Tag: alumni awards

News, notes and honors from Lawrence’s 2019 Reunion Weekend

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

More than 1,000 alumni, family and friends made their way back to Lawrence University for the annual Reunion Weekend.

Cooler than expected temperatures and sporadic rains didn’t dampen the enthusiasm. Performances at Memorial Chapel, alumni award presentations and plenty of social opportunities kept things festive during the Thursday through Saturday reunion. Here are a few takeaways from the big weekend.

Back to college

Friday’s Alumni College, featuring a bevy of talks and presentations from faculty and/or alumni on a wide range of topics, is always a highlight of Reunion Weekend.

Glen Johnson ’85 provided a nice testimony to the value of the Lawrence experience during a session he presented. He shared photos and insights from his four years leading strategic communications for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a journey that took him to 91 countries between 2013 and early 2017 and led to the publication of his 2018 book, “Window Seat on the World: A View of U.S. Leadership and Diplomacy.”

Glen Johnson '85 speaks at the podium about his book, "Window Seat on the World."
Glen Johnson ’85 talks about his book, “Window Seat on the World,” at Friday’s Alumni College.

As part of his work, the former Associated Press and Boston Globe reporter took on the duties of official photographer, giving him access to Kerry in public and private settings as they traveled across all seven continents. His presentation took the audience through dozens of beautiful and poignant photos from around the world and the stories behind them.

Johnson told the alumni gathered in the Warch Campus Center Cinema that his studies at Lawrence set him on a path to do “dramatic and interesting” things.

“I came to Lawrence because I wanted to go to a liberal arts school,” said Johnson, who grew up just outside of Boston. “I also knew I wanted to be a journalist. So I came to Lawrence to go to this liberal arts school but with an idea of preparing for a very specific vocation. And so I was able to take a breadth of classes that gave me an array of knowledge that helped me as a reporter, and then that success as a reporter gave me the credibility to have this opportunity down the road.”

Generous gifts

A highlight of the annual Alumni Convocation, held Saturday morning at Memorial Chapel, is the presentation by each reunion class or cluster of financial gifts to the university.

The gift announcements often come with heartfelt testimonials.

Jeff Billings ’03, speaking for the cluster of the classes of 2003, ’04 and ’05, referenced a highway sign that points one direction to Freedom and the other to Lawrence. While the sign references the towns of Freedom and Lawrence, it always got a laugh from Lawrence students, he said.

“But the arrow should be pointing in the same direction,” he said, “because when you come to Lawrence, you are forever transformed. You’re taught to think, you’re taught to be creative, you’re taught to listen to other people — imagine that — you’re given lifelong skills that give you freedom to choose the life you want to have, whatever that life may be. I, for one, am extremely appreciative of that fact, and Lawrence has forever transformed my life.”

Andrea Powers Robertson ’94, speaking for the Class of 1994, said she savors the Lawrence experience 25 years after leaving campus and wants to pay it forward.

“As one who relied heavily on financial aid to make my Lawrence experience possible, I have a profound sense of gratitude for the Lawrence Fund supporters who preceded me,” she said.

The class representatives rattled off a series of class gifts to the university that added up to nearly $13 million, including $6.6 million coming from the Class of 1969 as it marked its 50-year reunion.

“The theme for our 50th reunion has been Bob Dylan’s song, The Times They Are A Changin‘, said Susan Voss Pappas ’69, “and we’re doing our best to keep up.”

President Mark Burstein called the class gifts “truly extraordinary.”

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my role is thanking Lawrentians for their investment in this university,” he said. “It means so much to this institution, and I think even more importantly to the students, generation after generation.”

Honoring outstanding alumni

Seven Lawrence alumni were honored during the Alumni Convocation with the annual Alumni Awards.

Jaime Nodarse Barrera ’05

Jaime Nodarse Barrera, a 2005 graduate, received the Marshall B. Hulbert Young Alumni Outstanding Service Award. She is the assistant vice president of development at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and has been involved with many community service groups including the Kiwanis Club, Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill at-risk youth mentoring. She also served as the interim director of marketing and interim director of communications, and helped to coordinate communications efforts and crisis management during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.

Elizabeth R. Benson ’69

Elizabeth R. Benson, a 1969 graduate, received the Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award. She is an expert in energy and international trade, with deep experience in issues ranging from the structure of electricity and natural gas markets to energy efficiency, renewable resources and climate change. She has operated a successful independent consulting practice since 2001.

Zoe Ganos M-D ’55

Zoe Ganos, a 1955 graduate of Milwaukee-Downer, received one of two Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Awards, presented to an alum of Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer College who has provided outstanding service to Lawrence. She has been a teacher all her life, much of her time spent as an English as a Second Language teacher for the Milwaukee Public Schools. In addition to using her language skills, Ganos has served on the LUAA Board of Directors and volunteered weekly at the Traveler’s Aid Desk at Mitchell Field Airport in Milwaukee.

Todd A. Mahr ’79

Dr. Todd A. Mahr, a 1979 graduate, received the George B. Walter Service to Society Award. He is the director of pediatric allergy and clinical immunology at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. He is also adjunct clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

Momodu E. Maligi ’04

Momodu E. Maligi, a 2004 graduate, received the Nathan M. Pusey Young Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. He has been Sierra Leone’s minister for water resources since 2014, making him the youngest member of President Koiroma’s cabinet. Since his appointment, Maligi has overseen the reorganization of Sierra Leone’s water sector, rehabilitating damaged water facilities, bringing in private sector investors and changing the legal framework for water policy.

Chuck Merry ’57

Chuck Merry, a 1957 graduate, received the Presidential Award, presented to an alum whose leadership has contributed to the betterment of Lawrence University. A Milwaukee native, Merry has been a fixture at LU events since he moved back to Appleton in 1962. He has served on the school’s Legacy Circle National Council, the Athletics Advisory Committee and the Lawrence University Alumni Association Board of Directors. He chaired the LUAA Capital Campaign Liaison Group and served as a member of the LUAA Nominations and Awards Committee. He serves on the Lawrence Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.

Joseph F. Patterson Jr. ’69

Joseph F. Patterson, a 1969 graduate, received one of the two Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Awards. He is a real estate management entrepreneur in greater New York City. He previously served one term on the LU Alumni Board of Trustees, and since 2000 has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the School of Visual Arts of NYC. Throughout his real estate career, Patterson has promoted diversity of students on college campuses and public high schools, creating support programs to ensure successful experiences and achievement for all students.

Something original

Kudos to Laura Caviani ’84, who gave the audience at Friday night’s Alumni Recital at Memorial Chapel a treat by performing one of her original pieces.

Caviani, a successful jazz pianist, composer and educator in Minneapolis, performed “Give Me Your Tired” with Max Wendt ’94 and Jim Guckenberg ’94.

It was part of a recital that saw numerous alumni from a wide range of graduating classes perform, a testament to the long and successful history of the Conservatory of Music.

Consider the numbers

Attendance over the weekend topped the 1,000 mark. That number includes alumni as well as family and friends who came along for the fun. Here are some attendance numbers from classes marking major milestones.

The Class of 1969, celebrating its 50th reunion, posted the highest number of attendees, fittingly hitting 69. Other notable numbers included the Class of 2009 (10th reunion) with 57; the Class of 1979 (40th reunion) with 53; the Class of 1994 (25th reunion) with 49, and the Class of 1964 (55th reunion) with 19.

Here are a few of our favorite photos from Reunion Weekend. For much more robust photo galleries from the weekend, click here.

