Lawrence University News

Lawrence Receives Record $25 Million Gift for Scholarship Endowment

Posted on: September 17th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

A lives changer.

That’s how Lawrence University President Mark Burstein sees a $25 million anonymous gift the college has received to support student scholarships.

major-gift-news-blog2The $25 million gift is the largest in Lawrence history and will be used to establish an endowed scholarship to help meet the financial need for future Lawrence students. It is a dollar-for-dollar matching gift that will result in a new $50 million in additional endowment to support scholarships.

“A gift this size will truly change lives. We are humbled by the donor’s generosity,” said Burstein. “This gift and subsequent matching support will further enhance Lawrence’s role as a catalyst for social mobility.

“The magnitude of a $25 million gift is really immeasurable, but we know it will impact generations of students from across the country and around the world,” Burstein added. “The students who benefit from this gift will go on to make a difference in their home communities. That will be the ultimate dividend of this gift.”

“Few moments happen in the more than 160-year history of an institution like Lawrence that are truly transformative. This is one of them,” said Terry Franke, a 1968 Lawrence graduate and current chair of the college’s Board of Trustees. “A boost of $50 million in our endowment guarantees that Lawrence remains affordable for generations to come. I’m sure it will excite our alumni as much as it does me.”

Based on the average financial aid package for the 2014-15 academic year, the endowment draw from this gift will allow Lawrence to offer financial aid awards that meet the full institutionally demonstrated financial need of at least 50 students each year in perpetuity.

“The magnitude of a $25 million gift is really immeasurable, but we know it will
impact generations of students from across the country and around the world.”
— President Mark Burstein

Since becoming Lawrence’s 16th president in July 2013, Burstein has made affordability a central institutional priority.

Major-Gift_newsblog#2“We fully realize college costs can be a financial burden, which is why we are so focused on scholarship support,” said Burstein. “With this gift, along with an institutional commitment to contain expenses and manage tuition growth, we aim to help students from all backgrounds attend Lawrence and reap the benefits of a challenging and rigorous education.”

The importance of a college degree in improving a person’s social mobility was underscored in a 2008 Brookings Institution report, “Getting Ahead or Losing Ground: Economic Mobility in America.”

According to the report’s authors, when children born into the bottom fifth of the United States of the income distribution earn a college degree, their chances of making it to the top fifth of income earners nearly quadruple, and their chances of escaping the bottom income quintile increase by more than 50 percent. While half of all people from high-income families have a bachelor’s degree by age 25, only 1 in 10 people from low-income families do.

The record-setting gift comes on the heels of other positive financial news for Lawrence. The college is coming off its best year ever for gifts to its annual giving program — the Lawrence Fund — with an institutional record $3.7 million raised during the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The Lawrence Fund provides nearly 10 percent of the college’s annual operating budget. It helps bridge the gap between what students pay in tuition and actual operating costs and in conjunction with endowment earnings, helps reduce each student’s tuition by more than $10,000 per year.

In July, Lawrence announced a $2.5 million gift to expand its current teacher education program to include elementary teacher education certification beginning in the fall of 2015.Major-Gifts_newsblog_4

Earlier this year, Lawrence received a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III SIP program for a comprehensive program designed to increase the graduation rate of at-risk students.

“Collectively these gifts and grants have fueled considerable institutional momentum that will help our students have a positive, productive experience while they’re here and prepare them to succeed in a rapidly changing world,” Burstein said.

Lawrence’s previous largest gift was $16 million in 2006 for the Warch Campus Center.

For the 2014-15 academic year, Lawrence provided $33.4 million in institutional financial aid.

Ninety-six percent of Lawrence students are receiving need and/or merit based financial aid for the 2014-15 academic year.

The average need-based student financial aid package for the current school year is $35,600.

For the current school year, 21 percent of Lawrence students are receiving federal Pell Grants, which are given to undergraduates from low-income families with the highest need.

