Tuvan acoustic quartet opens Lawrence’s 2016-17 World Music Series

Huun-Huur-Tu_newsblogThe traditional music and instruments from the Russian province of Tuva come to Lawrence University’s Stansbury Theatre Monday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m as the acoustic quartet Huun Huur Tu opens the college’s 2016-17 World Music Series. Tickets, at $10 for adults, $5 for seniors/students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6947. Free to Lawrence faculty/students/staff.

The performance features musicians deeply rooted in the art of Tuvan music. Huun Huur Tu specializes in throat singing, a unique singing style that is popularly practiced throughout East and Central Asia, as well as in northern Canada and South Africa.

While throat singing is usually performed acappella, this program celebrates traditional Tuvan music with the addition of traditional instruments. The power of human voices form eerie overtones producing a meditative, evocative sound straight from the avant garde. Using traditional instruments such as the igil, Tuvan jaw harp and dünggür (shaman drum), and drawing subtly on 20th-century composers, Huun Huur Tu transforms ancient songs into complex acoustic compositions.

Founded in 1992, Huun Huur Tu has released 15 albums, including “Ancestors Call” and “Legend” in 2010.

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 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.

Community Early Learning Center recognized with Lawrence University’s 2016 Collaboration in Action Award

An Appleton education center that helps establish the foundation for young children to reach their full potential was honored Sept. 21 by Lawrence University during the college’s eighth annual Report to the Community.

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Lawrence President Mark Burstein addresses a crowd of community leaders at the university’s 2016 Report to the Community.

Recognized for being “a catalyst for positive change in our community,” the Community Early Learning Center (CELC) received the seventh annual Lawrence University Collaboration in Action Award. The award recognizes an individual or organization, who, in partnership with Lawrence, has provided exemplary service to the Fox Cities community through strategic vision, leadership influence, long-standing commitment and enthusiasm, financial contributions and/or volunteerism.

Lawrence faculty members Beth Haines, associate professor of psychology, and Adam Loy, assistant professor of statistics, along Kathy Phillippi-Immel, associate professor of psychology at UW-Fox Valley, presented the award. Accepting the award on behalf of the CELC were Jon Stellmacher, board president of the CELC, Lee Allinger, superintendent of the Appleton Area School District, Dr. John Mielke of the Mielke Family Foundation and Nicole Desten, director of the Bridges Child Enrichment Center.

Launched in 2014 in the former Catholic Central
 Elementary School in downtown Appleton, the CELC brought five nonprofit and public organizations together under one roof: Bridges Child Enrichment Center (formerly Project Bridges), Appleton Area School District Birth–5 Programs, Even Start Family Literacy, Outagamie County Early Intervention and the UW–Oshkosh Head Start program.

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community Early Learning Center Board President Jon Stellmacher was one of four representatives who spoke on behalf of the center and its award.

The one-time independently operating organizations now share space, data and resources to serve children from birth to age five. Each focuses on different aspects of early childhood development and intervention to ensure that all children — especially those from low-income backgrounds — have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

According to Burstein, this kind of collaborative investment in early childhood education “keeps our community on the cutting edge of education research and best practices.”

“Collaboration with Appleton and the greater Fox Cities has never been more important to Lawrence,” Burstein added. “The Report to the Community allows us to deepen the conversation among all partners and provide a moment to celebrate recent accomplishments.  Lawrence is thrilled to award the Collaboration In Action prize to the Community Early Learning Center this year.  The Center’s impact on the educational environment in the Fox Cities is powerful and our work together has provided wonderful learning experiences for our students and faculty as well as hopefully an opportunity to enhance what the CELC has to offer.”

Lawrence faculty and staff have been involved with the CELC since its founding. Haines and David Burrows, provost and dean of the Lawrence faculty, served on the planning and implementation team during the CELC’s early stages. Haines, who chairs the center’s research committee, led efforts to create an ongoing assessment plan. Haines, Loy and Phillippi-Immel also helped develop a shared database for the five agencies.

Under Haines’ guidance, Lawrence students have conducted screenings and data analysis each summer since the CELC opened. They also have gained real-world experience working in CELC classrooms.

