy Blattner
President
Caldwell University

Donald J. Laackman
President
Champlain College

Frank G. Pogue
Interim President
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

David McInally
President
Coe College

Brian W. Casey
President
Colgate University

Helen J. Streubert
President
College of Saint Elizabeth

Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.
President
College of the Holy Cross

Jonathan Brand
President
Cornell College

Jann Weitzel
President
Cottey College

Carol Quillen
President
Davidson College

Mark McCoy
President
DePauw University

Walter M. Kimbrough
President
Dillard University

MaryAnn Baenninger
President
Drew University

Donald Eastman
President
Eckerd College

Carl J Strikwerda
President
Elizabethtown College

Jake B. Schrum
President
Emory & Henry College

James A. Anderson
Chancellor & Professor of Psychology
Fayetteville State University

Michael Pressimone
President
Fontbonne University

Daniel Porterfield
President
Franklin & Marshall College

Elizabeth Davis
President
Furman University

Janet Morgan Riggs
President
Gettysburg College

Robert Kenny
President
Goddard College

Mark Scheinberg
President
Goodwin College

Jose Antonio Bowen
President
Goucher College

Raynard S. Kington
President
Grinnell College

Jane K. Fernandes
President
Guilford College

Rebecca M. Bergman
President
Gustavus Adolphus College

John J. “Ski” Sygielski
President
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College

Margaret L. Drugovich
President
Hartwick College

Kimberly Benston
President
Haverford College

Lori Varlotta
President
Hiram College

Mark D. Gearan
President
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Andrea Chapdelaine
President
Hood College

Shirley A. Mullen
President
Houghton College

Lisa A. Rossbacher
President
Humboldt State University

Alison Byerly
President
Lafayette College

Dan McAlexander
President
LaGrange College

Michael B. Alexander
President
Lasell College

Mark Burstein
President
Lawrence University

Barry Glassner
President
Lewis & Clark CollegeRichard Green
President
Lincoln University, PennsylvaniaBrian F. Linnane, S.J.
President
Loyola University Maryland

Kenneth R. Garren
President
Lynchburg College

Brian Rosenberg
President
Macalester College

Stuart Kestenbaum
President
Maine College of Art

James Gandre
President
Manhattan School of Music

Kevin F. F. Quigley
President
Marlboro College

Kerry Walk
President
Marymount Manhattan College

Laurie Patton
President
Middlebury College

Bryon Grigsby
President
Moravian College

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr.
President
Morehouse College

David Wilson
President
Morgan State University

Stanley J. Pritchett, Sr.
President
Morris Brown College

Sonya Stephens
Acting President
Mount Holyoke College

Timothy E. Trainor
President
Mount St. Mary’s University

John I. Williams, Jr.
President
Muhlenberg College

Kent Devereaux
President
New Hampshire Institute of Art

Richard Helldobler
Interim President
Northeastern Illinois University

Lawrence Schall
President
Oglethorpe University

David W. Oxtoby
President
Pomona College

Debbie Sydow
President
Richard Bland College

Allan Cahoon
President and Vice Chancellor
Royal Roads University

Rachel Schreiber
Interim President
San Francisco Art Institute

Karen R. Lawrence
President
Sarah Lawrence College

Tracy Fitzsimmons
President
Shenandoah University

Susan E. Henking
President
Shimer College

Peg Albert
President
Siena Heights University

Joe Bertolino
President
Southern Connecticut State University

David Rees Evans
President
Southern Vermont College

Edward B. Burger
President
Southwestern University

John A. Pieper
President
St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Kevin J. Manning
President
Stevenson University

Valerie Smith
President
Swarthmore College

Susan C. Scrimshaw
President
The Sage Colleges

John M. McCardell, Jr.
Vice-Chancellor and President
The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee

Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President
Trinity College (Hartford)

Stephen C. Ainlay
President
Union College

Thomas W. Keefe
President
University of Dallas

Quint Thurman
President
University of the Southwest

Jonathan Chenette
President
Vassar College

Thomas Christopher Greene
President
Vermont College of Fine Arts

Scott D. Miller
President
Virginia Wesleyan College

Tori Haring-Smith
President
Washington & Jefferson College

Weymouth Spence
President
Washington Adventist University

Joseph Kline
President
Watkins College

Jonathan Gibralter
President
Wells College

Michael S. Roth
President
Wesleyan University

Dennis Hanno
President
Wheaton College (Massachusetts)