As for June 30, 2014, Lawrence’s endowment was nearly $250 million and experienced a 16.2 percent investment return over the fiscal year.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Summer Makeover: Lawrence Tennis Facility Receives Significant Upgrade

Posted on: September 15th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

The Lawrence University tennis teams have been honing their games on the banks of the Fox River for more than 75 years, and thanks to a generous donation, those courts have never looked better.

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Lawrence men’s and women’s head tennis coach Steve Francour says the Vikings’ updated facility is now “one of the best in the Midwest Conference.”

The Lawrence Courts, located at the bottom of Drew St. hill, underwent a makeover this summer thanks to an anonymous alumni donation.

“The new tennis facility allows Lawrence to provide its men’s and women’s tennis teams with a first-class facility to compete and train,” Lawrence coach Steve Francour said. “Potential student-athletes will also see that they can reach their full potential at Lawrence with an outstanding facility. I would like to thank the donor and Lawrence for making this facility one of the best in the Midwest Conference.”

The six courts, which are located in a picturesque location next to the Fox River, were completely resurfaced with Nova’ProBounce. The new court surface, which is in use at tennis clubs all over the country, is an extremely high-quality, multi-layer product.

The complex, which received a new windscreen, also has been prepared for the installation of lights. A new storage building is in place, a new retaining wall was built and seating for fans also is on the drawing board.

“The new tennis courts will help give us an opportunity to become an elite program once again,” Director of Athletics Mike Szkodzinski said. “Coach Francour did a tremendous job in his first year with us last year. The new courts will allow him to better attract the best scholar-athletes to our programs. The courts also enhance our ability to interact more frequently with the Appleton community and invite them on campus.

“We are very thankful for the generosity of our alumni who made the courts possible. Without the support of our alumni, we would have a more difficult time reaching our full potential. The support of past Vikings is crucial to our success.”

The Lawrence women’s team gets its first chance to take on an opponent on Wednesday when the Vikings host Ripon College in a Midwest Conference North Division match at 4 p.m.

“The new courts are beautiful,” Lawrence junior Ali Heiring exclaimed. “No better way to kick off a season.”

The Lawrence Courts have been in use by the Vikings since the spring of 1939 and were most recently renovated when the facility was impacted by the construction of Hiett Hall in 2003.

“Having new courts shows the team that we really have the school and athletic department supporting us, which really means a lot,” said senior Allison Juda.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Matriculation Convocation Officially Opens Lawrence’s 166th Academic Year

Posted on: September 13th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

President Mark Burstein officially opens Lawrence University’s 166th academic year as well as the 2014-15 convocation series Thursday, Sept. 18 with the matriculation address “Sustaining Dialogue: Educating for a Diverse Society.”

The event, at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, is free and open to the public. The convocation also will be available via a live webcast.

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President Mark Burstein

In his address, Burstein will discuss the importance of dialogue across different viewpoints and the role universities must play to foster this engaged exchange. As our society becomes more segregated by socioeconomic class, race, and political view, universities, as training grounds for citizenry, are obligated to create campus communities where a diversity of viewpoints are explored.  Last spring’s rash of cancelled commencement speakers calls into question whether universities are fulfilling this role.

Lawrence’s 16th president, Burstein began his tenure in July 2013 after nine years as executive vice president at Princeton University. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at Columbia University as a vice president working in human resources, student services and facilities management.

A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., Burstein earned a bachelor’s degree in history and independent studies from Vassar College and a master of business administration degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lawrence’s 2014-15 convocation series also includes:

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David Gerard

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Kwame Appiah

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Sian Beilock

Nov. 4, University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock, “Leveraging Mind And Body To Perform Your Best Under Stress.” Beilock is an expert on the brain science behind “choking under pressure” and the many factors that influence different types of performance, from test-taking to your golf swing.

• Feb. 17, 2015, Author and New York University Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah, “A Decent Respect: Honor and Citizenship at Home and Abroad.” Known as a postmodern Socrates, Appiah asks probing questions about identity, ethnicity, honor and religion while challenging people to celebrate our common humanity.