Ed Berthiaume is director public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

Lawrence welcoming record-setting turnout for Reunion 2018

Alumni and guests returning to campus this weekend for Lawrence University’s annual Reunion celebration will be record-setters as part of the largest Reunion turnout in school history.

The welcome mats will be out out in abundance as an all-time high of some 1,100 alumni and guests from 41 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as six countries, Japan and Sri Lanka among them participate in four days of activities. Betty Dombrose Brown, a 1947 graduate of Milwaukee-Downer, holds the distinction of being a member of the oldest class represented this year.A group shot of alumni at Reunion celebration

Eight alumni will be honored for achievement and service Saturday, June 16 as part of Reunion festivities. Each will be recognized at the Reunion Convocation at 10:30 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to the awards convocation, Reunion will feature an address Thursday evening by Appleton native Dr. Ann McKee, a member of Lawrence’s class of 1975.

The director of the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center at Boston University and chief neuropathologist for the brain banks at VA Boston, McKee’s research has established herself as one of the country’s leading experts on brain trauma, concussions and their consequences.

A complete schedule of all Reunion activities can be found here.

As a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arnold and Porter, Bill Baer established himself as one of the country’s leading antitrust attorneys.

Among his notable victories was successfully defending GE against criminal charges of price fixing with DeBeers in the industrial diamonds business. Two separate stints in the Federal Trade Commission, where he led successful challenges to mergers involving Staples and Office Depot and four drug wholesalers, helped Baer earn an appointment to the U.S. Department of Justice by President Obama.

Bill Baer
bill Baer ’72

A 1972 Lawrence graduate, Baer will be presented the Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award at Saturday’s Reunion convocation. The award recognizes Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer graduates of more than 15 years for outstanding career achievement. The award honors the second president of Milwaukee-Downer College.

A resident of Bethesda, Md., Baer, who served as Lawrence’s visiting distinguished Scarff professor this spring, was the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division from 2013-2016 and acting associate attorney general — the number three position in the department — from 2016-17.

At Arnold & Porter, Baer oversaw 60 lawyers in the United States and Europe as the leader of the firm’s antitrust practice. His outstanding legal work earned him numerous awards, including being named one of “the decade’s most influential lawyers” by the National Law Journal. The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers twice (2006, 2007) named him the “leading competition lawyer in the world.”

Bear served on the Lawrence Board of Trustees from 2001-2012 and then rejoined the board in 2017.

This year’s other award winners include:

Peter Kolkay
Peter Kolkay ’98

Nathan M. Pusey Young Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award — Peter Kolkay, Class of 1998, Nashville, Tenn. The award recognizes Lawrence alumni of 15 years or less for significant contributions to, and achievements in, a career field.  The award honors Lawrence’s 10th and youngest president and an exemplary figure in higher education in the 20th century.

Hailed as “stunningly virtuosic” by The New York Times and “superb” by the Washington Post, Kolkay is the only bassoonist ever awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant and first prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition. He is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a member of the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tenn.

An associate professor of bassoon at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, Kolkay has performed numerous world premieres of both solo and chamber works. His 2011 debut solo CD “Bassoon Music” spotlights works by 21st-century American composers.

He was the recipient of the Carlos Surinach Prize by the BMI Foundation for outstanding service to American music by an emerging artist.

Francis Siekman de Romero
Frances Siekman de Romero ’74

George B. Walter Service to Society Award — Frances Siekman de Romero, Class of 1974, Guanajuato, Mexico. The award recognizes Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer College alumni who exemplify the ideals of a liberal education through socially useful service. The award honors Walter, a 1936 Lawrence graduate, faculty member and dean of men, whose work at the college and beyond promoted his conviction that every individual can and should make a positive difference in the world.

An Appleton native, de Romero has been deeply engaged with humanitarian work much of the past four decades, focusing on Mexico’s less fortunate. The former first lady of Guanajuato, she served six years (2000-06) as president of Guanajuato’s Department of Infants and Family (DIF). The state organization works to support people earning less than $1,000 per year.

She also has worked to provide adequate eye care for the poor through the organization Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity and implemented the program “Mi Casa Diferente” for Guanajuato families whose homes were built with inadequate materials. The program provides building materials to families who own the land and build the homes themselves.

A passionate advocate for animal welfare, de Romero created a 600-acre sanctuary for abused donkeys, horses and dogs.

de Romero has a long family association with Lawrence. Her father, William Siekman and mother Martha Boyd Siekman were 1941 and 1943 Lawrence graduates, respectively. Her brother, Charlie, graduated in 1972, while two of her children earned degrees from Lawrence, Francesca in 2011 and David in 2015.

Terry Franke
Terry Franke ’68

Tom Kayser
Tom Kayser ’68

The Presidential Award, Thomas Kayser, class of 1958, St. Paul, Minn., and J. Terrence Franke, class of 1968, Winnetka, Ill. The award honors an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence University or Milwaukee-Downer College whose exemplary leadership and notable actions have contributed to the betterment of the entire Lawrence University community.

Kayser served as a member of the Lawrence University Board of Trustees from 2000-2012, when he was elected emeritus trustee. During his tenure, he has served as vice-chair of the Student Affairs Committee, Recruitment and Retention Committee and the Academic Affairs Committee. He is a past president of the Founders Club, served as a campaign working group member, regional club program committee member and college inauguration representative.

He and his wife, Marlene, are founding donors of Admission Possible, now known as College Possible, a nationally-growing nonprofit organization that works to make college admission and success possible for low-income students. Their support has helped Lawrence facilitate a high level of access to students in the program, coordinate a special college fair for Lawrence and other small colleges and funded an AmeriCorps staff person to serve as the direct liaison between the Lawrence admissions office and the program.

Franke has served as a member of the Lawrence University Board of Trustees for 19 years covering two different terms (1995-98; 2002-), including as four as chair of the board (2011–15).

He also has served on the leadership team for the Full Speed to Full Need scholarship campaign, been an admissions volunteer, a regional chair of the Founders Club committee, Legacy Circle National Council member, and an active participant in the Lawrence Scholars in Business program. Franke is currently a member of his 50th Reunion committee and serves on the leadership team for the class of 1968.

Christine Benedict
Christine Benedict ’99

Marshall Hulbert Young Alumni Outstanding Service Award, Christine Benedict, class of 1999, Stoughton. This award recognizes a Lawrence graduate celebrating his or her 15th cluster reunion or younger who has provided significant service to the college. It honors Marshall Brandt Hulbert, known as “Mr. Lawrence,” who made contributions to thousands of Lawrentian lives and served the college in various capacities for 54 years.

The vice president for enrollment management at Edgewood College, Benedict served on the Lawrence University Alumni Association (LUAA) board, including a term as board president.

Her service to her alma mater began as a student, when she served as a Star-Key Ambassador and volunteer for the admissions office. As a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, she served as the Panhellenic president and was elected vice president of her senior class.

After graduation, she brought valuable insights to the LUAA Board of Directors and led countless volunteer efforts to foster an impactful educational experience for future Lawrentians.

Linda Laarman
Linda Laarman ’73

etty Domrose Brown
Betty Domrose Brown M-D ’47

Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Award, Betty Domrose Brown, Milwaukee-Downer class of 1947, Green Bay, and Linda Laarman, class of 1973, Milwaukee. The award recognizes a Lawrence University or Milwaukee-Downer College graduate after his or her 20th cluster Reunion who has provided outstanding service to Lawrence University. It honors Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp, voted Milwaukee-Downer alumna of the year in 1964 for her long-standing service to the college as president of the alumnae association board, class secretary and public relations officer.