“It’s really nice for them to be able to not just read about why these programs are in place, but to actually help out,” says Haines. “When they do fieldwork, they volunteer. They’re not just observing.”

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Brittni Adekoya is among several Lawrence students who have conducted fieldwork at the Community Early Learning Center.

Through the integration of applied research and collaborative program planning, Lawrence enables the CELC to make the most of limited staff time and money, allowing  the CELC to maximize the benefits to area young children and families.

“Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of quality early care and education in improving social and emotional development and school readiness, helping reduce the costs of remediation and increasing the benefits of a productive citizenry,” said CELC Board President Jon Stellmacher. “As we elevate attention to the importance of the early years and their long-term impact on school and life success, we add one more excellent reason why this is a wonderful community in which to live and work.”

The CELC joins Mile of Music (2015), Riverview Gardens (2014), Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Cities (2013), the Appleton Area School District (2012), the YMCA of the Fox Cities (2011) and the Mielke Family Foundation  (2010) as previous winners of Lawrence’s Collaboration in Action Award.

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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ImprovisationaLU: Two-day festival features some of music world’s best improvisers

New York City’s Jen Shyu and England-born, California-based  guitarist/composer Fred Frith headline a two-day music festival at Lawrence University devoted to all things improvisation.

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Jen Shyu performs her “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths” on the opening night of the ImprovisationaLU festival. Photo: National Gugak Center.

Shyu and Frith will be among five artists performing Sept. 23-24 for the first “ImprovisationaLU” in the Warch Campus Center. All festival performances are free and open to the public.

Festival organizer Sam Genualdi, a senior from Evanston, Ill., said he wanted to showcase artists “who haven’t previously had a strong voice on campus.”

“These are people I’ve been listening to for a long time,” said Genauldi, who has played guitar with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Quartet pm several occasions. “The festival is designed to provide a forum for artists who are pushing the boundaries of their musical communities. There will be something there for people who are already knowledgeable about improvised music as well as those who are simply curious about it.”

Shyu, an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, dancer and multi-instrumentalist, takes the stage Friday evening for a performance of her critically acclaimed composition “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths.” The personal story of loss and redemption examined through the lens of modern world hardships combines vocals and dance with a variety of instruments, including piano, the Taiwanese moon lute and gayageum (a traditional Korean zither-like instrument).

Classically trained in opera, violin and ballet, Shyu has recorded six albums, including her most recent, “Sounds and Cries of the World,” which the New York Times included on its list of “Top 10 Best Albums of 2015.” Music critic Ben Ratliff has called Shyu’s concerts “the most arresting performances I’ve seen over the past five years..she seems open, instinctual, almost fearless.”

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Fred Frith will perform a solo gig before teaming with White Out on Sept. 24.

Frith performs Saturday as a solo act as well as for the first time with the two-person experimental band White Out.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Frith has performed with numerous bands, including the British avant-rock group Henry Cow, Skeleton Crew and Keep the Dog. Best known for his genre-bending and innovative work with the electric guitar, Frith currently leads the Gravity Band and Cosa Brava, an experimental rock and improvisation quintet he helped found in 2008. He also leads Eye to Ear, which performs and records film and theatre music composed by Frith.

The schedule for ImprovisationaLU:

FRIDAY, SEPT. 23
8 p.m.-9 p.m. Matt Turner and Hal Rammel.  Turner, a 1989 graduate of Lawrence and current lecturer in the Lawrence conservatory, has established himself as one of the world’s leading improvising cellists. He has performed on more than 100 recordings with artists ranging from jazz violinist Randy Sabien and goth vocalist/pianist Jo Gabriel to punk artist Kyle Fische and alt-country band Heller Mason.

Rammel is a composer and improviser who performs on musical instruments of his own creation. In the 1980s, he was an active member of Chicago’s experimental and improvised music scene. In 2007 he organized the quartet The LOST DATA Project and founded the Great Lakes Improvising Orchestra in 2011 to explore large ensemble open form and structured improvisation.

• 9:15 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Jen Shyu, “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths.” Shyu will conduct an audience Q & A following her performance.

