Tag: Appleton

Sculptor Rob Neilson Named One of 13 Fox Cities’ “Creatives”

Sculptor Rob Neilson

Sculptor Rob Neilson, associate professor of art and Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art, was among 13 “creatives” spotlighted in the March edition of Fox Cities Magazine for helping define “the Fox Cities’ new wave of artistic ambition.”

Best known for his public art, including last year’s “compassionate manhole covers,” which can be found in the sidewalks along College Ave. in downtown Appleton and on the Lawrence campus, Neilson was featured in a story examining community artists, creators and innovators who represent the potential the Fox Cities has “to make its mark on the creative world map.”

Download a PDF to read the article and check out this online only follow-up to the story.

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, 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 us on Facebook.

So Percussion Brings Eclectic Blend of Music to Lawrence’s Memorial Chapel

The highly acclaimed Brooklyn-based quartet So Percussion performs Saturday, March 10 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel as part of Lawrence University’s 2011-12 Artist Series.

Tickets, at $20-22 for adults, $17-19 for seniors and $15-17 for students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749.

So Percussion members (l. to r.) Adam Sliwinski, Eric Beach, Jason Treuting and Josh Quillen.

Formed at the Yale School of Music in 1999, the group has been hailed as an “experimental powerhouse” by The Village Voice. Described as “astonishing and entrancing” by Billboard Magazine  and “brilliant” by the New York Times, So Percussion is known for their innovative, original music as well as its collaborations some of today’s most exciting composers, among them Baltimore “electro-freak” Dan Deacon, electronic collage duo Matmos and Academy Award-nominated film composer Martin Bresnick.

“There are only a handful of professional contemporary percussion groups that are making a name for themselves and moving this genre of music forward,” said Dane Richeson, professor of music at Lawrence and director of the conservatory’s percussion studio.  “So Percussion is in this elite group. They have great skill not only on a variety of percussion instruments, but in how they program the repertoire in their concerts. They are truly an exciting ensemble to watch and hear.”

So Percussion — Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting — has performed their eclectic blend of unusual music throughout the United States, including the Lincoln Center Festival, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as on tours to Australia, Russia, the Ukraine and throughout Europe.

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, 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 us on Facebook.

Presidential Phonecast Creates Largest Alumni Event in Lawrence University History

Listen to the phonecast!

Using innovative technology, Lawrence University President Jill Beck conducted the college’s first-ever phonecast March 1, creating the largest alumni event in the college’s history.

Nearly 4,000 alumni, parents and friends of the college from across the country participated in a personal one-on-one conversation with the president.

President Beck conducts the college's first-ever phonecast with alumni and friends of the college.

During the 30-minute phonecast, Beck, who announced in February her plans to retire as Lawrence’s president in June, 2013, discussed her priorities for the final 16 months of her tenure and fielded nearly a dozen questions from callers in Washington, D.C., New York City, North Carolina, Boulder, Colo. as well as Appleton and Neenah.

The president addressed questions ranging from her proudest accomplishment to issues of diversity on campus and the relevancy of a Lawrence liberal arts education in preparing students for careers in today’s economy. She said her focus for the remainder of her presidency would center on strengthening Lawrence’s innovation and entrepreneurship program, improving athletic facilities, enhancing an emerging interdisciplinary film studies program and growing the Lawrence Annual Fund.

Beck was joined on the phonecast by Terry Franke ’68, chair of the Lawrence Board of Trustees, who, in response to a question regarding  the search for Beck’s successor, outlined the process and time frame for having Lawrence’s 16th president on board by July 1, 2013.

As part of the phonecast, participants were invited to respond to a series of poll questions related to institutional priorities, student recruitment and technology by touching appropriate keys on their phone pad.

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, 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 us on Facebook.

Sydney Pertl ’12 Honored at Arts Conference

Lawrence University senior Sydney Pertl earned the Peoples’ Choice Award Feb. 25 in an art competition at the Self Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference held at North Central College in Naperville, Ill.

A studio art major, Pertl was recognized for her work “Forever Ago,” a charcoal drawing on a watercolor background. It is one piece in a series and plays tribute to specific instances of the many people, strangers, acquaintances and friends, who, through their actions, caused Pertl to reconsider her entire system of beliefs and views of the world.

Sydney Pertl '12 earned the Peoples’ Choice Award at the recent Self Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference for her work "Forever Ago."

The piece was one of 70 works submitted by university artists for a juried art exhibition. The Peoples’ Choice award was determined by votes from every attendee of the show, which included other student artists, professional artists and art educators.

“It was so flattering for me to know that people related to my work and truly connected with it enough to vote for it, especially considering how wonderful the rest of the competition was,” said Pertl.