A loyal and long-time supporter of the university, Brown has served her classmates as a class secretary since 2004. She was a member of the LUAA Board of Directors from 1975–78, returning to the board for four more years in 1998 and has served as a reunion committee member.

Laarman, who served two years as president of the LUAA Board of Directors, has long had a special affinity for Björklunden. A frequent summer seminar attendee, she served as a docent for the Björklunden chapel, co-chaired the Björklunden Advisory Committee and helped create “This is Björklunden,” an all-day annual event that showcases all that Lawrence’s northern campus has to offer.

She also was instrumental in establishing the “Winifred Boynton Creative Spirit” award as a tribute to Mrs. Boynton and individuals who contribute significantly to life in Door County.

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 honors eight alumni for achievement, service at 2017 Reunion

Incident and mortality rates for several forms of cancer among Alaska Native people have seen dramatic declines in the past several decades thanks in large part to the work and research of Dr. Anne Lanier.

The 1962 Lawrence University graduate will be among Lawrence graduates who will be honored Saturday, June 17 as part of the university’s annual alumni reunion celebration. Each will be recognized at the Reunion Convocation at 10:30 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

The campus will welcome nearly 900 alumni and guests— including 2009 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry Thomas Steitz, Class of 1962 —  from 43 states and Canada, representing classes as early as 1947 for four days of activities.

Members of the Lawrence 50-Year Connection, a cohort of alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago, get reunion activities started Thursday, June 15 with small group discussions and a presentation examining efforts to create a more inclusive campus and community. A complete schedule of all Reunion activities can be found here.

Dr. Anne Lanier
Dr. Anne Lanier ’62

Lanier will be presented posthumously the George B. Walter Service to Society Award, which recognize Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer College alumni who exemplify the ideals of a liberal education through socially useful service. The award honors Walter, a 1936 Lawrence graduate, faculty member and dean of men, whose work at the college and beyond promoted his conviction that every individual can and should make a positive difference in the world.

Lanier, a 1962 Lawrence graduate, passed away May 26.

A family practice physician, medical epidemiologist and researcher, Lanier spent most of her professional life in Alaska, working to improve health disparities particularly among the Alaska Native population.

A pioneer throughout her 45-year public health career, Lanier was the first female director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Arctic Investigations Program. She established he Alaska Native Tumor Registry, collecting data on Alaska Native people diagnosed with cancer. Her registry became one of 18 registries used by the National Cancer Institute to determine cancer rates and patterns throughout the U.S. Lanier’s data-driven research led to significant reductions in incidence and mortality rates in colorectal, pediatric liver and cervical cancer among Alaska Native people.

The other 2017 awards and recipients are:

Richard Price
Richard Price ’62

• Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award — Richard Price, Class of 1962, Ann Arbor, Mich. The award recognizes Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer graduates of more than 15 years for outstanding career achievement. The award honors the second president of Milwaukee-Downer College.

Price is the Stanley E. Seashore Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Organizational Studies Emeritus and a research professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, where his scholarship focuses on improving worker health and productivity.

He cofounded the Interdisciplinary Committee on Organizational Studies, is the founding  director of the Organizational Studies Program and the Barger Leadership Institute at the University of Michigan.

A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Price has been recognized with numerous professional organization awards, including the American Psychological Foundation’s Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010 for the application of psychological knowledge and the Distinguished Contribution Award from the Society for Research and Action.

He holds an honorary appointment as professor of psychology at the Institute of Psychology in the Chinese National Academy of Sciences.

“Lawrence,” says, Price, “Lawrence has given me two precious gifts. The first is a passion for ideas. The second is my inspiration, Mary Beecher Price (also a 1962 graduate).”

Alexandra Kunath
Alexandra Kunath ’12

• Nathan M. Pusey Young Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award — Alexandra Kunath, Class of 2012, Chicago, Ill. The award recognizes Lawrence alumni of 15 years or less for significant contributions to, and achievements in, a career field. The award honors Lawrence’s 10th and youngest president and an exemplary figure in higher education in the 20th century.

Kunath, a double degree graduate with a B.M. in vocal performance and a B.A in theatre arts, began making her mark in her hometown soon after graduation. She has worn several hats in the arts field, ranging from arts administration to stage direction to professional choral singing. She began her theatre career at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, serving as assistant production manager of their season and directing the company’s production of Wendy Kesselman’s adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

She recently worked as an assistant stage director in the education and outreach department of Chicago’s famed Lyric Opera, where credits include the world premiere of “Jason and the Argonauts,” a new production that toured schools throughout Illinois.

“As a freshman at Lawrence, I had a great sense of urgency to earn my degree so I could get out into the world and ‘do,’” said Kunath. “Now, as an alumna, I see that my college years were the start of a life-long journey rather than merely an end to an academic one. Lawrence provided a place to take artistic risks and still feel supported, no matter what the outcome. I’m grateful every day that I started my artistic journey at Lawrence.”

Kunath is currently the artistic assistant at Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Ill., which the Wall Street Journal named its 2016 Theatre Company of the Year. A former member of Lawrence’s Cantala women’s choir and Concert Choir, she sings with the choir at St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago.

Stephanie Kliethermes
Stephanie Kliethermes ’07

• The Marshall B. Hulbert ’26 Young alumni outstanding service award. Stephanie Kliethermes, Class of 2007, Madison. This award recognizes a Lawrence graduate celebrating his or her 15th cluster reunion or younger who has provided significant service to the college. It honors Marshall Brandt Hulbert, known as “Mr. Lawrence,” who made contributions to thousands of Lawrentian lives and served the college in various capacities for 54 years.

 Kliethermes has been a loyal volunteer and advocate on behalf of Lawrence in numerous roles, among them alumni ambassador which includes conducting alumni admissions interviews and representing the university at local college fairs.

She has maintained close times with Lawrence, even while establishing her medical career, returning to campus for alumni volleyball and basketball weekends and interacting with current student-athletes.

Kliethermes is the research director for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and an assistant professor in the department of orthopedics and rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she works with works with clinician investigators on methodological and statistical aspects of ongoing and future research studies. As AMSSM’s research director, she works with primary care sports medicine physicians across the country for the Collaborative Research Network to improve the practice of sports medicine through research.

“Lawrence connects me to some of my most treasured friendships and relationships, fondest memories and experiences, and valued academic, societal and life lessons,” said Kliethermes. “It holds a special and vital place in my heart.”

Bonnie and Bob Buchanan
Bonnie ’62 and Bob Buchanan ’62

• Presidential Award, Bob and Bonnie Buchanan, Class of 1962 (both), Appleton. Presented to a Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer College alumnus or alumna whose exemplary leadership and notable actions have contributed to the betterment of the entire Lawrence University community.

The Buchanans have been actively engaged with their alma mater and the local community for more than 50 years. Bob, who retired as chairman of Fox River Paper Company and Fox Valley Corporation in 2005 after nearly four decades with the company, has been a member of Lawrence’s Board of Trustees since 1978, including serving as board chair from 1984-86. He also has been a director of the Green Bay Packers since 1987 and is active in civic affairs throughout the community.

Bonnie is a former director of the Lawrence Alumni Association (1968-71) and has served on the boards of directors for the Appleton YMCA and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. She also has been involved with the League of Women Voters and reading programs for area youth at the Appleton Public Library.

Together they established the Bonnie Glidden Buchanan Professorship of English Literature in 2003 and have supported the campus Tree Fund with their landscaping expertise and financial generosity.

