Fred Gaines Playwright Series showcases student-written plays

Four performances of three original, one-act plays will be presented March 2-4 in Lawrence University’s Cloak Theatre of the Music-Drama Center during the university’s third biennial Fred Gaines Student Playwright Series.

Curtain times are 8 p.m. each day, with an additional 3 p.m. performance on Saturday, March 4. Tickets, at $15 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

This year’s series of one-act plays features the work of theatre arts majors Olivia Gregorich, Sara Morrison and Isabel Hemley.

“As we all struggle to give voice to our deeply held beliefs, the work of these three inspired playwrights achieve their own artistic coup,” said Jacque Troy, who served as dramaturg for the series. “Olivia mined family memories to craft a clever and insightful coming-of-age story. Sara slyly and hilariously challenges the concerns of contemporary parents. And Isabel sensitively reminds us of the enormity of one’s life changing from the comfortingly familiar to one with endless possibilities and challenges.”

Olivia Gregorich ’17

Gregorich explores communication challenges across generations and balancing home and opportunities far away in “Nineteen.” The story revolves around college freshman Claire Mallory, her mother and her grandmother. A six-month internship in Alaska — Claire’s first extended time away from home — creates tension with her mother, especially when her grandmother’s health comes into question. Gregorich drew upon her own experiences of spending a term abroad in Dublin and a summer internship on the East Coast.

“This play is about distance — physically and emotionally— and is fairly autobiographical,” said Gregorich, a senior from Greenwood. “The career I’ve chosen in theatre means most of my life is going to be spent in cities far away from my central Wisconsin hometown. This play came from some of the sadness I carry with me about this.”

“Despite my awareness of the direction my life is likely to take away from the close-knit, large central Wisconsin family from which I come, I will always closely value that family and the way that I grew up because of them,” Gregorich added. “I realize I can’t have both, but I can remember to make time to maintain my relationships with extended family, even if I’m not always physically present.”

Sara Morrison ’18

In Morrison’s comedy “What’s Next,” parents prepare a drug intervention for their teenage son only to discover he doesn’t have a drug problem. What he’s actually been hiding from them is his boyfriend.

“My play came from my desire as a bisexual woman to see a ‘coming out of the closet story’ that wasn’t focused on struggle or tragedy, as so many are,” said Morrison, a junior from Skokie, Ill. “I wanted a ‘gay narrative’ that was lighthearted, maybe even silly, because real life so often is more outlandish and ridiculous than we expect it to be.”

In Hemley’s “The Sky and A Couple of Stars,” a pair of just-graduated life-long friends face the prospect of saying good-bye for the first time in their lives. They confront questions of friendship, why we leave those who have been there for us and why we feel the need to move on.

Hemley said the play was inspired by her own best friends’ imminent graduation.

Isabel Hemley ’17

“I wanted to explore the complexity of friendship and how it makes us behave, what we sacrifice for our friends’ happiness and what we don’t sacrifice for our friends,” said Hemley, a senior from Minneapolis, Minn. “I hope the audience takes a moment to contemplate the directionality of their own life. I want them to consider whether they own their choices and happiness or if they let others choose for them and feign happiness to placate their friends and family.”

A staged reading of Stefany Dominguez’ Senior Experience, “The Two of Us,” also be presented in conjunction with the Gaines Playwright series.

Dominguez’ partly autobiographical dramedy centers on Samantha, a Latina college coed struggling through life in a mental haze with the support of two male friends. Samantha learns the importance of communication as she comes to terms with herself, who her friends are and the realization everything in life happens for a reason —good or bad.

“The events that happen to Samantha are situations that not just women experience, but especially women of color: sexual assault, mental illness and most of all, self-doubt,” said Dominguez, a senior from Chicago, Ill., who dedicated the play to the memory of her brother, who was murdered at the age of 15.  “It can be hard to find your support system in a college setting and the conversations between Samantha and her friends are not far from ones that I have had with my friends in the past.

Stefany Dominguez ’17

“Every story is relevant, even if it differs from yours,” she added. “Once you can find bits of yourself in others, you will then be able to appreciate all walks of life.”

Timothy X. Troy, J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama and professor theatre arts, says the Gaines Series is designed to provide two important learning tools.