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Rapper/beatboxer Carnage the Executioner kicks off the second night of the ImprovisationaLU festival.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 24
•  7:15 p.m.-8:15 p.m. Carnage the Executioner (Terrell Woods). Minneapolis-based Carnage is a rapper and beatboxer known for his lyrical dexterity and uncanny ability to compose musical symphonies with his mouth through beat boxing.

•  8:30 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Fred Frith

•  9:15 p.m.-10:15 p.m. White Out with Fred Frith. A product of the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, White Out is the husband-wife team of percussion maverick Tom Surgal and synthesizer artiste Lin Culbertson, who also plays autoharp, flute and mystery electronics while providing vocals. Musical experimentalists to the core, White Out released its seventh album, “Accidental Sky,” in 2015. With its “spiritual jams from the outer regions…spastic, feedback-laden licks and massaging and stabbing beats that resemble a voodoo ceremony,” it landed on the New York Observer’s 2015 list of “best experimental albums.

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 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.

Work of Lawrence student photographers featured in Trout Museum of Art exhibition

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“Giza” by Torrey Smith

The photographic talents of 10 Lawrence University students are featured in the exhibition “Out of the Darkroom” in the Regional Artist Gallery at The Trout Museum of Art in downtown Appleton.

Featuring a variety of works ranging from tableau and portraiture, to landscape and still life photos, the exhibition opens Friday, Sept. 16 and runs though Dec. 31.

The students whose work is featured in the exhibit are: Natalie Cash ’18, Michael Hubbard ’17, Cherise John ’17, Regan Martin ’17, Glenn McMahon ‘17, Nick Nootenboom ’17, Penn Ryan  ’18, Torrey Smith ’17, Chloe Stella ’16 and Sadie Tenpas ’17. All are students of Associate Professor of Art John Shimon.

“What interests me here is how the students respond to, and utilize, this medium of light-sensitive materials,” said Shimon. “Established as the primary image-making tool of the 20th century, it was early in these students’ life times that these processes were replaced with digital technologies.

“Now the darkroom has become solely the domain of artists, with a rich history to respond to and extend,” Shimon added. “There is a freshness in viewpoint here as these students are distanced from the practical applications of analog photography.”

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“8” by Regan Martin

The materials needed to create the exhibition’s body of work were fully funded through generous donations to Julie’s kindness project in memory of former Lawrence associate professor of art Julie Lindemann, and through the efforts of 2015 Lawrence graduate Lucy Bowman, who helped secure a grant from the Reva and David Logan Foundation that allowed students full access to darkroom facilities.

The Regional Artist Gallery is open free of charge to the public during museum hours. The gallery is a community-oriented space celebrating and exhibiting high quality artwork from regional artists. The Regional Artist Gallery, an extension of The Trout Museum of Art, is located on the third floor of the Fox Cities Building for the Arts, 111 W. College Ave., 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 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.

Annual matriculation convocation opens Lawrence’s 2016-17 academic year

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President Mark Burstein

President Mark Burstein delivered his fourth matriculation convocation Thursday, Sept. 15, officially opening Lawrence University’s 168th academic year and the college’s annual convocation series.

The address, “Together, Against the Current,” was given at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Burstein spent nine years as executive vice president at Princeton University and 10 years at Columbia University as a vice president working in human resources, student services and facilities management before being named Lawrence 16th president in December 2012.

Joining him on Lawrence’s 2016-17 convocation series will be:

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Natasha Trethewey

• Nov. 1 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey presents “The Muse of History: On Poetry and Social Justice.” The Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University, Trethewey was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 2007 for her third book, “Native Guard,” one of the works on the 2016-17 Freshman Studies reading list. Other works include 2012’s “Thrall,” a poetry collection that examines representations of mixed-race families, and 2010’s creative non-fiction “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Trethewey has been recognized with numerous awards, including being named U.S. Poet Laureate in 2012, induction in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame and Mississippi’s Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

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Janet Anthony

• Jan. 6, 2017 Cellist Janet Anthony, the George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music at Lawrence, presents “Adventures in Music Making: 20 years of Cross-cultural Exchange in Haiti” in a rare evening convocation. A member of the Lawrence faculty since 1984, Anthony will provide a global perspective on music education in a celebration of her 20 years as a performer, teacher and mentor working with musicians and educators in Haiti.