Bonnie is a former director of the Lawrence University Alumni Association who has also served on the boards of directors for the Appleton YMCA and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.

Charlot Singleton
Charlot Singleton ’67

• Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Award — Charlot Nelson Singleton, Class of 1967, Atherton, Calif. Presented to an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer after his/her 15th Cluster Reunion who has provided outstanding service to Lawrence. It honors Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp, voted Milwaukee-Downer alumna of the year in 1964 for her long-standing service to the college as president of the alumnae association board, class secretary and public relations officer.

Education has been at the center of much of Singleton’s life. She has been a member of Lawrence’s Board of Trustees for the past eight years and is the current chair of the development committee. She also has served on the Lawrence Alumni Association Board of Directors, has been a class secretary for more than 35 years, has worked with various Reunion committees and served the university in numerous other volunteer capacities.

Since graduating from Lawrence, she has taught high school biology in Massachusetts and science courses in the Palo Alto (Calif.) school district, where she created a Family Life Program for middle school students.

A long-time mentor for area Boys and Girls Clubs in California, Singleton has served as president of the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation, helping to raise more than $3.5 million for professional development for teachers. She served 10 years as a member of the school board at Menlo School, an independent college preparatory school, where as development chair, she oversaw the completion of a $20 million capital campaign.

“My four years at Lawrence acted as a catalyst for my lifetime work in service to the community,” said Singleton. “I was encouraged to think forward about being a citizen of the world. These lessons of stretching for improvements, hard work and perserverance, all have been fundamental to my work in my local community. Each venue is an opportunity for me to look back on my Lawrence years and continue to implement the habits of nurturing and encouraging young people.”

Carolyn Stephens• Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Award — Carolyn King Stephens, Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1962, Milwaukee.

 Stephens has been influential in preserving Milwaukee-Downer history at Lawrence since the consolidation of the two institutions in 1964. She has served on both the Lawrence Board of Trustees and the Lawrence Alumni Association Board of Directors.

She is the author of the book, “Downer Women, 1851–2001,” a copy of which has been given to incoming Lawrence freshman females. Stephens played a leadership role on the committee that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Lawrence-Milwaukee-Downer consolidation in 2014. She is served as a former class secretary and regional club programming director.

A former high school teacher, Stephens ended her career at the director of liberal arts in Concordia University’s School of Adult and Continuing Education.

“The four years I spent at Milwaukee- Downer, changing majors and trying out every activity, allowed me to develop my most genuine self,” said Stephens. Adult life took me far afield, but eventually, it centered on English, dramatic arts and teaching, the core subjects of my Downer days. When that happened, I felt fulfilled, my inside and outside finally integrated.”

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.

 

Four New Members Join Lawrence’s Board of Trustees

Leaders in corporate management, architecture, broadcasting and the arts have been elected to the Lawrence University Board of Trustees.

Laura Kohler, Ron McCoy, Terry Moran and Garth Neustadter begin three-year terms and will participate in their first board meeting Oct. 29-31.

Neustadter is the university’s first Recent Graduate Trustee, a newly established position exclusively for Lawrence alumni within 2-10 years of graduation. He will serve one non-renewable term.

“The momentum at Lawrence right now is great and this also applies to our Board of Trustees,” said Board Chair Terry Franke, a 1968 Lawrence graduate. “We are excited to welcome four new board members who have a wide range of experiences. We are extremely pleased that each agreed to give their time and talent to Lawrence. They bring perspectives that will expand the breadth and depth of our board. Two are Lawrence alumni and two have degrees from other institutions. With the unprecedented and non-traditional challenges facing higher education today, it is critical to have a board with diversity of ideas and experience.”

Laura Kohler

Laura-Kohler_newsblog2
Laura Kohler

Kohler is senior vice president-human resources for Kohler Co. and a member of the company’s board of directors. She becomes a third generation member of the Kohler family to serve as a Lawrence trustee. Her father, Herbert V. Kohler Jr., served from 1974-2002, at which time he was elected an emeriti trustee. Her grandmother, Ruth Miriam DeYoung Kohler, served from 1945-53.

Kohler oversees global talent management, compensation and benefit programs, learning, organizational development and diversity with additional responsibilities for labor relations and security for the company.

She also leads Kohler Stewardship, the company’s global corporate social responsibility program, which drives ethics, respectful workplace, engagement, sustainability, community partnerships and associate giving.

Kohler began her career with the company in 1995 as director-public affairs and was appointed vice president of communications in 1998. The following year she was named vice president of human resources and elected to the Kohler Co.’s board of directors. She was promoted to senior vice president of human resources in 2002. Prior to joining Kohler Co., she spent two years as executive director of the Kohler Foundation, Inc., for which she is still a board member.

She is engaged in numerous leadership roles outside the company. She is a member of the advisory board of the Center for Global Business Studies for the Graduate School of Business at Pennsylvania State University; serves as the board secretary, HR committee chair and an executive committee member of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center; and is chair of the Kohler Trust for Arts and Education and the Kohler Trust for Preservation.

She is a director of Friendship House, a group home for at-risk boys, serves on the Kohler School District Board of Education and is a member of the Kohler Village Strategic Plan Committee. In 2005, Kohler was named co-recipient of the Wisconsin State Superintendent’s “Friends of Education” Award.

A graduate of Duke University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, Kohler also earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Ron McCoy

McCoy, university architect at Princeton University since 2008, has more than three decades of experience as an architect and educator. His Princeton appointment coincided with a 10-year university plan that included approximately two million square feet of new construction and renovation.

Ron-McCoy_newsblog
Ron McCoy

As one of the country’s leading university architects, McCoy plays a central role in implementing Princeton’s campus plan and capital program, working on issues of aesthetics and the preservation of the university’s architectural heritage. He also represents the university in dealings with the Princeton Regional Planning Board and other public regulatory authorities.

McCoy started his own architectural practice in 1985 and later taught at Drexel and Temple universities. He was a faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture for 10 years (1985-95) before joining Arizona State University as a professor and director of the university’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Under his leadership, ASU was recognized as one of the top 10 public schools of architecture in the country. McCoy served on ASU’s President’s Leadership Council on Sustainability and during his tenure, 10 new campus buildings earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification under U.S. Green Building Council’s rating system.

He was awarded the 2006 Arizona Architects Medal, presented by the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the following year was named to the AIA College of Fellows, an honor accorded less than two percent of registered architects in the United States.

McCoy, who lives in Princeton, N.J., earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in architecture from Princeton.

Terry Moran ’82

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Terry Moran ’82

One of America’s most recognizable broadcast journalists, Moran has served as ABC News’ chief foreign correspondent since the fall of 2013. Based in London, he reports frequently from Syria and Iraq.

He joined ABC News in 1997 as a reporter for “Good Morning, America” and “World News,” for which he was the network’s chief White House correspondent. He spent several years as the anchor of ABC’s “World News Sunday” before joining the network’s “Nightline” program, where he spent eight years (2005-13) as co-anchor.

While on “Nightline,” Moran reported on everything from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Supreme Court decisions to the 2008 presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain and the American detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.

He began his journalism career as a reporter and assistant managing editor for the Legal Times and later joined CourtTV, where he covered the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

He has been recognized with the White House Correspondents Association’s Merriman Smith Award for excellence in presidential reporting on deadline (2006) and a Peabody Award for his reporting and anchoring work on the ABC News documentary “Out of Control: AIDS in Black America” (2007).

Moran, who earned a degree in English at Lawrence, was presented his alma mater’s Lucia R. Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award in 2003.