“The play development process teaches students that plays are not fixed texts,” said Troy, who directs each of the productions. “They do not emerge from the mind of playwright fully formed. Each play depends on the director and actors of the first production to realize its full potential. As playwrights listen and watch actors in the first stage of rehearsal, they’ll hear an awkward line, or face an unanswerable question from actor about the character. That send the playwright back to the keyboard to adapt the scene. When the new are tried in the next rehearsal, we all experience the development process in real time.

“Secondly, for each Gaines Series we assemble a whole company of theatre makers who take on back stage roles in addition to the visible on-stage roles. Each play has it’s own stage managers, student costume and lighting designer, and property assistant. Several students have the opportunity to take on important responsibilities on a smaller scale than our usual main stage production.”

The series honors the work of former theatre professor and department chair Fred Gaines, who taught at Lawrence from 1977-2000 and passed away in 2010. Troy, a 1985 Lawrence graduate, was inspired to launch the series as a way of passing on the wisdom Gaines shared with him as a student.

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.

Michael LaMarca 1931-2017: An enthusiastic teacher and distinguished scientist

Michael LaMarca

Former Raymond H. Herzog Professor of Science and Professor Emeritus of Biology Michael LaMarca passed away Feb. 9 of complications from a stroke. A resident of Rochester, Minn., where he made his home in retirement, he was 85.

A specialist in reproduction and developmental biology, LaMarca joined the Lawrence faculty in 1965 and taught with distinction until he retired in 1995. His career as a scientist and teacher was distinguished by his legendary commitment to the disciplined study of the living world. He was recognized with Lawrence’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1983.

From the study of amphibians to the exploration of human reproduction, LaMarca guided students for 30 years in both the technical and ethical investigation of biological science. His enthusiastic teaching style impacted thousands of students, especially those he mentored through independent study, many of whom went on to distinguished careers of their own as doctors, researchers and educators.

He served as the scientific director of the in vitro fertilization program at Appleton Medical Center from 1985-95 and his guidance was critical to the impressive successes of northeast Wisconsin’s first such program. Under LaMarca’s tutelage, numerous Lawrence students were able to begin their own research careers there.

LaMarca’s own research earned him a place of influence and honor in the scientific community and took him to laboratories and research centers around the country, including Argonne National Laboratory, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harvard University School of Medicine, among others.

Michael LaMarca taught in the Lawrence biology department from 1965-1995.

A native of Jamestown, N.Y., LaMarca was the first member of his family to attend college, earning a degree in biology from the State University of New York at Albany. He spent four years in the Air Force during the Korean War, serving active duty stateside as a meteorological officer while achieving the rank of lieutenant. He went on to earn his Ph.D in zoology at Cornell University and spent two years teaching at Rutgers University before joining the Lawrence faculty.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joan LaMarca, daughters Cathy Stroebel, Rochester, Minn., and Nancy Gordon, Eden Prairie, Minn., and four grandchildren: Ben, Hannah and Andy Stroebel; and Zach Gordon. He was preceded in death by his oldest daughter, Mary LaMarca.

The family has requested memorials be directed to the National Science Teachers Association or the National Academy of Sciences.

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.

21st century gender focus of cultural competency series presentation

The second presentation in a five-part Lawrence University series examining issues related to cultural competency looks at gender Friday, Feb. 24. The one-hour program “Gender in the 21st Century” begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Warch Campus Center. It is free and open to the public.

Helen Boyd Kramer

Helen Boyd Kramer, lecturer in gender studies and Freshman Studies at Lawrence, discusses the variety of gender identities and expressions, including trans, queer and gender non-conforming (GNC) as well as the basics of gender neutral pronouns, etiquette around transition and non-binary identities. She also will explain ways to create a welcoming and inclusive space for all genders and how sexual orientation does and doesn’t intersect with gender identity and expression.

A specialist in transgender issues, Kramer joined the Lawrence faculty in 2008. She is the author of the books “My Husband Betty” and “She’s Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband.”

Other presentations in the series include:

• March 3 — “Intercultural Skills for Successful Global Citizenship,” Cecile Despres-Berry, lecturer in English as a second language and director of the Waseda Program; Leah McSorley, director of international student services; Laura Zuege, director of off-campus programs

• April 28 — “Imagine More,” Rev. Linda Morgan Clement, Julie Esch Hurvis Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life

• May 26 — “Lesson’s from the Trenches: Activism for Social Change in the New Millennium,” seniors Max Loebl and Guilberly Louissaint

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 welcomes Gerald Clayton Trio with guest artist Dayna Stephens for Jazz Series concert

Virtuoso jazz pianist Gerald Clayton brings his hard-swinging, melodic style along with an impressive pedigree to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel Friday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. for the third concert of Lawrence University’s 2016-17 Jazz Series.