May 14, 2015, Honors Convocation, Lawrence University economist David Gerard, “Is it Warm in Here?: The Intractable Challenges of Climate Change.” Gerard will examine the economic, social and technological obstacles confronting the issue of global climate change.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Hail to the Class of 2018: Lawrence Welcomes More than 400 New Students

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Lawrence University is laying out fresh “welcome” mats for the arrival Tuesday (9/9) of 432 new students — 385 freshmen, 29 transfers and 18 one-year visiting and exchange students — for the 2014-15 academic year.

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Move-in day is an annual fall rite of passage on campus as students begin the transition from high school graduate to Lawrentian.

Drawn from a school-record 2,748 applications, the freshman class of 2018 will participate in a week of new student orientation activities before the start of Lawrence’s 166th academic year, which begins Monday, Sept. 15.

According to Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid, this year’s freshman class is as ethnically and geographically diverse as it is academically impressive.

“Diversity continues to be on the rise at Lawrence,” said Anselment. “Nationally, the college-bound population is becoming increasingly diverse and Lawrence is certainly mirroring that trend.”

Here is a snapshot view of this year’s freshmen class includes:

Students from 35 states, Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands. Despite declining numbers of college-bound students in the upper Midwest, Lawrence managed a strong share, with Wisconsin (105), Illinois (87) and Minnesota (36) accounting for the top three student-producing states.

 Outside the upper Midwest, Lawrence reached both coasts for its next highest number of students, with New York and California sending the fourth and fifth most students to Appleton with 19 and 15, respectively.

• Eleven percent (43 students) of the freshman class will arrive from 19 countries, including Japan, Jamaica and Jordan.

China, with 13 students, produced more members of the freshman class than all but five U.S. states.

• Domestic students of color comprise a full 25 percent (98) of the freshman class, making this one of the most ethnically diverse classes in decades.

• With an average grade point average of 3.6 and an average ACT score of 28, the freshman class arrives well prepared for the challenges of Lawrence’s rigorous curriculum.

 Among Lawrence’s 18 one-year exchange and visiting students, 16 arrive via Tokyo’s Waseda University as part of the college’s Thematic Studies Abroad program.

As in recent years, the male-to-female ratio tilts slightly toward the women, who account for 54 percent of this year’s freshman class.

“For our team in the admissions and financial aid offices, new student arrival carries for us the same kind of eager anticipation that little kids feel the night before their birthdays,” said Anselment.

He and his staff will collectively welcome the 432 new students Tuesday night (Sept. 9) in the Memorial Chapel, where they will all gather for the first time as Lawrentians.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence Names New Football Coach

Posted on: September 8th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Chris Harris, the Vikings’ co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, has been named the Lawrence University interim head football coach Director of Athletics Mike Szkodzinski announced today.

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Chris Harris has been named the Vikings interim head football coach.

The decision came following the unexpected resignation of head coach Mike Barthelmess. Harris will lead the Vikings into their home opener on Saturday when Lawrence hosts Maranatha Baptist University in a 7 p.m. nonconference game in the Banta Bowl.

“I was very sorry to learn of coach Barthelmess’ decision to resign as coach. The most important issue is to ensure that we maintain an excellent experience for our football players who have dedicated so much to the team and to Lawrence,” said Lawrence President Mark Burstein. “As an educational institution that values athletics as an integral part of our student’s education, it is extremely important that Lawrence have a successful football program. Accordingly, we will begin a national search for the next head coach immediately.”

Harris came to Lawrence from Manchester University where he had coached from 2010 through 2012. He served as the offensive line coach and director of football operations, helping to turn around the football program during his three seasons with the Spartans. A 2000 graduate of the University of the Cumberlands, Harris previously served as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Beloit College in 2008 and 2009.

“I’m confident in Chris’ leadership as this team strives for success during the remainder of the season,” Szkodzinski said. “He has my full support as well as the support of the entire university. I know that our student-athletes and coaching staff will remain united in their dedication to the program and the season ahead.”

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

 

New “D-Term” Offers Students Additional Enrichment Opportunities

Posted on: September 4th, 2014 by Rick Peterson
Jason-Brozek_D-Term-newsblog

Government professor Jason Brozek will teach the course “9/11 in Context: Terrorism as Lived Experience” as part of Lawrence’s new “D-Term” this December. The course includes a trip to the 9/11 memorial and museum in New York City.