Garth Neustadter ’10

A native of Manitowoc now living in Pasadena, Calif., Neustadter is a rising star in the field of film scoring. An Emmy Award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist, he has written feature length scores for Warner Bros., PBS, Turner Classic Movies and China’s CCTV. His compositions have been performed in venues ranging from Lincoln Center to Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater. Most recently, his work has been selected to be performed in upcoming seasons by Grammy Award-winning violinist, Hilary Hahn, as part of the Encores Contest.

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Garth Neustadter ’10

Neustadter was recognized in 2011 with a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for a score he wrote while still a Lawrence student for the PBS American Masters documentary “John Muir and the New World” about the life of the 19th-century Scottish-American naturalist and environmental advocate.

His most recent film projects include compositions for the 2013 documentary “The Thingmaker, the short film “Ballad of Poisionberry Pete” and the 2012 feature-length film “Tar.” He also wrote original music for Duracell’s national “Powering Smiles” ad campaign, which was ranked in the top three holiday ads of 2013.

A five-time “DB” winner in Downbeat magazine’s annual student music competition, Neustadter also earned first-prize honors in the 2007 Young Film Composers Competition sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. The following year, he was commissioned by TCM to write an original score for a restored version of the 1923 silent film “The White Sister. In 2010, he was named one of the 37 national winners of the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Award for his 15-minute composition written for full orchestra and choir based on the Spanish text “Oh llama de amor viva.”

In June, Lawrence recognized Neustadter with the college’s Nathan Pusey Young Alumni Achievement Award.

After earning a bachelor of music degree summa cum laude in music performance (voice and violin) from Lawrence, Neustadter earned a master’s degree in music at Yale University in 2012.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Reunion Recognition: Lawrence Salutes Seven Alumni for Achievement, Service

Just imagine if Garth Neustadter had decided to pursue a major in music composition instead of performance majors in violin and voice while a student at Lawrence University.

At the tender age of 28, the multi-talented Neustadter already has racked up an armful of honors for writing film scores — including a 2011 Emmy Award — since graduating in 2010.

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Garth Neustadter ’10

Neustatder will be among seven alumni recognized for career achievements, contributions to the betterment of society or volunteer service to Lawrence during the college’s annual alumni reunion celebration June 19-22.

With more than 1,000 alumni and guests from 43 states and two countries (Canada and India) expected to attend, it will be Lawrence’s largest reunion event in the past 10 years and one of the college’s largest ever.

The alumni awards will be presented Saturday, June 21 at the Reunion Convocation at 10:30 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. A live webcast of the Reunion Convocation ceremony will be available at http://www.livestream.com/lawrenceuniversity.

Members of the Lawrence 50-Year Connection, a growing cohort of alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago, get reunion activities started Thursday, June 19 with a series of panel presentations and small-group discussions.

The 2014 alumni awards and the recipients.

 Nathan M. Pusey Young Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award — Garth Neustadter, Class of 2010, Pasadena, Calif.  The award recognizes Lawrence alumni of 15 years or less for significant contributions to, and achievements in, a career field.  The award honors the 10th and youngest president of Lawrence and an exemplary figure in higher education in the 20th century.

A native of Manitowoc, Neustadter has been racking up music awards since his high school days, when he won the first of his five Downbeat awards in the magazine’s annual student music competition.

“Lawrence continually challenged me to broaden the diversity
of my interests both musically and intellectually.”

       — Garth Neustadter ’10

While at Lawrence, he earned first-prize honors (second place behind the grand prize winner) in the 2007 Young Film Composers Competition sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. A year later, TCM commissioned him to write an original score for a restored version of the 1923 silent film “The White Sister.” In 2011, he became one of the youngest composers to receive an Emmy Award for his score for the PBS American Masters documentary “John Muir in the New World,” a work he also wrote while at Lawrence.

In addition to TCM and PBS, he has composed feature-length scores for Warner Bros. and China’s CCTV. Most recently, some of his compositions were selected for upcoming performance seasons by Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn.

His work has been recognized several times by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), including the Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the Jazz Composers Award and a film scoring fellowship. He was was the recipient of the prestigious Rappaport Prize for Music Composition.

“Lawrence continually challenged me to broaden the diversity of my interests both musically and intellectually,” said Neustadter, who earned a master of music degree in composition summa cum laude from Yale School of Music in 2012. “In addition to providing world-class training in my chosen disciplines, they encouraged me to develop the ‘entrepreneurial’ and ‘thinking’ skills necessary for continued self-discovery and reinvention.”

 Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award — Peter Betzer, Class of 1964, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Dr. Richard Fessler, Class of 1974, Winnetka, Ill.  The award recognizes a Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer graduate of more than 15 years for outstanding career achievement. The award honors the second president of Milwaukee-Downer College, one of the most beloved and influential figures in that college’s history.

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Peter Betzer ’64

Betzer is the current president of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, for which he is leading efforts to turn the city into an internationally recognized center for marine research. During a near 40-year career in higher education at the University of South Florida, Betzer served as dean and professor of USF’s College of Marine Science, helping to transform it into a world-renowned research center that today includes 10 agencies employing more than 1,500 people.

An oceanographer, Betzer has participated in expeditions in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. He has served on the Ocean Sciences Advisory Panel for the National Science Foundation and the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System Council, among others.

The author of more than 60 scientific publications, Betzer was a co-recipient of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Distinguished Authorship Award in 1985 and has delivered invited lectures in the Soviet Union, Australia, China and at England’s Oxford University.

Betzer says his time as a Lawrence student was “for exploring many new ideas and expanding horizons that began a life-long transformation.”

“The active involvement and genuine interest of Lawrence faculty were especially pivotal to my growth, just as they have always been to generations of Lawrentians,” said Betzer, a geology major at Lawrence who went on to earn a Ph.D. in chemical oceanography from the University of Rhode Island’s School of Oceanography. “The advice and encouragement of faculty and the enduring friendships I made at Lawrence underscore the substantive advantage of a liberal education; one that propelled me forward over 50 years ago and thankfully continues inspiring undergraduates today.”

Fessler, an internationally acclaimed researcher and surgeon, has dedicated his career to finding innovative methods to repair spinal cord injuries. A professor of neurosurgery at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, Fessler is widely considered the “father” of minimally invasive spine surgery and is credited with developing many of the surgical techniques being used today.

“The active involvement and genuine interest of Lawrence faculty were especially pivotal to my growth, just as they have always been to generations of Lawrentians.”
       – Peter Betzer ’64

He was the first surgeon in the United States to perform human embryonic spinal cord transplantation and among the first to perform minimally invasive scoliosis surgery. He twice performed microdiscectomy surgery on NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. He’s also served as a medical specialist and flight surgeon for NASA’s Space Shuttle missions.

Prior to joining Rush Medical Center, Fessler was professor and vice chair of neurosurgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He also held the John Harper Seeley Professorship and was chief of neurosurgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics.

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Dr. Richard Fessler ’74

Routinely listed in “Best Doctors of America,” Fessler founded and directed the Institute for Spine Care at the Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch. Other positions include director of clinical services and education at the University of Florida Brain Institute.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lawrence, Fessler pursued a master’s degree in experimental psychology at North Dakota State University. He credits a chance encounter with former Lawrence clinical psychologist Edwin Olson for changing the direction of his career.