David J. Chard
President
Wheelock College

Sharon Herzberger
President
Whittier College

Stephen E. Thorsett
President
Willamette University

Elizabeth MacLeod Walls
President
William Jewell College

Adam Falk
President
Williams College

Barbara K. Mistick
President
Wilson College

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence, Door County Land Trust sign conservation easement agreement to preserve 305 acres of Björklunden property

Mark Breseman was an 18-year-old college student who had just completed his freshman year at Lawrence University when he first discovered the beauty of Björklunden, a then-pristine 325-acre parcel of lakeside Door County that had been bequeathed to the Appleton college in 1963. It was the summer of 1975 and Breseman was hired as the property’s first student “grunt” to help the groundskeeper with general maintenance.Bjorklunden-sign_newsblog

“I was completely enthralled with the place,” said Breseman. “I would spend off-work hours walking the trail along the Lake Michigan shore, going up in to the fields to sit in the trees or on the rocks along the lakeshore just enveloped by its sense of pure tranquility. Björklunden left an indelible imprint on me.”

Fast forward 41 years and Breseman is excited about creating similar touchstone moments for future generations of Lawrence students. Since 1997, when he returned to his alma mater as director of Björklunden, Breseman has served as Lawrence’s chief steward and cheerleader of the estate, which has grown to 441 acres since he first stepped foot on it.

He also has been at the forefront of efforts to preserve and protect the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the property that culminated Nov. 17 with a grant of conservation easement signing ceremony at the Björklunden lodge between Lawrence officials and Door County Land Trust representatives. The agreement secures 305 acres of the estate from future development that would degrade the conservation values described in the terms of the agreement.

“My dream has long been to have as much of the Björklunden property put in conservation easement as possible so it would never be sold for development,” said Breseman. “The agreement sends a clear message to the Door County community that Lawrence is not going anywhere. We’re going to be here forever and keep this wonderful property in its beautiful, natural state.”

Representing 10 percent of the DCLT’s total conservation easement acreage, the Björklunden easement is the organization’s 70th protected parcel and its largest in the past five years. It includes the most shoreline of any of its conservation easements.

Bjorklunden_lake_by-Dan-Eggert_newsblog
Approximately one-half mile of Lake Michigan shoreline will be included in the Björklunden conservation easement agreement. Photo by Dan Eggert.

The one-time summer retreat of Donald and Winifred Boynton of Highland Park, Ill., Björklunden vid Sjön — Swedish for “Birch Grove by the Lake” — was bequeathed to Lawrence in 1963 by the Boyntons with the understanding that it would be preserved in a way that would ensure its legacy as a place of peace and contemplation. Winifred Boynton referred to her beloved summer residence as a place “far removed from confusion and aggression, it offers a sanctuary for all.”

“Our agreement to preserve natural habitat at Bjorklunden underscores our commitment to Donald and Winifred Boynton who generously gave us these lands close to 50 years ago,” said Mark Burstein, president of Lawrence University. “We are grateful for the partnership we have established with the Door County Land Trust which makes this agreement possible.”

A visionary group of leaders from Lawrence, Björklunden and the Door County Land Trust planted a seed a decade ago about protecting part of the property.

“Now that seed has come to fruition with Lawrence entering into a conservation easement with DCLT to forever protect 305 acres of the Björklunden property from future development or subdivision,” said Terrie Cooper, Door County Land Trust’s director of land programs.

“Our agreement to preserve natural habitat at Bjorklunden underscores our commitment to Donald and Winifred Boynton who generously gave us these lands close to 50 years ago.
     — Lawrence President Mark Burstein

“Björklunden’s conservation easement protects in perpetuity more than one-half mile of Lake Michigan shoreline, boreal forest, migratory bird habitat and wildlife habitat, and an expanse of open space along Hwy 57 south of Baileys Harbor,” Cooper added. “The partnership with Björklunden sets a precedent for other conservation-minded organizations and is such a gift to the Door County community and future generations. The Door County Land Trust is honored to assist Björklunden and Lawrence in realizing their vision and upholding forever the terms of their conservation easement.”

