University Assistant Professor of Music Andrew Crooks has helped launch an
online fund-raising campaign that has already brought in more than $237,000 to
assist musicians and other artists across the United States who are struggling because
of the COVID-19 crisis.
Artist Relief Tree (ART) was started earlier this month as music venues began to close and performances and tours were canceled, putting many artists out of work. The web site, www.artistrelieftree.com, received more than 3,500 requests for help in its first four days.
While it started
with a goal to raise $10,000, organizers have now reset the target at $1
not in salaried, stable positions, the shutdown of performances on such a massive
scale is heartbreaking, Crooks said in an email interview from his native New
Zealand, where he is hunkered down to teach remotely during Spring Term.
“It is very
painful to bear witness to these stories, both through Artist Relief Tree and
via social media, as well as via more personal communications with friends,” he
said. “There is extreme anxiety in the arts community, and we wanted to offer a
little help, a little hope, and as much sense of community and solidarity as we
could possibly muster.”
Crooks, who serves as a vocal coach at Lawrence and was the music director for the Conservatory’s Winter Term production of The Marriage of Figaro, teamed with a handful of other artists from around the country to form ART.
4 ways Lawrentians can pitch in, stay connected amid COVID-19 crisis: Details here.
performers and authors have since jumped on board with endorsements, among them
Russell Brand, Brene Brown, Ani DiFranco, Brian Eno, Ben Folds, Rhiannon
Giddens, George R.R. Martin, Mike Posner, and Lawrence’s own John Holiday.
The process works like this: An artist in need can request funds, with a requirement to provide some basic documentation about their work. On a first-come-first-served basis for those who qualify, ART will provide a financial assist. Monies began going out on March 18.
going to sustain anyone long term. But it’s an effort to help a community that
is reeling, to embrace a sense of togetherness among artists, and to raise
awareness along with dollars, Crooks said. Many of these artists who were lined
up to perform in some of the world’s great opera houses and other performance
venues have no fallback. In many cases, no performance, no paycheck.
It was a team of six artists and arts administrators, all tied to the world of opera, who launched the project, Crooks said. He and Morgan Brophy, of Wolf Trap Opera, have served as co-founding-directors. The organizers are all working as volunteers.
poured their hearts and souls and time into this passion project,” Crooks said.
“They all care so, so much … about their artistic friends all over the world.”
Lawrence, the efforts are drawing applause across the Conservatory.
be more proud of our remarkable faculty,” Dean of the Conservatory Brian Pertl
said. “This is such a great example of turning compassion into action, which is
exactly what we want to model for our students.”
Lawrence University will switch to distance learning for the Spring Term due to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Lawrence has launched a web site that houses Lawrence-related information on COVID-19. It will continue to be updated as needed. The site includes a coronavirus FAQ.
“While there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 on the Lawrence campus, we recognize that we can no longer continue as usual and still protect all members of our community, especially those most at risk,” President Mark Burstein said Thursday in a letter to the Lawrence community. “As a result, and in consultation with faculty, students, and staff, we have determined that the best course of action for Lawrence is to move to distance learning starting Spring Term.This was an extraordinarily difficult decision to make.”
Students will be required to stay off campus at their permanent residence or otherwise away from campus during Spring Term and access instruction remotely. Students can petition to stay on campus (but still study remotely) if they are international students with travel restrictions such that they may not be able to return to their home country and have no domestic residence option; if they lack needed technology to access distance learning; or if there are other extenuating circumstances.
Spring break, which begins March 19, will be extended an extra week. Spring term will now begin April 6. There will be no in-person instruction.
Björklunden, Lawrence University’s pristine northern campus in Door County, is once again beckoning visitors for summer seminars that feed a desire for lifelong learning.
Registration is open for 37 Bjorklunden summer seminars, presented by Lawrence faculty, alumni, and other experts. It’s a chance to learn while enjoying the peace and beauty of the 425-foot campus along the Lake Michigan shoreline, just south of Baileys Harbor.
Topics range from wildlife photography and the study of the stars to exploration of America’s racist past and the anatomy of a murder trial. The seminars begin in mid-June and carry through much of October.
“The seminar program embodies one of the most unique
aspects of a liberal arts education — a commitment to lifelong learning,” said
Alex Baldschun, an assistant director at Bjorklunden.
Visitors to the seminars, he said, come from all
walks of life.
Some commute to the seminars. Others are Björklunden residents for the week, housed in the estate’s 37,000-square-foot lodge. Participants are able to explore the grounds and engage with the beautiful scenery in Door County.