“I attended the Midwest Psychology Conference to interview for jobs, but no one was interested in a person with just a master’s degree,” said Fessler. “As I was running out of prospects, I bumped into Ed Olson, literally, in an elevator. He knew someone who was looking for a person with exactly my background and set up an interview. That led to a job at the University of Chicago, followed by my Ph.D. and M.D. and ultimately, my career.

“What’s amazing is I never actually had a course with Dr. Olson. He only knew me through some independent studies at the Winnebago State Mental Health Institute. And yet he went out of his way to help me even after I had left Lawrence.”

• The George B. Walter ’36 Service to Society Award — Renee (Goral) Boldt, Class of 1985, Appleton, and Judy Frater, Class of 1974, Kutch, India. The award recognizes an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer who best exemplifies the ideals of a liberal education through its application to socially useful ends in the community, the nation or the world. This award honors George B. Walter ’36, faculty member, coach and dean of men, whose work at the college and beyond was guided by his conviction that every individual can and should make a positive difference in the world.

Boldt has shared her time, talents and expertise to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations throughout Wisconsin. A member of the Lawrence University Board of Trustees, Boldt also plays key roles on the boards of the American Players Theater, the Appleton Education Initiative Foundation, the Wisconsin Historical Society Foundation, Friends of the Appleton Public Library and the Fox Valley Symphony.

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Renee Boldt ’85

She previously held board positions with the Circus World Museum Foundation, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the Center for Applied Research and Services at UW–Oshkosh, LEAVEN and the Wisconsin Women’s Council.

Last month, Boldt and her husband, Tom, were honored with the Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award as part of the Fox Cites’ annual “Celebrating Our Volunteers” event.

As a local resident, Boldt says she’s reminded of “the incredible work being accomplished by students, faculty and administration” every time she drives past campus.

“I think about how my professors helped me define who I am and gave me the confidence to not only examine my values, ideas and actions, but also question them,” said Boldt. “Because of the residential nature of Lawrence, interaction between students and the Appleton community encourages a critical examination of values, ideas and actions. I couldn’t be prouder of my alma mater. Since its founding, it has been transforming lives by equipping its graduates to be problem solvers, confident of who they are, but comfortable deriving solutions from diverse populations and multiple view points.”

“Going to Lawrence provided some special opportunities.
Above all, I appreciated the chance to explore…the
liberal arts education encouraged me to experiment.”

         – Judy Frater, ’74

Frater has been a leader in preserving and protecting traditional textile arts in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India. Working with local Indian embroiderers, she founded Kala Raksha Trust in 1993, a grassroots social enterprise devoted to preserving their traditional arts of exquisite hand-embroidered and patch-worked products. The enterprise has since grown to a collection of nearly 1,000 artisans.

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Judy Frater ’74

She later guided the Kala Raksha Trust in establishing the Kala Raksha Museum, which houses a collection of heirloom textiles. Through the power of the Internet, people from around the world can view precious textiles and learn more about the tradition.

In 2005, with the support of an Ashoka Foundation Fellowship, Frater established Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, the first design institution for traditional artisans, who learn skills relevant to their craft and innovative ways to bring their pieces to market. Since its founding, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya has graduated 124 artisan designers.

Frater is currently working with Somaiya Kala Vidya, a new institution she founded for the education of artisans to expand the original program into a three-year institute that includes a graduate course in management and business for artisans and courses in craft traditions taught by artisan designers.

“Going to Lawrence provided some special opportunities. Above all, I appreciated the chance to explore,” said Frater, who grew up in the craft village of New Hope, Pa. “I did not know that anthropology existed before coming to Lawrence. The liberal arts education encouraged me to experiment. I benefited from a particularly experimental era, when I could travel to India to do independent research.

“With Lawrence’s small, intimate environment, students can interact with faculty on a personal basis and are nurtured in directions that seem beneficial to them,” Frater added. “I also benefited from a diverse student body. I learned from my colleagues by experiencing their diverse backgrounds and views. I am thankful for my Lawrence experience. It surely contributed to who I am today.”

 The Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp M-D’18 Outstanding Service Award — Ruth (Legler) Qualich, Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1955, Pewaukee, and Cynthia (Liebich) Reff, Class of 1963, Appleton. The award recognizes an alumnus or alumna of Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer after his/her 15th Cluster Reunion who has provided outstanding service to Lawrence University. This award honors Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp, voted Milwaukee-Downer alumna of the year in 1964 for her long-standing service to the college as president of the alumnae association board, class secretary and public relations officer.

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Ruth Qualich M-D ’55

Ever the proud “Downerite at Lawrence,” Qualich is the co-chair of the committee planning this year’s 50th anniversary celebration of the consolidation between Milwaukee Downer College and Lawrence. She also is a member of the 50-Year Connection planning committee and has served as a moderator and panel member at 50YC events.

Qualich previously has served as a member of the Lawrence University Alumni Association board and on the 40th and 50th Reunion planning committees for her class. She is also a member of the Founder’s Club and Lawrence-Downer Legacy Circle.

“The experience at Milwaukee-Downer College was a time of growing both academically and socially. The traditions that we observed there helped to bring us together in relationships that last to this day,” said Qualich, who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from M-D and Wellesley College, respectively, then returned to Milwaukee-Downer and taught chemistry there from 1957-59.

“Coming to Lawrence for reunions and getting to know the staff and Lawrence alumni, I am pleased to be more and more a part of Lawrence University, to be Downer at Lawrence. The more I become involved the more I feel that both Milwaukee-Downer College and Lawrence University are my alma mater.”

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Cynthia Reff ’63

Reff’s license plate says it all: LU FANS. She, along with her husband, Chuck, are legendary for their support of Lawrence athletics and athletes. Beyond loyal attendance at home and sometimes road games — they both rode the fan bus eight-plus hours to Storm Lake, Iowa in 2004 to cheer on the men’s basketball team in the NCAA tournament — Reff routinely provides home-baked treats for teams before road trips and hosts dinners for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Hers and Chuck’s dedication was recognized with the 2007 Bob “Dinger” Wurdinger Athletic Service Award, which has been presented annually since 2006 to individuals who have throughout the years shown great support to Lawrence athletics. She is a member of the Lawrence Athletics Advisory Committee and is assisting with the Banta Bowl renovation efforts.

A former class secretary, Reff also has served as a reunion steering committee member for her 45th cluster reunion and as a reunion committee member and reprise coordinator for her 50th Reunion. During the most recent presidential search, she served on one of the candidate interview committees and is a member of the Boynton Society.

“If I had to point to one thing, other than family and friends,
that makes me extremely proud, it is my relationship with
Lawrence for the last 55 years.”

           — “Cinny” Reff ’63

“It is hard not to be an avid fan and proud alum when your mom, sister, brother and son all graduated from Lawrence,” said Reff. “The biggest reward for us has been getting to know students as freshmen and watching them mature and go on to graduate. We then have the opportunity to follow them as young alumni. They know we are there for them in the good times and the trying ones. If I had to point to one thing, other than family and friends, that makes me extremely proud, it is my relationship with Lawrence for the last 55 years.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Honoring Seven Alumni for Career Achievement, Service to the College

When Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast last October, some of the homes destroyed by its might included the music students of Javier Arau. Using his musical talents and connections, Arau helped raise thousands of dollars to help his students’ families rebuild.

Javier Arau ’98

The 1998 Lawrence University graduate and award-winning musician will be one of seven alumni recognized by their alma mater for career achievements, contributions to the betterment of society or volunteer service to Lawrence June 14-16 during the college’s annual Reunion Weekend Celebration. The awards will be presented Saturday, June 15 at the Reunion Convocation at 10:30 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.

