Five Lawrence Faculty Members Granted Tenure

Five members of the Lawrence University faculty have been granted tenure appointments by the college’s Board of Trustees.

Based on recommendations by the faculty Committee on Tenure, Promotion, Reappointment and Equal Employment Opportunity, and President Mark Burstein, tenure was granted to Madera Allan, Ameya Balsekar, Samantha George, Lena Khor and Michael Mizrahi. Each also was promoted to associate professor, except for George, who already held the rank of associate professor.

“I am very excited about the energy, enthusiasm and intelligence of the faculty members who will be starting tenure line positions in the fall of 2015,” said David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty. “Each brings special skills as both a teacher and a scholar. They will help enhance already strong programs and add to Lawrence’s quality as an institution where students learn and grow as liberally educated persons, ready to lead fulfilling lives and engage successfully with issues of the contemporary world.”

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Madera Allen

Allan first joined the Lawrence Spanish department in 2008 as an instructor and was given an assistant professor appointment the following year. Her scholarship interests include Medieval and early modern Spanish and Latin American cultural production.

She has presented research at the annual Midwest Modern Language Association convention, the Renaissance Society of America annual meeting and the International Congress on Medieval Studies, among others. A former editorial assistant for Hispanic Review, Allen serves as Lawrence’s faculty advisor for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest study abroad program in Costa Rica.

Allen graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Reed College and earned both a master’s degree and her Ph.D. in Hispanic studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Ameya Balsekar

A specialist in comparative politics and international relations, especially that of Asia, Balsekar joined the Lawrence government department in 2009. He has written about censorship in Colonial and Postcolonial India as well as Indian party politics. He speaks Hindi, Marathi, Konkani and Chinese.

Balsekar graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in development studies and earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in comparative politics at Cornell University.

A violinist, George spent nine years as associate concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra before joining the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, first as a visiting assistant professor in 2008 and then as an associate professor in 2009.

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Samantha George

She previously held faculty appointments at Idaho State Civic Symphony Summer School for Strings, the Hartford Conservatory of Music, the University of Connecticut and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

George has conducted master classes at numerous Wisconsin high schools as well as colleges around the country. In addition to orchestral positions with the Milwaukee, Colorado and Hartford symphony orchestras, George has performed in concert as guest soloist more than 40 times.

She was recognized with Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in 2012.

George earned a bachelor’s degree in applied music (violin) and a master of music degree in performance and literature from Eastman School of Music. She holds a Ph.D. in violin performance from the University of Connecticut.

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Lena Khor

A native of Malaysia, Khor joined the Lawrence English department in 2009. Her scholarship interests include contemporary world Anglophone literature, human rights and humanitarian discourse, literary theory and cultural studies.

She is the author of the book “Human Rights Discourse in a Global Network: Books Beyond Borders” and has contributed articles to numerous journals, including Human Rights Quarterly and Peace Review. In 2013, she was awarded the Kirby Prize for the best article published in South Central Review.

Khor graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College with a bachelor’s degree in English. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in English at the University of Texas.

Mizrahi, a pianist, joined the Lawrence Conservatory of Music in 2009. His musical interests focus on the piano and chamber music repertoire of the 18th and early 19th centuries as well as new contemporary works.

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Michael Mizrahi

His debut album, “The Bright Motion” was included on both Time Out New York’s and Time Out Chicago’s list of best classical albums for 2012. He is a founding member of NOW Ensemble, a chamber group devoted to commissioning and performing new music by emerging composers, and the recently disbanded Moët Trio. He also is a member of the New York City-based chamber ensemble Decoda.

Mizrahi is currently co-directing the Fox Valley’s “Music for All: Connecting Musicians and Community” program and has collaborated with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute on several projects, including a series of educational concerts for young children at Carnegie Hall, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and as part of a residency in Merida, Mexico.

In 2013, he was recognized with Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Creative Activity.

Mizrahi earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia and master’s and doctorate degrees at the Yale School of Music.

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.” 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.

Three new members join Lawrence’s Board of Trustees

Three new members have been elected to the Lawrence University Board of Trustees.

Shelley Davis, Dr. Richard Fessler and Andrew Wong. Each will serve a three-year term beginning July 1.

“I look forward to welcoming our new trustees to the Lawrence University Board,” said Susie Stillman Kane, recently elected board chair and board member since 2002. “Collectively they represent depth, breadth and diversity of expertise from the non-profit and philanthropic sectors, global management consulting, and the field of neurosurgery. As we navigate these challenging times in higher education, we are more keenly aware than ever before just how crucial it is to recruit new members with diverse perspectives and experience to enhance our board work and strategic planning.”

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Shelley Davis, ’92

Shelley Davis ’92, Chicago, Ill.
A leader in Chicago’s philanthropic and nonprofit sectors who is devoted to promoting equal opportunities and a higher quality of life for low-income communities, Davis has been responsible for evaluating and recommending more than $25 million in grants to nonprofit groups involved in everything from policy advocacy and community organizing to human services and the arts.