Most seminars, which include meals prepared by Björklunden’s
resident chef, begin Sunday evening and end Friday afternoon. Classes meet
weekday mornings and some evenings, with remaining time available to enjoy
Björklunden’s mile-long shoreline and wooded walking trails or to explore area cultural
and recreational opportunities.
Megan Pickett, associate professor of physics, is
among the Lawrence faculty leading seminars this year. She’s presenting an astronomy-focused
seminar, The Stars: Mansions Built by
Nature’s Hand, July 26-31. It’s something she’s wanted to do for years,
calling the surroundings “singularly contemplative, especially for astronomy.”
To be able to do it in a relaxed atmosphere with a
cross-section of deeply curious people, all the better.
“There’s something very freeing about being in a
learning environment where there are no grades, just the love of learning,”
Complete seminar information, including registration, dates, course descriptions, and information on instructors, can be found at www.lawrence.edu/dept/bjork/ or by calling 920-839-2216. Questions can also be directed via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to working with her voice students on the second floor of the Music-Drama Center, the Lawrence Conservatory’s newest music professor is in the midst of a whirlwind schedule that has her, among other things, sharing a New York stage this week with the iconic Renée Fleming and then visiting New Zealand and Australia with an opera featuring her Grammy-winning chamber music ensemble Roomful of Teeth.
Preceding all that was a concert last week with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and newVoices choir at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center — her first public performance as a resident of Appleton — a brief stopover in New York to perform at the Lincoln Center on the American Songbook series, and an overnight to St. Louis for a recital with the Kingsbury Ensemble.
In between flights and performances, her teaching continues — from hotel rooms and rehearsal spaces she connects with her students remotely via Zoom for voice lessons, all the while showing them in real time what life as a working musician can look like.
“I’m living it,” Gomez said of the Conservatory’s mission to prepare students to live their best musical lives.
It’s a blistering schedule, but Gomez, an in-demand soprano, makes
no excuses. This is what she signed up for when she accepted an offer last year
to join the Conservatory faculty, her first full-time teaching gig after a
decade living on the road.
“What I desired was that both sorts of existences — the academic and the performer — would feed one another,” she said.
A native of Watsonville, California, with a bachelor of arts from Yale and a master of music from McGill, Gomez spent 10 years in constant motion, touring with Roomful of Teeth and performing and recording with the likes of the Seattle Symphony and Silkroad Ensemble, among others. She won a Grammy Award with Roomful of Teeth in 2014 — the ensemble’s 2013 debut album also earned composer Caroline Shaw a Pulitzer Prize — and is featured on the Silkroad Ensemble album that scored a Grammy win in 2016.
See more on the Lawrence Conservatory of Music here.
Chasing a dream
Gomez and her seven Roomful colleagues have served a number of teaching residencies and master classes at universities across the country, including two at Lawrence. The Lawrence experiences were so satisfying for Gomez that she listened intently when Dean of the Conservatory Brian Pertl in late 2018 first mentioned a coming opening on the Conservatory faculty.
“That was the beginning of this dream,” Gomez said. “What would it look like if I actually lived somewhere? I’d been living out of my suitcase for about a decade. I had a storage unit in Montréal, my parents live in California, my partner lives in Austin, Texas, and I have a crash pad in New York City.”
She was drawn to the idea of teaching in a Conservatory setting,
especially one she held in such high regard.
“I had already been bitten by the bug of spending more time in an
academic environment, for the resources, for the people who were interested in
diving deep in creative ways,” Gomez said.
But she also wanted to continue to perform on stages around the
world. At Lawrence, that’s a path that has already been paved many times over.
Her performing would be embraced as an opportunity, not a problem. Pertl called
her “a perfect fit for Lawrence, an exquisite musician with the heart of a
liberal arts scholar.”
The Conservatory’s mantra to provide holistic music education for
the 21st century, recognizing many paths to living a musical life,
was all Gomez needed to hear.
“It was the fact that my interests lined up so well with this
place,” she said. “That’s what sealed the deal for me.”
Gomez knew she had huge shoes to fill as she was joining the voice faculty following the retirements of the talented and much-respected Kenneth Bozeman and Joanne Bozeman, whose influences on Lawrence University had been long and impactful. She’s tried to pick up where they left off.
“I’m so lucky they were my predecessors,” Gomez said. “They have
such wonderful systems set up.”