Nearly 900 alumni and guests from 40 states as well as Canada and Mexico are expected to attend this year’s festivities.

For the second year in a row, members of the Lawrence 50-Year Connection, a cohort of alumni who have graduated 50 or more years ago, will unofficially open Reunion Weekend June 13 with a special series of panel presentations followed by small-group discussions. Conducted in the Warch Campus Center, the scheduled topics include “College Experiences that Mattered Later On,” “Paths Not Taken: What I Wish I Had Tried” and “Inspirational Moments.”

George B. Walter Service to Society Award

Arau will receive the George B. Walter Service to Society Award. A saxophonist who won two Downbeat Magazine awards as a student, Arau shares his love of jazz with people of all ages and abilities and inspires them to pursue their passions in music as the founder of the New York Jazz Academy. Since opening in 2009, the NYJA has grown into the largest jazz school in New York City, with locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island and instrument instruction ranging from viola and vocals to saxophone and harp! An online option began operating last December and is now offering free music classes to students worldwide.

To support school music programs that had difficulty in acquiring new music, Arau launched The Commissioning Project, which allows multiple ensembles to jointly commission a piece of music, making it affordable for all involved.

“The hurdles have changed at each stage in life,” says Arau, who lives in Jackson Heights, N.Y. “Invariably, however, I still find myself calling upon that confidence I developed at Lawrence whenever I need a boost to meet each new challenge along the way. Now I look at the world and recognize there is no limit to our capacity.”

Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award

Sara Quandt, Winston Salem, N.C., and José Luis Romero Hicks, Mexico City, will each be presented the Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award.

Sara Quandt ’73

Quandt, a 1973 Lawrence graduate, is a professor in the department of epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

As an applied medical anthropologist, Quandt works to correct health disparities experienced by rural and minority populations. Her research focuses on occupational health concerns of Latino immigrant farm workers and poultry processing workers, particularly pesticide exposure and occupational injuries and illnesses. She also investigates food and nutrition issues among older rural residents. She is the co-founder of the North Carolina Field Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increase awareness of the plight of the farmworker.

“Lawrence was where I first encountered challenges to using the Euro-centric lens for interpreting history and social relations that I pretty much took for granted,” says Quandt, who grew up in a small, all-white Midwestern town and attended school K-12 in the same building. “This dramatic change in viewpoint has shaped much of what I do today. I realize now that Lawrence provided the opportunities and support I needed to follow this path.”

Jose-Luis Romero Hicks ’79

Romero Hicks, a 1979  Lawrence graduate, is an attorney and the founder and managing partner of Romero Hicks & Galindo, a legal and consulting firm based in Mexico City. His professional accomplishments range from professor of law and economics at Guanajuato State University, where he later became a member of the Board of Trustees, to president and CEO of BANCOMEXT, the Mexican Bank for Foreign Trade.

He has served under both President Carlos Salinas and President Vicente Fox, holding appointments as director general for housing policy at the Ministry for Social Development and co-chair of the National Housing Policy Committee, respectively.

A frequent national radio and television commentator in Mexico, Romero Hicks has been recognized as one of the country’s 100 best CEOs and one of the 300 most influential leaders in Mexico.

“Lawrence laid the foundations for my professional career,” says Romero Hicks. “The unmatched quality of Lawrence professors has become more than evident over time. All courses seem like they were taught only a few weeks ago, although I still awake at times thinking that somehow I didn’t meet a deadline on a term paper. After Lawrence one never awakes as before. Now I sleep with the satisfaction of having served my community well, thanks to a Lawrence liberal arts education.”

Presidential Award

O.B. Parrish, Chicago, Ill,  and Marlene Crupi Widen, Milwaukee, will receive the Presidential Award, which recognizes a graduate of Lawrence or Milwaukee-Downer whose exemplary leadership and actions have contributed to the betterment of the entire Lawrence University community.

O.B. Parrish ’55

A 1955 Lawrence graduate, Parrish has been a member of the college’s Board of Trustees for 30 years, serving on the finance, investment and academic affairs committees, among others. One of Lawrence’s most loyal donors, Parrish helped lay the foundation for the successful More Light! campaign, which raised more than $160 million, by serving as a member of the campaign working group.

A successful entrepreneur, Parrish is president of Phoenix Health Care, a private company which invests in innovative health care opportunities, and chairman and CEO of the Female Health Company, a public company which developed the female condom. He also serves as chairman of Abiant, a private company that focuses on the early detection of and assessment of potential drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In March 2013, the financial website the Motley Fool named the Female Health Company one of the 25 best companies in America.

“Lawrence opened an intellectual door that enabled me to see life in a broad and total perspective as opposed to one that’s self centered,” says Parrish. “It encouraged me to always become involved in something more important than myself. I discovered this led to a unique sense of satisfaction combining personal and professional success and societal contribution. As a result I found that life became a challenging adventure where I have seldom felt I was working. Without Lawrence this door may have remained closed.”

Marlene Crupi Widen M-D ’55

Widen graduated from Milwaukee-Downer in 1955. As president of the M-D alumnae association, she helped assure a smooth transition during the school’s 1964 consolidation with Lawrence College and the spirit of Milwaukee-Downer and its proud traditions are ever present in Appleton because of her efforts. She has served as a class secretary for 30 years as well as a class agent and a member of the Lawrence Alumni Association Board of Directors. She has served as the co-chair of the Legacy Circle National Council, inspiring many to make planned gifts.

“Lawrence University is alive and well and so is my alma mater, Milwaukee Downer College,” says Widen.  “The consolidation in 1964 provided the opportunity to meet Lawrence College alumni and become familiar with the campus and buildings. In cherishing each and every interaction with Lawrence, I realize that due to the past 49 years my Downer roots are truly embedded in my personal Lawrentian legacy today.”

Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Award

Harry Jansen Kraemer, Wilmette, Ill., and Elizabeth Kortenhof Kumbalek, Houston, Texas, will be presented the Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Award.

Harry Jansen Kraemer ’77

A 1977 Lawrence graduate, Kraemer spent 12 years on the Board of Trustees (1999-2011), including three years as board chair. While on the board, he served as co-chair of the More Light! campaign, the most successful fund-raising effort in the college’s history, and has shared his talents with numerous other university committees. He has participated in the Lawrence Scholars in Business Program, been a Career Conference panelist and was the featured speaker for the college’s 2011 matriculation convocation.

The former chief executive officer of the multibillion-dollar global health care company Baxter International, Kraemer currently is an executive partner at Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity investment firm based in Chicago. He also is a clinical professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“As I reflect on the first 58 years of my life, I realize that the four years I spent at Lawrence University were the most meaningful and impactful,” says Kraemer. “I remember my very first day at Lawrence when the president stated that the goal for the next four years was to enable each student to develop the skill set to educate ourselves for the rest of our lives. The skill sets that I learned at Lawrence —the ability to critically read, write and articulate my position on a wide variety of issues — prepared me in ways no other education could have prepared me.”

Elizabeth Kortenhof Kumbalek ’78

A 1978 graduate of Lawrence, Kumbalek’s devotion to alma mater is legendary. For more than 20 years, she has served the college as an admissions volunteer, attending and hosting admissions receptions and representing Lawrence at numerous college fairs throughout the Houston area. She has represented her class on several reunion steering and gift committees and is a former president (2007-09) of the Lawrence University Alumni Association. She also served as a More Light! campaign volunteer and is currently a member of Lawrence’s Parents Committee.

Kumbalek has held various positions in the petroleum business and is currently a self-employed geophysical consultant.