Tickets for the Gerald Clayton Trio and special guest Dayna Stephens, at $25-30 for adults, $20-25 for seniors, $18-20 for students are available online through the Lawrence Box Office or by calling 920-832-6749.

One of the leaders of the new generation of young jazz musicians, Gerald Clayton learned his craft playing with his legendary father, composer, arranger, conductor bassist extraordinaire John Clayton, and his uncle Jeff Clayton, noted alto saxophonist and multi-reed instrumentalist, in the Clayton Brothers combo.

Beyond the family influences, Gerald has been a much in-demand sideman, playing and recording with the likes of Diana Krall, Ambrose Akinmusire, Roy Hargrove and Terry Lyne Carrington. National Public Radio called Clayton “a warm and graceful player, with plenty of personal nuance” while DownBeat magazine has hailed him for his “nuanced touch, precise articulation and the way he constructs a narrative for his solos.”

A four-time Grammy Award nominee, Gerald formed his own trio in 2008 with drummer Justin Brown and bassist Joe Sanders.

The trio will be joined for the Lawrence concert by tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens, a former student of trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Herbie Hancock at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

Jose Encarnación, director of the jazz studies program at Lawrence, calls Gerald Clayton “one of my favorite voices in improvised music.”

“Gerald’s musical stories are always honest, fresh and natural. He is the kind of artist that is always exploring and innovating,” said Encarnación. “It will be an honor to have him perform as part of our Jazz Series.”

Clayton’s discography includes his 2010 debut, “Two Shades,” for which he earned a Grammy Award nomination for best improvised jazz solo for his arrangement of Cole Porter’s “All of You.” His most recent releases 2012’s “Bond: The Paris Sessions” and 2013’s “Life Forum” both earned Clayton Grammy Award nominations for best jazz instrumental album.

The Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet closes Lawrence’s Jazz Series on May 13.

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.

Making their mark: Lawrentians well represented among Fox Cities 2017 Future 15 award winners

Lawrence University graduates and employees are clearly making their mark in the Fox Cities based on the 2017 Future 15 Award winners.

Four of this year’s 15 honorees are Lawrence graduates, including one who is a  current member of the staff: Fanny Lau ’14, Elyse Lucas ’10, Paris Wicker ’08 and Oliver Zornow ’10. This year’s winners were selected from a pool of more than 100 nominees.

All of the honorees will be recognized March 2 at the Young Professional Awards banquet held at the Opera House in Hortonville.

The Future 15 awards are part of the Pulse Young Professionals, a program of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Fox Cities Regional Partnership, in collaboration with Post-Crescent Media.

The program recognizes young business and community leaders for their efforts in work, civic and charitable causes. Future 15 recipients are chosen based on their dedication, strong sense of vision for the Fox Cities and understanding of the importance of volunteering and giving back.

Lau, a former field organizer with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, is currently an intern with Legal Action of Wisconsin. Lucas is an art teacher in the Appleton Area School District. Wicker is the associate dean of students for campus programs at Lawrence. Zornow is the community engagement manager for the Building for Kids Children’s Museum and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Fanny Lau ’14 spent two years working in Lawrence’s Alumni and Constituency Engagement office after graduation.
Since graduating in 2008, Paris Wicker has held positions in Lawrence’s admissions office, student affairs office and is currently associate dean of students for campus programs.

“A source of pride for all of us at Lawrence is how many alumni choose to stay in the Fox Valley and remain connected to the college and the community in many ways,” said Mark Breseman, associate vice president of alumni and constituency engagement. “The community bonds these alumni have established while they were in school remain and are strengthened following their graduation.

Since 2011 when the Future 15 program was launched, 11 Lawrence graduates and employees have been recognized. Past recipients include:

• 2016 —Jamie Cartwright ’14; Carolyn Armstrong Deorosiers ’10; Jennifer Dieter ’03; Josh Dukelow ’02.

• 2015— Nathan Litt ’08

• 2014 —Monica Rico, associate professor of history

• 2013 — Korey Krueger ’95

“It is a real testament to the quality of our students that so many of them have been nominated and selected for the Future 15 program over the years,” said Breseman. “Our students not only excel in the classroom, but they continue to make a difference and give back to the community to which they belong.”