She said she’s soaking in the talent, expertise, and teaching wisdom of her Conservatory colleagues. At the Fox Cities PAC performance last week, she was joined on stage by two of those colleagues, Steven Paul Spears, a tenor and voice professor, and Phillip Swan, the co-director of choral studies who serves as artistic director and conductor of newVoices, a semi-professional community choir.
A new sense of place
The reality of her new gig —and the lifestyle change it signified — began to sink in for Gomez shortly after she arrived in Appleton last summer. She had a kitchen all to herself. And a consistent place to sleep. It had been a long time since she could say that.
It took some time to adjust, she said. Fall term was challenging, learning new systems and meeting new people. It wasn’t until winter term that she began to settle into the rhythms of life on campus.
“There was a point where I slept better on airplanes than I did in my new place,” Gomez said. “I had to remind myself, this is what is normal. But, slowly, the normal is shifting. I’m still getting to tour, but now I have more of an essence of grounding here, which has been a blessing.”
Most satisfying, she said, is that it’s giving her a chance to spread her wings as an educator.
“Now I have this long arc of getting to work with students on a weekly basis and really connect with them as people,” she said. “It feels so much deeper. I so appreciate the chance to get to know them in a longer-form way than being a visiting master class artist.”
Several of Gomez’s students showed up at the Fox Cities PAC last week to show support for her performance with the Fox Valley Symphony and newVoices. That’s part of the relationship-building between faculty and students that is so pronounced at Lawrence, where class sizes are small and one-on-one sessions with faculty are the norm.
“They’re the building blocks for their singing life here,” Gomez said of those faculty-to-student relationships.
They also are where her performance life and her academic life can intersect to provide teachable moments for her students, who are exploring what their own musical paths might be. Her performances, Gomez said, help inform her teaching. And her teaching helps inform her performances, whether here in Appleton or on the other side of the world.
“I think it’s good for them to have somebody who is in it,” Gomez said of her students. “And it’s also good for my performing that I’m engaged with how to articulate what I believe is really good singing, really healthy singing, really efficient singing. I have to articulate that every day to my students over and over again and in a million different sorts of languages.”
Sharing the stage with Renée Fleming
That brings us to this busy stretch. It’s the three performances with the New York Philharmonic Feb. 20-22 in Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall that’s garnering the most attention.
Gomez is one of three soloists in the world premiere of a piece written by 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Reid. It was commissioned by the Philharmonic as part of Project 19, which is marking the centennial of the 19th Amendment by commissioning works by 19 women composers.
“It should be a really eclectic, innovative program,” Gomez said.
Fleming is featured in the second half of the concert, singing music of Björk.
Gomez has sung with the New York Philharmonic before, but this will be her first time performing on the same stage as Fleming, one of the country’s most renowned sopranos. They have plenty of connections, though. Gomez’s frequent duet partner has sung duet recitals with Fleming. And Gomez has sung with Susan Graham, Fleming’s frequent duet partner.
“And apparently she’s a Roomful fan, so I’m excited to meet her,”
From there, Gomez will be back in Appleton for three days to teach, and then reconnect with her Roomful of Teeth collaborators for the trip to New Zealand and Australia for the Peter Sellars-directed opera Kopernikus.
Interestingly, Gomez was performing in Kopernikus in Europe when she had her first interview — via Skype —
for the Lawrence position.
“I think it was something like 11 p.m. for me; it was maybe 4 p.m. here,” she said. “We had just finished opening night in Toulouse, France. I joined for the champagne toast, ordered dinner at the cafe upstairs, then went down to the basement of the theater and said, ‘OK, let’s answer some interview questions.’ So, all this now feels really interconnected.”
The second annual Family Concert at Riverview Gardens will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Riverview Gardens Community Center.
It is part of Lawrence’s Music for All concert series and is in partnership with Mile of Music.
Sunday’s concert, with music geared toward elementary-aged children, will feature performances by Lawrence’s Fiddle Club and a trombone quartet, as well as other Lawrence Conservatory musicians. Each piece will be introduced before it is performed, providing some context and suggestions for what the audience should listen for, thus creating a more immersive and interactive experience for the listener.
The Mile of Music Education Team, led by Leila Pertl and featuring Lawrence music educators, will be on hand to offer hands-on music-making opportunities before the performances begin.
The Music for All series was founded by associate professors of music Michael Mizrahi and Erin Lesser as part of Lawrence’s well-established partnership with Riverview Gardens, an Appleton nonprofit focused on addressing homelessness and poverty. Mizrahi and Lesser modeled the program off of their work in Decoda, a dynamic musical group that tries to achieve a social impact through their performances.