“To me Lawrence is family, literally and figuratively,” says Kumbalek. “I believe the values imparted by a liberal arts education link all members of the Lawrence community as extended family. My student years at Lawrence gave me great confidence in my ability to learn, and deepened my understanding of the societal responsibilities incumbent on those of us fortunate to have had such an exceptional educational opportunity. Lawrence continues to inspire me to make my best effort to continue to grow intellectually and act compassionately.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Eight Alumni Honored for Career Achievement, Service to the College

A tragic accident didn’t derail David Gray’s career. It redirected it.

The 1966 Lawrence University graduate will be recognized by his alma mater with the college’s Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award Saturday, June 16 as part of the annual Reunion Weekend celebration.

Gray, of St. Louis, Mo., will be one of eight alumni honored for career achievements, contributions to the betterment of society or volunteer service to Lawrence at the annual Reunion Convocation at 10:30 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.

Nearly 800 alumni and guests from 41 states and seven countries, including Romania, Singapore and Spain, are expected to participate in the festivities.

This year’s reunion unofficially opens Thursday with a special series of panel presentations and small-group discussions organized by members of the new Lawrence 50-Year Connection, a cohort of alumni who have graduated 50 or more years ago. Scheduled topics include “College Experiences That Mattered Later On,” “Picking Myself Up and Getting Back in the Race” and “Words of Wisdom.”

Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award

David Gray '66

At the age of 32, and shortly after completing his graduate studies, Gray fell from the roof of his home, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Undeterred, Gray put his Ph.D. in psychology and genetics to work as a researcher, advocate and spokesperson for those with disabilities.

After a long career with the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Education, Gray joined the Washington University School of Medicine as a professor of occupational therapy and neurology. He has collaborated regularly with the World Health Organization, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, helping to pass disability related laws, secure grants and bring about a greater understanding of disability issues to policy makers.

Most recently, Gray has been working with the country’s leading engineering schools and their students to design and produce more advanced equipment for those living with disabilities.

Alice Peacock, Nashville, Tenn., and Marcia Mentkowski, Milwaukee, will join Gray as recipients of the Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award. Named in honor of the second president of Milwaukee-Downer College, the award recognizes alumni of more than 15 years for outstanding contributions to, and achievements in, a career field.

Alice Peacock '92

A singer, songwriter and literacy activist, Peacock is living the dream of a professional independent musician. Since her debut album, “Real Day” in 1999, the 1992 Lawrence graduate has released three more albums: the self-titled “Alice Peacock;” “Who I Am” in 2006; and “Love Remains” in 2009.  She has recorded with such notable artists as Bob Dylan, John Mayer and John Mellencamp while performing around the country.

Inspired by one of her own songs about individuals taking action to make a difference — “I’ll Start With Me” — Peacock partnered in 2003 with Hugh Haller, president of the Camping and Education Foundation and photographer Paul Natkin to create Rock for Reading. The nonprofit organization leverages the power of music to inspire literacy, motivating and empowering people to enrich their lives through reading.

Marcia Mentkowski M-D '61

Mentkowski, a 1961 Milwaukee-Downer College graduate, enjoyed a distinguished career in higher education. After completing a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mentkowski embarked on a career that included appointments at Harvard University and the University of Toledo.

A renowned expert in the field of educational evaluation, Mentkowski joined Alverno College in 1976, where she helped the institution refine its unique educational approach, one that employs alternative assessment techniques rather than standard letter grades. During her more than 30 years at Alverno, Mentkowski published extensively, served in leadership positions in a number of national professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, and served in consulting roles for numerous colleges, universities and governmental bodies.

George B. Walter Service to Society Award

Robert VanDale, New Wilmington, Pa., a 1957 Lawrence graduate, will receive the George B. Walter Service to Society Award. Named in honor of Walter, ’36, beloved former faculty member and dean of men at Lawrence, who believed strongly that every individual can and should make a positive difference in the world, the award recognizes alumni who best exemplify the ideals of a liberal education through socially useful service in their community, the nation or the world.

Robert VanDale '57

Professor emeritus at Pennsylvania’s Westminster College, where he spent 25 years as director of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Center, VanDale devoted his long career, both inside and outside the classroom, to national and international ecumenical and interfaith dialogues. During a sabbatical in the late 1990s, he conducted taped interviews with 100 “peacemakers” throughout the United States.

In addition to teaching and curriculum development, VanDale traveled the world — Egypt, Ethiopia, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Northern Ireland, among others —  working on a variety of reconciliation and peacemaking efforts. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, VanDale turned his attention to bridging the divide between the Muslim and Christian communities, leading international teams in an interfaith cooperative movement. A member of several national and international boards, VanDale, in retirement, remains involved in peace and justice issues, including projects affiliated with Habitat for Humanity and the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance program.

Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Award

George Chandler, Durham, N.C., Hugh Denison, Milwaukee, and Marian “Kirk” Kirkpatrick Torian, Mequon, will receive the Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Award in recognition of their extensive volunteer efforts on behalf of Lawrence.

George Chandler '51

A 1951 graduate, Chandler has contributed time, talent and treasure to his alma mater, most notably through the George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professorship in Music he and his late wife, Marjorie Olsen Chandler ’44, established in 2003. The professorship reflects the Chandler’s deep appreciation for their Lawrence educations, their love of music and their conviction of the importance of music and arts participation in a liberal arts education.

Chandler has served as a class agent since 2008 and as a committee member for his 50thand 60th reunions. He assisted with the plan for the public phase of Lawrence’s More Light! campaign as a member of the Alumni Advisory Committee and provided gifts and loans of artwork in 2011 to celebrate the successful conclusion of the campaign, as part of the “Lawrence Collects” exhibition.

Denison, a 1968 graduate who left a successful investing career with Heartland Funds at the age of 50 for eight years to focus on teaching  Milwaukee inner-city youth, has spent the past six years as co-chair of the Legacy Circle National Council, promoting Lawrence’s planned giving program at events and through personal testimonials.

Hugh Denison '68

He helped lay the groundwork for the successful More Light! campaign by hosting a focus group and educating key volunteers and potential donors about it. As a member of the Lawrence University Board of Trustees’ development committee and capital campaign committee, Denison has been instrumental in the college’s fundraising efforts, crossing the country to develop strong relationships with alumni and supporters of the college and encouraging donors to realize their full philanthropic potential.

Denison has served as an admissions volunteer, was a member of the gift committee for his 40th reunion and has shared his investment expertise with students through the Lawrence Scholars in Business program.

Marian Torian M-D '44

Torian, a 1944 Milwaukee-Downer graduate, spent more than 30 years as a class agent, endearing herself to classmates by including an appropriate cartoon from The New Yorker with her letters. A member of the Lawrence University Alumni Association board from 1995-1999, she also served on committees for her 50th and 60th reunions. She is a former co-chair of the Lawrence-Downer Legacy Circle and presently serves on the Legacy Circle National Council.

Presidential Award

Richard Boya, New Berlin, will receive the Presidential Award, which recognizes exemplary leadership and notable actions that have contributed to the betterment of the entire Lawrence community.

Richard Boya '52

A 1952 graduate, Boya was instrumental in the creation of the Lawrence development office in the early 1960s, serving as the college’s first vice president for development and external affairs.  In the role, he launched Lawrence’s planned giving program and established the Founders Club. Over the years, he has shared his expertise about best practices in fundraising with many Lawrence staff members.

A former admissions volunteer and class agent, Boya has served on various committees for his 40th, 5othand 60thclass reunions.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.