She was named the first executive director of the Forest Preserve Foundation, which supports the protection and restoration of native habitats within the forest preserve district of Cook County in 2013, a position she still holds today.

Davis also serves as vice chair of the board of directors of Chicago’s Albert Pick Fund, a nonprofit corporation organized in 1947 as a general-purpose private foundation, and has spent the past three years as the commissioner of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.

She previously has served as vice president of programs and advocacy for the Chicago Foundation for Women, where she directed $6 million dollars in grants to organizations focused on violence against women, access to health care and economic security. As an advisor to the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment, she raised more than $750,000 and launched a program to help low-income women in Chicago and New York become entrepreneurs. She also has held leadership positions with the Joyce Foundation, the Ford Foundation and with Chicago Women in Trades.

Since 2010, Davis has served as a lecturer with the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, specializing in non-profit advocacy, philanthropy and social policies impacting low income families.

A 1992 graduate of Lawrence, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Davis also a earned her master’s degree in urban planning and policy, and urban, community and economic development from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998.

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Dr. Richard Fessler ’74

Dr. Richard Fessler ’74, Winnetka, Ill.
An internationally acclaimed researcher, surgeon and professor of neurosurgery at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, Fessler is widely considered the father of minimally invasive spine surgery. He is credited with developing many of the surgical techniques being used today.

Fessler was the first surgeon in the United States to perform human embryonic spinal cord transplantation and among the first to perform minimally invasive scoliosis surgery. He twice performed microdiscectomy surgery on NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

Prior to joining Rush Medical Center, Fessler spent six years (2007-2013) as vice chair of neurosurgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and was the medical director of the Neuro Spine Intensive Care Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He also has served as chief of neurosurgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics.

Routinely listed in “Best Doctors of America,” Fessler founded and directed the Institute for Spine Care at the Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch.

After graduating from Lawrence in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Fessler earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology from North Dakota State University and doctorate degrees in pharmacology, physiology and medicine from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine.

Fessler was recognized with Lawrence’s Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award in 2014.

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Andrew Wong ’06

Andrew Wong, ’06, Chicago, Ill.
Wong is an associate in the Chicago office of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that serves leading businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations and not-for-profits. He is Lawrence’s second Recent Graduate Trustee, a position established in 2014 exclusively for Lawrence alumni within 2-10 years of graduation. He will serve one non-renewable term.

Wong earned a bachelor’s degree in history summa cum laude from Lawrence in 2006 and an MBA in 2014 from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

After earning Academic All-American, all-conference and team most valuable player honors as a shortstop at Lawrence, Wong played professional minor league baseball for five years throughout the United States. He also served as a player and coach in Australia, South Africa and Europe. While in South Africa, he used his passion for baseball as a tool for social change by helping to build an intramural youth baseball program in a low-income township in Cape Town.

Prior to earning his MBA, he spent two years as an intellectual property paralegal with Foley and Lardner LLP.

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.” 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 conducting additional grant writing workshops for area nonprofit organizations

Due to strong community interest, Lawrence University will host the first of four additional “Introduction to Grant Writing” workshops  Wednesday, June 24,  9-10:30 a.m. in the Seeley G. Mudd Library for area non-profit organizations and other grant-seeking agencies.FINpartnersquaread_newsblog

Led by members of Lawrence’s grant-writing staff, the hands-on workshops will provide an overview of the grants landscape and basic strategies for identifying potential funding sources. They will also include a demonstration of Foundation Directory Online, which profiles more than 110,000 U.S. grant makers.

Earlier this year, Lawrence became a Funding Information Network (FIN) partner with the Foundation Center of New York. Based in the Mudd library, FIN makes available a wealth of Foundation Center information, including searchable grant and funder databases, proposal writing guides and online access to the center’s grant reference librarians. All of the resources are available to the general public any time the Lawrence library is open.

Other scheduled workshops include:
Thursday, July 23, 10:30 – noon
Tuesday, August 11, 10:30 – noon
Thursday, August 27, 1-2:30 p.m.

Space is limited and registration is required. Additional information about the Funding Information Network at Lawrence, library hours, directions and registration instructions can be found at http://guides.lib.lawrence.edu/funding.

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.” 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.

Welcome Alumni: Awards ceremony highlights annual Reunion celebration

When war erupted in Lebanon in the summer of 2006 between the Israeli military and Hezbollah paramilitary forces, Christopher Murray was serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

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Ambassador Christopher Murray ’75

Under his direction, one of the largest overseas evacuations of Americans in recent history, involving 15,000 citizens, was organized to secure safe passage from the war zone.

Murray will be among five Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer College alumni recognized for career achievements, contributions to the betterment of society or volunteer service to Lawrence June 18-21 during the college’s annual alumni Reunion.

More than 900 alumni and guests from 43 states and two countries are expected to attend the weekend festivities.

The alumni awards will be presented Saturday, June 21 at the Reunion Convocation at 11 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Members of the Lawrence 50-Year Connection, a cohort of alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago from Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer, kick off this year’s Reunion activities with a series of panel presentations and small-group discussions.