In the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake that rocked the island nation, Anthony helped organized a benefit concert and collected needed supplies for the survivors, including gently used instruments. Since the quake, she has performed in four memorial concerts in Haiti.

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Andrew Solomon

• Feb. 2, 2017 Andrew Solomon, award-winning author, is a frequent lecturer/media commentator on politics, the arts, mental health issues and LGBT rights. His 2012 book, “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity,” earned Solomon nearly a dozen literary awards, including a National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. His 2001 book, “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression,” also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center as well as a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College. He was elected President of PEN American Center in March 2015.

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Paul Cohen

• May 23, 2017 Paul Cohen, Patricia Hamar Boldt Professor of Liberal Studies and professor of history at Lawrence, presents “Presidential Manhood: Masculinity and American Politics in the age of Mass Media” for the college’s eighth annual Faculty Convocation. Cohen’s scholarship interests include masculinity and film in postwar Hollywood, history and film, intellectual history and modern France. Since joining the faculty in 1985, Cohen has been recognized with Lawrence’s Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 1999 and the University Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. He is the author of the book “Freedom’s Moment: An Essay on the French Idea of Liberty from Rousseau to Foucault.”

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 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.

Patrick Boleyn-Fitzgerald remembered as “a deep ocean, reflecting what is real and true and kind in us all”

The Lawrence University community is mourning the passing of Patrick Boleyn-Fitzgerald, who died Sunday, Sept. 4 at his home with his wife, children and two of his siblings by his side. Patrick was 50 years old.

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Patrick Boleyn-Fitzgerald

Patrick was best known for his extremely successful career as a member of the philosophy department at Lawrence. He served as the Edward F. Mielke Professor of Ethics in Medicine, Science and Society and Associate Professor of Philosophy. His courses were immensely popular and he was highly respected for his intelligence, thoughtfulness and brilliant scholarship. His great concern for ethical and humane treatment of all persons was deeply admired by all who knew him. Among his many contributions to Lawrence he served for a time as department chairperson.

Born in Marysville, Ohio, to Larry and Barbara Fitzgerald, he was the youngest of seven children. A member of Marysville High School’s class of 1984, he graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and economics. At the University of Arizona he earned a master’s degree in philosophy and began working on his PhD in philosophy. He attended Oxford University in England for two years where he earned an M.Phil. in politics. He met his wife, Miriam, while working as a research analyst for President Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, a bioethics committee charged with investigating the history of cold war human radiation experiments. Patrick returned to the University of Arizona and finished his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1994.

After completing his studies, Patrick taught philosophy and legal/medical ethics at Louisiana State University from 1994-2001.  He moved to Appleton in 2001 to begin teaching at Lawrence. He achieved tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor in 2005.

In 2002, Patrick and Miriam welcomed son Aidan and in 2011, son Finn into their family. They made many friends in Appleton and are very grateful to all who have supported them with seemingly unlimited help through Patrick’s lengthy battle with kidney cancer.

Patrick has been described as a deep ocean, reflecting what is real and true and kind in us all. His quiet, penetrating intelligence might have been intimidating, except that he was also full of wit and loved to laugh. He taught ethics by demonstration, modeling peace and forgiveness. He did not play by different rules in times of crisis — not even when the stakes were highest — and his writings were clear, compassionate road maps to creating positive change in the world from the inside out

He turned to science fiction and fantasy for play, where ethical dilemmas resolve in infinite outcomes and he was an unapologetic geek in facts and fantasy sports. He loved building things with his own two hands. Mostly, he loved — passionately, abidingly and completely — Miriam, Aidan and Finn, his family and friends, and beyond them, the world.

A memorial service celebrating Patrick’s life will be held on the Lawrence University campus at date to be determined.

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 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 Class of 2020: Andy Wang an atypical typical Lawrence freshman

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Yuhan (Andy) Wang ’20

Andy Wang’s college application looks impressively similar to most members of Lawrence’s class of 2020: high grade point average, challenging set of classes, participation in a theatre production, co-president of Model United Nations, a bevy of volunteer/community service projects, published author, charitable foundation founder.