The field of Future 15 nominees — which are submitted without names or personal details — are narrowed to 25 by past Future 15 winners narrowed them down to 25. A panel of community leaders than rate the nominations, which accounts for 90 percent of the decision. The final 10 percent is based on community votes cast on The Post-Crescent’s website.

For details on attending the awards banquet, visit foxcitieschamber.com.

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.

“Word origins for $1,200”: Senior Allison Holley represents Lawrence on “Jeopardy!” college tournament

History isn’t Allison Holley’s go-to category when it comes to playing her favorite game, the popular television quiz program “Jeopardy!.” But thanks to the show, she recently managed to make history.

The senior English and Spanish major from Racine recently became the first Lawrence University student to compete in the annual “Jeopardy!” college tournament’s 29-year history.

Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

Holley was one of only 15 students nationally selected for this year’s tournament. She traveled to California in early January to tape the contest, which will be broadcast over the upcoming two weeks (Feb. 13-24.). Holley’s first game is scheduled to air on Thursday, Feb. 16.

How did she do? You will have to tune in to find out. (Locally, WLUK-TV Fox 11, 6 p.m.)

“I was feeling pretty good,” Holley said of her arrival at the studio for the taping. “I was actually able to sleep the night before, unlike a few days before when my mind was racing 500 miles per hour and all I could think was ‘I’m going to be on Jeopardy!.’”

She was matched against two male contestants, one from Lehigh University and the other from New York University. Holley was the only contestant representing a school in Wisconsin.

Watching/playing “Jeopardy!” has been a part of Holley’s daily routine since she was nine years old. She competed with her mom whenever she was home and when she wasn’t, her parents would tape the program for marathon viewings when she was. Her parents correctly predicted it was only a matter of time before she would give the show a shot.

“I had kind of toyed with the idea but never really looked in to it until I was watching the college tournament last year,” said Holley, who practiced for her appearance by watching the show standing up and using a click ball point pen as a buzzer. “I realized $100,000 (the first-place prize) would do a lot for graduate school and my future.”

Holley’s multiple-step journey to the “Jeopardy!” studio in Culver City, Calif., started last September with a 50-question online test — with 15 seconds to answer each question. A minimum of 35 correct is necessary to advance. Based on answers she found posted on Twitter several days later, Holley estimated she got at least 40 right.

In mid-October, the second leg of her trip showed up in her inbox on a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of a laundry session.

“I was checking email,” said Holley, “when I saw a message: ‘We would like you to come to audition in Chicago. RSVP within 24 hours for more details.’

The Chicago audition was set for Nov. 12, Saturday of ninth week, aka academic crunch time in Lawrence’s 10-week term calendar.

“It was kind of insane,” Holley recalled with a smile. “The election had happened that previous Tuesday. I was trying to finish writing a Spanish paper that Friday night in my room back home. I had to wake up early the next morning to catch the train to downtown Chicago. Somehow we made it all work and it was really awesome.”

Lawrence senior Allison Holley was one of 15 students nationally selected to compete in this year’s “Jeopardy!” college tournament. Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

A Michigan Avenue hotel conference room served as a stand-in “Jeopardy!” studio. A second written test was administered — skeptical producers want contestants to prove they are as smart as their earlier online test suggested minus any “over-the-shoulder” help they may have employed. In groups of three, the contestants were called in to play a short mock version of the game, including a self-introduction.

“I was in the very first position and wasn’t sure what exactly to say, so I just went through my name and school and what I want to do,” said Holley of her audition. “We also had to say what we would do with the money, but you weren’t allowed to say things like pay off student debt or use it for grad school, which is what I would do. I just talked about traveling. I had gone to London and really loved it.”

After watching some of the rest of her competition in their auditions, Holley headed for home with the uncertain news from the producers that those who made it would hear from the show before the holidays.

“The best part of the whole experience was just being out there. All of the people, all the contestants that I met were really nice, cool people.”
— Allison Holley ’17

“It was one long and hectic day, but just getting that far was awesome,” said Holley.

Back home, what she thought was a wrong number in early December turned out to be the call of a lifetime.