The Stone Arch Brewpub will provide light refreshments during the reception on Sunday.
Upcoming concerts in this year’s Music for All series include: 5:30 p.m. April 21 and 5:30 p.m. May 18.
Lifongo Vetinde, a dedicated Lawrence University professor who through his work on and off campus looked to make the world around him a more informed and compassionate place, died Thursday, Jan. 30, following surgery. He was 64.
He is survived by his wife, Eposi Esoka Lifongo, two daughters, Agnès (Charles) Boland and Naomi Nyeme, a brother, Ike, two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, and a granddaughter, Victoria.
Vetinde, a professor of French, was a member of the Lawrence
faculty since 1996, a scholar of Francophone literature and cinema who also
taught French language courses and on multiple occasions led Lawrence’s
Francophone Seminar program in Dakar, Senegal. He earned a Fulbright Teaching
and Research Fellowship in 2012-13.
A native of Cameroon, Vetinde also was deeply devoted to
working on issues of social justice, diversity, and inclusion throughout his
“I will always remember Lifongo as the warmest, kindest, and most generous, joyful, and magnanimous of colleagues and friends,” said Dominica Chang, who worked closely with Vetinde as the Margaret Banta Humleker Professor of French Cultural Studies and associate professor of French. “My lunch with him during my job visit over a decade ago was what convinced me that Lawrence was a place I could call home.”
Vetinde was active in a range of scholarly pursuits, from
co-editing a book on Senegalese film director and writer Ousmane Sembène to
organizing symposiums and roundtables on important topics of the day.
But his primary focus and love was teaching. He embraced
Lawrence’s small class sizes because it allowed him to engage one-on-one with
his students. He was adamant that students needed to experience the world to
better understand both the challenges and the opportunities ahead, and he
pushed them to travel abroad and to have inquisitive minds about the cultures
they would encounter.
“We live in an increasingly globalized world in which interactions with people from different parts of the world and cultural backgrounds are ineluctable,” Vetinde said in a 2016 interview for Lawrence magazine. “For one to interact productively with others, cultural literacy is crucial. There is no better way for students to gain such knowledge than by going abroad.”
It was the francophone African literature and the study
abroad experience in the Francophone Seminar program, in which Vetinde led
Lawrence students to Dakar on at least five different occasions, that were
particularly close to his heart.
“He had a mission to dispel stereotypes and ignorance about
the African continent and helped his students discover the rich, cultural
histories and varied cultural realities, especially post-colonially,” said
Eilene Hoft-March, the Milwaukee-Downer College and College Endowment
Association Professor of Liberal Studies and professor of French. “He wanted
students, most especially American students, to experience Africa by traveling
to Senegal, which is our prize program in French and Francophone Studies.”
Outside of the classroom and his social activism, Vetinde
had a passion for playing and watching football (soccer), reading, and
listening to music — he professed a love of the storytelling in old-time
country music. His family also will attest to his dancing abilities and passion
for helping elementary school students in his native Cameroon. He started the
Fako-Dev Foundation as a means to support public school children in his village
with basic school supplies and access to books beyond their curriculum. The
foundation also supports computer literacy for students and staff.
At Lawrence, Vetinde’s friendships with colleagues were deep
and impactful. And his work with Freshman
Studies through the years gave him connections with students all across
“He was big-hearted and wise, very discreet but with a
terrific sense of humor,” Hoft-March said. “You had to watch for that twinkle
in his eye that preceded a hearty laugh.”
The Fulbright Fellowship took Vetinde to Saint-Louis,
Senegal, in West Africa, for 10 months, where he taught literature classes,
including one that served as a comparative study of the works of such American
writers as W.E.B. Dubois, Alice Walker, and Maya Angelou and those of Saint-Louisian
writers such as Abdoulaye Sadji, Malick Fall, and Abdel Aziz Mayoro Diop. He
also further studied notable Senegalese writers and the role they played in the
emergence of Senegal’s national identity.
For Lawrence Provost and Dean of Faculty Catherine Gunther
Kodat, Vetinde’s academic pursuits were personal. When he received promotion to
full professor, she’s the one who presented him to the Lawrence Board of
Trustees, giving her a chance to shine a spotlight on work he’s done that
connected with her own academic history.
“It was a special perk for me because Lifongo’s areas of
research included the work of the great Senegalese film director and writer
Ousmane Sembène, whose novel God’s Bits of Wood I had taught for years,”
Kodat said. “My admiration for Lifongo grew steadily from that early, happy
connection as I got to know his work as a scholar; his warm, unassuming, and
generous nature; and, above all, his selfless commitment to his students.”