“Forever Ago” premiered last year in the Rabbit Gallery, a “pop-up” gallery utilizing empty storefronts created by Lawrence students in an Entrepreneurship in the Arts course.

The SEA conference also featured works by Lawrence seniors Anne Raccuglia, a studio art major, and Timeka Toussaint, a studio art and government double major.

SEA Conferences join students and other aspiring artists with working artists, educators, and arts-business professionals. Interactive panels provide practical lessons about structuring careers, marketing, legal issues, accounting and more.

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, 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 us on Facebook.

 

Lawrence Film Series Features PBS’ Series “Women, War and Peace”

Three episodes from the PBS television series “Women, War and Peace,” which spotlights stories of women in conflict zones around the world, will be shown at Lawrence University’s Warch Campus Center cinema.

The series opens Friday, March 2 at 8 p.m. with “I Came to Testify,” the story of 16 women who testified against Serbian-led forces in the Bosnian war.

Peace Unveiled,” which follows three Afghani women advocating for women’s rights during peace talks with the Taliban, will be shown Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m.

The series closes Sunday, March 3 at 1 p.m. with a screening of “War Redefined,” a film that challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are a man’s domain through interviews with leading thinkers, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, Bosnian war crimes investigator Fadila Memisevic and globalization expert Moisés Naím.

Filmmaker Abigail Disney, who was awarded an honorary degree by Lawrence in 2010, served as an executive producer for the series.

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, 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 us on Facebook.

Baroque Opera “The Fairy Queen” Gets “Hippie” Update in Lawrence University Production

Baroque composer Henry Purcell’s opera “The Fairy Queen” receives a modern adaptation in Lawrence University’s production of the fantastical tale of romance and magic. The opera will be performed March 1-3 at 8 p.m. and March 4 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center.

Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Originally written as a “masque” — light entertainment featuring lavish costumes and scenery but nearly devoid of narrative — the opera was inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  The story follows four young lovers’ escape to an enchanted forest.

The updated adaptation, written by Professor of Theatre Arts Timothy X. Troy ’85, who also serves as the production’s director, replaces the anonymously written libretto with Shakespeare’s own words.

“I restored the actors’ text to the First Folio version before shaping a narrative that closely followed the story of the young lovers who are tricked in the forest by Puck, the most famous of all fairies,” said Troy.

His adaptation was inspired by the psychedelic cover art of fairies on an LP of English composer Benjamin Britten’s 1973 recording of “The Fairy Queen.” It transports the action to a hippie commune in the woods outside Athens, Ga., immediately after a tornado. The new and modern setting offered creative opportunities for the production team.

Costume designer Karin Kopischke ’80 playfully explores the eclectic fashions of hippie culture of the commune-dwelling fairies against the academic preppy and jockish culture of the quartet of young lovers and their pursuit of true love.

“Karin’s costumes are inspiring, lively and delightful,” said Troy. “She found ways to model the repurposing impulse of the period to create a delightful sense of surprise and individuality to each of the 60 costumes you see on stage.”

Rebecca Salzer, Lawrence Fellow in Dance who served as choreographer for the production, worked closely with a corps of six dancers to blend Purcell’s set dance pieces with popular dance forms from the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

“To support Tim’s melding of times and places in this production — Baroque music, Elizabethan theatre and a 1970’s American setting — the choreography also had to be a mix of styles,” said Salzer. “If you look closely, you’ll see movement inspired by 60’s mods, 70’s funk and even the occasional minuet.”

Because Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen” is considered a “semi-opera” — an amalgam of scenes from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and musical interludes — it presented special challenges and opportunities for Bonnie Koestner, associate professor of music, who served as the production’s vocal coach.

“The masque portions (musical interludes) reflect the mood and general spirit of the spoken scenes, but are not directly tied to a plot line,” said Koestner. “It’s somewhat like the difference between a musical revue with its diverse collection of numbers and a Broadway show like ‘Carousel,’ in which the music really does play a part in character development. Both Shakespeare and Purcell have given us works of genius and if the audience doesn’t worry about the lack of a single coherent plot, I think that they will find it very entertaining.”

Featuring some of the most famous music of the Baroque period with virtuosic arias and complex ensembles and choruses, “The Fairy Queen” offers its audience a stunning variety of vocal talent alongside innovative choreography and compelling acting.

“It’s a delight to integrate the talents of our strongest actors with those of our accomplished singers,” said Troy.

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, 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.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Murray ’75 Discusses Foreign Policy Challenges During Campus Visit

Christopher W. Murray, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo, discusses foreign policy issues facing President Obama in an address at Lawrence University as part of a three-day visit to his alma mater.