The 2015 alumni awards and the recipients.

  • Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award — Ambassador Christopher Murray, Class of 1975, Etterbeek, Belgium. The award recognizes a Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer graduate of more than 15 years for outstanding career achievement. The award honors the second president of Milwaukee-Downer College, one of the most beloved and influential figures in that college’s history

Murray has spent more than 30 years as a U.S. foreign service officer and currently serves as the political advisor at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, an appointment he received in the Fall of 2013. He previously spent three years as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo. It was during a three-year appointment (2004-07) in Beirut that he organized the American evacuation.

Other assignments abroad during his career have include chief of the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria; political officer at the U.S. Mission to the European Communities in Brussels, Belgium; economic officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo; and consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica.

He credits his Lawrence education for helping him navigate the evacuation in Lebanon.

“There were no rulebooks or instruction manuals, as a wartime evacuation of so many American civilians had never been done before,” said Murray, who earned his degree in government at Lawrence. “It was my Lawrence education that enabled me to put the pieces together, through messages to the American community, analyzing what it would take to keep the embassy open and running, and most importantly, securing the helicopters and U.S. Navy ships to carry American citizens to safety in Cyprus. It was truly a liberal arts education that enabled me to do this.”

  • The George B. Walter ’36 Service to Society Award — Dr. James Lace, Class of 1970, Salem, Ore.  The award recognizes an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer who best exemplifies the ideals of a liberal education through its application to socially useful ends in the community, the nation or the world. This award honors George B. Walter ’36, faculty member, coach and dean of men, whose work at the college and beyond was guided by his conviction that every individual can and should make a positive difference in the world.
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Dr. James Lace ’70

A still-practicing pediatrician with Childhood Health Associates of Salem after 37 years in the profession, and a professor of clinical pediatrics at Oregon Health and Sciences University, Dr. Lace has established a national and international reputation for advocacy on children’s health issues.

His involvement with orphans and other vulnerable children in Tanzania in 2002 led to his founding of the Yatima Group Fund to collect donations for his work there. He serves on the board of three children-related NGOs in Tanzania and is a consultant pediatrician at Mt. Meru Hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, providing teaching to improve the overall care of children in the region.

His compassion has led him to volunteer his medical skills in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami, in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and in Peru in 2014 after the 6.9 magnitude earthquake last August.

Earlier this year, the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce honored Lace with its annual Distinguished Service Award and in 2010, he was recognized with the Marion-Polk County Medical Society’s President’s Achievement Award.

Lace said Nobel Prize winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer, and his reverence for life in all forms, provided inspiration during his own medical pursuits.

“The image of the medical missionary working in some remote area of Africa resonated with me,” said Lace, a Russian studies major while at Lawrence. “I managed to keep the image with me while I pursued my medical career. I never lost my desire to reach out beyond my medical world here in the U.S. to work with patients and especially children in developing countries as a medical volunteer. I would encourage any student contemplating a career in medicine to reach out and learn as much as possible about the world we live in. We don’t need military revolutionaries to change the world. We need informed and compassionate people who dedicate their lives to promote the health and welfare of each person.”

  • The Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp M-D’18 Outstanding Service Award — Susan Nelson Goldsmith, Class of 1965, Phoenix, Ariz., and Sue Pepper Joys, M-D Class of 1951, Valpariso, Ind. The award recognizes an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer after his/her 15th Cluster Reunion who has provided outstanding service to Lawrence University. This award honors Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp, voted Milwaukee-Downer alumna of the year in 1964 for her long-standing service to the college as president of the alumnae association board, class secretary and public relations officer.
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Susan Nelson Goldsmith ’65

Goldsmith, a member of Lawrence’s Board of Trustees from 2001-07, has been a highly active volunteer for the college. She currently serves on the President’s Advisory Council, is a former member of the Legacy Circle National Council of Volunteers and served as an event volunteer for the “More Light!” campaign. She is the co-chair of her 50th reunion and also served on her 35th and 40th reunion committees.

Her volunteer energy extends into her local community as well where she has served on the Phoenix Education Commission, the Scottsdale School District Governing Board, the board of one of the country’s premier resident theatre companies and various political campaigns.

Goldsmith sees her engagement as doing her part to bend “the arc of the universe toward justice,” work she says that requires universal participation.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to choose the ways I can lend my weight to the bending,” said Goldsmith. “I’m motivated by the idea that education is huge part of creating the force needed.

“Lawrence is a place of possibility, to test and retest yourself, to find and grow into opportunities,” she added. “While I have fond memories of my time at Lawrence 50 years ago, it is not the past that ties me to Lawrence today. It is the present. Today’s students demonstrate that Lawrence continues to be a place of possibility for students and the college has identified opportunities for today’s young people.”

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Sue Pepper Joys, M-D ’51

Joys has served Lawrence as a class agent since 2006, was a long-time volunteer with the Legacy Circle National Council and is a former member of the Milwaukee-Downer Alumnae Association Board of Directors. She played a leadership role in planning for her class’s 60th, 50th and 40th reunions. Professionally, she enjoyed a long and meaningful career working with the Girls Scouts of the U.S.A.