Vetinde joined the Tenure Committee last year, further
revealing “his integrity, his ability to balance empathy with rigor, and his
sense of fairness,” Kodat said.
“Lifongo was a cherished member of our community; he will be
Plans are being made for a campus memorial service. Details will be announced later. The family set up a tribute site at this link.
Theodore (Ted) Lloyd Rehl, a mainstay in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music for more than three decades and an inspiration to generations of piano students, died Jan. 11 in Sarasota, Florida.
Rehl retired from Lawrence University in 1992 after 34 years
on the faculty, many as chairman of the Piano Department, then relocated with
his wife, Fran, to their retirement home in Florida.
While at Lawrence, Rehl was an active performer of solo and
chamber music, a member of the Duncan Rehl Piano Duo, and a favorite accompanist.
He also performed regularly with the Fox Valley Symphony. Upon his retirement
in 1992, he was awarded an honorary degree of Master of Arts.
“As a teacher, you have been an example to faculty and
students alike,” then President Richard Warch said of Rehl at the 1992
Commencement ceremony. “Throughout your career, you have sought not only to
extend your considerable capacities as a performer, but also to broaden your
knowledge of repertoire, technique, and pedagogy, and that pursuit has taken
you to the musical capitals of the world to further study. That you have earned
your laurels as a master teacher is attested by the succession of students —
affectionately self-styled ‘Rehl’s Raiders’ — who have proceeded through your
When he retired, Rehl was the university’s last faculty link
to the old Conservatory in Peabody Hall. That wasn’t lost on his colleagues, as
Warch noted at Commencement: “You may have grayed early, but you have remained
young, perhaps because, as one of your colleagues has said of you, ‘He has
loved what he has done and done what he has loved.’”
Rehl’s family said he vowed to stop playing the piano when he retired. That lasted for 18 years. But in 2010, he and Fran bought a Steinway Model M and donated it to Plymouth Harbor, their retirement community.
“Ted was so inspired by the sound of this piano that he once
again started practicing daily, and since then has given 19 recitals, the last
on Dec. 6, 2019,” his family said in message released upon his death.
He was preceded in death by Fran, his wife of 63 years. He
is survived by two children and four grandchildren.
Donations in Rehl’s memory may be made to the Plymouth Harbor Improvement of the Arts Fund.
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: email@example.com
Lawrence University faculty, students, and staff honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a day of service on Monday.
No classes were held on the federal holiday honoring the
civil rights icon, but Lawrence again provided a bevy of volunteer and learning
opportunities around King’s life and message. The day was topped off with the
29th annual Fox Cities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at
Memorial Chapel, an event co-sponsored by Lawrence and African Heritage Inc.
A community celebration
The evening event featured keynote speaker Simon Balto, an assistant professor of history and African American studies at the University of Iowa and author of the book, Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power.
He implored the
audience not to lose sight of the radical mission of King, not to be lulled
into complacency by a modern caricature that allows politicians and others to tap
into benign visions of King that they believe can impart feel-good messages.
“We treat him now
like this bundle of sound bites and remember him as a lovable man with little
more than a kumbaya dream of a colorblind society,” Balto said. “People, and
politicians in particular, seem to think that King can be whatever they want
him to have been.”
He was so much more
than that, Balto said. There’s a reason that a Gallup poll in 1966 found that
only 32% of Americans had a positive view of King. He sought radical change. He
made people uncomfortable. And that was a good thing.
“Martin Luther King
was a radical,” Balto said. “People often think of the word radical as if it is
pejorative or scary. But we shouldn’t think that way.”
It’s about “challenging
the status quo at a fundamental level,” he said.
King and others in the civil rights movement successfully took down Jim Crow laws in the south, ending legalized segregation. But that, Balto said, was only one phase. The next phase — fighting racism that was built into the very fabric of the nation — would prove far more difficult. It’s a battle that continues today even as we honor the great accomplishments of King.
“Yes, Dr. King did
want an end to racial discrimination, but he also knew that simply ending the
Jim Crow system was not going to do it,” Balto said. “He knew that racism was
manifested in all sorts of different ways … and not just in the south. He knew
it was baked into the housing policies in places like Milwaukee and Chicago and
Los Angeles. … He knew it was baked into the ways of the criminal justice
system and how it treated black people. He knew it was in the school system and
the labor market, in all sorts of places the civil rights movement that had
vanquished Jim Crow in the south hadn’t fixed.”