Lawrence University is adding a fifth class session this fall with the launch of the two-week December Term, or “D-Term.”

The term will feature 18 new Lawrence courses ranging from an introduction to the art of making books, to the political and cultural forces that shape what we eat, to an exploration of how neurobiology, genetics, physiology and ecology direct animal behavior.

The D-Term also provides opportunities for students to enroll in one of several non-Lawrence courses. Students enrolled in a CNA training or medical terminology class offered through Fox Valley Technical College can receive credit from FVTC, but not from Lawrence.

An intensive business fundamentals course designed to immerse students in the fundamentals of business and build upon the necessary skills and behavior for success in today’s 21st century global workplace will be taught by faculty of the Fullbridge Program. This will be offered as a non-credit class.

Available only to current students, the classes will be conducted the first two weeks of December (12/1-12). The Lawrence courses will provide three units of credit toward the required number for graduation. Classes will be conducted each weekday, with some involving weekend work. Class meeting times will vary during the day.

“The December Term is being offered as an enrichment program. Credits are awarded, but students are not required to take a course,” said David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty in announcing the program. “The term is designed to provide exciting experiences that offer new perspectives, unusual content or exploration of interesting activities. These won’t just be accelerated versions of courses currently offered during the Fall, Winter or Spring Terms.”

Each course will require at least five students to be conducted and students will only be allowed to register for one D-Term course. If a particular course does not meet the enrollment minimum, students will be able to sign up for a second course.

Registration for D-Term courses begins Sept. 15 with the start of Fall Term classes.

Complete details on the D-Term are available here.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Research Road Trip: Lawrence Students Enjoy Rare Opportunity to Study at Argonne National Laboratory

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

A team of three Lawrence University students recently completed a rare research opportunity at one of the nation’s premier laboratories in an effort to shed new light on how liquids can solidify.

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Lawrence physics students Erika Roedl (l.), Leo Sussman (c.) and Ben Clark (r.) recently had the rare opportunity to conduct a five-day experiment at the prestigious Argonne National Laboratory.

Senior Leo Sussman and juniors Ben Clark and Erika Roedl, under the direction of Nick Mauro, visiting assistant professor of physics, conducted a five-day-long experiment at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago.

The project involved collaborations with students working with Lawrence Assistant Professor of Chemistry Allison Fleshman and a research group at Washington University in St. Louis.

The research project focuses on the underlying governing principles that dictate how a liquid forms into a particular kind of solid — glass. Almost any liquid can be formed into a type of glass if cooled quickly enough.

“Physicists are primarily interested in the discovery of new knowledge and new technology and the field of condensed matter physics is an area where we realize both at Lawrence,” said Mauro. “Materials known as metallic glasses have very unique physical, electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. In our lab, we use advanced experimental techniques to try and understand how and why these unique materials form.”

The student researchers heated samples of liquids and glasses in advanced furnaces that generate temperatures of nearly 1300 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing them to examine the samples’ atomic structure using extremely bright X-ray beams.

“The work we conducted will help us to better understand how liquid atomic
structure evolves and how to tailor metallic alloys for particular applications.
These students are helping make these advances possible.”

              — Assistant Professor of Physics Nick Mauro

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Leo Sussman ’15

“My week at Argonne gave me a fantastic glimpse into life as a professional scientist, complete with triumphs and tribulations alike and inspired additional work when we returned,” said Sussman, a physics and flute performance major from San Francisco, Calif. “It was exhilarating when the moment finally came to see the data we’d been preparing to collect for months start to appear on a monitor right before our eyes.

“I came away from the experience with a profound sense of awe for the amount of collective human knowledge, expertise and talent that went into building the facility,” Sussman added. “One of the most thrilling aspects was working among dozens of other research groups, all striving toward the same overall goal of better understanding the world.”

The experiments were carried out 24 hours a day with the team working in shifts over the course of five days. More than 60 different experiments using 35 various liquids and glasses were performed.