Wait. Published author? Charitable foundation founder??

Okay, maybe Wang’s application has a few atypical highlights.

Charles Dickens was 24 when his first novel was published. Wang had his first book published at the age of 18.

Wang is one of approximately 380 freshmen arriving in Appleton for the start of new student orientation activities Sept. 6. Classes for Lawrence’s 168th academic year begin Sept. 12.

A native of Shenyang, China, a city of eight million people 500 miles northeast of Beijing, Wang chronicled his experiences as an international student attending high school in the state of Washington in the 2015 book “High School Encounter — Seattle.”

“I experienced a significant culture shock when I first came to the United States and writing became my therapy, a way of self-meditation and a process to explore my own identity,” said Wang, who applied to Lawrence on a recommendation from a family friend. He visited campus last spring and embraced the many opportunities he learned Lawrence could offer.

Wang said Chinese culture — where ranking of all things is rampant among young people and anyone or anything considered “the best” is overvalued —  contributed to his confusion in his adopted hometown of Burien, Wash.

“Nobody told me how to satisfy myself, so I used all kinds of activities to fill up my time,” Wang said. “Yet, the more activities in which I participated, the deeper the confusion grew. I was always trying to display to everyone the best version of myself, but I felt lost inside.

Andy-Wang-Book_newsblogAs time passed and I wrote my weekly thoughts, I discovered a deeper understanding of myself and this new world around me.”

A blog Wang started evolved into his book, which was published by the largest national book store in China. He then decided to donate all book sale proceeds to assist other students. In June, 2015, the “Andy Reading Fund” was born. Driven by the belief that nothing is more powerful than an educated mind, Wang established the charity to provide educational books and resources to rural students around the world.

“A friend told me recently that she found my book in a library of a small, distant town. I was really quite surprised by that,” said Wang, who wrote an article earlier this year for international students struggling in the culture gap that was carried by several leading Chinese media outlets and led to numerous interviews.

“I never turn down any chance to advocate for the reading fund, raise people’s attention on this topic and help students in need,” said Wang, an only child whose parents both work in the financial sector in China.

In little more than a year, he has raised more than $7,500 for the Andy Reading Fund, much of it from the sale of his book. He has used the funds to make donations to three elementary schools in rural China as well as send learning materials to 52 students at the Chinyaradzo Children’s Home in Harare, Zimbabwe. An anonymous gift provided support for winter coats and new shoes for students at the Zuoguyida Elementary School in Meigu, China.

“Among all the students we’ve sponsored, I remember Ying the most,” said Wang. “She was a young girl in the poorer Liangshan area who received funding to attend high school. Her family could not afford to support her for high school, so she was very moved when she received tuition from the Andy Reading Fund. She kept repeating through her tears ‘I am so, so lucky.’”

“The things that form the backbone of Andy’s story — curiosity, innovation, resilience, care for others — form the core of what we look for beyond all Lawrentians’ academic profiles.”
— Ken
Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid.

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The Chinyaradzo Children’s Home in Harare, Zimbabwe, was one of the beneficiaries of the Andy Reading Fund.

This summer, Wang launched a new initiative to recruit 100 student representatives to sponsor 100 students in need, providing a variety of resources, including the Andy Reading Fund website in both Chinese and English, updates on social media, marketing materials and fundraising guidance.

“Each representative will be asked to raise tuition for one student within a year,” Wang explained. “This project can offer more students an opportunity to do something to help the less fortunate and influence the people around them.”

As he prepares to embark on the college chapter of his life, Wang is looking forward to spreading the gospel of the Andy Reading Fund at Lawrence.

“It’s always a bit scary to come to a new place,” said Wang, who is mulling everything from international relations and gender studies to economics, psychology and mathematics as potential majors. “I still remember how hard I was trembling the first day at my high school in Seattle. But I’m ready to be a part of the Lawrence community.”

Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid, calls Wang’s story “extraordinary.”

“The things that form the backbone of Andy’s story — curiosity, innovation, resilience, care for others — form the core of what we look for beyond all Lawrentians’ academic profiles,” said Anselment.