Much the same way Lawrence does, Joys said her Milwaukee-Downer liberal arts education emphasized service to society.

“That ignited in me a desire to use my skills in a vocation where I could make a difference,” said Joys, who had two brothers earn their bachelor’s degrees from Lawrence. “This led me to pursue a career with the Girl Scouts followed by many volunteer roles in my retirement years.

“I have been impressed with the many ways in which Lawrence has strived to ensure that the legacy of my alma mater lives on,” she added.

  • Presidential Award, Dale Schuh, Class of 1970, Stevens Point Presented to an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence University or Milwaukee-Downer College whose exemplary leadership and notable actions have contributed to the betterment of the entire Lawrence University community.

A dedicated and highly successful business leader, Schuh spent his entire 41-year professional career — one that began as an actuarial intern while still a student at Lawrence — with Sentry Insurance. He served as Sentry’s CEO and chairman of the board for his last 16 years with the company before retiring in 2013. Under his leadership, Sentry doubled in size and net worth, adding more than 300 employees to its home office.

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Dale Schuh ’70

Schuh’s commitment and vision have been highly valued as a member of the Lawrence Board of Trustees since 2008, where he serves as chair of the finance committee. He also led the search committee that resulted in the hiring of Mark Burstein as Lawrence’s 16th president in 2013. He and his wife, Annette, established a scholarship in 2009 to support first-generation college students attending Lawrence.

He has shared his expertise for more than a decade as a member of the board of directors of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, a nonprofit organization that provides Wisconsin voters and taxpayers, students, teachers, business leaders and public officials with accurate, objective information about the operation of Wisconsin’s government.

Despite what he calls “a whimsical and forever changing future,” Schuh says the impact a Lawrence education has had on thousands of graduates is the result of “a driving desire to perpetuate, cultivate, endorse and continue to make accessible
 the Lawrence learning experience.”

“Preservation of the essence of Lawrence requires continual nurturing of an intimate, welcoming and supportive community where engaged, individualized and rigorous learning is the norm and personal discovery its reward,” said Schuh.

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.” 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life of Professor Emeritus Robert Rosenberg celebrated in June 20 memorial service

A memorial service celebrating the life of Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and former Robert McMillen Professor of Chemistry Robert Rosenberg will be held Saturday, June 20 at 1 p.m. in the Nathan Marsh Pusey Room of the Warch Campus Center. Rosenberg died April 3 in Milwaukee at the age of 89.

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Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Robert Rosenberg, 1926-2015.

Rosenberg’s son, Charlie, will deliver a eulogy while his daughter and grandchildren will share family memories.  Alumni and colleagues will offer reminiscences and musical preludes will feature some of Rosenberg’s favorite songs.

One of Lawrence’s most distinguished teachers, Rosenberg spent 35 years on the Lawrence faculty (1956-91). His work on the physical chemistry of proteins and chemical thermodynamics was supported by grants from the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation and Research Corporation.

Well known and highly respected for being unfailingly courteous, Rosenberg encouraged his students to learn chemistry, often by designing their own experiments, gently leading and probing them to think creatively. He responded to their questions by asking more questions in turn to hone their analytical skills. His clear, patient explanations of equations describing complex physiochemical phenomena became legendary.

One of his students, Thomas Steitz, went on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009, an event Rosenberg said at the time had him “walking on air” with pride.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia in 2013, and a son, James in 1994. He is survived by a son, Charles, Milwaukee, a daughter, Margaret (Eric) Wilde, Bronx, N.Y., and two grandchildren, Emma Wilde and Nathaniel Wilde.

The family has suggested memorial donations can be made in Rosenberg’s name to Lawrence University, the Nature Conservancy for the Fight for $15 campaign for fast food workers.

Read more about Rosenberg’s life and career.

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.” 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.

 

Appleton library hosts screening of documentary film on experiences of African-American students at Lawrence

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Zach Ben-Amots ’16

A documentary film by Lawrence University student Zach Ben-Amots that explores the experiences of African-American students at Lawrence will be shown Thursday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Appleton Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.

The film, “Forgotten History,” grew out of Lawrence’s Civic Life Project, a documentary film class taught by award-winning documentary filmmaker Catherine Tatge ’72, who is serving as an artist-in-residence at Lawrence.

The Civic Life Project was developed by Tatge and her husband, Dominique Lasseur, as an innovative educational tool to challenge each student to learn about civics and democracy in a unique way, discover more about the community in which they reside and find their own individual voice through the creation of a documentary video.

Ben-Amots, a junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., was inspired to make the film after seeing a presentation by former Appleton educator Ron Dunlap, who discussed the needs of African-American students in the Fox Cities.

Ben-Amots decided to focus his film on the experiences of black students at Lawrence, which dates to 1859 when the first black student arrived on campus. The film features interviews with nine African-American alumni who attended Lawrence between 1969 and  2008.

Wanting to learn more about the relationship between Lawrence and the city of Appleton as regards to diversity led Ben-Amots to the Lawrence archives and the Appleton Public Library, where he spent hours poring over microfilm of past Post-Crescent stories.