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Ben Clark ’16

Clark called the opportunity to conduct work at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source “an incredible experience.”

“Before working at the APS, I was both terrified and exhilarated, but being able to assist in the experimentation and sometimes even running parts by myself, with some supervision, gave me a sense of confidence I’ve never felt before,” said Clark, a physics major from St. Louis, Mo. “This was by far one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life.”

The APS is a state-of-the-art facility that accelerates electrons to nearly the speed of light, creating very intense and highly energetic X-rays. The APS is one of the brightest X-ray sources in the world and researchers from across the globe go there to conduct research in many different fields.

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Erika Roedl ’16

“As a student participating in the engineering track at Lawrence, I was looking forward to seeing what the experimental side of physics was really like,” said Roedl, a physics major from Minneapolis, Minn. “At the lab I could feel the dedication the countless graduate students, professors and professional experimentalists have for their respective fields. Being in that atmosphere, as well as seeing Professor Mauro so enthused about the research we were conducting, was so inspiring.”

Mauro, a 2005 Lawrence graduate who returned to his alma mater last fall, said the trip to Argonne was “a unique study experience for the entire research team.”

“It is extremely difficult to get access to Argonne since the competition for beam time is very high. Our students had the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research at a world-renown institution. The work we conducted will help us to better understand how liquid atomic structure evolves and how to tailor metallic alloys for particular applications. These students are helping make these advances possible.”

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Maestro Fred Sturm: Lawrence Mourns the Death of its Long-Time Jazz Director

Posted on: August 25th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Lawrence University Kimberly-Clark Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies and Improvisational Music Fred Sturm died peacefully at his home in De Pere Sunday, Aug. 24 following a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was 63.

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Fred Sturm ’73 not only helped launch the jazz studies program at Lawrence, he served as its director for 26 years.

An award-winning composer, nationally recognized jazz educator and beloved mentor to hundreds, if not thousands, of aspiring musicians, Sturm graduated from Lawrence in 1973. He returned to his alma mater four years later and spent 26 years as a member of the conservatory of music faculty spanning two different teaching stints (1977-91; 2002-14). In between, he taught at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where he was the chair of the jazz studies and contemporary media department.

Sturm, who wrote his first jazz arrangement as a senior at Oconomowoc High School in 1969, was instrumental in creating Lawrence’s jazz studies program in the early 1970s while still a student.  As a 19-year-old sophomore, Sturm formed the Lawrence conservatory of music’s first-ever jazz ensemble, which in turn became a catalyst for the creation of the jazz studies department.

During his 37-year teaching career, the student jazz ensembles Sturm directed were recognized with nine Downbeat awards, widely considered among the highest music honors in the field of jazz education.

Sturm himself was recognized by Downbeat magazine with its 2010 Jazz Education Achievement Award as part of its annual Student Music Awards. The award honors jazz educators who have made significant contributions toward the development of future jazz artists and positively impacted their school’s jazz programs through their commitment to jazz education. Downbeat editor Ed Enright hailed Sturm as “the perfect example of a teacher who goes the extra mile” for his students and ensembles. “Fred’s influence can be seen and heard throughout the jazz education community.”

“Fred was a consummate artist, master educator, visionary, mentor, life-changer, jester, compassionate friend. He positively impacted the lives of all who knew him.”
                   — Brian Pertl ’86, dean of the Lawrence conservatory of music

Renowned for his enthusiastic, generous spirit, infectious passion for all things music and great sense of humor, Sturm devoted his life to helping music students hone their skills, traveling far and near to lead clinics or serve as composer-in-residence for school and university music programs. He also was a founding member of the jazz nonet Matrix.

Sturm was the driving force behind the creation of Jazz Weekend in 1980, a two-day celebration each November that brought professional jazz artists and leading jazz educators to the Lawrence campus for a 100 percent non-competitive jazz education festival. Sturm designed the program to serve as an inspirational jump-start for hundreds of high school students and jazz groups, promoting improvisation as a primary focus. During its 33-year history, the festival brought many of jazz’s biggest names to campus, including Bobby McFerrin, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Diane Schuur, Wayne Shorter, Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling, among others.