King told his followers that the new battle would be more difficult, in large part because it came with a much higher price tag for the nation, one that would run into the billions of dollars and require the transformation of many of the tenets of society, Balto said. It was an uphill fight, and remains so today.
“People died pursuing it,” Balto said. “Indeed, Dr. King died pursuing it.”
Also at Monday’s King Celebration event, Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru
Sekou, a musician, filmmaker, and theologian, led a rousing music portion of
the program. The annual Jane LaChapelle McCarty MLK Community Leader Award was
presented to Carla A. Manns, a local author, business owner, and community
leader. And Pa Lee Moua, formerly an associate dean of students for diversity
at Lawrence and now the Appleton Area School District’s diversity, equity, and
inclusion officer, received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Educator Award.
Special video tributes were given to recently departed
community leaders Ronald Dunlap and Henry Golde.
Day of service activities
Nearly 400 Lawrence students, faculty, and staff took part
in community outreach activities or participated in teach-ins Monday in honor
of King’s legacy. With no classes being held, it was designated as a day of
Nearly 150 volunteers supported communities across the Fox
Cities through service at Riverview Gardens, the Fox Valley Humane Association,
Feeding America, Brewster Village, and the Boys and Girls Clubs in Appleton and
Menasha. Another 155 attended a half dozen teach-ins that ranged from being
actively engaged in anti-racism advocacy to addressing stigma and disparity
within mental health treatment.
“We were very impressed by the interest from the Lawrence campus,” said Kristi Hill, director of Lawrence’s Center for Community Engagement and Social Change. “We are hopeful that we provided a variety of offerings around learning, volunteering, and celebrating.”
At Riverview Gardens, an Appleton nonprofit that uses urban
farming as a means to produce food and provide job training for struggling
populations, nearly 25 students took to the fields on a cold afternoon to place
mulch into hoop houses and do other chores, all aimed at prepping the farm for
“Riverview Gardens is a really great organization because
they work with job skills training for homeless and disadvantaged communities,”
said Floreal Crubaugh ’20. “That’s really important for our day of service.”
She and many of the other volunteers she was working with
are members of the student organization that tends to the Lawrence University
Sustainable Garden (SLUG), so the outreach to Riverview Gardens was particularly
close to the heart.
“We’re a club that’s really organized around community
service and volunteering,” Crubaugh said. “This really meshed well with our
mission of giving our time and giving our skills to the community.”
It’s work that was much appreciated by the workers who tend
to the needs of Riverview Gardens on a daily basis.
“This helps us prepare for our spring planting,” said Elisse Pavletich, the farm manager. “They are putting mulch in a lot of our hoop houses, which will prevent weeds from growing in those places and it gives us a lot more time to focus on the vegetables in spring, which then helps us to help more people.”
At the Fox Valley Humane Association, a team of Lawrence
volunteers focused on cleaning the facility, doing laundry, and stocking
shelves before turning their attention to interaction with the animals that are
currently calling the shelter home.
“I find working with animals incredibly important,” said
Sara Prostko ’20. “They are a population that cannot say their needs, they
don’t have a say in their environment, where they go, who they’re with.
“Lawrence is all about trying to be a voice for those who
cannot have a voice for themselves. I think this is exactly that. … We’re doing
a lot of cleaning and sorting of stuff, things that I’d rather us volunteers do
rather than employees so they can spend their time and efforts on things to
expand the organization.”
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ice skates, gloves, and
the warmest of hats are all part of winter term at Lawrence. It might be getting
cold out there, but don’t forget that winter term on campus also is a
There are fun things to do all over campus (skating on Ormsby Lake, anyone?). That includes the events calendar, which gets particularly robust in winter term. Here are nine exciting things happening on campus this winter term, beginning with Monday’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
1. MLK outreach and celebration
Every year the Center
for Community Engagement and Social Change (CCE) hosts a day of
service in honor of King. As Lawrentians take time out of their
classes to recognize the great work of MLK, the CCE provides
a space for Lawrentians to give back to their community
and learn about King’s legacy. The full list of events
happening on MLK Day is available on the CCE section of the Lawrence web site.
To wrap up the day, the 29th annual Fox Cities
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, co-sponsored by Lawrence and African
Heritage Inc., will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.
Dr. Simon Balto, an assistant professor of history and
African American studies at the University of Iowa, will deliver the keynote
address. It also will feature the music of Rev. Sekou.
Balto holds a degree from the University of Wisconsin. He wrote the book, “Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power,” and his writing has appeared in TIME magazine, the Washington Post, and other popular and scholarly outlets.