Michael Cisler, a member of the Lawrence Board of Trustees and chair of its buildings and grounds committee, said the easement agreement between Lawrence and the DCLT ensures Björklunden “will always be the sylvan setting that the Boyntons treasured.”

“The easement also connects Lawrence to the larger Door County community with a shared commitment to the conservation of our natural resources, the preservation of our cultural past and a responsibility for a sustainable future,” Cisler added. “The arrangement secures wild spaces that will forever be a valuable part of the quality of life and appeal of Northeast Wisconsin.”

Bjorklunden-trail_by-Dan-Eggert_newsblog
Björklunden is home to one of the most southern extents of boreal forest in Wisconsin. Photo by Dan Eggert.

According to Drew Reinke, land protection specialist for the DCLT, the protected property contains a variety of habitat types resulting from Lake Michigan’s influence.

“A long list of terrestrial species inhabits the property and the shoreline serves as critical stopover habitat for migratory birds,” said Reinke. “Its forest is one of the most southern extents of boreal forest in Wisconsin with mature to near old growth characteristics. This large tract of land can easily be identified by boaters on Lake Michigan as it is the largest block of forest just south of Baileys Harbor with no development.”

Lawrence has conducted an adult, non-credit summer seminar program at Björklunden since 1980. The construction of a new lodge in 1996 opened up the property to additional weekend seminars for Lawrence students. During the 2015-16 academic year, nearly 2,000 Lawrence students, faculty, staff and guests participated in a weekend seminar.  Bjorklunden is also a popular destination for weddings, retreats and business meetings.

Stephanie Vrabec, a member of Lawrence’s Board of Trustees and current president of the board of the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust, said protecting the property in its natural condition provides unique open space to support Lawrence’s educational mission.

“The Björklunden property is a place where students can ‘retreat’ to learn and grow,” said Vrabec. “It is a working laboratory space for those who gain inspiration and learning from nature. Setting aside conservation land of this significance shows a commitment to long-term environmental sustainability.”

A land trust provides the most common way to protect the conservation values of private land. With approximately 5,000 acres nationally lost to development every day, Vrabec says the establishment of the Björklunden conservation easement “is the right thing to do.”

“Beside preserving the property in a natural state forever, the benefits of conservation lands extend beyond the property boundaries,” said Vrabec. “This agreement underscores our commitment to honor the intentions of the Boyntons and demonstrates our commitment to protect Door County’s incredible natural history and unique environmental quality.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Two Lawrence students earn first-place honors at state singing competition

Nick-Fahrenkrug_newsblog
Nick Fahrenkrug ’17

Lawrence University’s Nick Fahrenkrug and Froya Olson earned first-place honors at the annual Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition held Nov. 4-5 at UW-Milwaukee.

Fahrenkrug, a freshman from Davenport, Iowa, won the men’s first-year college classical division, while Olson, a senior from Dawson, Minn., won the women’s fourth/fifth-year classical division. They both received $150 for their winning performances.

In the finals, Fahrenkrug sang Gabriel Faure’s “Lydia” and Franz Schubert’s “Du bist du Ruh.” Olson performed “La statue de bronze” by Erik Satie and “Song to the Moon” from Antonin Dvořák’s opera “Rusalka.”

Fahrenkrug is a student of music professor John Gates while Olson studies in the voice studio of Karen Leigh-Post.

Five other Lawrence singers placed in the competition.

Foya-Olson_newsblog
Froya Olson ’17

Senior Lizzie Burmeister, junior Claire LaLiberte and sophomore Alex Quackenbush each earned second-place honors in their respective divisions. Freshman Victor Montanez Cruz in the freshman men’s classical division and Cristina Sada Segovia in the music theater division both earned third-place honors.

Lawrence was represented by 26 singers, 15 of which reached the semifinals and seven who reached the finals. The competition drew nearly 400 singers from around the state.

The NATS competition features 28 separate divisions grouped by gender and level. Depending upon the category, competitors are required to sing two, three or four classical pieces from different time periods with at least one selection sung in a foreign language.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.