“Fred was a consummate artist, master educator, visionary, mentor, life-changer, jester, compassionate friend,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music and a 1986 Lawrence graduate. “He positively impacted the lives of all who knew him. I am who I am because of him. I do what I do because of him. His influences on me are too numerous to count and too deep to fathom. He saw potential where others saw nothing. He steadfastly held to that vision even as I doubted. Over a 30-year arc, he never let me give up on what he knew I could be. My story is just one of thousands.”

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Jazz ensembles conducted by Fred Sturm won nine Downbeat awards for outstanding performance during his 37-year teaching career at Lawrence and Eastman School of Music.

Sturm’s long list of honors and awards include a 1997 Grammy Award nomination, the 2003 ASCAP/IAJE Commission In Honor of Quincy Jones, a prize granted annually to one established jazz composer of international prominence and Lawrence’s own Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005. Additionally, he was the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Howard Hanson Institute for American Music, among others.

During his career, he served as guest conductor/composer/arranger for professional jazz ensembles and radio orchestras in Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland and Norway.

Among his many ambitious projects was the 2010 Radiohead Jazz Project, which featured special arrangements of select Radiohead songs. Sturm coordinated the writers, developed project funding and produced the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble studio recordings with engineer Larry Darling. The internationally renowned HR Big Band of Frankfurt performed the Radiohead Project in 2011 in Germany and numerous American universities and high schools have subsequently showcased the RJP repertoire in concert.

Another project of which he was especially fond was “Migrations: One World, Many Musics,” a concert suite inspired by indigenous music from 21 countries. It was premiered by vocalist Bobby McFerrin and the NDR Big Band in Germany in 2007 and toured Europe the following summer.

A native of suburban Chicago, Sturm’s love of baseball, especially the Cubs, was second only to his love of music. Both were intrinsically intertwined throughout his life. Of all of his musical endeavors, none was closer to his heart than the Baseball Music Project, a tour de force that was part symphony concert, part musical American history lesson and part traveling exhibition. The project was inspired in large part by a baseball-themed composition he wrote in 1994 entitled “A Place Where it Would Always Be Spring.” An updated version of that work — “Forever Spring” — served as the centerpiece of the touring Baseball Music Project, which has been performed regularly since 2005 by American orchestras around the country under the auspices of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

(To read more about Fred’s involvement with the Baseball Music Project, download a copy of the summer issue of Lawrence magazine and go to page 24, “Putting the Bat in Baton.”)

After earning a bachelor of music degree in music education from Lawrence, Sturm studied at North Texas State University and the Eastman School of Music.

He is survived by his wife, Susan, De Pere, and two children, Ike, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., and Madeline, New York, N.Y.

A private memorial service will be held this week at Bjorklunden. A memorial celebrating Sturm’s life will be held at Lawrence on a date to be determined.

Feel free to share your favorite memories of Fred.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Anthropologist Part of $1M NSF-Funded Research Project on Responses to Natural Disasters

Posted on: August 24th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Lawrence University anthropologist Peter Peregrine will join a team of Yale University researchers on a project designed to better understand how cultures facing regular but unpredictable natural disasters develop resilient strategies.

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Professor of Anthropology Peter Peregrine

Supported by a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the four-year project begins this fall. It will be worldwide in scope and encompass contemporary countries, traditional societies of the recent past and ancient societies in prehistory.

The grant also will provide funding for 2-4 Lawrence students per year to work as research assistants with Peregrine, whose role in the project will focus on ancient societies.

With scientists predicting greater impacts of extreme climate events (droughts, floods), such “hazards” are more likely to create serious social consequences, including famine, displacement and increased violence.

The project will explore how human societies with varying livelihoods and vulnerabilities have responded to and invented solutions to natural hazards and resulting disasters both past and the present. Among the questions the research will look are: how often do events have to occur for humans to plan for them?; do unpredictable hazards lead to different cultural transformations than do more predictable hazards?; and under what conditions are contingency plans overwhelmed in the face of natural hazards that are more severe or more frequent than normal?