The event also will feature tributes to the late Ronald Dunlap and Henry Golde. MLK youth essay contest winners will be honored, and the recipient of the annual Jane LaChapelle McCarty MLK Community Leader Award will be announced.
2. Great Midwest Trivia Contest
What has been fun, trivial, exhausting, and ongoing at Lawrence since 1966? That is correct, the Great Midwest Trivia Contest. It’s billed as the world’s longest running trivia contest because of its tradition of having the final question of the contest serve as the first question of next year’s contest. This year is no different, with the much-anticipated trivia contest starting Jan. 24 at precisely 10:00:37 p.m. and ending at midnight on Jan 26. Find details here.
3. Lunar New Year
To celebrate the Lunar New Year, various clubs on campus host a Lunar New Year Celebration each winter term. The event features food, music, performances and information on different Lunar New Year Celebrations around the world. This year’s celebration will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Warch Campus Center. Cultural performances include traditional lion dance (Tay Phuong Lions from Savage, Minnesota), Japanese Taiko drummers (Taikoza from New York City) and Hmong dancers Nkauj Suab Nag (Gao Shoua Nah from Appleton). There also will be a Cultural Expo with educational activity booths sponsored by student organizations: Chinese Student Association, Japanese Student Group, Korean Culture Club, Pan-Asian Organization, Vietnamese Cultural Organization, and more. Find information here.
4. Winter Carnival and President’s Ball
No need to hide from winter. Let’s embrace it. The week-long Winter Carnival concludes with the annual President’s Ball in the Warch Campus Center on Feb. 1. Every year the Student Organization for University Programming (SOUP) hosts the picture-perfect President’s Ball. It gives all Lawrentians — students, faculty, and staff — the opportunity to enjoy live music, take photos in the photo booth, and get on the dance floor. Winter Carnival, meanwhile, kicks off Jan. 27 and runs through Feb. 2, featuring activities ranging from a scavenger hunt to a ping pong tournament to a ski outing to broomball games on Ormsby Lake to a gingerbread house competition. It’s highlighted by the President’s Ball on the evening of Feb. 1. A day of service follows on Feb. 2. Details can be found here.
5. Jazz Series concert featuring Bill Frisell
Music starts to heat up
winter term in February. Guitarist, composer, and arranger Bill
Frisell will be gracing the Lawrence campus as part of the
ongoing Jazz Series. Frisell has been recognized for his unique sound as he
transforms the modern guitar. Frisell and friends will be in concert at 8 p.m.
Feb. 7 at Memorial Chapel. For more on the Jazz Series (and other 2019-20 music
series at Lawrence), see here.
6. Richard III on stage
term isn’t complete without a production from the Theatre Arts department. Richard lll, by
William Shakespeare, will take the stage at Cloak Theatre for four performances
from Feb. 20 to 22. It is directed by Timothy X. Troy. Visit here
for more details on this show and others in the 2019-20 season.
7. Artist Series concert featuring Tine Thing Helseth
Here’s another big concert happening in winter term, this one as part of the Artist Series. It’ll feature Norwegian trumpet virtuoso Tine Thing Helseth. She has established herself as one of the foremost trumpet soloists of our time. The performance is set for 8 p.m. on Feb. 28. More details can be found here.
8. Cultural Expressions
The Lawrence University Black Student Union hosts an annual Black History Month Celebration called Cultural Expressions. It offers a space for members of the Black Student Union to showcase their talents — everything from music to dance to spoken word — to the entire Lawrence and Appleton communities. This year’s Cultural Expressions will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 29 in Warch Campus Center. See the calendar on the Lawrence web site for more information.
9. Opera takes center stage
Opera is a huge part of the Lawrence Conservatory
of Music, and the annual opera is must-see viewing on campus. This winter term
performance will feature Mozart’s The
Marriage of Figaro, set for March 5 through March 8 in Stansbury Theater. Check the calendar for show times.
Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.
The D-Term course Entrepreneurship in London: From the Mayflower to Brexit featured a variety of different aspects of entrepreneurship, both contemporary and historical.
Additionally, we explored different types of entrepreneurial ventures including: private for-profit, social not-for-profit, and public/ private partnerships. A significant portion of the course was devoted to the regeneration of economic activity for parts of London that had deteriorated and fell into disuse and then have benefited from unique entrepreneurial initiatives. Students selected initiatives to explore in an oral presentation and often revisited these sites.