“I noticed someone had left a voicemail but I didn’t recognize the number, so I figured someone was just asking for the wrong person,” said Holley, who was in a grocery store at the time. “I listened to it and had to stop dead in the aisle. The message said ‘Hi! This is Ryan from Jeopardy. I have your application.’ I definitely was not expecting that. I started jumping up and down and an elderly woman looked at me kind of weird. I was smiling like an idiot I was so happy.”

Accompanied by her mother, Holley flew to California, where she got to spend a day hanging out in the new Harry Potter world at Universal Studios before getting down to business the following day.

Prior to the taping, Holley got the celebrity green room treatment, including make-up and promotional photographs, along with a primer on the rules of the game and basic strategy. Held in front of a studio audience of a little more than 100, the contestants were admonished not to eyeball any family or friends in the crowd.

“The contestants’ guests sit in a special area, so there is no potential for cheating,” Holley explained. “The producer was yelling, ‘You don’t know your friends and family. Don’t look at them!’

By appearing in the college tournament, Holley forfeits her eligibility to appear on the regular “Jeopardy!” program. But being able to still check “Jeopardy! contestant” off of her bucket list is a memory she’ll never forget.

“The best part of the whole experience was just being out there,” said Holley, a member of Lawrence’s Quiz Bowl team and this year’s champion on-campus trivia contest team. “All of the people, all the contestants that I met were really nice, cool people. They had a reception for all the production staff and the contestants involved in the tournament afterwards, which was really neat.”

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.

Social activism explored in Lawrence opera production of “Hydrogen Jukebox”

With the help of the combined talents of vanguard composer Philip Glass and iconic beat poet Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence University’s opera studies program explores four decades of social activism in four performances of “Hydrogen Jukebox.”

The production will be staged Feb. 16-18 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center. Tickets for the general public, at $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office. The opera is free to members of the Lawrence community with an ID.

A talk back with members of the cast, production team and Lawrence faculty will follow the Friday (2/17) and Saturday (2/18) performances.

The opera grew out of a 1988 chance meeting between Glass and Ginsberg at a New York City bookstore. A piano piece composed by Glass to accompany a Ginsberg reading of the anti-war poem “Wichita Vortex Sutra” at Broadway’s Schubert Theater evolved into a full-length piece that became “Hydrogen Jukebox.” The name came from a verse in Ginsberg’s 1955 poem “Howl.”

The opera’s first public performance was on May 26, 1990 at the Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, S.C.

According to Glass, the idea behind “Hydrogen Jukebox” was to create a portrait of America covering the 1950s through the late 1980s by incorporating the personal poems of Ginsberg that examined a variety of social issues, from the anti-war movement and the sexual revolution to Eastern philosophy and environmental issues.

Copeland Woodruff, director of opera studies at Lawrence, who is directing the production, said he selected the work in part to expose students to social activism in the country during the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

“The primary impetus of choosing an opera at an academic institution, especially an undergraduate one, is to serve the population of students you currently have,” said Woodruff, whose 2016 production of “The Beggar’s Opera” earned first-place honors in the National Opera Association’s Division 6 best opera production competition. “With the prevalent social unrest at universities and colleges last year, it seemed a responsible thing to do. I did not, however, anticipate falling so completely in love with Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg.”

The production features a cast of six singers and an actor. It incorporates a considerable among amount of video projection content, which is used in a variety of roles throughout the performance, including environmental and expressive of characters and thoughts.

“The cast, designers and I looked at the poetry and Glass’ and Ginsberg’s fascination and dedication to Eastern thought,” said Woodruff, “and we crafted an evening that is a journey from loss and back on the path of regaining oneself and one’s purpose.

“Highlights along the road include experimentation with consciousness to reconnect; opening oneself to help others, but having only harsh words and doubt to convey; looking into the past and finding the growth potential instead of being marred in past wrongs and shortcomings; and seeing things clearly and dispassionately, so that we may be most helpful to others and ourselves.”

Andrew Mast, Kimberly Clark Professor of Music and director of bands, conductors the music ensemble for the production. Bonnie Koestner, associate professor of music, is the production’s music director and Reed Woodhouse, a senior vocal coach at Juilliard, is visiting guest artist and a vocal coach for the production.

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 World Music Series welcomes Kane Mathis

Kane Mathis will perform with a Turkish oud and a 21-string kora in his Feb. 8 concert.

Brooklyn-based composer and musician Kane Mathis shares an evening of music with traditional instruments from West Africa and Turkey Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. in a Lawrence University World Music Series concert in Harper Hall of the Music-Drama Center.