Wang and all of this year’s new students were drawn from a school-record applicant pool of more than 3,500 — a 16 percent increase over the previous year. In addition to freshmen, Lawrence also welcomes 25 transfer students and eight visiting exchange students from Tokyo’s Waseda University and from the Netherlands.

Putting the class of 2020 under the magnifying glass reveals:

Geographically, they hail from 32 states, plus Washington, D.C. Thirteen percent of the freshmen are citizens of 23 foreign countries.

Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota were the top three Lawrentian-producing states. While Wisconsin once accounted for 50 percent of new students, this year only one-quarter of Lawrence freshmen are home grown.

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Freshmen move-in day is an annual rite of passage. This year’s happens Sept. 6.

• 23 percent of the freshmen identify as domestic students of color.

• With 19 students, China is sending more freshmen to Lawrence this fall than all but four states (Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and California). Vietnam accounted for the second-most international students with nine.

Academically, one quarter of the freshmen ranked in the top five percent of their graduating high school classes.

The average ACT score was 28 among all students and 29 among those who submitted test scores for consideration for admission. Lawrence has been test optional since 2006.

“The folks around here get tired of hearing me say this,” said Anselment, “much as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a university to enroll a student. I’m grateful that the members of the Lawrence community — and those who support us — devote such great energy in helping us enroll students from all over the world who will thrive here. I’m especially grateful for the tireless work of our admissions and financial aid team’s outstanding effort this year.”

“And as we welcome the class of 2016,” Anselment added “we’re already in high gear working on 2017 and beyond.”

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 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 cited among nation’s best colleges by The Princeton Review

Princeton-Review-Book_2017_newsblogExceptional experiences in the classroom along with great financial aid, environmentally aware students and terrific food earned Lawrence University inclusion in the just-released 2017 edition of The Princeton Review’s “The Best 381 Colleges” book.

Only 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges which it considers the nation’s top schools are included in The Princeton Review’s 25th edition. The book, which was released Aug. 30, also includes “Top 20” lists in 62 categories based on surveys of students attending the colleges.

Lawrence was ranked 20th nationally in the best classroom experience category, based on student responses to survey questions regarding how they rate their professors, their classroom and lab facilities, the amount of in-class time devoted to discussion and the percent of classes they attend.

Using a scale of 60-99, Lawrence earned rating scores of 92 in quality of campus life, which measures students’ satisfaction with their lives outside the classroom, 92 in academics, including a 94 rating in professor’s accessibility, and an 89 in financial aid.

In its 2017 profile of Lawrence, The Princeton Review described the university as a “beautifully warm and positive community” that “encourages creativity and exploration.” It also cited the faculty for “an extraordinary amount of support and academic enthusiasm.”

Students who were surveyed called Lawrence a place “where you’ll find all sorts of people — homebodies, partygoers, musicians, athletes, scientists, gamers. You name it, we have it.”

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The quality of campus life at Lawrence earned high marks in student surveys for the 2017 edition of The Princeton Review’s Best Colleges book. (Claire Francis photo)

Robert Franek, senior vice president of publishing at The Princeton Review and the book’s author, said outstanding academics are the primary criteria for inclusion in the book.

“We make our selections primarily based on data we collect through our annual surveys of administrators at several hundred four-year colleges,”said Franek. “Additionally, we give considerable weight to observations from our school visits, opinions of our staff and our 24-member National College Counselor Advisory Board and an unparalleled amount of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools. We also keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character.”

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 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 alumna named the university’s first dean of academic success

Lawrence University’s Center for Academic Success, a reorganized effort to help students realize their full potential will be led by an alumna with more than 20 years of experience working with undergraduates, especially those from non-traditional student populations.

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Monita Mohammadian Gray

Lawrence Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows has named Monita Mohammadian Gray as the college’s dean of student academic success. She begins her new duties Sept. 1.

It will be a homecoming on two fronts for Gray, who graduated from Lawrence in 1992 and later spent nine years (1996-2005) working in the Lawrence admissions office.