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African-American students attending Lawrence gathered for a group photo in the 1970s.

The story that emerged from his research was one of students of color living in a predominately white community that is not always as welcoming as it could be to minorities. His interviews with the alumni revealed a wealth of experiences, as well as many of the same hardships.

Following the screening, Amy Ongiri, director of film studies at Lawrence, will facilitate a conversation on the experience of being black at Lawrence and in Appleton.

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.” 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.

Three faculty members honored for teaching, scholarship excellence at Lawrence commencement

Three members of the Lawrence University faculty were recognized for teaching and scholarship excellence Sunday, June 14 at the college’s 166th Commencement.

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Dane Richeson

Dane Richeson, professor of music, received the Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching process, including the quest to ensure students reach their full development as individuals, human beings and future leaders of society.

Director of percussion studies, Richeson has established himself as a mentor conversant in the demanding intricacies of both Western classical and world music traditions.

Under this direction, the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble was recognized with the 2014 Percussive Arts Society’s award for the best World Music Ensemble and was a featured performer at the PAS international convention in Indianapolis last November. In May, Tambo Toké, Lawrence’s Afro-Cuban percussion group, was cited for outstanding performance DownBeat magazine’s annual Student Music Awards competition in the college undergraduate Latin Jazz Ensemble category.

In presenting the award, Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows cited Richeson for his ability “to see in each student the potential for excellence, no matter how undeveloped that potential at first.

“Through encouragement and insistence on high standards, you make that potential grow, and the result is the emergence of an outstanding performer,” said Burrows. “Whether teaching a Bernstein symphony, Brazilian samba, Cuban son or Ewe drumming and dancing, you are clearly an inspiration to us all.”

A versatile percussion virtuoso, Richeson has performed across the United States, Europe and Asia in roles as diverse as solo marimbist, jazz drummer, contemporary chamber and ethnic percussionist. He has played with renowned artists Bobby McFerrin, Gunther Schuller, Lionel Hampton and Dianne Reeves, among others.

“Whether teaching a Bernstein symphony, Brazilian samba, Cuban son or Ewe drumming and dancing, you are clearly an inspiration to us all.”
— Provost David Burrows on Dane Richeson

He has spent time living in Ghana, studying the music and dance of the Ewe people, Matanzas, Cuba, where he studied with the musical director of Los Munequitos de Matanzas, and Salvador, Brazil, studying Bahia drumming traditions.

A member of the Lawrence faculty since 1984, Richeson earned a bachelor of music degree from Ohio State University and a master’s degree from Ithaca College.

Arnold Shober, associate professor of government, received the award for Excellence in Scholarship. Established in 2006, the award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained scholarly excellence for a number of years and whose work exemplifies the ideals of the teacher-scholar.

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Arnold Shober

A specialist in public policy, particularly higher education and K-12 education, as well as local and state government and American political development, Shober joined the faculty in 2006. He is the author of two books, 2010’s “Splintered Accountability: State Governance and Education Reform,” and 2012’s “The Democratic Dilemma of American Education: Out of the Many, One?,” which was praised as a “wonderful and broad overview of the forces shaping American education policy.” He is currently completing a third book that examines the policies and politics surrounding Common Core.

Burrows credited Shober with the ability “to engage in extensive, careful scholarship at an impressive rate that shows every sign of continuing for many decades” in presenting him his award.

“Your focus on education policy is of extreme importance to Lawrence, to the future of the academy and to society in general,” said Burrows. “We all look forward to important contributions for many years to come.”

Shober’s political expertise is called upon frequently by the media. He is a frequent guest on Wisconsin Public Radio and has served as an election night analyst multiple times on one of the local television stations.

“Your focus on education policy is of extreme importance to Lawrence, to the future of the academy and to society in general,” said Burrows. “We all look forward to important contributions for many years to come.”
— Provost David Burrows on Arnold Shober

He earned a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in political science and history from Bradley University and his master’s and doctorate degrees in political science from UW-Madison.

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Sara Ceballos

Sara Ceballos, assistant professor of music, received the Young Teacher Award in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.

A musicologist whose scholarship focuses on 17thand 18th-century keyboard music, Ceballos joined the Lawrence faculty in 2008.

In honoring her, Burrows praised Ceballos as “a passionate, knowledgeable and inspiring teacher.”

“You set high standards for the quality of your students’ work and they appreciate the substantial improvements in their abilities that result from your insistence on excellence,” said Burrows. “You have been an effective contributor to Lawrence’s Freshman Studies program, where you have adopted creative techniques for enhancing students’ ability to write. You encourage each student to develop as an individual, creating ideas that are unique and following a distinctive, personal path to scholarship and understanding.”

“You set high standards for the quality of your students’ work and they appreciate the substantial improvements in their abilities that result from your insistence on excellence.”
Provost David Burrows on Sara Ceballos

Ceballos, who teaches classes as diverse as “National Identity and the American Musical,” “Spanish Sacred Music of the Golden Age” and “Music and Power Under the Sun King,” graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Colby College with a bachelor’s degree in music. She also earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in musicology at UCLA.