General public tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for seniors/students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749. The concert is free to members of the Lawrence community with LU I.D.

Performing on the 21-string kora, which he studied for more than 10 years in Gambia, West Africa, and the Turkish oud, Mathis brings an exotic blend to his audiences with traditional music he enjoys from other cultures. The kora, also known as the Mandinka harp, is made from a large gourd, cut in half and covered in cow skin. The oud is a pear-shaped, lute-like instrument with a short neck.

Mathis writes new music for both instruments as well as experimental works for electronic fixed media.

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.

The Princeton Review: Lawrence one of the country’s top “colleges that pay you back”

Lawrence University is one of the nation’s best colleges for students seeking an exceptional education with great career preparation at an affordable price according to The Princeton Review.

Lawrence was included in the education services company’s 2017 edition of its just released book “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck.” Of the schools profiled in the book, 73 are public and 127 are private. There were also nine tuition-free schools included.

The Princeton Review selected the 200 schools based on return on investment ratings it tallied for 650 schools last year. The ratings weighted 40 data points covering topics from academics, cost and financial aid to graduation rates, student debt, alumni salaries and job satisfaction.

The data was culled from the company’s surveys of administrators and students in 2015-16 and from PayScale.com‘s surveys of school alumni conducted through April 2016.

“We are very happy that The Princeton Review continues to count Lawrence alumni among those most significantly impacted by their alma mater,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid.

“We know from research that students who engage in high-impact educational programs — internships, intensive research experiences, one-on-one course work, and a senior capstone like our Senior Experience — are well-positioned to thrive in their lives after college, not just six months out, but for the rest of their lives. The Princeton Review’s approach to this particular rating captures the outcomes of that approach very well.”

In the “Career Information” section of the profile, Lawrence earned an exceptional ROI rating score of 88, with median starting salaries for graduates of $36,400 and median mid-career salaries of $89,500.

In The Princeton Review’s sublist of other rankings, Lawrence was ninth nationally among the top 25 best schools for “making an impact” based on student ratings and responses to survey questions covering community service opportunities, student government, sustainability efforts and on-campus student engagement. Lawrence also was ranked 20th nationally for “best classroom experience.”

In its profile, The Princeton Review cited Lawrence as “one of the most rigorous U.S. colleges” and for extolling “the values of a liberal education as means by which to build character, think critically, and create opportunities for choice.”

Schools included in the book “stand out not only for their outstanding academics, but also for their affordability via comparatively low sticker prices and or generous financial aid to students with need” according to Robert Franek, lead author and The Princeton Review’s Senior VP/Publisher.

“Students at these colleges also have access to extraordinary career services programs from their freshman year on, plus a lifetime of alumni connections and post-grad support,” said Franek.

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 crowns 2017 trivia champions

After finishing third a year ago, Holy Broman Literary Society ended Hobgoblins of Little Minds’ two-year run as champions, winning the 2017 off-campus title for the first time in Lawrence University’s 52nd Great Midwest Trivia Contest.

The Madison-based team, featuring a dozen Lawrence alumni, racked up 1,376 points out of a possible 1,800 during the 50-hour contest that ended at midnight Sunday, Jan. 29, to edge The Cailloutastrophe, which finished second with 1,358 points. Two-time defending champions Hobloblins of Little Minds settled for third with 1,313 points. A total of 80 off-campus teams competed.

Team Drinking in the Lounge easily won on-campus title with 1,284 points among 18 on-campus teams. Homemaker, wife and mother to 3 beautiful children (1,153 points) and Cult of the Pink Shoes (1,110) finished second and third.

For their winning efforts, Holy Broman Literary Society and Team Drinking in the Lounge were awarded first-place prizes of an unopened can of Red Dog beer, and a leg ripped from a stuffed animal monkey, respectively.

Unlike last year, no team was able to answer this year’s “Super Garruda,” the contest’s final, virtually impossible question: A number of Lawrentians have taken trips to China to study sustainability. In the third city visited on their 2015 trip, there is a bar on the 10th floor of a building near the intersection of Minquan Road and Fushui North Road. In the fifth issue of a magazine they distributed last July, which features a pink robot on the cover, what artist is shown on page eight?

While no one was able to come up with correct answer — Dickid — one on-campus team, with the help of a Chinese-speaking friend, was able to track down the bar’s manager and learn the name of the magazine, but ran out of time before learning the artist’s name.

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.