A 1975 graduate of Lawrence, Ambassador Murray presents “The Obama Foreign Policy: Challenges Past, Present, and Future,” Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. in Thomas A. Steitz Hall of Science, Room 102. The event is free and open to the public.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher W. Murray '75

Murray was confirmed as ambassador in August 2010 and joined the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville a month later.

During a 30-year foreign service career, Ambassador Murray has served the Department of State in positions around the world. Immediately prior to his ambassador appointment, he spent three years as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels. From 2004 to 2007, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, and directed the evacuation of 15,000 Americans from the country during the summer war of 2006.

Other overseas assignments included four years (1999-2003) at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria as Chief of the Political Section and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers, Algeria.

“Ambassador Murray has been at the heart of some of the most important areas of international politics, having been posted to the EU in Brussels, working on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation, and also serving in Beirut, Algeria and Syria,” said Claudena Skran, professor of government and Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science. “As a Lawrence graduate and government major who speaks four languages, his career really exemplifies the value of his Lawrence education.”

Fluent in Arabic, Dutch and French, he began his career as a political officer in the Office of NATO Affairs and as country officer for Somalia.  He later oversaw Middle Eastern matters in the Office for U.N. Political Affairs.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in government from Lawrence, Ambassador Murray earned a J.D. from Cornell University Law School.

In addition to his public address, during his campus stay Ambassador Murray will meet with students to discuss foreign service and international careers as well as visit classes in the anthropology and government departments.

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, 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.

Lawrence Mourns the Passing of Professor Emerita Mari Taniguchi

President Beck shares a message with the Lawrence community.

It is with great sadness that I share with you today the news of the death of Professor Emerita of Music Mari Taniguchi, who passed away Monday, February 13 at her home in Appleton. She was 92 years old. A native of San Diego, Calif., Mari joined the Lawrence Conservatory of Music in 1961 as a voice teacher, mentoring scores of aspiring young singers during a 39-year teaching career, retiring in 2000. She was a graduate of Eastman School of Music, earning a bachelor’s degree in both voice and piano, and a master’s degree in music literature.

Professor Emerita of Music Mari Taniguchi

As a teacher and vocal coach, Mari was both exceptional and exceptionally demanding, establishing a well-earned reputation for excellence of diction and musical phrasing. The high standards she set for her students were rewarded with distinguished careers for many of them, most notably Grammy Award-winning baritone Dale Duesing ’67, American Song Contest winner William Sharp ’73, and Metropolitan Opera Audition winner Mark Uhlemann ’96. Numerous other students under her tutelage won awards and fellowships from the National Federation of Music, the Watson Foundation, and the Fulbright Foundation. For many years, she served as conductor of the Downer Chorus for Women.

Mari enjoyed a distinguished performance career before arriving at Lawrence. She made her operatic debut in the title role in “Madame Butterfly” in Turin, Italy, and later performed in Malta, Milan, Rome and Venice. She also sang as part of Robert Shaw’s Chorale for broadcasts on NBC and CBS and performed on some of Toscanini’s legendary recording-broadcasts of operas and orchestral works.

In addition to her considerable musical talents, Mari was an amateur gourmet who took great pride in her culinary skills. She frequently invited her students to her home for dinner, and always the teacher, was generous in providing pointers on how they should handle themselves in the kitchen.

Mari was a dear friend to many at Lawrence. We sincerely sympathize with the loss felt by them and by her former students and share in it. Both Rob and I were the grateful beneficiaries of Mari’s welcoming and cheerful attitude, and the many delicious gifts that she ambitiously created in her kitchen. We always enjoyed and looked forward to her warm and lively company. Mari will be greatly missed and remembered with deep affection.

She is survived by two nephews and a sister-in-law, all of whom live in California.

A memorial service celebrating Mari’s life is tentatively scheduled this spring in the Warch Campus Center. Details to follow.

Lawrence University Awarding Honorary Degree to Lehman Bros. Bankruptcy Examiner at June Commencement

Lawrence University graduate Anton “Tony” Valukas, the court-appointed examiner in the historic bankruptcy case of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., will be recognized by his alma mater with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree Sunday, June 10 at Lawrence’s 163rd commencement.

Valukas, chairman of the Chicago-based national law firm Jenner & Block, also will serve as the principal commencement speaker.

Anton "Tony" Valukas '65

Valukas served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 1985 to 1989.  He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2009, Valukas was appointed by a federal judge as the examiner for the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy in United States history. As examiner, Valukas investigated the causes of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. After reviewing 34 million documents and interviewing nearly 300 witnesses, Valukas issued a seven-volume, 2,200 page report detailing potential wrongdoing by certain Lehman executives and Ernst & Young, the auditor.

