Arts Advocate Extraordinaire: Lawrence’s Lynn Hagee Named Recipient of Community Volunteer Award

Lynn Hagee’s passion for the Fox Cities’ arts community knows no bounds.

Lynn Hagee ’58

On any given day, chances are good she can be found greeting guests at an exhibition opening at the Trout Museum, soliciting donations for an area organization’s silent auction, ushering at a Makaroff Youth Ballet performance or sharing her planning expertise at a meeting for an upcoming Lawrence Academy of Music fundraising event.

Next month, Hagee will be recognized as the 2014 recipient of the Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts for her dedicated service and leadership to numerous community arts organizations.

Currently the director of special projects at Lawrence University, Hagee has served in a variety of positions ranging from director of catering to director of conferences and summer programs since joining the college in 2001.

Hagee will be one of eight community award winners honored Tuesday, May 6 for their outstanding efforts at the annual “Celebrating Our Volunteers” dinner at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton. The event, sponsored by The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc. and Post-Crescent Media, has saluted deserving area individuals for their volunteerism since 1998.

The Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts “recognizes an individual for leadership and volunteer service in local arts organizations and activities; for long-standing commitment to the local arts community; and for noteworthy personal involvement in developing and promoting arts within the community.” Sponsored by Thrivent Financial For Lutherans, the award includes $5,000 to be donated to a charity of the recipient’s choosing.

“An Engaged Stakeholder”

“I’ve never considered the arts an ‘extra.’ They have always been a part of my life,” said Hagee, who graduated from Lawrence in 1958 with a degree in art history and studio art. “To me, the arts are a universal language which can cut across all barriers — racial, cultural, economic and social. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen got it right when he reminds us ‘a community’s quality of life is greatly enhanced by the arts. They  have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery and achievement in our country.'”

Hagee’s volunteerism touches numerous organizations throughout the area arts community, including service as a member of the board of directors for Makaroff Youth Ballet and Appleton Downtown Incorporated. She also is actively engaged with Friends of the Library, the Lawrence Academy of Music and the Trout Museum of Art, among others.

“Lynn is a familiar face at artistic events all over the community,” said Linda Drezdzon, executive director of Makaroff Youth Ballet, in nominating Hagee for the award. “And she usually invites a guest or two to expand their exposure to the arts. She recognizes that awareness and participation are essential to a thriving arts community.”

Downtown Appleton Inc. Executive Director Jennifer Stephany saluted Hagee as “an engaged stakeholder” in the community.

“Lynn embodies the true spirit of an arts supporter through her volunteerism, financial support and participation in infusing art and culture in all aspects of our community,” said Stephany in her nomination of Hagee.

Hagee is the third Lawrentian to receive the Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts. Rick Bjella, former Lawrence choral director and artistic director of the White Heron Chorale (now newVoices) was recognized in 2006. Arlene Atwood Trettin, a 1961 Lawrence graduate, was honored in 2011 for her long-time work with Kaukauna Community Players.

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 2014 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.