Our Lawrence traveling classroom was led by two faculty — Marty Finkler and Claudena Skran — and included 10 students representing majors in music, philosophy, art history, biology, psychology, government, economics, theatre arts, and global studies.
We arrived in the Rotherhithe area of south London just after Thanksgiving. The group began with a historic tour of the area, learning about the launch of the Mayflower ship in 1620, and the many connections between seafaring and the subsequent development of the community. At the Brunel Museum, its founder, Robert Hulse, stressed that we were standing inside the tunnel that made possible the very first underground train system in the entire world. Students also celebrated a public theatre event, starring members of the Bubble Theatre group, and volunteered with community members at Time and Talents, one of the oldest social enterprises in the area.
From Rotherhithe, the group moved further east to the Docklands area of London, which thrived in the 18th and 19th century and part of the 20th century but lapsed into abandonment by the early 1970s with the rise of large container ships that the Thames River was not deep enough to accommodate. The globalization of the production and trade in material goods further diminished the economic viability of east London in general and Docklands in particular.
As finance for such globalization became a new source of income for London, the city began to expand, but central London could not cost-effectively provide the space needed for such expansion. This led to the development of Canary Wharf, which one of our speakers (Ralph Ward) actively participated in. He briefly described this high rise lavish commercial and financial sector development as well as the need for less lavish housing in east London.
Ward led us on a walk that literally went across the tracks to one of the poorest neighborhoods of London known as Poplar, where he introduced us to Danny Tompkins, who heads Poplar HARCA (Housing and Regeneration Community Association). Tompkins led us around the area and explained how Poplar HARCA regenerated housing opportunities for its residents through a mix of private and public funds and developments. He pointed out the controversy related to selling some of the land for private development in order to have funds for social housing.
The following day we focused on another regeneration effort in the Docklands known as the Canada Water project. This new project envisions a buildout of commercial and residential developments over the next 10 to 20 years. The project director, Roger Madelin gave us an in depth tour of the area, which already features a significant increase in activity around the Canada Water transit station and some of its entertainment venues. Madelin showed us a physical model of the development and explained the different influences and problems that needed to be resolved to complete the project.
Madelin previously led the development of the regeneration of Kings Cross, another area we explored in depth. Kings Cross had fallen into disrepair and disrepute as industrial activities left London in the second half of the 20th century. The development over the past decade took advantage of the two major transportation centers (Kings Cross and St. Pancras) to provide significant office space for Google, Facebook, and Nike as well as many commercial activities. For the most part, these commercial venues now serve upper income groups.
A guide at the Visitors’ Centre provided us with an overview of the history and prospects for the development. On their own, students then explored the fascinating architecture of the new buildings before getting together for lunch and discussion of their observations.
After 10 days in London, we headed to Oxford, to consider how both innovation and entrepreneurship have shaped this historic university town. Students visited the Oxford Foundry, a hub for start-ups, attended a talk by Dr. Evan Easton-Calabria at the Refugee Studies Centre on humanitarian aid, and had lunch with Gil Loescher, the distinguished professor who was awarded an honorary degree from Lawrence.
The student experience
Samantha Torres ’20 was among the students taking part in the D-Term class in London. She shared some of her observations:
I participated in the London Centre program in the Fall of 2018. I had no idea when I’d return, but when I saw the opportunity to go back during D-Term, I knew I had to go back. However, what I thought would become an add-on to my past experience became a stand alone, standout program that offered a completely different taste of London that could only be obtained through insider connections.
Having both professors who’ve previously lived in London made it truly one of a kind and remarkably immersive. Alongside tours, we experienced the idiosyncrasies that make up London. From learning about the inception of the Mayflower to the current debates on Brexit, my cohort was able to identify the complexities that continue to define one of the oldest cities in the world.
During my time at Lawrence, I’ve found the most impactful experiences have been those of the traveling classroom. I’ve had the fortune of traveling to London and Jamaica with Professor Skran, a big advocate for this unconventional learning. And I couldn’t agree with her more. The traveling classroom model has taught me that there are intangible lessons that cannot be learned through lectures or textbooks.
Life lessons I’ve learned were ones that provided personal development and an independence that traditional classroom settings simply can’t challenge you to do. There’s a whole world out there, and sometimes you need to experience it to learn from it. As a Lawrentian, we are encouraged to go beyond. Because of the traveling classroom, I’ve been able to go beyond places I could ever imagine.
Marty Finkler is the John R. Kimberly Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the American Economic System and a professor of economics, and Claudena Skran is the Edwin and Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science and a professor of government.