Litigator of the Year

Last month, The American Lawyer named Valukas its 2011 “Litigator of the Year,” an honor that recognizes lawyers who have had “extraordinary results for their clients.” In its cover story, the magazine hailed Valukas as one of the “few heroes to emerge from the financial debacle of 2008.” It cited his 2,200-page, seven-volume Examiner’s Report as “a tour de force of truth-telling” and credited him with “untangling what caused a historic collapse that helped set off the broader financial crisis.” Bankruptcy Court Judge James Peck called Valukas’ report “the most outstanding piece of work ever produced by an examiner.”

Valukas has been named one of the country’s leading litigation lawyers for seven consecutive years by Chambers USA, while Chicago Lawyer honored him as its “Person of the Year” for 2009. Last year, the Anti-Defamation League recognized him with its First Amendment Freedom Award.

“Tony Valukas is a superb role model for our graduating students and should be a very interesting commencement speaker for the entire audience,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “Not only is he a distinguished and nationally respected legal expert, he is a humanitarian, a man with a strong social conscience. He demonstrates a balance in life between high professionalism and concern for society that our liberal arts graduates should see in action, so they might consider how to achieve this balance in their own ways in the coming years.”

Civil and Criminal Litigation

Specializing in civil and white collar criminal litigation, Valukas’ extensive experience includes consumer products litigation, product defect and consumer fraud class actions, food contamination, mass accident and environmental claims as well as defense work with accountants, real estate developers and corporate executives in high-profile matters.

Valukas is a frequent presenter to global business and legal leaders on the financial, ethical and legal challenges facing the country, has been the featured speaker at numerous American Bar Association programs and has been published extensively.

“I was surprised and delighted when I received a call from President Beck advising me that the university was going to award me an honorary degree,” said Valukas. “This award comes from an institution that I cherish and which was instrumental in shaping my life.

“So much of what I have become is attributable to the education and insights I gained while a student at Lawrence,” he added. “I remember the faculty with respect and genuine fondness. They profoundly shaped my view of the world and my commitment to the community. For Lawrence to award me this degree is both humbling and an extraordinary honor.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in government at Lawrence in 1965, Valukas earned his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1968. He joined Jenner & Block in 1976 and was named the firm’s chairman in 2007.

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, 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.

Lawrence University Jazz Series Welcomes Jeremy Pelt Quintet Feb. 17

Award-winning trumpet player Jeremy Pelt and his four-member band make their Lawrence University debut Friday, February 17 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel as part of the college’s 2011-12 Jazz Series.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 920-832-6749.

Since its formation in 2007, the Pelt Quintet has emerged as one of jazz’s top-tier mainstream performers. The band recently returned from an international tour that took them throughout Europe as well as Turkey and India and celebrated the release of their fourth album, “Soul, which features six works written by Pelt.

Legendary jazz writer, producer and former associate editor of DownBeat magazine Nat Hentoff has said “It is the beat of Jeremy Pelt’s heart…that underscores the future of jazz.”

A California native who began playing the trumpet in elementary school, Pelt has earned the repeated praise of DownBeat and the Jazz Journalist Association, both of which have named him a “rising star” on trumpet five years in a row. His early focus was on classical studies, but in high school his interests in jazz emerged. He went on to study jazz performance and film studies at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

He played his first professional gig with the Mingus Big Band and since making his home in New York, Pelt has performed with jazz icons Roy Hargrove, Ravi Coltrane, Greg Osby and Cassandra Wilson, among others.

“Jeremy’s Quintet brings a performing style to Lawrence’s Jazz Series that we haven’t witnessed on campus since the Mingus Big Band was here in 2003,” said Fred Sturm, director of jazz studies and improvisational music at Lawrence. “It’s too confining to dub it ‘hard bop,’ though Jeremy is obviously influenced by the great lineage of hard bop era trumpeters Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and others. Jeremy and the guys bring their unique individual musical histories to the table, drawing upon influences as far ranging as Louis Armstrong and hip hop. I suspect what we’ll hear may best be described as ‘contemporary straight ahead jazz.'”

In addition to leading is own band  — tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen, pianist Danny Grissett, Dwayne Burno on bass and drummer Gerald Cleaver — Pelt is member of the Lewis Nash Septet and The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes.

“I’m anxious for our jazz students to hear and interact with Jeremy and his band,” said Sturm.  “This is a young jazz artist who is only a decade farther down the road than our upperclassmen. It will be inspirational for the students to witness what big-league talent and dedication will earn you in a rigorous and competitive domain.”

In addition to “Soul,” Pelt’s discography includes 2011’s “Talented Mr. Pelt,” “November,” released in 2008 and 2005’s “Identity.”

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, 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.