Lawrence University President Jill Beck Examines Political Engagement in Annual Matriculation Address

APPLETON, WIS. — Lawrence University President Jill Beck officially opens the college’s 158th academic year and kicks off the 2007-08 convocation series Thursday, Sept. 27 by examining the importance of an educated electorate and the value of student engagement in the political process in her annual matriculation address.

Beck presents “Educating Citizens, Supporting Students’ Political Engagement and Getting out the Vote” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The address is free and open to the public.

Since becoming Lawrence’s 15th — and first woman — president in July 2004, Beck has focused on strengthening Lawrence’s commitment to individualized instruction, increasing collaborative and complementary activities between the fine and performing arts and the traditional liberal arts and sciences and encouraging more active community engagement by Lawrence and its students.

Under her leadership, Lawrence established an innovative postdoctoral teaching fellowship program in 2005 that has since brought 19 recent Ph.D.s to campus for mentoring, teaching opportunities and research collaborations. Beck also organized an international conference on tutorial education earlier this year and established a partnership with the Posse Foundation in 2006 that will bring 10 “Posse Scholars” from New York City to campus each year beginning this fall.

In 1996, while at the University of California, Irvine, Beck founded ArtsBridge America, an outreach program that offers hands-on experiences in the arts by placing university students in K-12 classrooms as instructors and mentors. Lawrence, which now serves as national headquarters for ArtsBridge, is the only private institution to join the program, which includes 22 participating institutions in 13 states and Northern Ireland.

A native of Worcester, Mass., Beck earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and art history from Clark University, a master’s degree in history and music from McGill University, and a Ph.D. in theatre history and criticism from the City University of New York. She served on the faculties of City College of the City of New York and The Juilliard School and has written extensively in the fields of dance history, theory, repertory, and technique, as well as choreographing and directing ballet and modern dance repertory.

From 1995 to 2003, Beck served as the dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine, where she established the da Vinci Research Center for Learning Through the Arts, an interdisciplinary center for research focused on learning across disciplines.

Joining Beck on the 2007-08 convocation series are:

• Oct. 2 — David Mulford, U.S. Ambassador to India. A 1959 Lawrence graduate, Mulford has served as Ambassador to India since January, 2004. He spent the previous 11 years as chairman international of London-based Credit Suisse First Boston. From 1984-92, Mulford was the Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for International Affairs, serving as senior international economic policy advisor. Prior to his public service, Mulford was a managing director and head of international finance at White, Weld & Co. Inc., where he coordinated efforts with Credit Suisse on international business. From 1974-83, he served as senior investment advisor to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, managing the investment of Saudi oil revenues.

• Nov. 6 — Paul Hawken, author, environmentalist and entrepeneur. Since the age of 20, Hawken has dedicated his life to sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. He is the author of seven books, including “The Ecology of Commerce,” “Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution,” which President Clinton called one of the five most important books in the world today and 2007’s “Blessed Unrest,” which examines the history of the environmental and social justice movement. He has founded and run numerous ecological businesses, including Smith & Hawken, the garden and catalog retailer and several of the country’s first natural food companies that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods.

• Feb. 5 — Andrew Sullivan, senior editor of The Atlantic and columnist for the Sunday Times of London. Considered one of today’s most provocative political and social commentators, Sullivan was among the first journalists to experiment with blogging. His blunt observations about issues and people in the news are read by millions in his blog “The Daily Dish.” A native of Great Britain, Sullivan wrote essays for Time magazine before joining The Atlantic. He began his journalism career as a summer intern at The New Republic, where he rose to become the youngest editor in the magazine’s history, earning Adweek’s “Editor of the Year” award in 1991. Sullivan also has written four books, including 2006’s “The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back.”

• May 22 — Terry Moran, broadcast journalist and co-anchor of ABC’s “Nightline.” A 1982 Lawrence graduate, Moran has served as co-anchor of “Nightline” since Ted Koppel’s last broadcast in November, 2005. Prior to “Nightline,” Moran spent six years as ABC News’ chief White House correspondent and often served as weekend anchor for the Sunday broadcast of “World News Tonight.” He joined ABC as the network’s legal correspondent, covering the trials of Dr. Jack Kevorkian and “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski. He began his broadcast career as a correspondent and anchor for Court TV, where he received critical attention for his coverage of the murder trials of O.J. Simpson and Erik and Lyle Menendez.