“If we’re going to find solutions to lessen the consequences of extreme events, we need to understand the methods humans have developed over decades, centuries or millennia,” said Peregrine. “We assume most societies that have survived for long periods of time did so by employing some resilient solutions, particularly when these types of natural hazards were recurrent.

“This project also will provide valuable opportunities for some of our students to gain hands-on training in interdisciplinary comparative research,” Peregrine added.

An archaeologist specializing in the evolution of complex societies, Peregrine joined the Lawrence faculty in 1995. He was elected in 2011 a Fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science, which recognizes “meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications,” becoming just the second Lawrence faculty member elected an AAAS Fellow.

He is a member of the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Institute, an accomplished group of scholars that includes a Nobel Laureate, numerous National Academy members and two Pulitzer Prize winning authors.

The author of numerous books and scholarly articles, Peregrine was a 2012 recipient of Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship, which honors a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained scholarly excellence for a number of years and whose work exemplifies the ideals of the teacher-scholar.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence Mourns the Passing of Professor Emeritus E. Dane Purdo

Posted on: August 22nd, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Professor Emeritus of Art E. Dane Purdo died Tuesday, August 19 in Neenah at the age of 88.

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Professor Emeritus of Art E. Dane Purdo joined the Lawrence faculty from Milwaukee-Downer College in 1964 and taught here until his retirement in 1991.

An accomplished silversmith — he designed Lawrence’s Faculty Marshal Mace carried at the head of academic processions as well as the Presidential Chain of Office and usher batons —Purdo was one of 21 members of the Milwaukee-Downer faculty who came to Lawrence in 1964 as part of the consolidation with the former all-women’s college. He began a 36-year teaching career in 1955 at Milwaukee-Downer as both studio artist and art historian. After the consolidation, he taught courses in metals and ceramics in Lawrence’s art department until his retirement in 1991.

A multi-faceted artist/teacher given to sartorial splendor, outside the classroom and art studio he also was well known for his skills on the dance floor and the ski slopes. His interests in music and theatre were manifest in Attic Theatre productions, the St. Mary Parish resurrection choir, as a member of the One Nighters play-reading group and as a volunteer at the Fox Cities PAC.

A native of Detroit, Mich., his artistic craftsmanship was admired for its carefully controlled contours, perfect balance between convex forms and concave outlines and mirror-smooth surfaces. He had a special ability to blend textures, modern balance and novel lines. His creations ranged from stunning jewelry to ecclesiastical chalices and have been exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe. In describing his art, he once said is motto was “Simplicity is the essence of good taste.”

His work has been recognized with numerous honors and awards and much of it resides in public and private collections around the country, including the Detroit Institute of Art, Chicago Art Institute, the Bergstrom Mahler Museum, The Kimberly Clark Corporation, The Fox River Paper Company, the First Congregational Church and Memorial Presbyterian Church in Appleton.

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The Presidential Chain of Office, worn during formal institutional functions, was one of Prof. Purdo’s creations.

While a highly skilled craftsman, Purdo always saw his first role as teacher, remarking “in both (being a teacher and artist) you are working and creating as an individual.”

Purdo earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from the University of Michigan and an M.F.A. degree in silversmithing and ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. A year after earning his M.F.A., while teaching at Milwaukee-Downer, he was awarded a U.S. Fulbright grant, which he used to pursue his interests in silversmithing at the Royal College of Art in London, becoming the first American to register his hallmark at Goldsmith Hall.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Irene Purdo, in 2007. He is survived by three children, son Michael (Cindy) Purdo, Roswell, Ga., daughters Mary (James) Peksa, Wausau, and  Melanie (Sam) Bomier, Neenah, four grandchildren and a sister Gertrude McGuire.

A private family service is planned. Lawrence will celebrate Purdo’s life with an on-campus memorial on a date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked donations in his memory be made to Lawrence University designated for the E. Dane Purdo Art Scholarship Award, 711 E. Boldt Way, Appleton, WI 54911.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.