As dean, Gray will serve as a liaison between the Center for Academic Success and students, faculty, staff and other various offices that focus on student success during college as well as after graduation, including career and counseling services, residence life, multicultural affairs and academic advising.

The Center for Academic Success was created earlier this year by merging the Office of Student Academic Support with the Center for Teaching and Learning. The Center uses a “success” approach that regards each student as having the ability to take complete advantage of the Lawrence educational experience. It is based on the idea that many success characteristics are related and become integrated as each person develops as an individual with intellectual, creative and emotional abilities.

“I am extremely excited that Monita Mohammadian Gray is coming to Lawrence as our first dean of academic success,” said Burrows. “Her enthusiasm, background and commitment to student success will enrich our efforts to help all students get the full benefit of their Lawrence experience. Her focus on success as the driving force behind student support services will serve us all well.”

“Monita knows us inside and out, understands what it means to succeed as a Lawrentian…Throughout the years, she has led the charge on multiple initiatives targeting student retention and she has worked tirelessly to enhance the academic performance and college experience of key populations.”
— Rosa Tapia, search committee member

Gray said it was Lawrence’s philosophy toward student success that attracted her to the position.

“Lawrence is taking a more holistic approach to thinking about how students are performing in the classroom, how students are experiencing the university, how they are able to take advantage of opportunities,” said Gray, a native of Oshkosh. “The foundation of the position and the institutional support behind this work is what I found attractive.”

Kate-Frost_Center-for-Academic-Success-newsblog
Kate Frost, associate dean of academic success, will work with Gray to help students achieve their maximum potential.

“I think there is tremendous opportunity to collaborate with faculty, student affairs, athletics, diversity and inclusion, admissions, and all of the other units on campus to learn how we can support students and remove barriers to their success,” she added. “I see this position as a shift from a model where we tried to solve the problem of only those students who need the most help to one of helping all students, even high-achieving students, reach their maximum potential.”

Since 2005, Gray has held a variety of student-focused positions at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. For the past two years, she has served as Hamline’s assistant dean of students, providing strategic leadership of programs and processes related to the experience and success of transfer students, students with disabilities, veterans and first-generation students. She also spent six years directing Hamline’s Center for Student Success & Transition, working with students in difficult academic, social, emotional or personal situations to ensure their success.

Alan Sickbert, dean of students at Hamline, called Gray “a kind, bright, passionate and innovative leader who puts students first in her work.”

“She has been an innovator for better serving students who are often overlooked within the campus community, including first generation students, transfer students, veterans and commuter students,” said Sickbert. “She leads by example and she creates community and teams as part of her style of supervision and student development efforts. She will be greatly missed at Hamline, but we are happy that she is returning home to her alma mater to continue her career.”

Scott Corry, associate professor of mathematics who served on the search committee, cited Gray’s “wealth of experience in many areas crucial to academic success.”

“She is perfectly suited to help us transition toward a more holistic approach to student success,” said Corry. “Monita’s previous experience as both a student and staff member at Lawrence give her special insight into Lawrence’s culture, although she fully recognizes that Lawrence has changed over the years.”

In her new role, Gray will focus on all things that impact students and help them maximize their academic success.

“Students face many challenges that impact their ability to focus on fully engaging their college experiences,” said Gray. “They may have mental or physical health concerns, financial stress, family issues, or feelings of being overwhelmed by the academic expectations of their courses. I want to build on the strong programs, services and support that already exist to help students reach their full potential.”

Monita-Mohammadian-Gray_newsblog3Because of her past affiliations with Lawrence, Rosa Tapia, associate professor of Spanish and a member of the search committee, said Gray “will hit the ground running.”

“Monita knows us inside and out, understands what it means to succeed as a Lawrentian and already has strong connections and allies in our community,” said Tapia. “Throughout the years, she has led the charge on multiple initiatives targeting student retention and she has worked tirelessly to enhance the academic performance and college experience of key populations. I am thrilled to have Monita as a colleague and can not wait to start working together to strengthen Lawrence and our commitment to an engaged, transformational college experience for all students.”

Since 2011, Gray has served on Lawrence’s alumni board of directors, including the past two years as a member of the board’s executive committee.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lawrence, Gray earned both a master’s degree in educational policy and administration with an emphasis in higher education and a Ph.D. in organizational leadership and policy development from the University of Minnesota.