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.” 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.

 

Retiring Chinese professor Jane Parish Yang honored for 24 years of service

As a scholar of Chinese language and literature, Jane Parish Yang was instrumental in expanding Lawrence University’s foreign language curriculum when she joined the faculty in 1991.

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Chinese Professor Jane Parish Yang will be honored as a retiring member of the faculty with an honorary master’s degree at Lawrence’s 166th commencement.

But it was her involvement with the long-standing hallmark of a Lawrence education that she considers a highlight of her teaching career.

“I really enjoyed teaching Freshman Studies because you’re working with your colleagues. And the training we do for it is wonderful,” said Yang, who is retiring this month after a 34-year teaching career, including the last 24 years at Lawrence. She will be recognized Sunday, June 14 with professor emeritus status and awarded an honorary master of arts degree, ad eundem, as part of Lawrence’s 166th Commencement Ceremonies on Main Hall green, which will be available via livestream.

“Teaching Einstein dampened my enthusiasm somewhat,” Yang added with a smile of her Freshman Studies experience, “but I loved teaching Shakespeare. We also taught ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ for several years and then had the conservatory perform the opera, which was wonderful. I taught Freshman Studies a total of 10 years and I’m so glad I did it.”

Yang came by her career in Chinese in part by serendipity. After graduating from Grinnell College with a degree in American Studies — she grew up a half block from the Iowa campus, which is also the alma mater of both of her parents, her grandfather and a daughter — Yang participated in a “5th year abroad” program thanks to some left over funds from a long-since discontinued program in China that Grinnell once ran.

“I went to Hong Kong, which was completely by chance,” said Yang. “And then I traveled in India and Europe and when I came back I decided to start studying Chinese.”

She began an intensive Chinese language class at the University of Iowa while pursuing a master’s degree.

“Unfortunately you can’t really learn Chinese in the middle of Iowa, so I went to Taiwan,” said Yang.

After studying Mandarin at Fu Jen Catholic University and Stanford University’s Chinese center, she returned to the states to complete her master’s in Asian Studies at Iowa and earn a Ph.D. in Chinese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Yang split the ensuing decade among teaching appointments at National Taiwan University, Colby and Oberlin colleges and UW-Milwaukee before arriving at Lawrence to help launch its fledgling program in Chinese.Jane-Yang-with-student_newsblog

In addition to sharing her language expertise — Chinese is a four on the four-level scale of difficulty of foreign languages —Yang played a critical role in helping the upstart program gain traction by successfully writing more than $2.1 million in grant proposals. The subsequent funding she helped generate opened up opportunities for students and faculty alike for internships and study trips tours to China and other East Asian countries.

“Directing some of these programs and providing opportunities for field experiences to students as well as faculty was certainly a high point for me,” said Yang, who has led at least 10 student and/or faculty trips to Asia during her tenure at Lawrence and counts Xi’an, China as her favorite destination. “When I came, we were not very internationalized, but I think that’s changed a lot now.”

Yang, who co-founded the Wisconsin Chinese Language Association of Secondary Schools while at Lawrence, points with particular pride to a $1.5 million grant from the Freeman Foundation that supported more than a dozen separate trips abroad between 2001-2005, impacting the campus beyond just the Chinese and Japanese department.

“We were able to take so many people on those trips. I think we took half of the faculty who were here at the time,” said Yang. “The various groupings of students and faculty who went on all those different trips represented so many areas of the college, including the conservatory of music. Our expectations were not that you came back as an expert, but perhaps you could add something about East Asia to a course as some sort of comparison or reference. On that front I think we succeeded.”

“Directing some of these programs and providing opportunities for field experiences to students as well as faculty was certainly a high point for me. When I came, we were not very internationalized, but I think that’s changed a lot now.”
— Jane Yang

With the emergence of China as a world superpower, Yang believes it is imperative Americans understand the role that region of the world will play in the future.

“I don’t think everybody needs to start learning Chinese, but I think everybody should be aware of the importance of East Asia,” said Yang. “We’re going to be dealing with China and all of its relationships with its neighbors for years to come. We need to have a good understanding of Chinese culture.”

An opera lover and an avid swimmer  — she’s less than 80 miles shy of earning her 750-mile t-shirt through the YMCA’s Y Miler program — retirement won’t mean an end to teaching entirely for Yang, who is about to become a bicontinental resident of the planet.  Her husband is the founder of an institute for philosophy for children in Taipei. For the past two years, Yang has split time between Appleton and their home in Taiwan, where she’s been leading an adult reading group, exploring children’s and young adult literature written in English at the institute.

“I’ve been taking the reading group more in the direction of my interests lately, looking at memoirs,” said Yang, who spends spring and summer and part of the fall here, but escapes in the winter to the family retreat in the mountains in Taiwan. “This past winter I did ‘A Room of One’s Own.’ Sometimes we do a bilingual class where we look at the original text but also the Chinese translation. I’ll be there for five weeks later this summer and we’ll study ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ along with the Chinese translation. It’s fun for me because I get to do a little bit of teaching.”

Regarding her formal recognition at this year’s commencement, Yang says she’s looking forward to receiving her new attire, trading her University of Wisconsin regalia for her Lawrence academic hood.

“It has been a privilege to be a faculty member at Lawrence for this long,” she said.

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.” 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 awarding honorary degree to civil rights Freedom Rider James Zwerg

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James Zwerg

Forged by a family-like bond they formed through shared courage, they still often greet each other as “Brother John” and “Brother Jim.”

Appleton native James Zwerg and Congressman John Lewis, who met each other in Nashville, Tenn., as college students and shared a seat on the front of Greyhound bus in 1961 as Freedom Riders, will be reunited Sunday, June 14 at Lawrence University’s 166th Commencement which will be available via livestream.

Lewis and Zwerg, both of whom exhibited extraordinary bravery in the civil rights movement, will be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree by Lawrence as part of the university’s commencement exercise, which begins at 10:30 a.m. on Main Hall green. Lewis will deliver the 2015 Commencement address.

As a frontline eyewitness to one of the most volatile  chapters in the country’s history of race relations, Zwerg, 75, is concerned with what he sees today as a regression in dealing with today’s race issues.

“I still believe that nonviolence is the answer, but I’m terribly disappointed in seeing the violence and the looting,” said Zwerg in a recent phone interview regarding episodes in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, Md. “I find that so many youth today are not aware of the sacrifice that their grandparents, and maybe parents, made to make life better. That bond we had within the movement wasn’t based on color. We respected everyone. Each person has a personal worth and should be respected for that. Diversity should be celebrated and it’s not happening today.”

Born in Appleton at a time the 1940 city census listed just one person as “Negro,” the 1958 graduate of Appleton High School (the only public high school in Appleton at the time) became engaged in the civil rights movement as a 21-year-old student. While attending Beloit College, where he had an African-American roommate his freshman year, Zwerg participated in an exchange program that took him to Nashville’s Fisk University, a historically black university.

Shortly after his arrival, he met Lewis and soon became involved with demonstrations against segregation, participating in lunch counter sit-ins and movie theater stand-ins while subjecting himself to repeated verbal abuse and physical assaults. As one of the few white men involved in the peaceful protests, Zwerg often drew targeted abuse as a “n****r lover.”

Zwerg credits Lewis’ own steely resolve for motivating him to get involved.

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A stop in Montgomery, Ala., on a Freedom Ride in 1961 left both John Lewis (left) and James Zwerg bloodied and battered.

“You could see this deep commitment he had to nonviolence,” Zwerg said of his initial contact with John Lewis in a recent interview. “His face was extremely strong. He didn’t talk a lot, but when John spoke, everybody listened. There was just this quiet strength about him.”

In May, 1961, Zwerg was one of 10 student Freedom Riders — and the only white male — to board a bus in Nashville bound for New Orleans. For part of the ride, he shared a seat with Lewis.

On the way, Zwerg was among several students arrested in Birmingham, Ala., where he spent two and a half days in jail. In Montgomery, the Freedom Riders were met at the bus station by an angry mob, armed with bricks, pipes, hammers and chains. One man carried a pitchfork.

“When I volunteered to go, I realized that if anybody was going to get killed, it would probably be me,” Zwerg recalled. “Because they hated the white n****r lover. You were a disgrace to the white race. I had already experienced that in Nashville. I was the traitor. I fully knew and accepted the possibility of my death.”

Zwerg wasn’t killed, but was beaten so badly — a severe concussion, a broken nose, a broken thumb, half his teeth were broken, three cracked vertebrae, numerous cuts and bruises — he spent five days in a hospital.

Photos of a beaten Zwerg ran in national magazines as well as newspapers around the world. His mother, who graduated from Lawrence in 1928, had a nervous breakdown and his father, who attended Lawrence in the 1920s, suffered a heart attack after hearing the news reports of their son’s beating.

“Segregation must be stopped. It must be broke down,” Zwerg said in an interview from his Montgomery hospital bed that was broadcast on the national news. “We’re going on to New Orleans no matter what. We’re dedicated to this. We’ll take hitting. We’ll take beating. We’re willing to accept death.”

When I volunteered to go, I realized that if anybody was going to get killed, it would probably be me. I was the traitor. I fully knew and accepted the possibility of my death.”
— James Zwerg

The statement galvanized the country, sending participants of all colors and persuasions to the segregated South, ending the Freedom Rides by the end of 1962.

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The bond forged between John Lewis and James Zwerg in the 1960s during the civil rights movement remains strong more than 50 years later. Photo courtesy Greyhound Lines, Inc.

“Spiritually, I was never so alive as I was during that time of the movement,” Zwerg recalled of his experiences in Montgomery. “I bowed my head and prayed. I asked God to be with me, to help me remain nonviolent and to forgive them. I had the most incredible religious experience of my life because I felt a presence. I felt surrounded by love. I was at peace and I knew with certainty that whether I lived or whether I died, it was going to be ok.”