Gray and her husband, Jim, are the parents of two boys, Robert, 6, and Wyatt, 4.

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 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 recognized with national award as one of the country’s healthiest campuses

Lawrence University has been named a national recipient of the 2016 Healthy Campus Award, the only national recognition of its kind.

Lawrence was one of only six institutions in the country honored by Washington, D.C.-based Active Minds, the nation’s premier nonprofit organization for supporting the mental health of students.Healthy-Campus-Award_newsblog1

Announced Tuesday (8/23), the award recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate excellence in prioritizing and promoting the health and well-being of their students.

“I am very enthusiastic about this award as Lawrence has been working hard to investigate and understand wellness behaviors on campus for the last several years,” said President Mark Burstein. “Creating a safe campus culture, where students look out for each other and are empowered to make healthy choices, ensures that our students can be fully present in their educational pursuits.”

Now in its second year, the Healthy Campus Award involves an extensive application process as well as multiple endorsements and interviews. Each applicant is assessed across eight criteria, with winners chosen by a panel of prominent researchers and health and higher education experts.

“Lawrence University stands out because it invests in students’ physical and mental health on a comprehensive scale and for the long term,” said Alison Malmon, executive director and founder of Active Minds. “Lawrence is a model of what’s possible when a college prioritizes a campus culture of health, safety and well-being.”

Erin Buenzli, director of wellness and recreation at Lawrence, called the national award “an exciting honor.”

“It is very gratifying to be recognized nationally for our efforts to improve the overall well-being of our campus community,” said Buenzli. “This recognition affirms the dedication of many people at Lawrence who have worked diligently together in making Lawrence a community that puts a high value on the importance of a holistic approach to wellness.”

Healthy-Campus-Award_newsblog2In selecting Lawrence for the national honor, the award’s review panel cited several steps Lawrence instituted that they considered “best practices”:

• Campus-Wide Collaboration: Eight years ago, Lawrence embarked on a more active role in the health and well-being of the campus, resulting in changes to its mission statement and strategic plan. A president’s committee was formed to address everything from alcohol awareness and mental health resilience to sexual assault prevention. Enterprising efforts helped fund additional staff to support healthy campus goals.

• Integrated and Centralized Services: Lawrence integrated its counseling, health and recreation services into a new centrally located Wellness Center, after which student use of health and wellness services increased by 300 percent. Alumni support enabled Lawrence to create an innovative Mind Spa Center that, among other programs, offers biofeedback sessions that teach students how to understand and control the body and mind’s response to stress.

• Healthy Balance Statement: As part of an effort to change an achievement-oriented and competitive culture around workload and stress levels, Lawrence now requires a healthy balance statement on all syllabi to reinforce the school’s expectation that students, staff and faculty consider wellness when making choices each day.

• Bystander Training: Students worked with the administration to require that anyone hosting a party on campus – whether or not alcohol is involved – complete a comprehensive bystander training program. Evaluations show that the training makes students 92 percent more likely to notice a safety problem and 85 percent more likely to intervene.

“Lawrence is a model of what’s possible when a college prioritizes a campus culture of health, safety and well-being.”
— Alison Malmon, executive director/founder, Active Minds

According to Active Minds, students enrolled at schools that focus on campus health often find that the programs and services offered there are life changing.

Healthy-Campus-Award_Max-Edwards_newsblog
Max Edwards ’17

“As a college athlete, mental and physical wellness is a huge part of my life,” said Max Edwards, a senior from Appleton, majoring in economics, who is a two-time all-conference runner on the cross country tream and a conference champion distance runner on the track team.

“Lawrence has helped me be my healthiest, happiest and most balanced self in the classroom and on the track,” Edwards added. “The wellness center’s biofeedback sessions helped me manage my pre-race nerves and other areas of my life.  I reached an unprecedented level of calmness and focus before my track races and was attentive and cool during high pressure academic exams.”

Joining Lawrence as a 2016 Healthy Campus Award recipient were California State University, Long Beach; Jefferson College; Sacramento State University; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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 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.