While Zwerg won’t be addressing the graduates at commencement, he says it is important young people get involved with with an issue that resonates with them.

“I don’t think I can say what they should be focused on, that’s up to the individual,” said Zwerg. “Unfortunately a lot of the kids seem to think you have to be involved in something of national scope. It doesn’t have to be a big earth-shattering thing. I don’t care what the issue is, if it’s something you deeply believe in, look around and see if there are others that feel the same way. You could organize or act on your own. Don’t accept that dirty joke, don’t accept that racial slur.”

Zwerg went on to graduate from Beloit College in 1962 and later earned a degree in theology at Garret Theological Seminary. Ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ, he served churches in Wisconsin until 1970 when he moved to Tucson, Ariz., to become minister of the Casas Adobes United Church of Christ.

He left the active pastorate in 1975 and spent the rest of his career in a variety of non-profit community relations positions in Tuscon and in management with IBM.

Today he lives in retirement near the small town of Ramah in northwest New Mexico.

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.” 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.

Civil rights icon John Lewis to deliver Lawrence commencement address June 14

He met Rosa Parks when he was 17 years old. He met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he was 18.

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Congressman John Lewis

He spoke at the 1963 March on Washington when King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

He was beaten as he marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., on the day in 1965 that became known as “Bloody Sunday.”

He organized sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tenn., as a college student and was among the Freedom Riders who helped pave the way for the passage of the historic Voting Rights Act.

He has described himself as “a soldier in a nonviolent army.”

Congressman John Lewis, a genuine American historic figure and living legend in civil rights activism, has spent nearly all of his 75 years of life getting in the way — what he calls “good trouble” — on behalf of social justice.

In the 50th anniversary year of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, Lewis will deliver Lawrence University’s 166th Commencement address Sunday, June 14. He will be joined on stage by another instrumental figure in the  civil rights movement, Appleton native James Zwerg, one of the courageous Freedom Riders of the early 1960s. Both men will be recognized with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Commencement exercises begin at 10:30 a.m. on Main Hall green. A live webcast of the commencement ceremony will be available at http://www.livestream.com/lawrenceuniversity.

“Becoming an engaged citizen is one of the central tenets of a liberal arts education and so we are proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passage of The Voting Rights Act of 1965 at this year’s commencement, which provided a path to an essential right for many people in this country,” said President Mark Burstein. “We look forward to welcoming Congressman Lewis back to campus and having Mr. Zwerg represent local participation in the events that led up to the legislative passage of The Act.”

John-Lewis-convo_newsblog
Congressman Lewis has visited Lawrence twice previously, including 2005, when he delivered the university convocation “Get in the Way.”

This will be the third visit to Lawrence by the son of an Alabama sharecropper who has represented Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District since 1986. Lewis’ first trip to Lawrence came in April 1964 as head field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to speak at a campus-sponsored “Civil Rights Week” event. He returned to campus in February, 2005 to deliver the university convocation “Get in the Way.”

While still in his early 20s, Lewis, whose forehead still bears a scar from Bloody Sunday, already had established himself as a nationally recognized leader in the civil rights movement. His engagement with the  movement included three years (1963-66) as the chair of the SNCC. He later served as the director of the Voter Education Project, helping to add nearly four million minorities to the voter rolls. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Lewis head of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency.

Lewis’ efforts and contributions toward building what he as calls “the beloved community” in America have been recognized with dozens of prestigious awards, among them the 2010 Medal of Freedom, the Martin Luther King Jr. Non-Violent Peace Prize, the National Education Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award and the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage Award” for lifetime achievement.

J.-Zwerg-&-John-Lewis_newsblog
Former Freedom Rider James Zwerg (left) and civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis will be recognized with honorary degrees June 14 at Lawrence’s 166th commencement. Photo courtesy of Beloit College.

A graduate of Fisk University and the American Baptist Theological Seminary, Lewis is the author of “Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change,” which received the 2012 NAACP Image Award for Best Literary Work-Biography and the graphic novel memoir trilogy “March.”

The first volume of “March” reached no. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list and was included on lists of the best books of 2013 by the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The Horn Book Review, Booklist and others.

The trilogy’s second installment, which examines Lewis’ days as a Freedom Rider, was released in January.

Burstein will preside over his second commencement as president. Lawrence is expected to award bachelor degrees to 281 students from 28 states and seven countries during Commencement.

Retiring faculty member, Jane Parish Yang, associate professor, department of Chinese and Japanese, will be recognized for her 24 years of teaching with an honorary master of arts degrees, ad eundem, as part of the graduation ceremonies.

In addition to Lewis, Burstein, Lawrence Board of Trustees Chair Susan Stillman Kane ’72 and senior Mallory Speck from St. Charles, Ill., also will address the graduates.

Prior to Commencement, Lawrence will hold a baccalaureate service Saturday, June 13 at 11 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Julie McQuinn, associate professor of music, presents “Cinderellas and Cyborgs: Ritual, Imagination and Transformation.” The baccalaureate service and commencement exercise are both free and open to the public.

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.” 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.